Posted by C G Rishikesh on April 30th, 2010
This crossword of average difficulty from the master is a pleasant solve. Many feel-good words in the clues: best, great, famous, prime, superb, chief, right, fresh, true, leading, successful, generous.
1 COBBLER - A term for “clothes” is CLOBBER. If the letter L is shifted elsewhere, we get COBBLER, defined here as “one at last”, ‘last’ being a shoemaker’s model of the foot – First clue may not always be the first that we solve. It was not for me, anyway.
5 PIT STOP - PITS (mine’s) + TOP (best) – Nice surface reading.
9 ROOMY - OM (prestigious award) in ROY (Rovers footballer) – Reference is to the fictional footballer, I think.
10 DESCRIBER – SCRIBE (writer) in DER (German for ‘the’)
11 EXCELLENT – EX-CELL (room that was) + ENT (hospital unit)
12 AMAZE – “A Mays”
13 PRIMP - PRIM (strait-laced) + P (quiet) – ‘Groom’ is noun in surface reading but a verb as definition for word required.
15 SIMULATED - S[t]IMULATED – – This and some three or four other clues have familiar wordplay.
18 COLORADAN – COL (offficer) + OR (soldiers) + A (a) + DAN (successful combatant). This clue has the first of some four As that are given gratis in this crossword.
19 NIELS – N (name) + I (one) + ELS (South African golfer Ernie Els). The physicist is Niels Bohr (1885-1962) of Denmark.
21 REALM - L (learner) in REAM (lots of paper)
23 CHARACTER - double definition – letter, in the sense ‘mark’ / crank, in the sense ‘a person of eccentric habits’
25 CORPULENT - anagram of UNCLE PORT
26 BLOOM - double definition – actress/ prime – Reference to Claire BLOOM, English film and stage personality.
27 ERECTED – Replacing L by R in ELECTED (now in parliament) – This letter-switch clue has good surface reading.
28 NURSERY - NURSE (tend) + RY[e] (grass endlessly). Reference to the Nursery end of the pitch at Lord’s cricket grounds. I remember having heard it mentioned in radio commentaries of matches.
1 CARVE-UP – V (very), EU (European organisation) in CARP (grumble)
2 BRONCHIAL – B (beginning to bark) + RONCHIAL, anag. of IN CHORAL – Nice clue which we have to re-read as a whole for the definition.
3 LOYAL – O (nothing) in LYAL, anagram of ALLY
4 REDRESSED – double definition – given fresh kit/ compensated
5 POSIT -I (one) in POST (support), as definition for word requited, ‘advance’ is verb.
6 TARPAULIN – TAR (reversal of ‘rat) + PAUL (tentmaker) + IN (in). Apostle Paul supported himself by making tents while living and preaching in Corinth, as mentioned in Wikipedia. – Nice use of ‘gnawing creature’ and ‘tentmaker’ for a clue for which the solution is ‘tarpaulin’ but I am afraid the surface reading is not that smooth. I think ‘in cloth’ is meant to be ‘fashionable cloth’ in surface reading.
7 TIBIA - reversal of AI (superb) BIT (piece). Too familiar a wordplay.
8 PORTEND - PORT (bearing) + END (a word for death). – I can live with these deadly prognostications.
14 PARAMOUNT - PAR (the expected) + AMOUNT (sum)
16 MANHATTAN - MAN (chap) + HATT (anagram of THAT) + A (a) + N (new)
17 TWENTY-ONE - double definition – card game / that’s no longer significant for the majority? – Boys and girls in their teens look to attaining majority at age 21 so they may do what they may want to do without parental interference. It seems the number becomes insignificant once they become adults. (On edit, thanks Eileen.) In many countries (including India) the age of majority has been reduced to 18. So the figure 21 is no longer significant from that point of view.
18 CORACLE - C (Conservative) + ORACLE (pundit) – Hoganekkal Falls in south India is a tourist spot where you can take a coracle ride on the river Cauvery. The Tamil term is ‘parisal’.
20 SCRUMMY - SCRUM (feature or rugby) + MY (gosh!)
22 AGREE - A (a) + GREE[d] (particular sin needing to be curtailed) – Familiar breakup but the treatment is refreshing.
23 CREED - CREE (Indian) + ‘D ( had restricted)
24 AMBER - A (a) + M (maiden)+ BE (be) + R (right) – “to” seems to be redundant though it’s required for smooth surface reading.