Posted by rightback on January 30th, 2010
Solving time: Best part of a week before using references for 4ac and 1dn.
Sometimes it all goes wrong; this was such an occasion, and I got totally stuck on two clues, despite leaving them for a few days and trying again. Annoyingly I had actually come up with the right answer (BUSONI) at 1dn but rejected it because I expected to have heard of the composer; WAMPUM (4ac) I didn’t know and was difficult.
Despite failing to finish I thought this was a very good puzzle with my favourite clues including 10ac (VERTEBRA), 11ac (PROLIFERATE) and 7dn (ASBO).
Music of the day: It can only be something by 1dn; I didn’t know any of his music but here’s the first part of what seems to be his most highly regarded piano concerto.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|4||WAMPUM; rev. of MAW + PUM[a] – the letters W-M— looked so kind that I really felt I should be able to work this out but I just couldn’t, not knowing ‘maw’ = ‘stomach’ or the answer, an Algonquian word meaning beads used as money and failing to see that ‘cat needs a’ = ‘remove the letter A from a word for a cat’ (although ‘needs’ should really be ‘needing’ to make the clue grammatically sound).|
|6||COMPLAIN; (LAMP)* in COIN (= ‘piece’)|
|9||NEST OR – a clutch being a bird’s eggs. Nestor was king of Pylos, an Argonaut, Trojan War hero and general legend, as well as finding time to set crosswords for the Independent.|
|10||VERTEBRA; VERT + E + BRA – I thought this wordplay (‘Green energy supporter’) was brilliant.|
|11||PROLIFERATE; PRO-LIFER + ATE – another very good clue.|
|15||PROVERB; ROVER in P[u]B – ‘Saw’ as in a saying.|
|17||TIMBREL; TIM + BREL – with T-M—- in place, and seeing that ‘old’ might indicate ‘O’, I wrote in ‘timpano’ here, fortunately being rescued by 13dn. The chansonnier (French for a kind of singer) is, I think, Jacques Brel, whom I didn’t know, although actually I suspect I have come across him before.|
|18||PANDEMONIUM; (UPON ME I DAMN)* – this word was coined by Milton as the capital of Hell in Paradise Lost. The definition is slightly loose and seems to merge into the wordplay, but it’s a good anagram and the intention is clear enough.|
|22||RADIATOR; rev. of (ROT + AIDA + R) – kind of Shed to name-check me.|
|23||MILTON; TO in MILN[e] – I suppose you have to read ‘cut’ here as past tense in the wordplay. The author is A A Milne who wrote the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.|
|24||SENTIENT; SEN (= ‘money’) + TIE (= ‘with which to bind’) + N.T. (= ‘books’) – in Japan, 1 yen = 100 sen.|
|1||BUSONI; (I ON BUS) with the subject and object reversed – the Italian composer Ferruccio Beroni. Perhaps I should have had the courage to write this in because there’s really not much else it could be.|
|2||FORECAST + LE|
|3||UPSTREAM; (PUTS)* + REAM|
|4||WINDPIPE; WIND (= ‘instrumental family’) + PIPE (= ‘one of its members’) – curiously it took me a long time to justify this properly because I thought ‘Passage’ was indicating ‘pipe’.|
|5||MASTODON; M.A.s + TO + DON|
|7||ASBO; [h]AS B.O. – excellent.|
|8||NEAR (2 defs) – this pair of definitions were a bit too similar for my liking.|
|12||EMBONPOINT; (EMOTION + B.N.P.)* – I’d never heard of this word, but it’s French from ‘en bon point’ meaning ‘in good form’.|
|13||ART(IST)IC – ‘lorry’ had to be ‘artic’ here which helped me to correct my mistake at 17ac.|
|14||FLAMENCO; rev. of CALF around MEN, + O (= ’round’)|
|20||ORBS (hidden backwards) – possibly written about the time of Gordon Strachan’s appointment?|
|21||A + DEN|