Posted by Eileen on February 25th, 2011
We don’t see enough of Bonxie, I think, so this was very welcome: a witty and entertaining puzzle, with ingenious cluing, some excellent surfaces, several penny-dropping moments and a few smiles to end the week.
Bonxie quite often has a theme. I can’t spot one today: I hope I shan’t emerge with egg on my face.
1 STAGE-STRUCK: anagram of GREATS in STUCK [fast]
9 ANYTIME: reversed in extrEMITY NAture
10 FAST ONE: double definition: to pull a fast one is to cheat and the cheetah is the fastest land animal
11 DROP SCONE: anagram [foreign] of COPS in DRONE [layabout]: drop scones are also called Scotch pancakes.
12 TOKEN: double definition
13 MOOT: MOO [low] + T [centre of counTries]: we’ve had moo = low several times lately but this is a particularly nice treatment.
14 MEDALLIONS: MEDAL [prize] + LIONS [British and Irish Lions Rugby Union touring team]: they don’t seem to have made it to the dictionary but a medallion is a small, round cut of meat, usually pork, veal, or beef.
16 COMMISSION: double definition
19 ANON: [c]ANON
21 ALEPH: ALE [porter] + PH [public house]: aleph is the first letter of the Phoenician and Hebrew alphabets
22 INTERDICT: INT [international] + anagram of CREDIT: a superb surface and probably my favourite clue
24 CONCERT: CON [swindle] + CERT [banker] – nice to see this not as a clue for ‘river’
25 RENEGUE: anagram of EU GREEN
26 TISSUE PAPER: ISSUE [young] + P[lants] in TAPER [lighter]: ingenious wordplay
1 STYROFOAM PEANUT: anagram [indicator 'train'] of FOREMAN PUTS A TOY: another lovely construction. I’d no idea that’s what these things were called: STYROFOAM emerged from the anagram but it made me laugh when the remaining letters gave only ‘peanut’. I had to google to make sure. [A nice link to the preceding clue.]
2 ALIAS: A + reversal of SAIL: strictly speaking, a sheet is a rope controlling the position of a sail relative to the wind but Chambers gives ‘sail’ as a poetic use.
3 EYESORE: reversal of ROSE [flower] in EYE [hole - as in a needle]: this time ‘flower’ does mean ‘flower’ and I was relieved not to see ‘eyesore = stye': nice clue
4 TAFFETA: reversal of FAT [large] + FETA [Greek cheese]
5 UNSETTLE: anagram of STEEL NUT
6 KNOCK DOWN GINGER: double / cryptic definition [KNOCKDOWN [cheap] GINGER [spice] and this game, played all round the world, it seems, under various names [apparently 'Bell-fast' in Northern Ireland!]. Another great clue, I thought, which I got from the first part of the wordplay, rather than knowing that name for the game.
7 RANDOM: RAND [international [?] money] + OM [Order of Merit]
8 TENNIS: reversal of INN [pub] in SET [crowd]: another lovely surface
15 HIGHNESS: double definition, I think: the state of being ‘high’ [on kicks?] – but then why ‘overhead’, apart from for the surface? and Prince [His Royal Highness]. I think I might be missing something here. Edit: I was: it’s HIGH [kick] ‘over head’ [NESS] – see first few comments.
16 CHANCE: CHANCE[l]
17 SHIATSU: S[mall] + anagram of HIATUS: what about ‘hernia’ as an indicator? The surface is superb! Shiatsu is ‘a Japanee healing and health-producing therapy using massage with fingers, palms, etc.’
18 OUTCROP: OUT [forbidden] + CROP: Chambers: ‘outcrop: an exposed edge of rock or of a mineral vein at ground level’.
20 NETHER: N [number] + ETHER [the other crossword 'number'] – another excellent clue that made me smile
23 RUN UP: double definition