Posted by nmsindy on August 30th, 2010
An excellent puzzle from Mordred.
It is themed on the TV sitcom Last of the Summer Wine (hereinafter LSW) which, after a record-breaking 37 years is coming to an end with the last episode shown yesterday, Sunday 29 August. With that long record, it’s clearly a really popular and successful show.
Re the puzzle, what really impressed me, apart from everything else, was that I did it all without seeing the theme, that became clear to me only afterwards. I did not even spot that LAST, SUMMER and WINE being among the answers had significance. (Thanks to Ian for pointing out – comment no.6 – that OF THE is in there too giving LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE in full ie from hereof and them, nice touch from Mordred) This made it a tough puzzle, time taken 54 mins .
However I had SLATE rather than ORATE for 28 across with ISLA which I could not justify for 26 down. I’ve put the correct versions in the blog.
As it happened, nmsindy never sat down to watch this particular TV programme and so was not familiar with the characters so may well have missed some references. I’d be very grateful if others could draw attention to any such omissions.
This blog would have been difficult (impossible?) to write without Wikipedia which shows me that quite a few of the answers refer to the programme, there are also some references to the programme in clues.
* = anagram
1 Jessye NORMAN Opera singer, Norman = French Norman Clegg (13 Ac), LSW character
4 CON (Tory) FUSED (stopped working) Nora Batty (in clue) LSW character
9 COMPO Trying to see what this referred to after solving the puzzle led me to the theme LSW character played by the late (Bill) Owen for many years. First letters of last five words with what I guess is a thematic surface (which is good).
10 CAPUCHINS CA (about) Pearl (first letter) – not sure if Pearl (and perhaps the surface) is another LSW reference (in such)*
11 LAST Double definition shoemaker’s model
12 HISS S (first letter of Smetana) in HIS
13 CLEGG See 1 across C (Tory) L (left) EGG (spur) Referring to the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, I’ve seen quite a few amusing clues since the new coalition Government was formed based esp on the Lib Dems
15 HEREOF HER (Marina’s ie 30 ac) EOF (foe = enemy reversed)
16 THEM This was very clever I thought. Mordred’s last two = ED (last two letters). Puzzles like this = themed so you’re left with ‘them’ = not us!
19 FAWN Housing is a containment indicator here W (with) in FAN (cooler)
20 SUMMER This refers to the singer Donna Summer
23 EXUDE Ex (former spouse) Rude (rough) less r = runs
24 INDY windy less w (point)
25 WINE This would have been much easier if I had seen the theme, but I eventually saw how I think it worked and it was a nice penny-dropping moment. W (from the previous) clue INE(s) Ines = Spanish lady (before finishing)
27 OTHERNESS (Sense Roth)*
28 ORATE This clue is “26 telling-off is more than necessary harangue”. 26 is NORA orate = harangue is contained in (N)ORA TElling-off
29 ERRANTRY ER (expression of hesitation) RAN (did take oneself off) TRY (go)
30 MARINA LSW character marina = harbour not sure about the diamond reference, may relate to LSW.
1 NICELY This was my last answer, a character in Guys and Dolls, guessed it from ‘pleasantly’ when I had the crossing letters.
2 REMASTER REM (rapid eye movement) (a rest)*
3 AVON A cosmetics company Nova (star) reversed
5 OPPOSITE SIDES Sites I’d e (first letter in expect) in oppos
6 FACE CREAMS Face (resist) scream with s moved to the end
7 SMILER s miler LSW character
8 DISAGREE When I first saw the grid with the two answers containing most unusually three consecutive unchecked letters, I suspected a theme. Mordred gave easy clues for those. (rages)* in die
10 CHIEF ENGINEER chief (arch) engineer (contrive) In the cryptic reading ‘supporting’ indicates position.
14 DECAHEDRON (Enoch dared)* A solid with ten plane faces
17 TRUE LOVE An even easier clue than 8 down. real = true o = love LSW character
18 TERIYAKI “Terry” (Wogan – TV personality) Yak (trivial conversation) I (international)
21 Martin LUTHER U (acceptable) for a in lather (flap) Liked this. LSW character
22 GENERA (green)* a (American) Foggy in clue LSW character
26 NORA (SE)NORA LSW character