Posted by rightback on December 12th, 2009
Solving time: 13 mins
When I first looked at this I saw the long multi-word phrases and groaned. In fact one of them (LITTLE BO-PEEP) was obvious and the rest of the clues seemed easier than normal. The one sticking point was 7dn (SEEK) on which I spent at least 5 minutes at the end looking for a better answer, not knowing the idiom to which the wordplay referred.
There are several clues referring to songwriter Irving Berlin, including my favourite clue of this puzzle at 15/17/24ac.
Music of the day: You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun by Irving Berlin.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|6,10, 22,10||THERE’S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS; THERES[a] (= ‘Saint’s detailed’, i.e. with the tail (last letter) removed), + NOS (= numbers) around BUSINESS-LIKE (= ‘practical’), + HOW (= ‘method’), + BUS (= ‘transport’) around SINES (= ‘curves’) – a very complicated wordplay which was entirely wasted on me, and I imagine the majority of solvers, especially given the reference at 9ac. I think the saint is Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, co-patron of France.|
|9||BERLIN (2 defs)|
|11||BUFFALO BILL; BUFF (= ‘polish’) + [h]ALO (= ‘ring around ‘ead’)+ BILL (= ‘beak’)|
|15/17/24||YOU CAN’T GET A MAN WITH A GUN; ([in]GENUITY + GUANTANAMO + WATCH) – a quite brilliant anagram. The song is from the musical Annie Get Your Gun.|
|18||TOFFY APPLES – ‘toffy’ as in ‘like a toff’ and ‘pupils’ as in ‘apples of the eye’. I had no idea you could spell ‘toffee’ like this, but it’s in Chambers.|
|23||BRECHT; BRE[a]CH + T (= ‘model’) – I wish they would retire ‘model’ = T (as in the Ford Model T).|
|25/4||LITTLE BO-PEEP; LITT. (= Litterarum = [of] letters, as in LittB) + (BE POLE)* + EP[istle] – another wasted wordplay, ‘Shepherdess’ with this enumneration stuck out a mile.|
|1||RETINA; [c]RETIN + A – not keen on the partial definition ‘in the eye’.|
|3||FRUITLET; (FLUTTER I)*|
|4||BABY BOYS; (ASBO + BY + BY)* – I want to label this ‘brilliant’, but in truth the anagram indication (‘Candidates for…’) is a bit of a stretch and the definition isn’t quite tight enough to make up for it.|
|5||PART FOUR; PAR (= ‘standard’) + TOUR (= ’round of journeys’) around F – because Shakespeare’s Henry VI is in three parts.|
|7||SEEK; SEE K[ing] – this is the one that stumped me because I didn’t know the idiom ‘A cat may look at a king‘.|
|8||OAST, which can replace the gap to form ‘toast’ in the clue – I liked this.|
|12||OUT OF FOCUS; O.U. + TOFF + O + CUS – not sure I like the pluralisation of the chemical symbol for ‘copper’.|
|13||I + M.P. + LICIT|
|14||ANISETTE; “ANNIE + SET” – referring again to Berlin’s musical.|
|19||PARK + IN|
|20||BLOW (2 defs)|
|21||S + KIT|