Posted by Gaufrid on September 1st, 2010
I found this to be one of the hardest FT puzzles for quite some time. The right-hand side was filled quickly enough but the left-hand, particularly the NW corner, caused me a few problems. However, it was an enjoyable challenge even though, for me, there were no particular PDMs that stood out.
I don’t know if it was intentional but there seemed to be a link between a few of the clues. Both 10ac and 13ac could apply to 4dn, as could 15dn if one were being very unkind. There would also be a 14ac in an old folks’ home.
1 COCKCROW COCK CROW (birds) – early morning, when cocks crow.
5 HOBNOB HOB (elf) NOB (aristocrat)
10 CRABBED CRAB BED (sea food farm) – ill-natured, perverse or irascible, as in the Grumpy Old Men/Women TV series or Victor Meldrew in ‘One Foot in the Grave’.
11 ERITREA *(RETIRE) A
12 IDEAL IDE (fish) A L (learner)
13 OBSTINACY *(BOY IN CATS)
14 PECKING ORDER KING (sovereign) in CORD (binding) in PEER (lord)
18 SEE YOU AROUND SEE YOU (call bluff) A ROUND (drinks for all)
21 HORSESHOE dd
23 XENON X (not known) NONE (nobody) reversed
24 DECORUM ECO (green) in DRUM (stretched object)
25 SLOVENE SLOVEN (ratbag) E (Eastern)
26 LILITH hidden in ‘helL I LIT Her’ – I don’t know if the ‘candle’ is particularly relevant to Lilith. Googling brings up many hits for ‘Lilith candle’ but the Wikipedia entry makes no mention of one.
27 IN A SENSE homophone of ‘innocence’ (not being guilty)
1 CYCLIC homophone of ‘sigh’ (expression of regret) ‘click’ (employment of mouse)
2 CHAPEL dd
3 CABALLERO A BALL (a great time) in *(CORE)
4 OLD FOLKS AT HOME cd A T (time) in OLD FOLKS’ HOME (the retired) – the title of a song, also known as “(Way Down Upon the) Swanee River”. Edit: thanks smiffy for the nudge towards the parsing (see comments #3 & #4).
6 ORIBI OR IBI[s] (bird with no tail)
7 NORMANDY NORM ANDY (two little boys)
8 BOATYARD O (love) AT Y[ear] in BARD (poet)
9 PERSON TO PERSON SON (child) TOPERS (drinkers) in PERON (Argentinian)
15 OBNOXIOUS OB (died) NO X (premier’s place) IOUS (notes) – I liked the use of ‘premier’s place’ as the wordplay for NO X.
16 ASPHODEL ASP (snake) HOD (carrier) EL (railway) – just occasionally in crossword-land a ‘flower’ is actually a flower and not a river.
17 METRICAL MET (police) RIC[h] (wealthy docked) A L (a pound)
19 INTERN INTER N (put pole in ground)
20 SNEEZE S (Southern) homophone of ‘knees’ (joints)
22 EGRET [de]TERGE[nt] (cleaner with dent removed) reversed