Posted by Uncle Yap on February 23rd, 2010
A mixed bag from Gordius. Some excellent clues, somewhat spoiled by a couple of mediocre ones.
1 SEPTIC TANKS Ins of TANK (reservoir) in *(cesspit) Nice surface
9 NOISOME Ins of OM (Order of Merit) in NOISE (row)
10 MERCURY Ins of CU (copper element) in MERRY (jovial)
11 KILOMETRE *(milk + O) ETRE (the verb ‘to be’ in French)
12 EPOCH Ins of C (first letter of church) in EPOH (rev of HOPE, virtue)
13 SOYA Sounds like Sawyer, Tom (Mark Twain hero)
14 PAST MASTER Thomas Arnold (1795–1842) was a British educator and historian. He was headmaster of Rugby School from 1828 to 1841
16 WEIGHTLESS Sounds like “Wait-less” (promise told to National Health Service patients) In my opinion, a very weak homophone clue of an impossible situation of instant service in the NHS or is it a shorter wait, in which case, the less element would sound differently. Gordius should have chosen another device to clue this word.
19 BENT (Thanks to Lanson) Removal of ravers (party people) from Ben Travers, (1886-1980) a British playwright most famous for his farces.
21 RELIC ha
22 CORTISONE Cha of COR (Blimey) *(it’s) ONE (individual)
24 READ OUT One of those reversed anagram devices where the answer is like a clue for DARE
25 WHEREAS Ins of HERE (locally) in WAS
26 SAFE DEPOSIT I suppose the compiler is alluding to the recent banking crisis which threatened to topple the entire economic and financial system of the world; hence the question whether a deposit with a bank is safe.
1 SHIRLEY WILLIAMS *(his aims will rely)
2 PROEM Ins of E (Europe) in PROM (concert)
3 INERTIA *(irate in)
4 TEMPEST Cha of TEMP (agency worker) *(set)
5 NORSEMAN Reversal of NAMES (calls) RON (boy) with the indicator from the south in this down clue. Fortinbras is the name of a Norwegian character from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Excellent COD
6 SPUR OF THE MOMENT *(P hot summer often)
7 SNAKES SNA (rev of ANSwer, solution) KES (bird ) Bird does not seem a very fair indicator for KES, the name of a kestrel in Kes (a 1969 British film about a boy and his falcon based on A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines). “They may bite” as def for snakes? Don’t all dentated creatures bite? In my opinion, the most unsatisfactory clue of this lot.
8 CYPHER dd a secret code; an interweaving of the initials of a name; any person or thing of little value, a nonentity (Chambers) A cypher was the variation on plaintext spat out by the Enigma machine in WWII, so Enigmatic Variation is a nice touch.
15 CHECK OFF Sounds like CHEKHOV (1860-1904)
16 WAR CRY Ins of CR (credit) in WARY (suspicious) for the official newspaper of the Salvation Army
17 LOCATED *(laced to)
18 SCREW UP Ins of CREW (complement) in SUP (drink)
20 THEISM Ins of IS in THE M (thousand or many)
23 IDEAS *(aside)
Key to abbreviations used
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram
tichy = tongue-in-cheek