Posted by shuchi on January 15th, 2010
[Now that the crossword has been uploaded on the site, removing the placeholder and filling in the analysis.]
A fine puzzle from Viking, with intricate wordplay at a few places that needed working out after the answer had come to mind. The left of the grid had me stuck for some time, looking up composite plants. Help is welcome to fill in the gaps in parsing (1A, 5D, 7D).
// Updated with inputs from Rishi and Richard. Thanks.
Favourite clues: 17A, 28A, 21D
1 DESECRATE DENSE (packed) CRATE (case) – N
6 AMPLE [s]AMPLE
9 ODEON [r]OD EON
10 SPEED BUMP SPEED (rate) BUM (useless) [cha]P
11 PATHFINDER PAT (at the right place) HINDER (hamper) around F (force)
12 TEND TEN D. Another little gem of a clue.
14 MANHOLE MALE around N HO
15 MICROBE MC (host) around I, ROBE (dress)
17 AIRLESS [h]AIRLESS. Lovely clue.
19 SNUFF IT dd
20 SING STING (pain) – T (temperature)
22 APPROACHES (SPA)< around PRO ACHE
25 EARTH WIRE (RARE WHITE)*, with an inventive use of ‘lark’ as anagram ind.
26 ENNUI hidden in ‘oftEN NUIsances’
27 TIE-IN IE (that is) in TIN (cash)
28 MONEYLESS (SOLEMN YES)*
1 DROOP DO (perform) OP (work), around R (river)
2 SWEETENER cd
3 CONEFLOWER CO (firm) + FEN (marshland), reversed + LOWER (put down)
4 ABSENCE (CAN SEEN)*
5 EYEBEAM (MAYBEEE)*, which is MAYBE with the final E appearing three times.
6 AUDI AUDI[t]
7 PAUSE PA (aide) USE (regularly take)
8 EXPEDIENT EX (letter ‘x’) DIE (stamp) in PEN (writer) T (time)
13 ACCURATELY AC (account) CURATE (cleric) L[argel]Y
14 MEANS TEST MEANEST (poorest) around ST (good person)
16 OFF-CHANCE cd
18 SOPHISM PHIS (Greek characters) in SOM[e]
19 SURGEON cd
21 NERVE R moved up in NEVER
23 SKINS KIN (relatives) in S S
24 THIN THIN[g]