Posted by Uncle Yap on February 8th, 2011
Phew! What an assignment today. Puck employed almost every cryptic device and then some more. The way I solve a puzzle, I must stop and rationalise the workplay before I move on … this one took me nearly an hour. But it was an enjoyable hour and I paused to admire the creative mind of Puck to dream up all manners of delightful mental torture.
1 LE MISANTHROPE What an absolutely elegant *(another simple) anagram clue to start the day. The Misanthrope (French: Le Misanthrope ou l’Atrabilaire amoureux) is a 17th-century comedy of manners in verse written by Molière. It was first performed on 4 June 1666 at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal, Paris by the King’s Players. The play satirizes the hypocrisies of French aristocratic society, but it also engages a more serious tone when pointing out the flaws which all humans possess.
10 ILL AT EASE IL & LA (Masculine and feminine definite articles respectively in the Italian language) TEASE (to make fun of or guy)
11 MOORE Cha of MOOR (African) E (ECSTASY, answer for 14) Bobby Moore, captain of the England football team that won the World Cup in 1964, oops 1966.
I sometimes wonder why EPL, the world’s most successful football league cannot nurture and produce a World Cup winning team for close to half a century … and Englishmen need to bask in past glories by constant reference to the 1966 winning team. I also scratch my head in amazement that the last couple of England managers are foreigners.
12 FEMUR Rev of RUM (drink) E (lower class) F (female) thigh bone
13 CLEAN ROOM *(POOL minus River PO + CAMERON)
14 ECSTASY Ins of CAST (company) minus A (first letter of actors) in EASY (simple)
16 AGENDAS Ins of GEN (info) in ADA’S (girl’s)
18 ELAPSES Ins of APSE (part of church) in EL (Spanish definite article) S (south, quarter)
20 MISUSER *(SURMISE)
21 MISPRINTS MI (M One, motorway, road) SPRINTS (runs)
23 ACERB Sounds like A SERB (Eastern European)
24 UTERI rha
25 EXCULPATE Cha of EX (former) CU (copper) L (50 in Roman numeral) P (pence) ATE (sounds like eight, 8)
26 UNDER MILK WOOD (5,4,4) The fictional name Llareggub (the setting for Under Milk Wood, a 1954 radio drama by Dylan Thomas, later adapted for the stage) resembles other Welsh place names, which often begin with Llan- (meaning church), but is actually derived from reversing the phrase “bugger all”. Thanks, Dr G for another gem of totally non-functional trivia information that we cruciverbalists are so full of.
2 ECLAMPSIA *(misplace a) a condition resembling epilepsy; now only applied to acute toxaemia with convulsive fits in the last three months of pregnancy.
3 INTER (P) INTER – Harold Pinter, CH, CBE (1930 – 2008), was an English playwright, screenwriter, actor, theatre director, poet, left-wing political activist, cricket enthusiast, and Nobel laureate
4 ANARCHY Ins of MARCH (demo) minus M in ANY (some)
5 THERESA Cha of THE (article) RE (about) SA (Saudi Arabia or South Africa, country)
6 ROMANCERS *(CAMERON’S Right)
7 PROVO PROVE (show) with O (love) substituted for E (English) for a militant member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army
8 DIE FLEDERMAUS Cha of DI (Princess Diana) E (first letter of Elizabeth) FLED (escaped) ER (Elizabeth Regina, the Queen) MA (mother) US (the Guardian) Die Fledermaus (The Bat) is an operetta composed by Johann Strauss II to a German libretto by Karl Haffner and Richard Genée.
I wonder why Puck did not use America to indicate US. The surface reading would have been improved and this clue would make more sense to readers of, say, an Australian paper solving the puzzle syndicated from the Guardian a couple of weeks later.
9 LES MISERABLES (3,10) Ins of *(BARE LEGS I’M minus G, no good) in LESS (not so much) with wearing (in) being such a superb and smooth inclusion indicator
15 ASSERTIVE The rev of the ins of (T)RESS (hair topped) in EVITA (MUSICAL, answer to 20 Down)
17 DESPERADO Ins of *(RAPE) in DES (of the French) & DO (party)
19 SUNBEAM *(MEANS Buisness Ultimately) with two definitions, ray and old car
20 MUSICAL M (first letter of MISPRINTS, answer to 21) + ins of SIC (exactly as written) in USUAL (standard) minus US (non-American)
22 STEIN ST (street, road) EIN (German for one)
23 AGLOW AG (silver) LOW (base)
Key to abbreviations
dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram