Posted by rightback on January 9th, 2010
Solving time: 10 mins
As usual with Brummie I had a slow start on this but then got moving once I had some checking letters. A few bits of looseness here and there but generally good clues. I think WRAITH and the AUTO of AUTOCROSS were my last two.
I only noticed the theme when I was trying to think of a title for this blog. (I’d forgotten that Brummie puzzles usually have a theme.) If you didn’t spot it, have another look and then 23dn by looking below the explanations.
Music of the day (24ac): I found a Swedish band called Scapa Flow (13dn) but they seem to be dreadful. On the other hand El Paso, sung by Marty Robbins, was a US number one (#19 over here) in 1960.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|1||SUB + ALTER + N – which can be an adjective, as required by the definition (‘Under a captain’), as well as a noun.|
|6||SNAP; rev. of PAN’S – Pan being the horned pipe-playing god of Greek mythology.|
|8||PATIENCE; “PATIENTS” – the woolly linking here makes this clue somewhat ambiguous. The answer is the Gilbert and Sullivan opera.|
|9||WRAITH; WITH (= ‘inclusive of’) containing (i.e. enriched by) RA (= radium)|
|10||B + RIDGE – I nearly blundered into ‘bridle’ here.|
|11||HEADLOCK; (LEAD)* in HOCK – a wrestling hold.|
|12||ESPRIT, from SPRITE|
|15||MAKE GOOD; MAKE (= ‘Prepare’) + GOO (= ‘sticky mess’) + D[ate]|
|16||NAPOLEON; NAP + O[ver] + LEON – the ‘initially’ in this clue has been rendered superfluous by Chambers 2008′s inclusion of ‘over’ (the cricketing term) in the list of abbreviations for which the letter ‘o’ stands.|
|19||TAOISM, from MAOIST – this clever switch has come up before.|
|21||HARD AT IT; HARD + A[nswer] + TIT – using ‘hard’ in the cryptic breakdown isn’t great; cf 15ac, where ‘make’ is used in the construction of MAKE GOOD.|
|22||PUT + SCH – I spent a while here looking for a seven-letter word meaning ‘Attempt’ from which to remove a G (for ‘government’).|
|24||EL PASO; [h]ELP A SO[n]|
|25||BAKERIES; KE in (SERBIA)* – as in 16ac the ‘initially’ is probably superfluous here, as KE is a common enough abbreviation for kinetic energy.|
|27||EYES RIGHT (one def, one literal def) – the literal definition being ‘So, no problem regarding’, with ‘regarding’ in the sense of ‘seeing’. Very clever.|
|1||STAIR; I in STAR|
|2||BLINDER (2 defs)|
|4||EVES + HAM – a town in Worcestershire. The surface reading doesn’t seem to make much sense.|
|5||NEW MARKET – ‘Meetings’ in the sense of race meetings, which I didn’t think of until I saw the answer from checking letters.|
|6||SEA SLUG; SEAS[on] + LUG (= ‘tug’)|
|7||AUTOCROSS; A + (OUT)* (= ‘forced out’) + CROSS (= ‘angry’) – a type of racing with which I am not au fait.|
|13||SCAPA FLOW; S[un] + CAP + A + (FLOW)*|
|14||TWENTY-ONE; WENT (= ‘retired’) + [da]Y, all in TONE (= ‘mood’)|
|17||OLD MAID; OLD (= ‘getting on’), + MAD around I – ‘getting on’ was subtly worked in.|
|20||OUT BRAG; OUT (= ‘old hat’) + B[lack] + RAG|
|22||POKER; OK in PER (= ‘for each’)|
|23||CHEAT; H.E. in CAT – some licence taken with the quotation marks, which span part of the wordplay and the definition.|
And the theme, in case you haven’t seen it, is card games: snap, patience, bridge, napoleon, old maid, twenty-one, Newmarket, poker, [out]brag and cheat all appear. Please comment if you see one I’ve missed!