Posted by shuchi on January 29th, 2010
A very good puzzle, I thought. Smooth surfaces throughout, and nothing too obscure other than one look-up I needed for 11a.
Picks for best clues: BLUEBOTTLE, WREN
1 BACKHANDER HAND (cards) in BACKER (gambler)
7 SNAP SN (bridge partners) A P (quiet)
9 LADY LAY (song) around D (daughter)
10 SYCOPHANTS (CHAPS TYSON)*
11 FIRKIN F (loud) IR (Irish) KIN (family). ‘Firkin’is a British unit of capacity, usually equal to about 1/4 of a barrel or 9 gallons.
12 WINDLASS WIND (get short of breath) LASS (young woman)
13 FENG SHUI (FUNGI HE’S)*
15 TUNA A NUT (fan), all reversed
17 STAB hidden in ‘cheST A Bobby’
19 TERMINAL A rare triple definition
22 CAST-IRON CAST (found, as in metallurgy) IRON (golf club)
23 MUFFLE MULE (cross) around F (fine) F (female). Clever pun on ‘cross’.
25 BLUEBOTTLE BLUE (low) BOTTLE (nerve, as in courage). A very nicely misleading surface.
26 OGRE GO (shot) reversed, RE (about) // Update: Thanks to CGR for the anno.
27 WREN NEW (original), reversed, around R (king) &lit.
28 SUNGLASSES SUN (star) G (German) LASSES (girls)
2 AVARICE (CAVIARE)*
3 KAYAK A palindrome
4 ABSINTHE AB’S IN THE
5 DICK WHITTINGTON (KID NOTING TWITCH)*
6 RAPINE hidden in ‘tRAP IN Epping’
7 SCARLATTI (LAST CAR)* (IT)<
8 ARTISAN IS in [t]ARTAN (plaid, without a ‘hat’)
14 GO-BETWEEN GO (start) BET (gamble) WEE (small) N (northen)
16 CROMWELL ROW (argument) around M, in CELL (dungeon)
18 TRAILER dd
20 AT LARGE (LAGER AT)*
21 BROOKS B[ollywood] ROOKS (overcharges)
24 FLOSS F (female) LOSS (victim)