Posted by Gaufrid on December 30th, 2009
A themed puzzle in which we were told that all asterisked clues had something in common. As it turned out, none of these clues had a definition, only wordplay.
The commonality was that the answers to the asterisked clues were all surnames of American presidents. My entry into the theme was 6dn after which the puzzle became much easier than it at first appeared though I needed the assistance of Wikipedia to confirm the names of a couple of people of whom I’d never heard (29ac, 1dn & 14dn).
Unfortunately Wikipedia proved no help when trying to resolve 27ac and 18dn. In the former I assume that ‘Grant’ is the name of a removal or transport company and the latter a reference to Harrison Ford (though I don’t see how the ‘a possible solution’ fits in) but I am open to alternative suggestions.
Some tricky clues and some obscurities so I would rate this on the hard side of the FT spectrum, though there were some good surfaces in places.
1* CARTER dd – Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) and John Carter, American artist
4 ABSENTEE SENT (dispatched) in A BEE (an insect)
10 OF ONE MIND O (love) EMIN (artist) in FOND (loving) -Tracy Emin, British artist
11 STORM hidden in ‘paSTOR May’
12 ITEM [h]IT [th]EM (strike the people (common))
13 WASHINGTON WAS (used to be) G (good) in HINT (little bit) ON (extra)
15 GRENADE [m]EN in GRADE (rank)
16 WHOOPS dd
19 ITALIC dd
21 AMERICA ERIC (boy) in A MA (a mother)
23 ECONOMISTS ECO (green subject) NO MISTS (without obscurities)
25 SCAR SCAR[e] (less than frighten)
27* GRANT dd – Ulysses S Grant (1869-1877) and Grant Transport Company or Ron Grant Removals or …..?
28 TOURNEDOS *(DONE) in TOURS (French city) – interesting anagram indicator, ‘not well’, which gives a good surface
29 NO AMOUNT NOAM (Chompsky) N (new) in OUT – Avram Noam Chomsky, American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, political activist, author, and lecturer
30 TRUMAN RUM (funny) in TAN (beat) – Harry S Truman (1945-1953)
1* COOLIDGE COOL (excellent) ID (instincts) GE[t] – Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
2* ROOSEVELT [l]EVEL (even topless) in ROOST (dormitory) – Franklin D Roosevelt (1933-1945)
3 EDEN [conduciv]E DEN (study)
5 BAD SHOW BAD (German spa) SHOW (exhibition)
6* EISENHOWER E (point) EN (points) in I SHOWER (I perform my ablutions) – Dwight D Eisenhower (1953-1961)
7 TROUT T (time) U (turn) in ROT (decay)
8 ERMINE ER MINE (I seem reluctant to claim)
9 PIRATE PI (good) RATE (speed)
14 CAGLIOSTRO *(LIAR GOT COS) – Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, the alias of Giuseppe Balsamo
17 PRINCEDOM *(MODERN PIC[ture])
18* HARRISON dd – Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) and Harrison Ford?
20* CLINTON LINT (dressing) in CON (read) – Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
21* ARTHUR dd – Chester A Arthur (1881-1885) and King Arthur
22* REAGAN RE (again) AGA[i]N – Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
24* OBAMA OB (died) A MA (one who gave birth) – Barrack Obama (2009- )
26 ONER [lond]ONER (capital fellow’s second half)