Posted by Hihoba on December 25th, 2009
As this is blog is due for publication on Christmas day, may we wish our readers a Happy Christmas and a successful Inquisitorial New Year!
Some entertaining clues (we particularly liked “Neat expression” to clue MOO!) and a good basic idea, but deeply flawed rubric as indicated below.
We were asked to find a quotation and the initials of its author, formed from extra wordplay letters . The quotation was two words short and turned out to be:
“(To) jaw-jaw is always better than (to) war-war” by Winston Spencer Churchill. [First quibble here - his full name is Winston LEONARD Spencer Chuurchill - what happened to the L?]
This should lead by “augmentation” to three book titles, two of which are to be blacked out and one highlighted.
Two of these titles appeared relatively simply, being ANIMAL FARM (diagonally from the final A in 25D to the M of 14D) and VILE BODIES (on the diagonal from top left to bottom right). The related augmentations were JAW_JAW + WELL gives George Orwell(!) The augmentation is clued “elsewhere” according to the rubric - referring to the title, “Well, well!”. Presumably WAR leads phonetically to Evelyn Waugh in the same way as Jaw-jaw led to George Or. . .
This leaves five letters for the third title, which took some finding, though it’s obvious when you know where to look! It is KIPPS (at the bottom of the left hand column) by H.G Wells - also clued by the title.
Are we to black out the Waugh and Orwell titles and highlight Kipps (Well, well! = Wells)?
Or should we black out both the WELL titles (Orwell and Wells) and highlight the Waugh?
Or should we read the sentence phonetically after two WELL augmentations as: “George Orwell is always better than Wells or Waugh” and black out the Waugh and the Wells titles leaving the Orwell highlighted?
Anyway why black out anything? Are we missing some hidden significance of the term? I look forward to any comments.
There is a definite error in the clue to 13A.
In the table below the extra letters are indicated in red.
|1||J||RETSINA: a drink - [(J)ANITRESS]*|
|6||A||KARMA: just deserts – K(A) =serve(obs) + A(cademy) + R(ight) + MA|
|10||W||EVONNE: girl – [EVEN NO(W)]*|
|11||J||ICHOR: wound discharge – (J)ERICHO minus E.R. + R(uns)|
|12||A||BRIEF: passing – B(A)RF (barf and cat both mean to vomit) round IE|
|13||W||LEGROOM: space for passengers – error! I think there is a mistake in this clue. It should be an anagram of [ONE GRO(W)L] but has an N in place of an M|
|16||EXHEDRA: a recess – (H)EX(A)HEDRA are cubes. Clever!|
|17||RAELENE: a shortened form of Rachel – LEAR reversed + ENE(my). My! = well!|
|18||YTTERBIA: compounds of Ytterbium found in Sweden – [BATTERY + I]*|
|20||I||FUSE: unite – (I)F + USE|
|21||S||SEND: transmit – D(eserted) + NES(S) reversed|
|22||A||ISOLABLE: potentially free of contamination – (A)ISLE round O(ld) LAB|
|28||L||HADRIAN: wall builder – HAD + R(usty) + NAI(L) reversed|
|30||W||ISOGAMY: cell-related union – I + SO(W) + GA + MY|
|31||A||PEREION: thorax in Crustacea – PÈRE (Jean’s father – neat!) + ION(A)|
|32||Y||SNEER: contemptuous expression – S(ecundum) N(aturam) + EER(Y)|
|33||S||PATNA: rice – PA(S)T +NA|
|34||B||HEARSE: a majesty is the canopy of a hearse! [(B)ASE HER]*|
|35||E||SLATS: of wood – S(E)ATS round L(eft)|
|36||T||KISSERS: and traps are both slang for mouths – K(night) + [RESIS(T)S]*|
|1||T||REBURY: engrave (Neat! engrave = put in grave!) once more. I struggled with this for a while! – REBU(T) + RY|
|2||E||TOISE: a French measure of nearly 2 metres – TO(E) + IS + E(arth)|
|3||R||SNELLED: attachment for a hook etc. – SNELL + (R)ED|
|4||T||IN FIERI: pending – (T)IN +[I FIRE]*|
|5||H||ALEXEI: Russian boy – [EX(H)ILE(rat)E]*|
|6||A||KIGHT: Spenserian hawk – KIT round H(A)G reversed|
|7||N||ACRES: large amount – (N)ACRE + S(old)|
|8||W||RHODA: a girl – [HO(W)ARD]*|
|9||A||MOORE’S LAW: a dictum about computing – MOO + RE + SAW round (A)L. I liked the definition of moo as “neat expression”!|
|14||R||MAZE: the home of the Minotaur – M(inotaur) + (R)AZE|
|15||W||WATER SEAL: a seal made by water in a trap/bend – not the trap itself. Slight mis-definition. – [WET RA(W)]* + SEAL|
|19||A||ALDOSES: sugars – À L(A) + DOSES|
|20||R||FARINAS: pollens – FAR + [(R)AINS]*|
|21||SKIP: double meaning|
|23||SHMOCK: another word for klutz! – M(oney) in SHOCK (shock appears in the dictionary definition of crash, but not vice-versa)|
|24||ENURES: gets used to – ENURES(is)|
|25||AORTA: &litish definition of hidden word|
|26||W||AGENT: representative – A + G(W)ENT|
|27||S||NAIAS: a water plant: IAN (Fleming) reversed + AS(S)|
|29||C||ISÈRE: an Alpine departement – I(C)E round RES reversed|