Posted by rightback on October 9th, 2010
Solving time: 10½ minutes.
The two central answers this week combined to yield ‘British resort’ (’15 19′ in several clues), and there were several such hidden in the grid. Usually when there’s a theme I look at the thematic clues first but this week was very unusual in that I actually managed to ‘cold solve’ them, which sped things up a lot. It also helped a lot that I’ve lived near all of Whitby, Harrogate and Pwllheli in the last couple of years and had heard of the other resorts apart from Saltburn, although the clue to ‘Sidmouth’ caused me some consternation and ARROGATE at 20ac was a real stumbling block.
Many thanks to Gaufrid for having stood in for me last week when I was disconnected from just about everything.
Music of the Day: I couldn’t think of anything mentioning Harrogate or Whitby so here are two other Yorkshire landmarks, Aire and Calder by Ultrasound.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|7||SIDMOUTH; rev. of MD, + OU (= Open University), all in (THIS)* – I had a mental blank here, initially thinking that ‘MO’ was the doctor and then wondering if ‘MD’ was a valid abbreviation, even considering ‘Sibmouth’ briefly although I was sure it had to be ‘Sidmouth’. MD actually stands for Medicinae Doctor, which is Latin for ‘Doctor of Medicine'; I suppose -MD- and -DM- are fairly unusual consonant pairs, which might explain why this abbreviation wasn’t familiar to me.|
|9||WHITBY; WHIT + BY|
|10||BEN[i]N – the lefty Tony Benn, whom I saw in a bizarre two-man act at the Cambridge Folk Festival a few years ago; he was awful, but the rest of the weekend was excellent.|
|11||CHARLADIES; CHARLES around A DI – virtually the same clue came up two weeks ago.|
|12||SCURRY; S[cream] + CURRY – ‘the best’ is ‘the cream’, hence the deletion.|
|14||THE TROTS; (HOTTER ST[ill])* – just about works with ‘done’ as the anagram indicator, although the ‘if’ and the question mark are dodgy.|
|15,17||BRITISH DISEASE; (IRISH SEA’S TIDE B[elatedly])* – ‘British disease’ is excessive use of industrial action or strikes, hence ‘going out too much’, with ‘sickeningly’ as a nod to the last word of the answer and perhaps to the concept.|
|20||ARROGATE, from HARROGATE – my last solve, and it took me nearly two minutes. Eventually I cottoned on to what ‘topping’ was doing, but it still took me a while to see the answer (via ‘arrogant’, curiously). This is, I think, the only non-seaside resort in the set, which may also have contributed to my slowness.|
|23||INDIGENOUS; (I.E. + SOUNDING)* – excellent anagram and maybe my favourite clue; the anagram is slightly indirect but ‘that is’ is such a common abbreviation for IE that this didn’t worry me here.|
|24||HIBS (initial letters) – Hibs (Hibernian) are a football team, i.e. ‘side’, from Edinburgh, and (in today’s sporting trivia spot) were the first British club to play in Europe (in 1955-6).|
|25||BEMUSE, with EMU replacing A[dmin] in BASE – Emu was the much-missed Rod Hull‘s p(upp)et.|
|26||THIEVERY; THIERRY with V.E. replacing R[eputation] – this is a brilliant clue. Just in case you missed it, Thierry Henry’s blatant deliberate handball put France through to this summer’s World Cup Finals at the expense of Ireland in the European play-offs, badly damaging his reputation. Fortunately the French got what they deserved at the finals, prompting this excellent parody to the tune of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance.|
|1||SILENCER; (RE[co]NCILES)* – ‘report’ as in a gun’s bang.|
|3||OUTCRY – I’m not keen on this kind of clue, where the question mark at the end refers to the first part (‘How’s that’ being a cricketing cry asking for a batsman to be given out).|
|4||PWLLHELI; (WILL HELP)* – well done if you could spell this first time, and a bonus point if you can say it.|
|5||WILDERLAND; WILDE + R[eview] + NESS – Eliot Ness being the leader of the Untouchables.|
|6||ABSENT; ANT around B.S.E. – for some reason I failed to think of BSE as a ‘disease affecting calves’ and left this until almost last.|
|8,19||HEALTH RESORT; (HOTELS RATHER)* – nicely disguised definition which ends at ‘better’.|
|18||SALTBURN; SALT + BURN – a seaside resort near Middlesbrough.|
|21||RUNNER; R[iot] + (NUN)* + E.R.|
|22||BOSNIA; BOS’N + rev. of A1 – the bos’n (or bosun, or boatswain, or any of various other alternatives) is sort of the equivalent of a sergeant-major on a naval ship.|
|24||HOVE (hidden) – as in Brighton and Hove Albion.|