Posted by Eileen on March 25th, 2011
There’s quite a bit of cross-referencing in this puzzle and there were two or three instances where it took me a while to see the parsing, so several real penny-dropping moments today. There’s more than a whiff of a bygone age in some of the clues / solutions.
I began to think that this time I wasn’t quite on Araucaria’s wavelength but it gradually all became clear – I think! A bit of a struggle but, as always, an absorbing and enjoyable one.
9 OVULATION: U [turn] L[eft] in OVATION [cheers] – nice definition!
10 ABELE: hidden in A BELEaguered
11 DECAPOD: DEC [month] A POD a case
12 OCTOPUS: OCT OPUS – a piece written in October – this took a while to see!
13,24: UNDERMINED: UN [a French] DD [Doctor of Divinity – theologian] round ERMINE [ceremonial robes]: ‘attacked by 3′ because one of a Sapper’s duties is to clear minefields?
14 ASH-BLONDE: anagram of OLD HAS-BEEN minus one E: I don’t like this, because ‘devoid of energy’ should mean that there are no Es.
16 BULLDOG DRUMMOND: BULLDOG [clip] DRUM [part of ear] MOND[ay]
19 ROADSTEAD: homophone of Rhodes Ted: I’ve seen ‘roads’ meaning ‘anchorage’ several times in crosswords but I don’t think I’ve come across this word before.
22,21 COMPASS POINT: COMPASS [go round] POINT [spot]
23 SUPREME: SUP [drink] REME [Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers]
25 REFORMISM: FOR in anagram of SIMMER
1 GOOD NUMBER: double / cryptic definition: there have been calls only this week for the superannuation of this device – but we’re more used to seeing ‘number’ in the clue than the solution!
2 SUICIDAL: anagram of I CLAUDIUS minus U [turn]
3 SAPPER: I puzzled over this, first thinking it might simply be a reference to the fact that ‘Sapper’ is a pseudonym, but I think it’s ‘R.E. translation’ since the corps of the Royal Engineers is / are known as Sappers.
4 WIND: double definition
5 UNMOTHERED: anagram of MOUNTED HER
7 WEAPON: A P.O [postal order] in WEN [the fairly frequent crossword reference to William Cobbett’s description of London as ‘The Great Wen’]
8,21 NEWSPAPERS: N E W S [every cardinal point] + PAPERS [anagram of SAPPER, 3dn] – an impressive clue
14 AGGRESSORS: this took a bit of staring at, to see that it’s the first letters of the first ten words of thhe clue – and a sort of & lit.
17 DASTARDY: STARD [stardom minus OM – order] in DAY [time]
18 OLIVE OIL: OLIVE[r] [one of the twelve Paladins of Charlemagne] + OIL [anagram of OLI [his top half] – cooker as the definition?
20 ALMOND: [s]ALMON + D[ied]
22 CAMP: double / cryptic definition: hammer = one who hams? – but I thought that was a ham. Well, there is a question mark and this is Araucaria!
23 SAFE: double definition: surely this is another chestnut due to be put out to grass. I was about to say that was a mixed metaphor but I suppose it’s more of a pun – sorry!