Posted by Eileen on December 3rd, 2010
I never quite know what to expect from Brummie, so was a bit 9ac when I started this puzzle. I needn’t have worried – it turned out to be quite straightforward and a lot of fun, with a strangely non-topical theme word at 20dn, which I didn’t get until near the end: a real penny-dropping moment. Thanks, Brummie, for an entertaining start to the day.
8 FLAMBEAU: F[emale] + LAM [hit] + BEAU [old name for an admirer]
9 LEERY: homophone of ‘Leary’ ['as a Shakespearean king' - oh dear!]
10,26 MOONBEAM: MOO [low] + N[ew] + BEAM [support]
11 TEST FLIGHT: TEST [Hampshire river] + L[ost] in FIGHT [battle]: reference to the ill-fated attempt of Daedalus and his son, Icarus, to escape from Crete.
12 RAPIER: R [king] + APIER [more like a primate] – another like 9ac.
14 AIRBRUSH: double / cryptic definition
16 FOGHORN: FO [OF 'capsized'] + G[rand] + HO[use] + RN [sailors]
18 EXACTLY: EX [once] + T[ease] in anagram of LACY – another clever use of ‘just’ as the definition, cf Loroso’s ETHICAL in yesterday’s FT puzzle.
21 CAMBODIA: anagram of MOB in AD [publicity] all inside CIA [spies]
23 AD-LIBS: cryptic definition
24 ABSTINENCE: ABS [certain muscles] + TIN [can] + EN [measure] + C[arbon] + E[nergy]: a few moments wasted here trying to justify ‘abstaining’.
27 DEVON: DE [French 'of'] + VON [German 'of']
28 NONJUROR: N[ew] start for conjuror [magician]. My A Level History to the rescue once more: I’ve only come across this word as applied to the Anglican clergymen who refused to swear allegiance to William and Mary in 1689, after the deposition of James II. I thought it was hyphenated but it appears thus in both Collins and Chambers.
1 EL DORADO: A in anagram of OLD DEAR Edit: no, it isn’t: please see comments 15 and 16.
2 EMIN: sEMINar minus reversal of RAS [artists]: Tracey Emin has been something of a gift to crossword setters but I liked this treatment.
3 SETTER: TT [temperature doubled] in SEER [Sibyl]: the spelling of Sibyl told us we were not looking for Basil’s wife!
4 RUSSIAN: [t]RUSS + IAN [Paisley]: is this the first time that IAN has been clued as anything other than ‘Scotsman’? [whose spelling, incidentally, is very often 'Iain'!]
5 CLEF: cryptic definition – for once, nothing to do with cricket!
6 RECIPROCAL: P[arking] in anagram of CIRCLE OR
7 TYPHUS: T[r]Y [test not right] + anagram of PUSH
13 INHIBITIVE: IN + H[ospital] + I BIT [one part] + I’VE [Brummie has]
15 REX: homophone of wrecks: the suave film actor perhaps best known for ‘My Fair Lady’.
17 RED: RE[a]D: reference to the red ball in snooker
19 LABRADOR: L[ive] + anagram of ABROAD + R[ight]
20 RAINING: I must admit I largely ignored this theme word and its cross-references, while solving, because the clues were falling nicely into place without it. I had initially thought that ‘not spitting’ might mean ‘not identical’. I had half registered ‘Russian Blue’ along the way and thought it was a parrot, then realised that was Norwegian Blue [John Cleese peering over my shoulder again!]. Devon Rex didn’t mean anything either but then the Labrador clinched it. A lovely clue – referring, of course, to the expression ‘raining cats and dogs’, as opposed to ‘spitting’, both expressions which may be unfamiliar to non UK residents.
22 AUBADE: AU [gold] + BADE [requested] – a sunrise song
23 AGEING: IN [popular] in anagram of EGG
25 NINE: I can’t quite see this: is it just an anagram of iN EINstein’s?
26 BLUE: double definition