Posted by nmsindy on January 31st, 2011
This is, I think, a new pseudonym for the Indy so maybe a new setter. If so, welcome! Quite a difficult puzzle, I found, solving time 43 mins, but I got there in the end.
No Nina/theme that I can see but as always happy to be advised otherwise.
* = anagram
1 CARDAMOM Got this only very near the end – a plant used as a spice card= maybe Jack m = married containing a mo (second)
6 GAMING better = gambler urchin = gamin leader of gang = g
9 RACEHORSES Clever definition ‘fleet mounts’. (across here)*
10 ROWS Double definition with clue dividing at scraps/boat
11 COASTS a in costs
12 PROCURER cure = fix in pro (in favour of) r = right
13 ESPALIER This is a word I learned from crosswords so I got this early on lie (stretch) in (pears)*. Excellent surface reading gives the clue a nice &lit touch
15 ARISEN Takes the letters of pine away from Parisienne – this was my last answer definition = happened
16 SWATHE w = with a t=temperature in she
18 HOTPLATE (pot)* l = left in hate (can’t stand)
20 VACATION ill removed from vacillation (unsteadiness)
22 PRESTO rest (interval) in first and last letters of panto
24 SHOE definition = maybe trainer shove less v = victory as in VE day for example
25 GUILLOTINE definition: heads off here lo (look) in guilt in evidence finally (last letter)
26 PROSIT Another word I’ve learned from crosswords (tripos)* Good health ie a toast originally from German
27 NUTHATCH A type of bird that creeps nu = name unknown (abbrev) thatch = layer of straw
2 AMAZONS (Samoa NZ)* One of the easier clues today
3 DREGS Dr (doctor) legs = limbs less l = length
4 MOONSHINE (soon)* h = first letter of hidden in mine = tunnel
5 MISAPPREHENSION When I got this long answer v early on, I thought it might be an easy puzzle but it did not turn out that way (more happiness in)*
6 GUSTO gust = bit of wind o = nothing
7 MARSUPIAL Very clever misdirection here with ‘playing possum’ in the surface but the division of the clue between wordplay and definition being between those two words. pi = prig in (alarm us)*
8 NOWHERE My joint favourite clue today now here (at this time and place) with definition ‘out of the running’ ! I did not see this for ages.
14 ANTEATERS as (like) containing nt (edges of nest) and (a tree)*
15 AUTOPILOT My other joint favourite clue with great misdirection using ‘map’ car = auto and plot (map out!) containing I
17 WEATHER the (article) in sport (wear) ie wear (clothes). Weather forecast is often just ‘the weather’
19 TITANIC Meaning ‘big’ and referring to the very successful film of that name about the 1912 sinking – might we see themed puzzles relating to this next year?
21 INGOT hidden in makING OThers indicated by ‘clasps’
23 EXTRA (tax re)* free with no frills = take away outer letters