Posted by Pete Maclean on December 16th, 2010
Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of December 4
A decent, slightly challenging puzzle from Cinephile this time. My top clue is 25A (KIBOSH). I also like 7D (DECOR) although its wordplay is imperfect.
1. TRAGIC – T (time) + CIGAR (Havana, say) backwards
5. SHOWDOWN – SHOW (entertainment) + DOWN (county)
9. OF COURSE – C (100) in FOURS (4s) in OE (Old English)
10. FACTOR – ACT (performance) in FOR (for)
11. HELLAS – HE (the guy) + LL (will) + AS (like)
12. TOM BROWN – TOMB (grave) + ROW (quarrel) + N (pole)
14. SELFCATERING – anagram of RECTANGLES IF. I take exception to the enumeration given for this clue. I would have made it (4-8). And, while it is clever to includes both “square” and “rectangles” in the clue, I find the definition weak both in that the answer is a type of holiday not a synonym and because I can see no way that self catering ensures square meals!
18. SHORT STORIES – SHORTS (spirits) + TORIES (Conservatives)
22. PREGNANT – P (little prince) + REGNANT (on the throne)
25. KIBOSH – spoonerism of “by cosh”
26, 29. MILTON KEYNES – TONKEY (Eeyore with new head) in MILNES (author’s). Clever! (Eeyore was, of course, A.A. Milne’s stuffed donkey in “Winnie the Pooh”.)
27. CHAIRMAN – CH (companion) + AIRMAN (flier)
28. EGGSHELL – EGGS (gives spur) + HELL (the underground)
2. REFLEX – REF (judge) + LEX (law)
3. GOOD LOSER – OLD (old) backwards in GOOSE (bird) + R (river)
4. CHRYSALIS – homophone (“Chris Alice”). An imperfect soundalike but, I guess, close enough.
5. SCEPTIC – C (Conservative) in SEPTIC (what’s poisonous)
6. OXFAM – OX (beast) + FAM[e] (notoriety cut short). “By” rather gets in the way.
7. DECOR – DEC[ember] (Christmas coming) + OR (gold). “Christmas coming” is, surely, a wobbly definition for DEC but, overall, I think the clue is rather clever.
8. WOODWIND – WOO (seek to win) + DWIND[led] (somewhat reduced)
13, 19. BEETON – BE (live) + ETON (school)
15. THINK TANK – THIN (inadequate) + TAN (give hiding to) in KK (two kings)
16. RASPBERRY – double definition
17. CHARMING – CHAR (tea) + MING (China)
20. OPTICAL – TIC (twitching) in OPAL (stone)
21. ESCAPE – anagram of PEACES
23. GATES – double definition (referring, presumably, to Bill or Melinda)
24. ANNIE – hidden word