Posted by Eileen on May 5th, 2010
This is a fairly typical Chifonie puzzle, largely made up of charades and straightforward insertions. There is one clue that I particularly liked and, I’m afraid, one that, however good the rest of the puzzle might have been, would have ruined it for me, pedant that I am.
7 LIBELLED: BELL [inventor] in LIED [song]:Alexander Graham Bell (1847 – 1922) – scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator, credited with inventing the first practical telephone.
9 THE BAN [curse]: there were two ancient cities called Thebes, one in Greece and one in Egypt.
10 LESS: [b]LESS: after so many years of teaching the distinction between less and fewer – and quantity/amount and number – and deploring ’10 items or less’ signs at supermarket check-outs, it really hurt to have to type this ‘explanation’! I approached Chambers with trepidation and was gratified to find ‘less: in smaller quantity, not number’ – but then, immediately after, ‘fewer [arch. and inf.]’ [O Tempora! … ] Collins [my slightly older version] has ‘less should not be confused with fewer. Less refers strictly only to quantity and not to number; fewer means smaller in number’. I do hope the up-to-date version has not succumbed!
11 TUMBLEDOWN: ‘UMBLED [‘umiliated] in TOWN [urban area]
12 BISTRO: ST [saint, ‘holy man’] in biro [writer]
14 STARTING: ART [pictures] in STING [swindle]
15 SNOOKER: cryptic definition. This is not one of my areas of interest or expertise but Wikipedia explains that snooker is played ‘using a cue and snooker balls: one white cue ball, 15 red balls worth one point each, and six balls of different colours yellow (2 points), green (3), brown (4), blue (5), pink (6) and black (7).’
17 REDOUBT: RE [touching] + DOUBT [uncertainty]
20 CASHMERE: CASH [money] + MERE [nothing more]
22 MAGGOT: A G[ood] + GO [shot] in MT [Montana]
23 DEFAMATORY: reversal of FED [G-man] + AMATORY
24 MENU: MEN [fellows] + U[niversity]
25 STARVE: R[evolutionary] in STAVE
26 PHEASANT: H[ard] in PEASANT [rustic]
1 LIBERIAN: B[orn] in anagram of AIRLINE
2 ZEUS: reversal of SUEZ: I’ve seen this several times before!
3 BLOTTO: B[ook] + LOTTO [game]: blotto – ‘helplessly drunk’.
4 STILLAGE: STILL [motionless] + AGE [time]: a new word for me – ‘a frame or stand for keeping things off the ground, such as casks in a brewery’.
5 HEADSTRONG: anagram of THE GODS RAN – nice surface
6 DARWIN: W[omen’s] I[institute] [‘organised women’ – nice!] in DARN [repair]
8 DEMISE: DEMI [half] + S[outh] E[ast] [Home Counties]
13 TOOTH FAIRY: anagram of HIT OF A TORY and cryptic definition: a lovely story-telling clue – my favourite by a mile.
16 ELEVATED: E[nglish] V[ictory] in ELATED [happy]
18 BROWNING: BR[anch] + OWNING [admitting]: Robert Browning, English poet [ 1812 – 1889]
19 RECOUP: R[oyal] E[ngineers] [soldiers] + COUP [exploit]
21 ALERTS: anagram of SLATER
22 MAYHEM : MAY [plant] + HEM [border]
24 MASS: M.A’S [graduate’s] + S[ierra] [NATO phonetic alphabet]