Posted by shuchi on April 16th, 2010
An elegant puzzle from Viking as always. Especially liked 1A, 27A and 1D, and 6D for its fun surface.
1 COURTING CO (company) URGING (insisting) + T (time) – G (Golf in the NATO phonetic alphabet)
5 AGHAST H (hard) in AGA (Turkish commander) T[own]. AGHA is an alternate spelling for AGA, perhaps Viking chose the circuitous route [H in AGA] to give the clue a more meaningful surface.
9 ABSTRUSE ABSTRACT (summarise) – ACT + USE (exercise)
10 MEDICI MEDICO (doctor) – O + I (Italy). Italian noble dynasty of skilled politicians and patrons of the arts, prominent during the 14th-17th century.
12 ELATE E (Spain), ET AL (and others), reversed
13 INTERLOCK (NICER LOT)* K[eep-fit]
14 CHINOS CHIOS (Greek island) around N (navy)
16 HOLY SEE HOLY (sounds like ‘wholly’) SEE (witness)
19 UNDERGO UN and DER (French and German articles) GO (work)
21 TRAUMA (AMATEUR)* – E (drug)
23 BETTER OFF BETTER (speculator) OFF (sick)
25 SALVO (OVALS)*
26 ROUTED ROD (staff) around UTE (utility vehicle)
27 HEROINES H.E. (high explosive), SENIOR (older), reversed. SENIOR reversed is a great find. One of the last answers to go into the grid.
29 EARL GREY G (good) RE (on), in EARLY (first thing)
1 CRAVEN C (about, short for ‘circa’) RAVEN (bird)
2 UNSCATHED (SHUNTED CA[r])*
3 THREE T[his] (HERE)* &lit. Novel clue, it refers to the clue number ’3′ that appears at the start.
4 NASTIES (TASTES IN)* – T. British slang for violent films.
6 GUERRILLA (IRREGULAR)* with the last R changed to L (swapping sides). 3 ‘irregulars’ in a row: the definition, the anagrind and the fodder.
7 AMIGO MIG (fighter) in A O (ring). ‘China (plate)’ is Cockney rhyming slang for ‘mate’.
8 THICKSET HICK (yokel) in (TEST)<
11 ITCH HITCH (start, as in jerk) – H. The surface makes one think of the solecism of H-dropping. There are 2 Hs in HITCH and the clue asks to ignore ‘letter H’, so there’s a slight ambiguity about which one or how many. //Update: Gaufrid suggests that this is [a]ITCH, i.e. start removed from the letter H, which seems like the better explanation.
15 NERVE CELL (CLEVER)* in NEL[son]
17 SEMILUNAR RAN (managed), LIME (fruit) in US (America), all reversed. Half a grapefruit is shaped like the half-moon.
18 OUTBURST OUT (dismissed) [opene]R in BUST (out of order)
20 ODOR O (old) DIOR (fashion house) – I (single). ‘odor’ is how ‘odour’ is spelt in North America. Interestingly, the fashion house of Dior is particularly famous for its perfumes.
21 TAFFETA FAT (rich) reversed, FETA (cheese). ’round’ indicates turning around.
22 TOASTY TASTY (appetising) around O (round)
24 TRUSS TRUST (believe in) – T (time) + S (society)
25 SHOAL H (hotel) in LAOS (Asian country) reversed //Update: Thanks to Gaufrid for filling in the answer.