Posted by Gaufrid on September 22nd, 2010
I’m not sure what to say about this one. I have been unable to justify 7dn and have a few minor quibbles elsewhere. On balance, I don’t think I enjoyed this puzzle as much as previous offerings from this setter.
There were some unfamiliar anagram indicators, school (11ac), rehearse (22ac), critically (2dn) and made (21dn), which I found difficult to justify but this didn’t cause any particular problems. At first I thought that a non-word appeared at 18dn but it seems that I have not kept up with the times since COED indicates that ‘times’ as a verb came into being in the late 20th century.
1 DIANA DORS DIANA (goddess) DO[o]RS (American rock group has no love)
6 STROP dd
9 INPUT PUTIN (Russian leader) with ‘in’ moved to the front – is ‘input’ synonymous with ‘store’? You feed (data, etc) into eg a computer but you don’t necessarily save it.
10 EPICENTRE a (barely) cryptic definition?
11 NEAPOLITAN *(OPEN A LATIN)
12 SHOO S[c]HOO[l] (150 taken out of Eton perhaps)
14 RESTIVE ITS reversed in EVER (permanently) reversed
15 ADVERSE AD (modern) VERSE (poetry) – can something 2000+ years old be described as modern?
17 MIDWEST WE in MIDST (heart)
19 CANDIDA CAN (receptacle) DID (made) A
20 SASH S[tockings] A[nd] S[uspenders] H[eld] – definitely not an &lit.
22 IMPRESARIO *(SEMI-PRO AIR)
25 INTERESTS dd
26 EXACT EX (old girlfriend) ACT (performance)
27 NODDY dd – ‘a coot’ as in a fool.
28 DEMITASSE *(TIMESED AS)
1 DEIGN rEIGN (rule) with initial letter changed
2 APPRAISED *(PAPER SAID)
3 AUTHORISES AUTHO[r] (writer losing right) RISES (promotions)
4 OBELISE LI (51) in OBESE (fat)
5 SPIRAEA *(ASPIRE) A
6 SKEW S (South) KEW (Londen gardens)
7 RETCH hidden in ‘secRET CHamber’ – I have found it impossible to equate ‘reach’ and ‘retch’ using any of the usual references but COED does state that the origin of ‘retch’ was “mid 19th century: variant of dialect reach, from a Germanic base meaning ‘spittle’”.
8 PHENOMENA PHENOMENA[l] (almost mind-blowing)
13 EVANESCENT E (Euro) in EVANS (Dame Edith) CENT (money)
14 REMISSION RE (soldiers) MISSION (embassy)
16 RAILROADS d&cd
18 TIMESED TIMES ED (newspaper boss) – Chambers and Collins both give ‘times’ as in ‘multiplied by’ only as a noun and therefore unable to have a past participle but COED lists it both as a noun and as a verb with timeses, timesing and timesed.
19 CHRISOM CHRIS (young lad) OM (order)
21 SATED *(TEAS) D[arjeeling)
23 OUTRE [acc]OUTRE[d] – is 5 out of 9 letters ‘mostly’?
24 ARTY [he]ARTY (robust he isn’t)