Posted by Gaufrid on December 2nd, 2009
Not the friendliest of grids with the NW and SE corners only connected to the rest of the puzzle by one clue each. Add to this some misleading (not in a bad way) clues and the result was a puzzle towards the harder end of the FT spectrum (as is usually the case on a Wednesday).
I have a minor quibble regarding 10a, and have reservations about 3,23, but apart from that the clues were fair (once you had been able to unravel some of them).
1 SCARCE C (about) in SCARE (alarm)
4 PSYCH OUT *(THUS COPY)
9 NOODLE dd
10 AIR POWER *(WAR PERIO[d]) (war period died out) – definition ‘might with planes’ but I’m not too happy with ‘as turbulence’ for the anagram indicator, ‘turbulent’ would have been fine but would have ruined the surface.
12,22 ROLL NECK ROLL (register) NECK (brass)
13 MONTE CARLO *(MORTAL ONCE)
15 MIXED-ABILITY hidden reversal in ‘delaY TIL I BADE XIMenes’
18 LIFE SENTENCE LIFE (being) SENTENCE (words)
21 FERTILISER *(STERILE IF) R (right)
24 APPENDIX [h]APPEN (Cockney’s come about) DIX (10, in French)
25 HERNIA HER[o]N (bird wanting love) I[s] (endlessly is) A
26 DATELINE DATE (appointment) LINE (provide backing for) – line=back as in covering the outside of a book to reinforce or strengthen it.
27 STOLID TO in SLID (slipped)
1 SYNDROME *(DEMONRYS)
2 APOPLEXY O (band) in APPLE (fruit) XY (axes, on a graph)
3,23 COLD FEET COD (fish) FLEET (boats) with L (line) moved from the latter to the former – is there sufficient indication in the clue that the ‘l’ moves from ‘fleet’ to ‘cod’? As it reads, it should be L (line) in COD (fish) to a four letter word for ‘boats’. Perhaps ‘when fish takes line from boats’ would have been more precise.
5 SHIRT-SLEEVES cd
6 CAPACITATE A C[ollege] in CAPITATE (like a head) – ‘incapacitate’ is probably better known.
7 ONWARD O (nothing) DRAWN (tied) reversed
8 TERROR ERR (get it wrong) in TOR (height)
11 DOUBLE VISION cd
14 ADDITIONAL *(LAD TO AID IN)
16 INFERNAL IN (batting) N (point) in FERAL (wild)
17 DECKHAND DECK HAND (gaming terms)
19 AFRAID [s]AF[e] (pointlessly safe) RAID (attack)
20 ARMPIT *(IMPART)