Posted by C G Rishikesh on October 29th, 2010
A pleasant solve. For me the right side fell first, then the bottom left and finally the top left. We do see a couple of ‘humorously entertaining’ clues for which this setter is known (e.g., 2d, 22d) but there are also some chestnuts (e.g., 30d) and some others where the surface reading is none-too-convincing but some sense can be made if a brave attempt is made (e.g., 8d, 26d). I understand some clues only because I have seen them before and I know a little bit of life abroad: take 29a, in India few people go upstairs for retirement. I had to look up ‘Brillo’ as this brand does not seem to have come to India as yet. I had no difficulty with any of the clues though one or two (e.g., 5a, 2d) I was able to parse only as I was writing this blog.
1 DUST-BOWL – Spoonerism of ‘bust dole’ (gone bankrupt on unemployment benefit)
5 STEP UP – S[i]TE (one out of position) + PUP (very young setter, perhaps)
9 OVERLIES – Anag. of SOLVER I.E.
10 CARPAL – CAR (Mini) – PAL (mate)
12 SIMPATICO – Anag. of TOPIC AS IM
13 SINUS – Rev. of SUN (massive fireball) + IS (is)
14 FLOG – Rev. GOLF (game)
16 BRIGAND – BRIG (ship +) AND (with)
19 CHIPPER – DD – happy / stonemason, one who might chip stones
21 STEW – Rev. of WETS (pours liquid)
24 ULTRA – hidden in “awFUL TRAffic”
25 ELABORATE – DD – expand / complex
27 BRUNCH – R (right) inserted in BUNCH (group)
28 HIBISCUS – Inserting BISCU [deleting IT in BISCUIT (something sweet)] in HIS (man’s)
29 RETIRE – DD – step down / go upstairs
30 INTEGRAL – Anag. of TRIANGLE
1 DROWSY – D (donkey’s initial) + ROWS (scraps) + Y (oily at the bottom, the last letter of ‘oily’)
2 STEAMY – Insertion of EAM [rev. of MAE (girl’s shown up] in STY (place of swine)
3 BALSA – Rev. of A SLAB (a)
4 WEEPING – N [final letter of ‘scorn’ (last of scorn)] in WEE PIG (runt, perhaps)
6 TRANSPIRE – Anag. of A SPRINTER
7 POPINJAY – POP IN (drop in) + JAY (bird)
8 PALISADE – Insertion of LISA (girl) in PAD (home) + E [the initial letter of ‘erect’ (first to ‘erect’)]
11 BOOB – palindrome of the word derived from ‘error’ – How would Mudd have handled this if this had been in its plural form?
15 LAP DANCER – DAN (desperate man) in LAPCER (anag. of PARCEL) – why is Dan ‘desperate man’? Help!
17 SCRUBBER – DD – Brillo, the steel wool / one’s easy – woman with loose morals – In surface reading is “Brillo!” informal for “Brilliant!” which goes well with words that follow it?
18 MISTRUST – MIST (film) + rust (the rotter)
20 REEF – DD – rock / music – I should think that ‘Reef’ is the name of a music band. The clue “Rock music?” (with a question mark at the end) has often appeared in crosswords with a different solution. (On edit: Some commenters suggest the solution REEL for this clue. See below.)
21 SEA LION – telescopic formation from SEAL and LION
22 SAUCER – SAUCE (lip or brazenness) + R (the last letter of server, ‘end of server’)
23 TEASEL – T (the initial letter of T, ‘top of tobacco’) + EASEL (‘support for Monet’)
26 OXIDE – Slangy pronunciation of ox hide by omitting the letter ‘h’