Posted by Eileen on July 28th, 2010
I must admit I enjoyed this more than I expected when I saw the name of the setter. There were, perhaps, rather a lot of anagrams – some good ones, though, a couple of unfamiliar words [fairly clued] and some nice surfaces. I have fewer quibbles than I usually have with this setter.
1 CALASH: A in CLASH [confrontation]: a light, low-wheeled carriage with a folding top
4 VINDALOO: anagram of LOAD in VINO [like plonk, a slang word for wine]
9 LOWER: f[LOWER] an ox being one that lows [a change from ‘butter = goat’]
10 LOST CAUSE: cryptic definition: Matthew Arnold in the Preface to Essays in Criticism called Oxford University the ‘home of lost causes’, referring to its support of Charles I in the English Civil War.
11 INORGANIC: anagram of ORIGIN CAN [&lit.]
12 LIEGE: EG [say] in LIE [economy with the truth]: an expression famously used by Sir Robert Armstrong in the Spycatcher case but it is attibuted originally to Edmund Burke.
13 PURSE STRINGS: [perhaps not very] cryptic definition, referring to the expression ‘keeping a tight hold on the purse strings’.
17 PIECE OF EIGHT: double/cryptic definition, referring to the coin minted in the Spanish Empire, also known as the Spanish dollar, which, by the late 18th century was the first world currency, and to Franz Schubert’s Octet in F Major.
20 BEANO: [Mr] BEAN [Rowan Atkinson’s comedy TV character + O [nothing] Edit – accidentally omitted earlier; thanks, tupu.]
21 ROOT CROPS: anagram of TROOPS OR C[ompany]: a nice surface, as trenching is a recommended way of growing root vegetables, as shown here:
23 RED GIANTS: double definition
24 DITTO: Mary Beth Patterson, known by her stage name Beth Ditto (born February 19, 1981, in Searcy, Arkansas), is an American singer-songwriter.
25 LONELIER: anagram of NELLIE OR
26 ORACLE: cleverly hidden in f[OR A CLE[ver] – my favourite clue, I think: the Delphic oracle was notoriously ambiguous: one of the best-known examples is the story of King Croesus of Lydia, who, before attacking Persia, according to Herodotus, consulted Delphi and was told “If you do, you will destroy a great empire”. Believing the response was favourable, Croesus attacked, but it was his own empire that was ultimately destroyed by the Persians.
1 CALLIOPE: ALL [everything] I [one] in COPE [manage]: Calliope was the Muse of epic poetry: I’m not very keen on the ‘on’.
2 LAW COURT: anagram of CRAWL OUT: ‘from’ has to be the anagram indicator and I think it’s rather more acceptable than Rufus’ ‘for’ that aroused discussion on Monday. In fact, it tells a rather nice story.
3 SHRUG: Sh [quiet] RUG [floor covering]
5 INSECTIVOROUS: anagram of OUR VISITS ONCE: perhaps not among the first half-dozen epithets one would think of applying to St John! Matthew’s gospel, Chapter 3, verse 4 states that his meat was locusts and wild honey; there is debate about whether this refers to a grasshopper-like insect, still eaten in the Middle East, or to the carob bean, the fruit of the locust tree, also known as St John’s Bread.
6 DECALOGUE: reversal of EU +GO [proceed] + LACED [tied] – all ‘up': another name for the Ten Commandments
7 LAUREL: a nice cryptic definition, referring to Stan Laurel, comedy partner of Oliver Hardy and also to Thomas Hardy’s novel, ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’.
8 OPENER: double definition [opening batsman]
10 LUNATIC FRINGE: anagram of I [one] + FRANTIC LUNGE
14 EDITORIAL: anagram of LAID TORIE[s]
15 AGNOSTIC: anagram of A SONG + T[ourist] I[nformation] C[entre]
16 OTOSCOPE: I stared for a long time at this word but have failed to see any wordplay. I think it must be a cryptic definition: an otoscope is a device for looking into the ear, hence sight intruding into hearing – except that the ear is the sense organ, not the sense itself. I think I’m missing something.
18 ABORAL: ABORIGINAL [native] minus I GIN [one drink]: I hadn’t come across this word before but its derivation is obvious: it’s a zoological term.
19 WARDEN: W[ith] ARDEN [forest of] – setting for ‘As you like it’
22 CEDAR: hidden in introduCED A Redwood