Posted by duncanshiell on December 14th, 2010
Uncle Yap commented yesterday that he is currently in Sri Lanka and may not have access to an internet terminal, so a substitute blogger takes the Guardian spot today. We have still got snow on the ground in Jedburgh, but I guess Uncle Yap having had his fill of British snow recently, will be happier in Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
I’m still learning about Guardian crossword setters. A little bit of research shows that Puck’s puzzles have attracted a wide range of comments in the past, so I shall be interested to see what today’s offering generates.
I enjoyed it – it took me just under 40 minutes to complete it. The more complex wordplay follows the style I find most interesting, namely builidng up the answer from the less obvious constituent parts, although there did seem to be a surfeit of clues usuing lots of initial letters.
I don’t think I have seen a ‘/’ used as part of a word length indicator before. I must admit that I just assumed that it was a Guardian typo. I was wrong – Chambers indicates that the answer to 5 down is indeed written with a ‘/’.
There were a few words that I got from the wordplay and had to check in the dictionary to ensure they were right, or even existed - TUSSORE, NITERIE and OBS/GYNAE
There are one or two words I have come across in other crosswords recently – ENNOBLE, and YAHOO. Crosswords tend to be the only place I come across these words.
I thought the surfaces to the clue for BELLE DE JOUR and INERTIA were a bit strained., but generallly the surfaces were OK. There was good misdirection in places and varied use of the word ‘doctor’.
Overall, an interesting start to the day with some knowledge of physics, fabrics, social issues, music, sport, cinema, psychics, history, medicine and cookery required . As ever, I learnt a bit more whilst writing the blog and researching some of the answers.
|1||M (maiden) contained in (hid in) (FISSION [cleavage] + first letters of [leads to] BOOM OR BUST)||FISSION BOMB (explosive device)|
|9||Hidden word (part) in OPEL BONNET reversed (needs putting back)||ENNOBLE (elevate or distinguish; raise up)|
|10||Anagram (to be altered) of TROUSERS excluding (away) R (right)||TUSSORE (a fawn coloured silk from wild Indian silkworms)|
|11||Anagram of (made) of (ME [setter] + T [time] + SHERRY)||RHYMESTER (poet)|
|12||Hidden word (occupant) in POSSIBLY A HOODIE||YAHOO (a brutal or boorish lout who possibly wears a hoodie) &lit|
|13||KENYA (country) excluding the first letter (topless) K||ENYA (reference Enya Brennan [anglicised version of the full Irish spelling], soloist and one-time member of Clannad)|
|14||B (book) + A + SEB (reference Lord Sebastian Coe) + ALLER (French [overseas] word for ‘to go’)||BASEBALLER (US sportsman)|
|16||EVENT (incident) excluding the middle (heartless) E containing (A + anagram of [gruesome] SCENE)||EVANESCENT (fleeting or passing)|
|19||AIRMAN (aviator) excluding first and last letters (lacking wings)||IRMA (female name)|
|21,8||Anagram of (playing) JODRELL and the first letters of (taking the four tops) BANK EVERY EVENING UNLESS||BELLE DE JOUR (1967 film starring Catherine Deneuve; a more recent Belle de Jour was an [in]famous blogger in the earlier part of this century)|
|22||ERE (before) + CT (court) + the first letters of (initially) NAKED EMPEROR STAYS SILENT||ERECTNESS (being up)|
L (Liberal) + anagram of (when ordered) THE GIN
|LIGHTEN (cheer up)|
|25||PRESENT (gift) with the first four letters PRES (part) reversed (taking back)||SERPENT (Devil; tempter)|
|26||TELE (TV) + KIN (family) + E (English) + SIS (sister; relative)||TELEKINESIS (the production of motion at a distance by willpower or thought alone; psychic ability)|
|1||Anagram (when adapting) of THEY [omitting [pointlessly] E [East; point of the compass]) and BAN GAY FLINGS||FANNY BY GASLIGHT (old film )|
|2||SALE (a town that was historically [old] part of Cheshire, but now adminstratively subsumed into the metropolis of Greater Manchester) containing B (bishop)||SABLE (black)|
|3||Even letters of (nothing odd here) LION ZEBRA TAIGA (Is TAIGA a pun on TIGER? TAIGA, I discover, is a marshy pine forest covering much of subarctic N America and Eurasia. Perhaps not the natural home of the LION or the ZEBRA?)||INERTIA (lack of activity)|
|4||EIRE (Ireland) + TIN (can) all reversed (set up)||NITERIE (a night club; a good place to booze and bop)|
|5||Anagram of (out in) GABON YES||OBS/GYNAE (the branch of medicine dealing with obstetrics and gynaecology)|
|6||(CREE [native American people living in Montana] contained in [in] ELP (reference Emerson Lake & Palmer, a progressive rock trio, most successful in the 1970s]) all contained (wearing) BROTHER’S (relative’s)||BROTHEL CREEPERS (a man’s soft shoe with thick crepe sole)|
|7||HEARS (tries) + first letter of (taking lead from) ELECTRIC||HEARSE (vehicle)|
|8||DE JOUR (see wordplay at 21 across, above)||DE JOUR|
|15||Anagram of (doctor) PLEASED containing (about) T (model)||PEDESTAL (support of a column, vase, bust etc)|
|16||MB (Bachelor of Medicine, doctor) contained in (used in) an anagram (cooked) MEAL||EMBALM (preserve)|
|17||Anagram of (dresser) KITCHEN||CHETNIK (A Serbian resistance fighter against Turkish rule in the 19th century, and against occupying forces in both World Wars)|
|18||IN (home) reversed (returning) + ELS (reference Ernie Els, South African golfer) + E (ecstasy) + N (no)||NIELSEN (reference, probably Brigitte Nielsen [Danish actress] although Google’s first hit is on Connie Nielsen, another Danish actress. Films are not my strong point)|
|20||A + S (second) + SET (TV) + first letter of (top) SHOW||ASSETS (reference asset-stripper [one who acquires control a company and sells off its assets for gain])|
|23||TAR (sailor; Jack [Tar]) + STRAW excluding RAW (if it is cooked, it is not RAW) reversed (up)||TARTS (food items)|