Posted by Hihoba on January 12th, 2011
We had eight clues with two consecutive redundant words which clued “pairs”.
We had Thematic clues which clued a) anagrams of one of the paired items and b) a word or phrase which clued another item by including the pair member as part of the answer. Ths is easy to write now, after solving the puzzle, but at first it was very unclear which you had to enter in the grid, the pair member or the anagram/rest of the phrase or word.
One answer, clued without definition, gave the “link” between the items in each pair.
The rest of the clues were “normal” thank goodness, and not over-complex at that. So it was possible to get a good start on the grid without worrying too much about the theme.
So for a start, let’s fill those in:
|16||EISENSTEIN||Film director: EINSTEIN round SE(t)|
|19||SANSEI||Descendant of immigrants: [ENA IS S]*|
|21||LITANY||Boring catalogue: LIT (settled on) + ANY (some)|
|27||EAT OUT||Visit restaurant: EA(ch) + TOUT|
|36||TAHINI||Oily paste: TIN (can) + I round A H(ot)|
|38||MYTH||It’s not true: sounds like “miss” lisping|
|1||LASHERS||Ropes: [R HASSLE]* (both Ba and I had HALSERS for this at first = hawsers)|
|2||ELEMI||Resin: [LIME (tre)E]*|
|3||ALNUS||Tree genus: LA (Nice article – beware pronunciation) reversed + N(orth) + US|
|7||TALENT||Special gift: TALE + NT|
|8||VEST||Garment: VET round S(on)|
|9||ENTITY||Being: [TINY T(h)E]*|
|12||ECHT||Genuine: TECH with T moved to end|
|14||RENO||Nevada city: ONER (lie) reversed|
|17||ELM||Tree: L in EM|
|18||RAHU||Demon: RAH (cheer) + U(nited)|
|20||ARES||God: hidden in ChelseA REServes|
|22||NOH||Drama: NO (not) + H(ard)|
|23||TOAD||Hall dweller (Toad of Toad Hall – I enjoyed this!): TO + A(nswer) + D(uke)|
|24||RISKIER||Not so certain: (f)RISKIER|
|25||PREFAB||House: R (king) in PE(ru) + FAB (fantastic)|
|26||TOILET||John: TOIL + E(uropean) + (righ)T|
|29||NAIAD||Future fly (a larva): [ADA IN]*|
|30||KENTE||Silk cloth: KENT (known) + E(nglish)|
|32||RIVO||Drinking cry: RO(mania) round IV (sounds like ivy)|
This leaves nine clues:
One is the clue with no definition at 28A
|28A||OTHER RANKS||No definition: SO (provided) reversed (backing) round HERR (lord) in TANK (US prison)|
So the link must be OR – confirmed by the title “Middlemen” (= OR in the middle).
This leaves the eight “definition” clues. I didn’t get these immediately, but by a process of elimination!
|10A||AREA||sensible explanation||Region: A + RE + A(ustralian)|
|13A||ADEN||last desperate||Port: A(nticipate) + DEN|
|15A||HEAT||children’s request||Animation: EH? (what) reversed + AT|
|25A||PIETRO||in time||Italian: [PORT]* round IE|
|35A||FILLIES||game show||Girls: FILL (stuff) + I(n) + E(l) S(alvador)|
|37A||ANNE||final offer||Princess: ANNE(x)|
|11D||RAISE||play question||Institute: RAE round IS|
|33D||NEMN||quite ordinary||Old name: N(ew) MEN reversed|
And the Thematic clues. In the Partial clues I have indicated the grid entry in Blue, and the remaining words (which form half of a pair) in black:
|Clue 1||Grid Entry||Clue2||Grid Entry|
|Look||GANDER||relax||TAKE IT EASY|
|Case||ELATIVE||one’s expecting||MOTHER TO BE|
|Fish||IDE||from the side||LATERALLY|
|Operatic tenor||BOTTONE||turned white||DEALBATE|
This left the anagrams to find, and the paired words, and the matching of the pairs with their definitions: This took quite a while! The first one I got was ARETT which had to be an anagram of TREAT. This led to TRICK and I realised that TRICK OR TREAT matched with “childrens request”.
|GANDER||GARDEN||COMMON||Common or garden||Quite ordinary|
|ELATIVE||LEAVE IT||TAKE IT||Take it or leave it||Final offer|
|ARETT||TREAT||TRICK||Trick or treat||Children’s request|
|IDE||DIE||DO||Do or die||Last desperate|
|SENORA||REASON||RHYME||Rhyme or reason||Sensible explanation|
|SEROON||SOONER||LATER||Sooner or later||In time|
|BOTTONE||NOT TO BE||TO BE||To be or not to be||Play question|
|LEAD ON||NO DEAL||DEAL||Deal or No Deal||Game show|
I (Hi) found it pretty difficult and would probably not have finished without a few jogs from Ba. We exchanged quite a number of emails before the final solution was reached! On and off it took two days! I also found it difficult to blog, so I hope that this is comprehensible. Finally the grid!