Posted by nmsindy on July 13th, 2010
What turned out to be a very easy puzzle from the master, I’d all but two solved in just 11 mins, but the last two 30A and 18D took me another 5 mins, so 16 mins in all. nmsindy weakness in films was a factor in 18D though it turned out to be someone really well known so got it all right.
Virgilius puzzles usually have themes/Ninas so with the grid filled I looked and saw (John) CLEESE in the middle row. I know him well from Fawlty Towers and the odd film. Then saw MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS among the answers.
Confession: nmsindy has never watched that programme but has of course heard of it and of DEAD PARROT both of which appear also in the grid. Went to Wikipedia then to discover that four others associated with the show also appear in the grid, Graham CHAPMAN, Eric IDLE, Terry JONES, Michael PALIN. That’s an impressive amount of thematic material to fit in. If there is even more that nmsindy has not spotted, would be happy to be so advised.
The clues as always from Virgilius were a joy.
* = anagram
1 COPY P (page) in COY
3 SPAM maps reversed
6 JAPE J (Jack – cards) APE (4 is PARROT)
9 ALL-STAR Very well hidden in footbALL STARting
11 SUNDIAL Sun newspaper, LAID reversed
12 MINNESOTA (Maine’s not)* Definition refers to Minnesota being in centre of US between East and West, I think
13 SWAMI SWAM (progressed in school eg whales) I (one). Hindu religious teacher I first became aware of from puzzles.
14 NASEBY (Ben, say)* Battle in English Civil War (1645)
16 GROUPING GROPING (searching uncertainly) around U (university)
19 CAUSEWAY CAUSE (reason) “weigh” (to consider)
20 PUTS UP Double definition
23 RAPID P (power) in RAID (attack) fleet (adj) = fast = rapid
25 TIME LIMIT I’M (twice) in (TITLE)*
27 Maurice UTRILLO (French painter, 1883-1955) ILL (not well) in (TOUR)*
28 LAY INTO (ON ITALY)*
29 IDLE alternate letters (in odd positions) ie ‘oddly’ of InDuLgEd
30 DEAD had to cycle mentally thro all the D?A? answers before seeing this, think it’s a double definition ie not quick and ‘to get in touch’ – this I think refers to sport esp rugby union when the ball goes into touch ie out of play (dead). Virgilius gave us a themed puzzle on the Ireland 2009 Rugby Grand Slam, if I recall.
31 BYES This refers to extra runs in cricket ie that cannot be credited to a batsman B (first letters of Bill) YES = OK
1 CHAPMAN Definition: itinerant trader CHA (tea) PM (afternoon) AN
2 Sarah PALIN First letter of first three words in clue and IN (elected) & lit
4 PARROT PAR (standard) ROT (rubbish)
5 MASSACRE MASS (crowd) ACRE (some area of ground)
6 Inigo JONES J (judge’s) ONE’S = my, in formal style. A usage that’s passing out of speech to use “‘one’s” instead of ‘my’ eg “‘one’s first opinion was that it was a clear foul”
7 PRIMARIES (elections in US in lead-up to Presidential election) PRIM (proper) ARIES (sign of the Zodiac)
8 FLYING F (female) LYING (not to be trusted)
10 TREMBLE M (male) in TREBLE (high voice)
15 SCUPPERED SC (namely) UPPER (higher) ED (education)
17 USUALLY U for university twice SALLY = excursion
18 Clint EASTWOOD EAST (player in bridge) WOOD (golf club)
19 CIRCUS CIRCUITS less IT eg Picadilly Circus, Oxford Circus
21 PYTHONS (shiny pot)* less I (one)
22 AMELIA Hero of novel by Fielding A M (maiden, from cricket) ELIA (Charles Lamb, essayist and poet)
24 DELVE V (5 in Roman numeral) in DELE (order – from printing – to delete)
26 MONTY Nickname of WWII victor at El Alamein, General Montgomery, hidden in uncomMON TYpe with an &lit touch as he was controversial at times.