Posted by RatkojaRiku on December 1st, 2010
A late-night log-on to the FT site revealed that my first blog here would be devoted to one of Cinephile’s thematic puzzles in the series “XX has the same meaning throughout”: in other words, a daunting, albeit highly entertaining, prospect in store. True to form, Cinephile did not disappoint. A lovely way to end my Tuesday and start my Wednesday!
It took me longer than usual to crack the theme of this puzzle. 1a was the first thematic clue that I solved, which told me that the theme was either card games or Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas. Given the sheer length of some of the thematic entries, the latter was more likely. The anagrams at 6,7 and 17,18 soon followed and then 4 and 30, for which the wordplay took longer to unpick. The references to partial names of comic operas in 28 and especially 10 kept me guessing a good long while.
Incidentally, although I solved the puzzle on the assumption that the initials SO stood for Sullivan Operas, I am reliably informed that they actually stand for Savoy Operas.
1 PATIENTS – thematic: homonym of “Patience”, G&S comic opera
5 EPOPEE – POPE in E, E (2x ecstasy); EPOPEE is lyric poetry; Alexander Pope was a renowned translator of Homer’s epic poetry
9 PEDAL BIN – P (=quiet) + ED (=editor) + ALBIN (=unnaturally white object, cut short); a pedal bin is an item to be found in the kitchen
10 PRINCE – thematic: “PRINCEss Ida”, G&S comic opera (=part of SO); reference is made to 25, and to the song “I stole the Prince” in “The Gondoliers”: part of the plot involves the Grand Inquisitor stealing a prince and entrusting his upbringing to a gondolier. If anyone has any alternative interpretations of this clue, I would be keen to hear them as I am not convinced that my reading is the intended one.
12 FIRST SLIP – FIRST (=prime) + SLIP (=error); first slip is a fielding position in cricket
13 TIARA – I (=one) inside TARA; Tara is the name of the O’Hara family’s plantation in “Gone with the Wind”
16 VESICLE – replace H (=hour) with S (=second) in VEHICLE (=transport); vesicle is a biological term for a container for serum, a fluid sac, e.g. seminal vesicle
19 ECHOISM – EC (=City, i.e. East Central district of London) + HO (=house) + IS + M (= my opening, i.e. first letter of “my”); I was not familiar with this word but it revealed itself to me via the wordplay.
21 BUFF – double definition + cryptic definition; to buff = to polish, a buff = a fan; to be in the buff = to be nude
24 MAGUS – MAG (=periodical, abbreviation of magazine) + US (American); a magus is a Persian priest or Eastern magician; I wondered about the word order in the wordplay here.
25 GONDOLIER – thematic: GONDOLIER[S] (singular SO, i.e. the plural ‘s’ is dropped); *(OLD + I(=one)) in GONER (=lost one); “The Gondoliers” is a G&S comic opera
27 NAAMAN – N/A (= not applicable) + A + MAN (=male); the story of the leper Naaman is to be found in the Old Testament in 2 Kings; this reference was new to me.
28 PINAFORE – thematic: “HMS Pinafore” is a G&S comic opera
29 FIDDLE – double definition; to fiddle the books = to falsify the accounts
30 IOLANTHE – thematic: [V]IOL + ANTHE[M]; VIOLA (=instrument) loses its first letter (=topless), while ANTHEM (=piece, of music) loses its last letter (=endless); “Iolanthe” is a G&S comic opera
1 POP OFF – FOP (=dandy) in FOP (=hides himself, i.e. one fop is to be contained within another fop), all reversed (“when resurrected”)
2 TUDORS – *(STROUD); “emerging from” is the anagram indicator
3 ECLAT – hidden in “thE CLATter”
4,14 TRIAL BY JURY – thematic: A in TRILBY (=hat) + IN (injury is non-resident, i.e. not in, so IN is dropped, leaving JURY); “Trial by Jury” is a G&S comic opera
6,7 PIRATES OF PENZANCE – thematic: *(FASTEN CANOE + ZIPPER); “turns to” is the anagram indicator; The Pirates of Penzance is a G&S comic opera
8 ELEVATED – EV (E = letter 5 of the Roman alphabet, V = 5 in Roman numerals, hence 5-5) in ELATED (=overjoyed); vintage Cinephile wordplay
11 SPIV – VIPs (=top people), reversed (“being raised”)
15 UNINSTALL – UNI[o]N’S (= TUC’s lost love, i.e. O is dropped) + TALL (=hard to credit, e.g. a tall story); TUC is the British Trade Union Congress
17,18 YEOMEN OF THE GUARD – thematic: YE (=solvers) + OMEN (=sign) + OF + *(DAUGHTER); the anagram indicator is “errant”; “The Yeomen of the Guard” is a G&S comic opera
20 MEGA – A + GEM (=stone), reversed (“turn”)
21 BENDIGO – BEND (=change of course) + I + GO (=leave); Bendigo is a town in the Australian state of Victoria
22 SIT OUT – I (=one) in STOUT (=liquor)
23 BREEZE – homonym of “bries” (=cheeses)
26 OBAMA – OB (=Russian “flower”, i.e. river in western Siberia) + A + MA (=parent)