Posted by shuchi on November 12th, 2010
Alberich challenges and entertains, and altogether gives us a very satisfying puzzle. A trademark of this setter is the seamless joint between definition and wordplay, and you can relish many examples of it today – Santa Maria, Field Marshal, Island capital, to name some.
I had an unusual solving experience with this. I spent thirty minutes with little more than a few answers in the top-left filled in, then kept the puzzle aside. After a hearty lunch, I got back to it and the solutions came one after the other without pause. It took long to finish overall but it was time well spent.
1 DENOTE HIDE – H (husband) I, NOTE (some money)
4 REDOUBTS RE (soldiers) DOUBT (lack faith in) S (southern)
9 OUTCRY (COUNTRY)* – N (an unknown number). It was a tossup between Y and N (which unknown number to remove?) – tried both and found a satisfactory answer with N.
10 DOG-TIRED (GOT)*, in DIRE (terrible) [feu]D
11 GROTTO [ma]R[ia] in GOT TO (reached). Santa’s Grotto is the workshop where he makes the presents for Christmas. A masterful “lift and separate” treatment here.
12 DENOUNCE DUNCE (stupid sort) around ENO (opera company, the English National Opera)
14 AGE-OLD A GOLD (metal) around E[ngraving]
17 EARSHOT Does one aware of gossip have “ears hot”? I haven’t come across the expression before. Or it’s probably something else which I’ll wait for the comments to shed light on. // Update: See comment#1.
21 MOMENT MOT (test for motor vehicles) around MEN (chaps)
25 PEP dd PEP = go as in spirit, vigour; and PEP = Personal Equity Plan
26 AGAR-AGAR RAG (paper) A (article), reversed twice. Agar-agar is a gelatin-like substance used for bacterial culture, therefore ‘cultural development’.
27 FELINE F (fellow) E (European) LINE (ancestry). The answer for 16d = TOM, a male cat.
28 INTREPID (I PRINTED)*, which makes for a lovely surface when coupled with “in bold”
29 TAHITI T (short time), HIT (buffet) in A1 (capital)
30 DISGORGE DIs (detectives) GORGE (eat too much). I wasn’t too happy with this as DISGORGE is a direct opposite of GORGE as used in the wordplay.
31 NECTAR is a ‘very nice drink’. A homophone of an expression meaning ‘knocked back’? Not sure of this. //Update: homophone of NECKED A. To ‘neck’ is to drink directly from a bottle. Thanks Gaufrid.
1 DROP GOAL DROP (finish) GAL (girl) around O (love). A hooker in rugby may get a drop goal.
2 NITROGEN (RING TONE)*, with the well-chosen anagrind “mobile”. Nitrogen fixation is the natural process by which nitrogen in the atmosphere is converted into ammonia.
3 THROTTLE THE (article), around ROT (corruption) T[ories] L[abour]
5 ELODEA Submerged freshwater plants, also called waterweeds. ‘Elodea’ is how ‘Hello dear’ will sound when spoken with a Cockney accent. I didn’t know of ELODEA but this clue made me laugh.
6 OCTROI OCT (a month) ROI (French king). Octroi is a local tax collected on articles brought into a district for consumption.
7 BORING BO[y] RING (band)
8 SYDNEY end letters of ‘helplesS poorlY fielD’ NEY (Marshal). I’ve come to learn through crosswords that Michel Ney was a French marshal in the Napoleonic Wars, nicknamed “Bravest of the Brave”.
12 DRESSER DRESSIER (smarter) – I (ego)
15 DAB dd
16 TOM Tom Waits, and TOM[e] (shortened volume)
18 TOLERATE LO (see) reversed and E (drug), inside (TREAT)*
19 FEMINIST (IF MEN)* IST (first), with the whole clue acting as the definition. Brilliant!
20 STEELIER ST (holy man) EELIER (more slippery)
22 VARIED RA (Royal Academician) reversed in VIE (fight), D (degree)
23 NANTES N (new) [d]ANTE’S (poet’s). Dante is the poet of Inferno fame, and Nantes looks beautiful in the pics I found on the net.
24 GAZEBO B (baron), in GAZE (look) O (round)
25 PALING dd