Posted by rightback on May 15th, 2010
Solving time: 20 mins, with the majority on 5dn and 19ac
The ‘capitally linked’ answers were all stations on the London Underground. As a non-Londoner I wasn’t doing too badly but was ruined by 5dn where all I could see was ‘Grange Hill’, being led astray by the 80s TV series. I just couldn’t get it out of my head and it was at least 10 mins before I saw the answer, which was, er, GRANGE HILL. STEEL WOOL at 19ac also caused me trouble.
Not too much in this crossword stood out for me. The anagram at 16ac is good, I liked 21/24ac and the hidden answer at 20dn is clever (despite the superfluous ‘Ireland’), but there were several problematic clues and few with convincing surface readings (‘Some laughter in a healer’, ‘Sea without money’, ‘Unchanged in point of time’ were a few that I found stretched).
Music of the day would be Going Underground by The Jam, clearly, but that was the very first Music of the Day last time there was a Tube-themed puzzle (18th August 2007), so let’s have A Poem on the Underground Wall by Simon and Garfunkel.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|1||LOOK + AFTER|
|10||HELLO; HE’LL + O (= ‘love’)|
|11||EXURBAN; EX (= ‘old’) + UR (= ‘old city’) + BAN (= ‘prohibition’)|
|12||NIGH + TIE|
|13||REEVE; RE + EVE – 2 definitions here (‘Man of authority’ and ‘bird’), sandwiching the wordplay.|
|14||LIEGELESS; (GLEES)* in LIES|
|16||NOTTING HILL GATE; (NIGHT ALL GET INTO)*|
|19||STEEL WOOL; TEE (= ‘ball carrier’) + rev. of OWL, all in SOL (= ‘sun’) – this doesn’t make sense: reading ‘bird is’ for ‘bird’s’, the cryptic reading is ‘Ball carrier on bird is back in the sun’, which is actually an instruction to reverse the ball carrier, not the bird. This might be more forgivable if the surface reading made any sense.|
|21,24||BRENT CROSS – referring to the brent goose.|
|22||ARSENAL; ARAL around SEN|
|23||SILESIA; (ISLE IS A)* – an area mostly in Poland.|
|25||MAIDA VALE; M + AIDA (= ‘opera’) + VALE (= ‘farewell’) – the word ‘said’ seems superfluous here.|
|1||BLUEPRINTS; BLUNTS around (RIPE)* – ‘ripe fruit’ = ‘anagram of ripe’? I don’t think many setters would be allowed to get away with that.|
|2||MONUMENT; (UN)* in MOMENT – ‘unchanged’ has to be read as ‘UN changed’.|
|3,22||MARBLE ARCH; MARCH around BLEAR (= ‘watery [of the eyes]‘)|
|4,8||STANMORE; STAN + MORE – Sir Thomas More.|
|5||GRANGE HILL; RANGE (= ‘limits’) in GHI (= ‘fat’) + L,L (= ‘plates’, as in learner plates)|
|6||CHIGWELL; CHILL around G-WE|
|7||BLITHE; B + LITHE|
|14||LEGS OF LAMB; (FAB[ulous] SMELL GO)*|
|15||SWEET PAPER; SWEEP (= ‘Man with brush’) around T, + APE (= ‘copy’) + R[ex] (= ‘king’)|
|17||IDLENESS – ‘love-in-idleness’ is another name for the pansy.|
|18||AMERSHAM; (ER (= ‘hesitation’) + SH (= ‘silence’)) in AM,AM|
|20||EUSTON (hidden) – I was very slow to see this.|
|21||BALHAM; HA (= ‘Some laughter’) in BALM|
|23||SWIM; SW1 (= the Buckingham Palace postal area, I suppose) + M (= ‘my leader’)|