Posted by shuchi on April 15th, 2011
At the easier end of Sleuth’s spectrum with 5d, the longest word of the puzzle, falling quickly and supplying helpful letters down the center of the grid. I worked my way from the top to the bottom without much trouble. A gentle, pleasant ride.
1 PLASTIC BAG (I CLASP TAG)* around B (black)
7 TEND dd; ‘minister’ as in ‘tend/minister to the needs of the poor’
9 PIER sounds like ‘peer’ (equal)
10 PERNICKETY PER (each) NICK (slang for prison) (YET)*
11 RUMPUS RUM (unusual) PUS (matter); pus = matter is somewhat vague I think.
12 SALES TAX SAX (instrument) around (LEAST)*. No sales tax in UK? It is levied in India too, alas.
13 MEAT LOAF OAF (fool), after T (short time) in MEAL (dinner, say)
15 OILY FOIL (counter, as in contrast) – F (fellow) Y[ard]
17 ASTI hidden in ‘toAST Imbibed’
19 FREE KICK E’ER (always) reversed, in F (fine) KICK (thrill)
22 MONGOLIA G (government) in MONO (record), AIL (trouble) reversed
23 REPORT RE (about) PORT (Hull – a port in England)
25 ONE-MAN SHOW NAME (celebrity, as in ‘He is a name in Hollywood’) NO (number) reversed, S (second) HOW (question). One of those clues where you get the answer instantly from the definition and then reverse fit the wordplay.
26 LOOM GLOOM (partial darkness) – G
27 EDGY ED (leading journalist) G[u]Y (chap pouring out heart)
28 HURLY-BURLY HURLY (sounds like the actress ‘Hurley’) L in BURY (a town in Greater Manchester, England)
2 LEISURE E (European) IS, in LURE (temptation). Interesting use of ‘enthrall’ to indicate containment. I wonder if everyone agrees this is kosher; on clue-writing forums I’ve come across objections to indicators that use metaphorical meanings in a literal way. Another example is ‘essentially’ to pick the center of a word. Your views?
3 SCRAP SCRAP[e] (corner, largely); scrape = corner as in an awkward situation.
4 IMPOSTOR IMP (young miscreant) (ROOTS)*
5 BIRDS OF A FEATHER (AFFAIRS BOTHERED)*
6 GRILLE sounds like ‘grill’ (cook)
7 TAKE STOCK dd
8 NETBALL NET and BALL = two elements in tennis.
14 THINGUMMY THIN (slender) GUMMY (sticky)
16 TEARAWAY TEAR (drop i.e. teardrop) AWAY (not at home); ‘rough’ is British slang for a ruffian.
18 SCORNED S (sourthern) CORNE[t] (instrument, curtailed) D (Deutschland or Germany)
20 CAR POOL CAROL (woman) around PO (river)
21 FLINCH FINCH (bird) around L (lake)
24 PILAU IL (‘the’ in Italian) in PAU (French city). An exotic dish indeed made of rice, with many regional variations in method of prepation (as well as spelling – ‘pulao’ it is in India).