Posted by shuchi on February 12th, 2010
After a series of easy Fridays, a tough one from Viking with some fine clues.
The bottom-right corner was the last to fall, with 21a/21d causing much perplexity before the ‘aha’ moments came. 25a led to confusion too as I had entered LOOM (centre of ‘gloomy’) which also fit the clue but messed up the crossings.
1 ALASKA ASK (request) in A LA (the musical note)
4 TRAILERS RAIL (banter) in TERS[e] (short snappy)
10 TIT FOR TAT TIT[ter] (bit of a laugh) FOR TAT (fray)
11 GRAZE G (good) LEVEL (raze)
12 NEAT First letters of ‘Natty Elegant And Trim’. An easy starter clue.
13 TASKMASTER ASK (require) M (Mike) in TASTER (sample)
15 EPISODE PE (exercises) reversed, I (one) (DOES)*
16 SWITCH C (clubs) in (WHIST)*
19 CLASPS P (power) in CLASS (style)
21 WITHOUT WIT (humour) around THOU (you, formally). Very nice and deceptive.
23 OBLIGATION OBLATION (sacrifice) around GI (soldier), reversed
25 REAR [d]REAR[y] (gloomy at centre)
27 DOGMA DOG (follow) MA (Master)
28 PEPPERONI PEP (go) PERONI (beer. Had to look this up, turns out there’s a Peroni_Brewery)
29 RESIDENT PRESIDENT (Bush, perhaps), with ‘P’ trimmed
30 PENNON PEN (writer) ON (working) around N (new). A new word for me. pennon = standard in the sense of a flag or banner.
2 ACTUARIAL ACTUAL (real) around AIR (publicity), reversed
3 KNOT [jun]K TON (weight), reversed
5 RETAKES SKATER (winter sportsman) reversed, around [pist]E
6 INGRATIATE (ATTIRE AGAIN – A)*. Out of habit I was expecting ‘again’ to bring in ‘RE’ in the answer. Good lesson not to make assumptions.
7 EXALT LT (lieutenant i.e. officer) below EX (former) A (ace)
8 SIERRA cd. in the phonetic alphabet, Sierra (S) is not far from Quebec (Q)
9 STRAFE ST (way) RAF (fliers) E[nemy] &lit. ‘Strafe’ is to attack by airplanes with machine-gun fire.
14 COASTGUARD COAST (cruise) GUARD (control)
17 CLOSE DOWN CLOWN (idiot) around (DOSE)*
18 STAR SIGN STAR (principal) SIGN (symptom)
20 SIT UPON SIT UP (exercise) ON (acceptable)
21 WHOOPS WHO’S (Doctor) around OP (operation). Another lovely clue.
22 FODDER F (fine) ODDER (stranger)
24 LAGOS LAOS (Asian country) around G (government)
26 CEDE sounds like ‘seed’ (top player)