Posted by Eileen on November 11th, 2010
After three days of relatively undemanding puzzles, I wasn’t sure what to expect today but was very pleased to see Brendan’s name on this one. As usual, I had the momentary dread of failing to see the theme but this one was clearly signalled and involved stuff that featured in the 11-plus exam [yes, really] though with some more exotic examples than the ones I learned. An enjoyable and fair puzzle – thank you, Brendan.
The theme* is collective nouns and their components. Two clues, 16 and 27dn, do double duty.
9 SEPULCHRE: a great anagram of HERCULE P’S
10 ÉTUDE: anagram of DUET, either preceded or followed by E[nglish]
11 *ROOKS: double definition and the first of the themed answers. I knew ‘parliament’ [and 'clamour'!] of rooks, so first thought that this was an oblique reference to the Houses of Parliament [the BUILDING of 7dn] but was surprised to find that ‘building’ is another collective term for rooks.
12 LATERALLY: LATE RALLY: I really liked this one.
13 *FINCHES: F[emale] + INCHES [performs slow movement]
14 THE BILL: double definition, referring to a restaurant bill, with a lovely misleading surface
17 * CHARM: double definition and another themed answer
19 *POD: and another
20 ANGER: I’m not entirely sure of this: German is not one of my languages but googling has revealed that ‘AN’ is German for ‘by’: that plus GER[man] would give ‘by German repeatedly’ but surely then it should be ‘revealed’, not ‘concealed’? Edit: it was, of course, ‘concealed’ all the time ! – many thanks, Gaufrid and Andrew
21 TABARET: BARE [plain] in TAT [tasteless stuff]: a new word for me: an upholsterer’s silk fabric, with alternate stripes of watered and satin surface
22 MATCHES: double definition which reminds me of a remark in a retirement speech I once heard: ‘We thought he’s a matchless sort of man, so we’ve bought him a lighter.’
24 POSTERIOR: anagram of TRIES in POOR [inadequate]
26 TOUCH: triple definition? The last two seem rather close.
28 *CROWS: R [king] in COWS
29 OPEN ORDER: anagram of PONDER O’ER: spaced-out formation for drill
1 TSAR: reversal of first two letters of STAR
2 UPTOWN: anagram of PUT + own [grant]
3 BLASPHEMER: anagram of LAMB SHEEP and R[am] – a nice picture!
4 *WHALES: H[ard] in WALES [part of UK]: I didn’t know that ‘whale’ meant ‘to beat or thrash soundly’ but the cluing is flawless.
5 RESTATED: RED [visibly embarrassed] around STATE [condition]
6 * DEER: reversal of REED
7 *BUILDING: anagram of DUBLIN I + G[ood]
8 *BEVY: double definition: abbreviation of beverage [drink] and [Chambers] ‘a company or flock of larks, quails, swans, roes, ladies’ [more usually 'beauties', surely?]
13 FACET: E[uropean] in FACT [piece of information]
15 *EXALTATION: AT in anagram of TEXAN OIL – another great surface
16 *LARKS: double definition
18 ASBESTOS: BEST [top] in A SOS [a request for help]
19 PETTIFOG: anagram of GET PROFIT minus R[ight] – yet another great surface. I always assumed this was some character from one of the [to me] less familiar Dickens novels but it isn’t. It’s a back-formation from the noun ‘pettifogger’ [Chambers]: ‘a lawyer who deals, often deceptively and quibblingly with trivial cases; from ‘petty’ and Middle Low German voger, a person who does things’[!] . Collins suggests a possible connection with the Fugger family of 15th-16th German financiers.
22 * MURDER: double definition
23 *HOUNDS: and another
24 *PACK: triple definition, with the reference to the previous clue
25 EAST: hidden in bridgE AS This, with a reference to the first line of Kipling’s ‘The Ballad of East and West’: ‘Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,’.
27 *HERD: hidden in anotHER Direction