Posted by Eileen on January 1st, 2010
Happy New Year, everyone! If I were one for New Year resolutions, one of them might have been ‘I will try to like Rover crosswords more’. I know I’ve used the term ‘mixed bag’ about his puzzles before and this is more of the same – some nice clues but others that are [sorry, Bryan!] really rather weak, especially the double definitions.
1 ANAGRAM: a really nice start: ‘three swans’ is an anagram of ‘the answers’.
5 UPLANDS: cryptic [?] definition
10 SPIN: anagram of PINS: quite neat, because ‘doctor’ is the anagram indicator
11 BREASTBONE: ‘familiar name for the sternum’ -groan!
12 RUSSET: RUSS[ian] + ET ['and' French]
23 RAILROAD: RAIL + ROAD
14 TELEGRAPH: Help! – the Telegraph is a daily but the cricket score bit eludes me
16 STAKE: double definition: a stake is a piece of paling and to have a stake in something is to have an interest in it.
17 HARRY: double definition
19 ALLOTMENT: double [?] definition: they’re pretty similar, I think – and is an allotment really a measurement?
23 BIGAMIST: cryptic definition
24 ENDING: I suppose I have to call this a double definition – but it isn’t! I thought this was really weak, especially after Paul’s superb clue to this word yesterday. I can only think I’m missing something?
26 BOOKSTANDS: cryptic definition
27 GAIN: anagram of A GIN
28 READING: home of the Reading Royals ice hockey team [Thank you, Google!]
29 MALTESE: anagram of ME LEAST
2 NEPTUNE: double definition – not such a good start to the down clues
3 GENES: but I liked this homophone of jeans! Levi was one of the sons of Jacob and the ancestor of the tribe of Levi.
4 ARBITER: anagram of TRIBE in AR [Arabia]
6 PASSIM: PASS ['I've no answer'] + I’M: I liked this one because it reminded me of a schoolgirl Latin mnemonic [which depends on a particular pronunciation]: ‘Vicissim in turn and passim in all directions’.
7 ARBORETUM: cryptic definition
8 DENMARK: DEN [study] MARK [second gospel]
9 METROPOLITANS: METROPOLITAN [London Underground line] + S[outhern]
15 EARMARKED: I expected to find that scab was a disease of horses but I can only find it with reference to sheep, so I can’t explain this fully.
18 ADIPOSE: anagram of PIE and SODA
20 OVERSEA: hidden in cOVERS EAch but I can’t see the indicator, apart from ‘covers’ which is part of the wordplay.
21 NANNIES:[ not very] cryptic definition
22 MITTEN: TT [teetotal, ie 'dry'] in MIEN [appearance]
25 DIGIT: DIG IT: ‘dig’ = ‘understand’