Posted by nmsindy on December 10th, 2009
Thursday is usually the toughest midweek day in the Indy. This was hard, but not exceptionally so, 35 mins. Top half easier than bottom half. Very enjoyable puzzle with some intricate wordplay and excellent surfaces as I associate with Mordred. He’s had many Ninas in the past but I don’t see one here. (But others did – thanks to them!)
* = anagram < = reversed
9 PROOF O (oxygen = gas) in PROF (professor = academic)
10 AB (OM IN) ATE abate = ease up second over = mo< in = batting
11 RED NECK
12 TUR(N)KEY N = Newgate’s principal (ie first letter)
13 DECIDER final letters of haD pelE (cried)* Penalty shoot-out to ‘decide’ a football match level after 90 mins and extra time, eg 2006 World Cup Final between Italy and France.
14 CATERER alternate letters of sCrAn To EaRl ER (Queen) scran = food giving a very good surface.
15 DICK FRANCIS (I find cracks)* I got this straightaway, former very successful jockey, who has produced many crime books related to the racing world, so “racy” in the surface is very good.
It is said that his (late) wife had a big role in relation the books, if I recall.
20 ARREARS This was my favourite clue. REAR (behind) in A and first letters of Rent Settlement making a wonderful &lit
22 ENQUIRY (Query in)*
24 LOFT (attic) IE superioR
26 ANALYZE (Anna lies)* 8 is New York which leads to the US spelling with a Z. The use of this Z in a unchecked square led me on a renewed Nina hunt, but I still can’t see one, then thought there might be a pangram but can’t see a J or W. Clue is totally fair.
27 FREE MASON Another US reference with ‘defense’ leading to Perry Mason, I think, who I remember well from the small screen and never lost a case, I think.
28 NERVE Another excellent & lit. In the cryptic reading ‘guts’ is centre of oNe and vERy, with the VE from brave lacking support ie bra!
1 UP (United Press) (Michael) GRADE
2 CON DUCE D (Germany)
3 OFF END
4 BANK DRAFTS
5 BOLT Tricky double definition, thought for a long time it would be ‘a’ in something. A roll of wallpaper and to eat (hurriedly)
6 DIURETIC RU (Rugby Union) I (international) in CITED (all<)
7 BA(N)KER N = moNey essentially ie middle letter. Another wonderful &lit clue with great use of different meanings of ‘bread’
8 NEW YORK
14 CHAT ELAINE chat = cat in French
16 CHARISMA (Charm is a)*
17 S(HIP)YARD of which Gdansk (Poland) is an example. carts = drays< ‘filled’ with fruit (hip)
18 CAL(L OF)F I found this the trickiest of all – I think it’s fold (pen) less d = dam (from animal pedigrees) reversed in ‘calf’ (young animal). ‘ On the contrary’ saying to put lof in calf rather than the other way round.
19 TYPE (sort) SET (batch) and another &lit!
21 REFLEX hidden
23 Q (question) U (University) AIN’T (isn’t)
25 RISK Double definition – chance and (computer) game