Posted by PeterO on October 11th, 2010
I found the bottom half of this puzzle went smoothly, but the top half was more challenging. Most of the clues are of exemplary Ximenean form, with clear dictionary definitions; the relatively few cases where compromises have been made for a smoother surface are thus all the more noticeable.
9 ACORN Charade of A (straight from the clue) + CORN (‘grain’); an acorn is a fruit, biologically speaking, even if you might not want to eat it (unless you are a pig).
10 EGOMANIAC Charade of EG ( exempli gratia, for example, ‘perhaps’) + OMANI (‘Arab’s’ – as an adjective: of or relating to the Sultanate of Oman or its inhabitants) + A + C (‘cold’).
11 HAPPENING Charade HAPPEN (‘perhaps’ – this time in the dialect sense “Happen we will meet again” – from which ‘perhaps’ derives) + IN (‘fashionable'; very common in crosswords) + G (‘German’).
12 LOLLY Double definition. ‘sweet’ (popsicle for our American friends) and ‘bread’ (money, dough, likewise).
13 DESPAIR Charade of DES (‘of the’, plural, in French) + PAIR (‘couple’).
15 AGENDAS Envelope (‘secretly’) of NDA (anagram of ‘and’, indicated by ‘changes’) in AGES (‘gets old’). The use of the innocuous ‘and’ as anagram fodder, and its separation from the anagram indicator, make this a somewhat devious clue.
17 TARTS Hidden answer (‘traditionalisT ART School’}, with ‘painted’ serving the surface better than indicating the hidden part.
18 END THe even letters (‘oddly ignored’) of ‘kEnNeDy’, with the apostrophe s being the link ‘is’.
20 RIFTS Anagram (‘cuckoo’) of ‘first’, with ’causes’ serving as link to the definition.
22 SAMURAI Charade of SAM (‘uncle'; the s here is for the surface) + U (‘upper-class’) + R (‘Romeo’, in a phonetic alphabet) + AI (for A-1, ‘top class’).
25 MARITAL Envelope (‘about’) of IT (‘sex’) in an anagram (‘nonconformist’) of ALARM. Definition: ‘in marriage’. Nice surface.
26 NADAL Reversal of LAD (‘boy’) + AN. The tennis great Rafa.
27 OWNERSHIP Anagram (‘unusual’) of RHINE POW’S. This time the s is part of the anagram fodder.
30 DAMNATION Charade of DAM (‘mother’) + NATION (‘country’). Articles in clues are often omitted unless, as the ‘a’ in 9A etc., they serve some purpose in the wordplay; here, however, the ‘the’ just serves to smooth the surface of the clue.
31 MANIC Charade of MAN (‘chap’) + IC (‘in charge'; Chambers renders the abbreviation as i/c). See also 22A above.
1 DASH Double definition: ‘little’ (a dash of soda) and ‘fly’ (I must dash).
2 COMPOSER Charage of COM (‘common'; not a particularly common abbreviation) + POSER (‘problem’). Wolfgang or daddy Leopold, among others. The ‘say’ is there to indicate that we have an example rather than a definition of the answer.
3 ANTE Charade of ANT (‘worker’) + E (east, quarter). Altogether a well-worn clue.
4 PEDIGREE Charade of PEDI, an anagram (“bats’) of ‘pied’ + GREE (‘short green’ i.e green cut short). Definition: ‘tree’ as in family.
5 LOGGIA Charade of LOG (‘record’) + GIA. I am open to all suggestions as to how to get GIA from ‘a partner leaving Gina’. The obvious way is to leave out the n, but I don’t know the connection between n and partner. Anyway a loggia is an open covered arcade or galery. Thanks to TokyoColin for pointing out that N is a partner ( of S) at bridge.
6 PALLBEARER A cryptic definition; a pall is a rich cloth, such as may be draped over a coffin, and a pallbearer’s task was originally to hold the edges of this cloth. Pall is also used metaphorically as something which covers or obscures, such as smoke, darkness or a cloud. I had to add the ‘cloud'; within the time constraints of this blog, I could not locate a dictionary definition (as opposed to examples) to back up what I thought of as a common usage.
7 TITLED Charade of TIT (‘fool’) + LED (‘went first’). Definition ‘noble’, adjective, having a title.
8 ICKY I did not know Miss Pollard, so a trip to Wikipedia was in order to find her first name Vicky. Going topless, it is vICKY. There is scope here for a slightly obscore pun, since a pollard is a polled tree – that is, one with its crown cut off.
13 DATES Double definition: ‘fruit’ (plural) and ‘gets old’ (singular). The mismatch seems to me a perfectly acceptable bit of misdirection, since ‘fruit’ can also be a singular.
14 AUSTRALIAN Anagram (‘wild’) of ‘saturnalia’. The Saturnalia were a midwinter Roman festival (to mismatch again), which segued into Christmas. It has come to take on the meaning of a wild party or orgy. The Sarurnalia, that is.
16 SISAL Envelope (‘eaten by’) of IS in SAL (‘girl’). Another word, ‘is’ this time, vital to the wordplay but flying under the radar. Sisal is the fibre of a Mexican agave plant, used for making a strong coarse string or rope.
19 DOMINANT ’30’ here refers to the answer, DAMNATION, of clue 30A. Remove letter A (‘ejecting a’), and take an anagram (‘drunk’).
21 FETCHING Double definition: ‘going to get something’ and ‘sweet’. The ‘something’ is something of an orphan in the cryptic reading of the clue, but certainly does not belong with ‘sweet’.
23 MADAME Charade of a MADA, the reversal (‘upset’) of ADAM (‘first man’) + (‘then’) ME (‘Arachne’).
24 IRONIC Charade of IRON (‘tough’) + IC (alternate letters – ‘regularly’ – of vInCe).
26 NODE Charade of NOD (‘agree’) + E (‘Ed’s head’).
28 RUMP Hidden answer (‘part of’) tRUMPet.
29 PICT Homophone (‘reportedly’) of picked (‘chose’). The Picts were ancient inhabitants of what is now north east Scotland. Wikipedia paints them as Celts; Chambers (among others) is not so sure, but adds one of their jokes to a second definition:
(in Scottish folklore) one of a dwarfish race of underground dwellers, to whom (with the Romans, the Druids, and Cromwell) ancient monuments are generally attributed.