Posted by Gaufrid on May 10th, 2010
NealH has business commitments today so I agreed to stand in for him, thinking that it would make a change to cover an Indy.
An interesting approach today, with all the down answers and all bar three of the across ones containing one or more A’s. I wonder why Punk didn’t make the answers to 11ac and 14ac TAE and GNAT respectively which would have just left 29ac as the odd one out.
I have a very minor quibble with 28ac and a slightly more serious one with 4dn but apart from that I found this to be an enjoyable solve, even if I did have to do some research to confirm a couple of answers (1ac and 28ac).
1 MARACANA M[oves] A (ace) in ARCANA (tarot cards) – arcana, either of the two divisions of a pack of tarot cards and the Estádio do Maracanã
6 AJAX A JA (European ‘yes’) X (vote) – a mythological Greek hero
9 AVAIL homophone of ‘a veil’ (a mask)
10 ALOHA A HOLA (Spanish greeting) reversed
11 TIE dd – as in a ‘drawn game’ and a ‘cup tie’
13 ARAB STATES *(BREASTS AT A[nything]) – an amusing misdirection from the allusion to the ex-model Katie Price, formerly known as Jordan
14 KNOT dd – a reference to the bird and something one would 11ac
16 AGA SAGA A GAS (talk) AGA[in] (once more missing in) – a popular novel in a semi-rural middle-class setting
17 CANADA CAN (toilet) ADA (girl)
19 AVATAR A VAT (vessel) A R (river)
21 ALABAMA A LA (state, Louisiana) BA MA (degrees)
24 ALAS SALA[d) (something tossed) reversed
25 BANANARAMA BANANA (former African leader) RAM (sheep) A - Canaan Sodindo Banana, the first President of Zimbabwe and Bananarama
27 ARM dd - arm = gun = piece
28 AGANA A G[h]ana (country less hot) – this should have been ‘former capital of Guam’ as the capital is now called Hagåtña
29 HEINZ HE (man) *(ZIN[c]) – ‘handle’ as in ‘name’
30 LAVA LAV (toilet) A – for once ‘flower’ does not mean a plant that produces blossoms or a river
31 AMASSING hidden in ‘drAMAS SIN Generously’
2 ATACAMA AT (towards) A CAM (river) A
3 ABLE SEAMAN A B (black) SEAM (source of coal) in LEAN (tip)
4 AGAR-AGAR RAGA RAGA (scales) reversed – I think the use of ‘scales’ is rather loose since the definition of ‘scale’ in Collins is “a group of notes taken in ascending or descending order …” whereas ‘raga’ is defined as “any of several conventional patterns of melody and rhythm that form the basis for freely interpreted compositions …”. Chambers and COED show a similar discrepancy.
5 AVOCET VO[i]CE (one distanced from opinion) in ‘AT (Cockney’s 23)
6 ADAM A DAM (mother)
7 ANTENNA ANT (soldier) ANNE (girl) reversed
8 TARAMASALATA TA-RA (farewell) MASALA (Indian food) TA (thanks)
12 EXTRAVAGANZA EX (old) *(VAGRANT A) ZA (couple of extremes)
15 CALABASHES CAL (state) ABASHES (shames)
18 MAHARAJA AJAR (open) A HAM (piece of meat) reversed
20 ANAEMIA A A1 (perfect) MEAN (average) reversed
22 ACADIAN A CAD (rotter) IAN (Scotsman) – “of or relating to the Acadians or their dialect of French, or to Acadia, former name for part of E Canada including Nova Scotia and New Brunswick” (Chambers).
23 PANAMA dd – a brand of cigars and a type of hat
26 PARA PAR (what’s expected on course) A