Posted by Pete Maclean on March 31st, 2011
Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of March 19
As I have probably mentioned many times, I am a long-time fan of Cinephile but all the same am very ready to criticize him. After some fifty years of compiling crosswords he can still come up with some gems — but this is not one of them. I think that 19D (GORBALS) is definitely faulty and several other clues here are questionable. The only clues I really like are 22A (RESIDUE) and 3D (SOLAR).
1. TWO SHORT PLANKS – anagram of POLWORTHS in TANKS (military vehicles). There are many, many euphemisms for “very thick” and this is one I do not recall hearing before.
10. ARIEL – ARIES (sign) with S (shilling) changed to L (pound)
11. EXTENSION – X (ten) + TEN (ten) in NOISE (row) backwards
12. STIRRUP – PURR (audible satisfaction) + ITS (its) all backwards
13. EPOCHAL – anagram of HELP A CO
14. MOGUL – MOG (cat) + U[g]L[y]. “Mog” is both a slang name for a cat, an abbreviation of the more common “moggy”, and the name of a fictional cat.
16, 29. WHAT’S THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN – double definition
19. GUN BARREL – NB (note) in GUAR[dian] (protector unfinished) and REL (relative)
20. ELDER – double definition
22. RESIDUE – U (university) in RESIDE (live)
27. ABUNDANCE – “a bun dance” (like a cakewalk)
28. SIGHT – double definition. This is, I suppose, a reference to the expression “a jolly sight “.
2, 25. WRITING ON THE WALL – double definition
3. SOLAR – SO (one note) + LA (another note) + R (right)
4. OVERPOWER – OVER (bowling) + POWER (might)
5. TITLE – double definition
6. LANGOUSTE – anagram of GOT US in LANE (a way)
7. NEIGH – NEIGH[bour] (next door’s part)
8. SINGLET – anagram of GLISTEN
9. RANSOM – ANS (response) in ROM (memory)
15. LLANDUDNO – LAND (country) in LUD (legal lord) + NO (no). That’s “lud” as in, I guess, “not guilty, m’lud”. Not bad perhaps for a word that may be hard to clue.
17. ALLOTMENT – cryptic definition
18. HYDRANGEA – homophone (“hide ranger”)
19. GORBALS – ORB (world) in GALS (girls). How on Earth does “Glasgow” clue Gorbals? Sure, the Gorbals is a neighourhood of Glasgow, one well known in the old days for its slums and more recently for its Citizens Theatre. But one does not clue the other. Looks like a dodge for what is a dandy surface.
21. RELATE – double definition
23. SLUMP – S + LUMP (piece of sugar). Just how does the S get in here? “One needed” could, I suppose, clue S for singular but then it should come after LUMP.
24. ERNIE – IN (home) backwards in ERE (before). I am not thrilled with “bondman” as a definition — it’s clever, sure, but not accurate since the ERNIE that is presumably meant is neither a man nor a slave (which is what “bondman” means).
26. EPSOM – hidden word