Posted by RatkojaRiku on April 12th, 2011
This was my first attempt at blogging a Scorpion puzzle, and as soon as I noticed there was a theme, I wondered if I’d make my blogging deadline: I tend to relish thematic puzzles as a solver and live in fear of them as a blogger, purely for reasons of time.
As thematic puzzles go, this was quite an accessible one for me – perfect for a working day rather than a weekend! I didn’t solve 17 immediately: indeed, it is good when the keystone to a thematic puzzle is not too easy to solve. However, solving 4/24 made me go straight to 17 to see if the wordplay would give “colour”, which it did.
I liked the way that, while many of the colours were actually entered in the grid as solutions, others figured only in the wordplay, as in 1/7, 21 and 29. My favourite clues were 19, for its cheeky anagram indicator, and 13, for the deceptiveness of the wordplay. The intersecting four-letter entries at each corner held me up more than anything, especially 26 and 29. Incidentally, this was the first time I had come across “tweet” in the social media sense in a crossword, although it has no doubt already put in an appearance or two by now. The musical reference at 12/19 was unknown to me.
Overall, this was an enjoyable, colourful and anything but dull crossword, for which I am grateful to Scorpion.
*(…) indicates an anagram
|8||SUSAN||SA (=sex appeal) in SUN (=tabloid, i.e. the UK tabloid newspaper The Sun)|
|10||LIES||Double definition: lies = “extends”, is located AND = “harmless stories when white” (=entry at 16), i.e. white lies|
|11||ETHEREAL||<thos>E (=back-side in thosE, i.e. last latter only) + *(LEATHER); “pants” would appear to be the (rather unusual) anagram indicator.|
|12/19||GREEN ONIONS||GREEN (=no.17, i.e. colour, the entry at 17) + [I (=one) in ON ON (=playing repeatedly, i.e. the letters are used twice) + S (=school)]; Green Onions is a hit soul instrumental recorded by Booker T. and the M.G.s in 1962.|
|13||HERB||ER (re=on, i.e. concerning, on the subject of; “turned” indicates a reversal) in HB (=pencil, i.e. Hard Black); “skirts” cleverly indicates a container-and-contents clue.|
|15||TWEET-TWEET||TWEET (=on-screen message, i.e. one sent via the social media phenomenon Twitter; 2 means that the letters are used twice)|
|17||COLOUR||*(LOO) in CUR (=wretch); the definition is “wash” in the sense of “a broad but thin layer of colour put on with a long sweep of the brush”. Solving this clue provides the key to the whole puzzle.|
|21||REINFORCED||*(CONIFER) in RED (=colour, i.e. entry at 17)|
|23||EXPO||X (=”"that’s wrong”, i.e. cross used to indicate an incorrect answer, the opposite being a tick) in EPO (=performance-enhancing drug, i.e. erythropoietin)|
|27||ELONGATE||*(LEG ON) + <p>A<r>T<n>E<r> (=partner alternately, i.e. every other letter is used); “other” is the anagram indicator.|
|29||SCAR||SCAR<let> (=colour, i.e. entry at 17; “let off” means the letters “let” are dropped)|
|30/28||AGNES GREY||AG (=silver, i.e. chemical symbol) + <sto>NES (“half-obscured” means that only half the letters are used) + GREY (=colour, i.e. “no.17″, the entry at 17); Agnes Grey was the debut novel of English author Anne Brontë, first published in 1847)|
|31||EARL||The definition is toff; “that joins 28 (=grey, i.e. the entry at 28) to make tea”, i.e. if run together, the entries give Earl Grey, the fragrant tea.|
|1||SKYE||SKY (= “with blue (entry at 4) colour (entry at 17)”; if run together, the two entries make sky blue, a colour) + E<xplore> (=start to Explore, i.e. first letter only is used); Skye is an island off the west coast of Scotland, the largest of the Inner Hebrides.|
|2||ASSENTER||<m>ASS> (=religious assembly; “off with principal” means the first letter is dropped) + ENTER (=register, i.e. to record); “one nods” (in agreement) is the definition.|
|4/24||BLUE PETER||BLUE (=colour, i.e. the entry at 17) + PET (=favourite) + ER (=queen); Blue Peter, the world’s longest running children’s TV programme, was first aired by the BBC in 1958.|
|5||SEAN PENN||SEAN (homophone of “shorn” = fleeced, of sheep) + P<ragu>E (=extremists in PraguE, i.e. first and last letters only are used) + N N (=news, i.e. N = new in plural); Sean Penn is an American actor and director, 1960-.|
|7/6||IN THE PINK||<abs>INTHE (=alcohol; “sailors (=ABs, i.e. able-bodied seamen) avoid” means the letters “abs” are dropped) + PINK (=colour, i.e. the entry at 17)|
|9/20||SILVER SCREEN||SILVER (=colour, i.e. the entry at 17) + [CREE (=foreign language) in S N (=poles, i.e. South and North Poles)]|
|14/25||BROWN BREAD||BROWN (=colour, i.e. the entry at 17) + BREAD (=nan, i.e. a slightly leavened bread from Asia); “brown bread” is Cockney rhyming slang for “dead”, hence “it’s dead in London East”.|
|16/3||WHITE KNIGHT||WHITE (=colour, i.e. the entry at 17) + K (=grand, i.e. a thousand) + NIGHT (=dark); the White Knight rescues Alice from the Red Knight in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass (1871).|
|18||OPEN-BACK||[PEN (=stall, i.e. for keeping animals) + BAC (cab=taxi; "coming up" indicates a reversal)] in OK (=right)|
|19||OLD NORSE||*(DR<ink> + LOOSEN); “couple starting DRink” means the first two letters only are used); “frisky” is the anagram indicator.|
|22||OLDHAM||OLD (=experienced) + HAM (=player); Oldham Athletic is an English team playing in the Football League One.|
|26||ECRU||E<ccentri>C (“opposing sides of” means the first and last letters only are used) + RU (=sport, i.e. Rugby Union); the definition is “colour”, i.e. the entry at 17, that of unbleached linen.|