Posted by shuchi on March 4th, 2011
A puzzle with moments of ease as well as perplexities, which dissolve happily when the penny drops. A few words learnt today thanks to 14a and 20d. A wide range of knowledge domains and deftly crafted clues. Bradman is a pleasure to solve.
1 CONCERTS CON (trick) CERTS (sure-fire winners). A “cert” is short for a certainty, such as a horse sure to win a race.
6 SCRIBE CRIB (information word for translation, such as list of answers illicitly used by students during exams) in PROSE – PRO (professional)
9 UTTERS UTTER (absolute) S[ense]
10 ROASTING RING (circular) around OAST (kiln)
11 BOSS BO (stink, short for “body odour”) SS (short for Schutzstaffel, the military organization under Hitler which was banned post-World War II)
12 WATCHSTRAP cd
14 TARBOOSH TAR (sailor) BOOS (expresses disapproval) H (hard). Tarboosh is a brimless felt hat worn by Middle Eastern men, shaped like a cone or short cylinder.
16 ROOT RO[b]OT (automaton)
18 STOA hidden in ‘stages to Athens’. Stoa is a covered walkway in ancient Greek architecture. A very well-framed clue with the leading word “See” and the link between Greece and Athens.
19 DETAILED dd; the farmer’s wife de-tailed i.e. cut off the tails of the three blind mice.
21 CLODHOPPER CHOPPER (helicopter) around (OLD)*
22 ARCH MARCH (month) – M (man)
24 HELSINKI HE (Helium, an abbreviation for ‘high explosive’) L (left) SINK (wreak havoc) I (one). I can’t see how SINK = “wreak havoc”; “sink” seems to convey slow collapse, havoc is much stronger than that. // Update: Scarpia has shared this definition from Roget’s which puts the doubt to rest: “Sink – To cause the complete ruin or wreckage of. ” And thanks to quodlibet for the expansion of HE.
26 IBIDEM I BID (offer) ‘EM (them, informally); Latin word meaning “in the same place”, generally used in footnotes when citing a reference.
27 HYADES [miser]Y in HADES (hell). Hyades is a star cluster close to the solar system.
28 THE ENEMY dd; from the expression “time is the enemy”, which possibly originates from the line “The innocent and the beautiful, Have no enemy but time” by W B Yeats.
2 OUTDO d&cd. A picnic is a party out-of-doors, therefore OUT-DO, with the “?” in the clue nudging us to think laterally.
3 CHEESEBOARD Derby and Leicester are types of cheese.
4 ROSEWOOD (DO WOOERS)*
5 STRETCHED A POINT dd. This raised a smile.
6 SWATHE SHE (the female) around WAT (Wat Tyler, leader of the English Peasants’ Revolt)
7 ROT TORY (politician) – Y, reversed
8 BANGALORE BANG (strike) A LORE (lot of stories). Isn’t it lovely to come across words in a crossword that have special meaning to you? This is the city where I live.
13 TERMINATION TERM (period of office) I (independent) NATION (country)
15 ARTILLERY ARTERY (vessel) around ILL (unsatisfactorily, as in “ill-used”)
17 STARLIKE (TALKER IS)*
20 TOTNES TOTS (kids) around NE (region diametrically opposite to SW)
23 CREAM SCREAM (yell) – S (son). Fantastic surface.
25 SAD “Down” is the definition and daughter = D; how does SA work? Thanks to Shyam for the answer: SA (It, crosswordese for sex appeal) D (daughter). SAD stands for “seasonal affective disorder”, the effect of winter darkness. A rare instance of an acronym as the answer, and I’m reminded of this related article by the Guardian’s crossword editor.