Posted by rightback on December 18th, 2010
Solving time: 9 mins
I got in a right tangle with this thanks to 3/18dn: with ???M?? AND ????? in place and ‘drunk’ the last word of the clue, the answer was clearly ‘Brahms and Liszt’ (rhyming slang for another word for ‘drunk’). This took ages to unpick and serves me right twice, firstly for not taking a proper look at the wordplay and secondly for somehow failing to notice that the ‘M’ in the first word was actually in the wrong place!
The puzzle itself was a good one; some of the surfaces perhaps weren’t as smooth as Paul sometimes achieves but the cryptic readings made a nice change by being accurate throughout.
Music of the day (8ac): From 11ac, here’s the Stone Roses with Elephant Stone.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|8,9,24||ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM; rev. of PELE, + HAN (= ‘dynasty’), + TIN + HE + rev. of MOOR (the ‘protoganist’ of Othello) – very nice union of ‘Brazilian dynasty’ which steered me cleverly away from Pelé.|
|10,4||PORT + STANLEY – ‘knife man’ is a sort of double indication to STANLEY rather than (as I guessed when solving) a reference to the inventor of the Stanley knife, which was named after a company which made such knives. Port Stanley is the capital of the Falkland Islands.|
|11,21||MANCHESTER UNITED; (TEAM UNCHRISTENED)*|
|14||EMIGRATE; E + MIG-RATE – a MiG being a Russian aircraft.|
|15||BRIO + CHE (= Che Guevara, hence ‘red’ in the sense of ‘revolutionary’)|
|17||NEUTRAL; (RENAULT)*, semi-&lit|
|20||BULGARIA; BUG around [nationa]L, + ARIA|
|22||APHIDS; HID in [b]APS – I wasn’t convinced by ‘bread, heads bitten off’; there’s only one missing ‘head’ here.|
|23||PICOSECOND; rev. of SO in (ICE + C), all in POND|
|25,12,26||EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL; (V + V + ORIGINAL ELIXIR TO + E[njoy])* – a nice anagram, which was easy to spot once I’d sorted out the mess I’d made of 3/18dn.|
|1||BLOODIER; LOO (= ‘Little room’) + DIE, all in B[ombe]R|
|2||SPOT (2 defs) – cream as in anti-zit cream.|
|3,18||BATMAN AND ROBIN; MANAN[a] (= ‘later cut short’) after BAT (= ‘club’), + (BIRD ON)*|
|5||FISHWIFE; SH[o]W + I, all in FIFE – one of the trickier ones, I thought. This was my penultimate solve, with 13dn my last.|
|6||AT A STRETCH (1 def, 1 literal interpretation)|
|7||S + ELECT – ‘elect’ and ‘select’ both come from Latin legere (‘to choose’) so this isn’t a great clue.|
|13||GEORG SOLTI; (T[h]E + R + GIGOLO + [bu]S)* – Paul’s obligatory smut clue. For some reason I persuaded myself that the ‘conductor’ was probably a metal of some kind and only changed my mind when nothing would fit ‘G?O?G’. Not very sharp.|
|16||HORSEMAN; (SAME)* in HORN – because Death was one of the four horseman of the apocolypse. ‘Death’ requires a capital in this sense so the clue is nicely worded with ‘Death’ as the first word to avoid this standing out. This is a much better solution than just dropping the capital, as seen in other puzzles recently.|
|19||GASOHOL; (SO + H[ydrogen]) in GAOL – ‘locked up?’ cryptically indicating ‘in gaol’.|
|22||ALDRIN; A, + rev. of (R[oa]D in NIL)|
|24||RHEA (hidden) – because rheas can’t fly.|