Posted by jetdoc on January 17th, 2011
My Cyclops blogging debut — I’ll be sharing this with Beermagnet. It’s great to blog a Cyclops, because I’ve been taking the time to appreciate his clues, with their clever use of double meanings and their witty, topical and economical surface reading. This one was fairly gentle in terms of solving difficulty, I thought — so often with a Cyclops puzzle, there’s just one clue that holds me up for ages, but not this time.
In a strong field, my favourite has to be 14d — ‘copulation’ as an anagram of ‘upon coital’ is priceless.
|8||BATTLE||Belt finally let out round middle of Max Hastings?
*(Belt t), ‘t’ being ‘finally let’; A = middle of Max. The Battle of Hastings
|9||LABOUR MP||Maybe David Miliband wants to work with Cameron (doing a U-turn)
LABOUR = work; PM reversed.
|10||SKELETON||‘Liberal’ Ken toes line initially — rough
*(Ken toes l). ‘Skeleton’ can mean ‘a framework or outline’, hence a rough draft.
|11||TIGRIS||Knight — bastard — rejected a course held by Iraqi banks
SIR = knight, GIT = bastard, all reversed. Iraq is approximately what used to be called Mesopotamia, ‘land between the rivers’, being bounded by the Tigris–Euphrates river system, so the Tigris river flows between Iraqi banks.
|12/13||CRACK COCAINE||Drug that’s secreted in a cheeky place?
Presumably so-called because it can be hidden between the cheeks.
|15||DEBRIEF||Remove knickers to find out how the operation went?
A sort of double definition. I can never quite take the word ‘debrief’ seriously when I hear it used to mean ‘gather information, esp from soldiers, spies, etc, at the end of a mission or activity’.
|17||APPLAUD||Appendix mostly removed, gets over double clap
APP[endix]; DUAL, reversed (‘over double’). Two meanings of ‘clap’.
|20||SOD’S LAW||Bastard’s Charter — the last thing you’d want but bound to happen
Wikipedia gives a rather solemn explanation of Sod’s Law
|21||LEEDS||City haemorrhages losing capital
|23||TALCUM||Unfinished speech by copper on large sum that might be pressed into greasy palm?
TAL[k] = unfinished speech; CU = copper (Cu); M = either 1000 or 1,000,000. Talcum powder can be used to absorb moisture from a sweaty or greasy palm.
|25||DUTCH CAP||For those who’ll have no conception of European spending limit
A spending limit in the Netherlands; also a name for a contraceptive diaphragm, not usually worn on the head
|26||BOLLOCKS||Cobblers throw back hair
LOB, reversed; LOCKS = hair.
|27||ON CALL||Clegg’s first in performing the full Monty: “always ready to do duty”
C = Clegg’s first; ON = performing; ALL = the full Monty (in Chambers, ‘everything that there is or that one needs’; and the title of a film)
|1||BACKACHE||Support Bill? The bloke’s a pain in the rear
BACK = support; AC = bill; HE = the bloke
|2||STELLA||McCartney in extremis — tell Auntie!
Hidden in ‘extremis — tell Auntie’. Stella McCartney who, in November 2007, designed a silver necklace featuring a single leg, an apparent attack on her father’s estranged wife Heather Mills, an amputee. Tut, tut!
|3||DEATH KNELL||Dignified sort of ring appropriate for one who’s stiff finally
The ringing of a bell to announce a death
|4||OLD NICK||Decrepit police station: really bad force
Double definition — as well as ‘nick’ being a police station, ‘Old Nick’ is the Devil.
|5/24||A BIT MUCH||I am butch, screwed up and unreasonable
*(I am butch), with ‘screwed up’ as the anagram indicator
|6||DUNGHILL||Farmer’s pile of $1000 invested in tobacco brand?
G = $1000; in DUNHILL, a brand of cigarettes
|7||IMBIBE||Cyclops is right out of palm-grease and booze
IM = I am = Cyclops is; BIBE = ‘bribe’ (palm-grease) without R.
|14||COPULATION||How’s your father upon coital debacle?
*(upon coital); ‘How’s your father’ is the definition. Top clue — fantastic anagram, great surface reading!
|16||RIDICULE||Take the piss out of peer’s end? Cyclops would, with one filthy clue!
R = peer’s end; ID = I (Cyclops) would; I = one; *(clue). Another great clue, illustrating the rule that often applies — the salaciousness of the answer is inversely proportional to the salaciousness of the clue.
|18||UNSTABLE||Sun’s dodgy board wavering
UNS = *(sun), or ‘sun’s dodgy’; TABLE = board
|19||SWEDISH||Posh penetrated by hack’s tongue
SWISH = posh; ED = hack, journalist (though it’s short for editor, it’s much used in crosswords to indicate a journalist generally). Swedish is a language. Posh can speak for herself, I suppose.
|20||SHADOW||Tess had own houses like Ed Miliband’s team
Hidden in ‘Tess had own’. Ed Miliband’s team is the shadow cabinet.
|22||ETHICS||EC shit about ’moral standards’
I see that Beermagnet habitually finishes his Cyclops blog with a joke, and who am I to break the tradition. So here’s a suitably offensive one currently doing the rounds via texting: When asked if he preferred legs or breasts, Paddy said that he had a particular fondness for shaved fannies. He was informed that this wasn’t an option when choosing a KFC bargain bucket.