Posted by Eileen on March 13th, 2010
I’m a last-minute substitute for rightback, who, unfortunately, has internet problems, so, not having expected to blog this, I’m trying to remember my thought processes when I solved it a week ago and the blog may well be less full than you would expect. I do know that the two long answers came first, almost solely from the enumeration [with one wee hiccup, see below]. They didn’t prove too much of a spoiler, though: there was lots still to go at and enjoy. Apologies for the lack of the customary Saturday title and theme music: suggestions welcome! [Slightly off-topic – but related – I lay low on yesterday’s Araucaria, which I thought was one of the most outrageous I have ever seen and, I think, stretched the limits of even his most ardent champions! I feel on more stable ground here and am delighted to be able to blog my favourite compiler’s puzzle!]
1 A STRAW IN THE WIND: ASTRA [RAF stars] + THE in WIN WIN [‘win win situation for the’ – I loved that!] + D . The motto of the RAF is ‘Per ardua ad astra': ‘Through hardship to the stars’.
9 ORANGE PIP: ORANG [ape] + reversal of PIPE
10 FLING: double definition
11 GO TO SEA: T[he] in GOOSE + A
12 AIR BASE: AIR [tune] + homophone of BASS [low notes]. [Of course, base also means low but I think a homophone is indicated.
14 HOGWASH: WAS in place of ART in HOGARTH [William, 1697-1764, moralist painter]
17 ELEGIST: ET [Latin ‘and’ ‘keeping’ LEGIS ‘ of the law in Latin’]: reference to Thomas Gray’s ‘Elegy written in an English churchyard’ 
19 PODESTA: ODES in PTA [Parent Teacher Association]
22 STRANGE: ST + RANGE
25 GWYNETH: I don’t want to tread on any toes here, especially considering my ‘thing’ about homophones. It was my understanding that Gwyneth [ the girl] and Gwynnedd [the county] are pronounced the same but I’d be really glad of enlightenment.
26 SYNOVIA: SYNO[d] + VIA
28 ODOUR: I wasn’t too happy with this: I haven’t seen ‘odour’ meaning this unless followed by ‘of sanctity’! Odo, the half-brother of William the Conqueror, was bishop of Bayeux and probably commissioned The Tapestry. [Is UR another candidate for the bonfire?]
29 IN THE CLUB: double definition
30 SATURATION POINT: AT IO in SATURN + POINT
2 TRAIT: homophone of TRAY [carrier]: ‘originally’, because, in English usage, the T in this French word is perhaps more often pronounced.
3 AUGUSTA: AUGUST + A: I’m not very happy with the construction of this clue.
4 IMPEACH: I + MP [1000p] + EACH [apiece]
5 TOP RATE: TO PRATE [nicely balancing 30ac.]
6 ENFORCE: hidden in greEn FOR CEremony
15 GIDDY GOAT: reverse anagram of TOGA: I really like these but I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea.
16, 24, 13, 1dn SET THE CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS: I jumped in a bit too quickly here and entered ‘put’ instead of ‘set’, going purely by the enumeration, instead of working out the anagram [of MATE’S GONE CHEETAH SPOTTING] but Hogarth, on the second pass, put me right!
18, 24. 8 LET THE DOG SEE THE RABBIT: T[ime] in LETHE [forgetfulness] + DO + G[ood] + SEETHE [be very angry] + RABBI [minister] + T [model] : superb charade!
20 SHEARER: S[ociety] HEARER
21 ATHEIST: AT HEIST: I really liked this one.
22 SESOTHO: anagram of TO SHOES: a Bantu language, one of the eleven official languages of South Africa and national language of Lesotho.
23 RUN DEEP: I know I could see this last Saturday but it means nothing this morning: help, please!
27 VALLI: ALL in VI: Alida Valli starred in Carol Reed’s ‘The Third Man’.