Posted by Gaufrid on August 5th, 2010
A themed puzzle from Brendan today with a good mix of enjoyable, though not too demanding, clues.
The theme was indicated by the middle row (15 & 17ac) and all the other across entries are titles of films. I didn’t notice this until after I had completed the puzzle so the thematic material didn’t aid the solving process, not that any help was needed because the cluing was clear and fair, with the possible exception of 12ac which I cannot see as being anything other than a simple definition.
I would add that the surface reading of all the clues made sense (at least to me) which is more than can be said for some puzzles.
7 EL DORADO E (English) *(LORD) A DO (party)
9 AVATAR AVA (girl) TAR (sailor)
10 HELP [wit]H [on]E [fel]L [swoo]P
11 CASABLANCA CASA BLANCA – ‘White House’ (president’s home) in Spanish.
12 BATMAN a straight definition unless I’ve missed something
14 FANTASIA FAN (enthusiast) *(IT AS A)
15 SILVER dd – a reference to Long John Silver, the cook in Treasure Island.
17 SCREEN dd
20 PETER PAN PE (exercises) *(PARENT)
22 MATRIX *(ART) in MIX (blend)
23 POCAHONTAS *(POONA CHATS)
24 MASH MA’s (old lady’s) H (husband)
25 ICE AGE E (energy) in I CAGE (I shut up)
26 PREDATOR D (duke) in *(A REPORT)
1 BLUE JAYS BLUE (not happy) JAYS (jumbo jets initially)
2 COUP CO (company) UP (mounted)
3 CANCAN homophone of ‘Cannes Cannes’ (French town heard repeatedly)
4 RABBINIC *(AIR IN BBC)
5 BANANA BELT BANANA[s] (bats mostly) BELT (strike) – not a term I was familiar with but Collins gives “(Canadian) (informal) a region with a warm climate, esp one in Canada”.
6 TAI CHI hidden in ‘sonaTA I CHIefly’
8 OSSIFY hidden in ‘bOSS IF You’ – I wasn’t expecting two consecutive ‘hiddens’ so nearly missed this one on my first pass through the clues.
13 MELTED AWAY *(WE ATE MADLY) – good misdirection as initially it would seem that ‘madly’ could be the anagram indicator with ‘out to lunch’ being the definition.
16 EXPLODES PLOD (tramp) in EXES (former partners)
18 NAINSOOK N (new) A (area) IN (fashionable) SO (therefore) OK (acceptable)
19 IN STEP dd
21 EROICA ERO[t]ICA (exciting stuff that’s timeless)
22 MASTER S (son) in MATER (mother)
24 MEAT – can be anagrammatised two ways to give ‘team’ and ‘mate’