Posted by scchua on April 19th, 2011
This has been gruelling! It took me the better part of the day to finish, the last 2 being 25 and 23. Looking back I think the difficulty was contributed by the lower proportion of wholly anagrammatic answers, which generally are easier to spot, and the use of unusual positional and anagrammatic indicators, which easily misled. So thanks Loroso for the puzzle, from this knackered blogger and I hope your next one will be less taxing.
1 Cover artist in foil? (6)
DEFRAY : RA(artist) in DEFY(foil, the verb). Defn: As in “I’ll cover,keep you whole on your expenses”.
4 One stays up to work with long novel (5,3)
NIGHT OWL : Anagram(novel) of WITH LONG. Defn: Figurative use of the bird’s name to describe one who stays up to work keeping owlish hours.
9 Runs into area with playground equipment (6)
SEESAW : SEES(Runs into), A(area) W(with).
10 A short fuse to suppress absolute inspiration (8)
AFFLATUS : A FUS[e](truncation,short of word fuse) around(suppress) FLAT(absolute, as in a flat denial or rejection). Defn: An impelling mental force from within one, giving inspiration. Extraordinarily, if you behead this word twice, you get another impelling force from within, but of a different kind!
12 Fight, simply to protect nothing (4)
BOUT : BUT(simply,merely, just: as in “I can but try to complete this crossword”) around(to protect) O(nothing).
13, 15 Twist words for personal gain within corporation (6,3,1,4,4,4)
PLEASE SIR I WANT SOME MORE : Crytic defn: Famous words of Oliver Twist, personal gain refering to food and within corporation refering to the body. Spent long time being misdirected by Twist, reflexively taken to be an anagrind.
18 Hurry up, mum – man’s removing hot towel (4,2,6)
MAKE IT SNAPPY : MA(mum) KEIT[h]‘S(man’s, without,removing h[ot]) NAPPY(towel). A nappy, short for napkin in the diaper sense, is sometimes made of towelling (nowadays, mostly synthetic materials used instead); whilst a table napkin is likely to be a small towel, I’m not sure that “nappy” can be used for the latter, not least, so as not to confuse the waiter when you ask for one!
21 Giraffe arrived, old jockeys mean to feed (10)
CAMELOPARD : CAME(arrived) + anagram(jockeys) of OLD with insert(to feed) of PAR(mean,norm). Defn: A former name for the giraffe, a coupound of “camel” for its long neck and look-alike head, and leopard for its spots.
22 Fly over low zone (4)
ZOOM : Reversal(over) of MOO(low) Z(zone). Defn: Fly as a verb.
24 One way to follow badly injured beetle (8)
LADYBIRD : I(One) RD(road,way) after(to follow) anagram(injured) of BADLY. Defn: The insect that belongs to a family of beetles, and not a bird at all. Comes in various colours and patterns on their wings.
25 Russian alcoholic’s struggle to find occupation (6)
SOVIET : VIE(struggle as a verb) in (to find occupation) SOT(drunkard,alcoholic). Defn: A citizen of the former USSR.
26 Help us to acquire article before they auction it (8)
SOTHEBYS : SOS(Help us) having inside(to acquire) THE(article) BY(before, as a locational preposition, like “next”, “behind” and so on). Defn: Famous international auction house, auctioning anything of big value, from art pieces to jewels to jewellery to wine to memorabilia.
27 Very nice (6)
PRETTY : Double defn: 1st: as in “pretty,very good” and 2nd: as in “pretty,nice,good-looking person”
1 Would winds enveloping such terrain be visible as fronts? (4,4)
DUST BOWL : Cryptic defn: Depression in arid land,terrain looking like a bowl. Winds blowing into it carry sand and thus can be visible as moving fronts. A dry tsunami, in fact; not quite as frightening, but still…(Ed. note: pl see Gaufrid@1 & Eileen@2 for the full monty)
2 Monster disappeared when reporting visit (8)
FREQUENT : Homophone(when reporting) of FREAK(Monster) + WENT(disappeared). An alternative pronounciation to FREAK + WON’T. Defn: Visit, usually frequently, as in “one frequents one’s local”.
3 Just open a bottle (4)
AJAR : A JAR(bottle). Defn: Just, slightly open. Nice misdirection.
5 Provocative working man from Italy (12)
INFLAMMATORY : Anagram(working) of MAN FROM ITALY.
6 Give no name when describing one learning to become warlord (10)
HILDEBRAND : HIDE(Give no) + BRAND(name) around(when describing) L(learner, one learning). Defn: Warlord character of Germanic legend.
7 Soup or crude sandwiches by volunteers (6)
OXTAIL : OIL(crude oil, what comes from underground before being refined into useful products, primary route of taking carbon from under the ground and putting it into the atmosphere) around(sandwiches) X(times,multiplied by, an arithmetical operator) + TA(Territorial Army, in UK, made up of volunteers. Even though it’s now replaced by TAVR, TA is too useful to be discarded in Crosswordland). Defn: Soup made with that part of cattle.
8 Stand around behind girl (6)
LASSIE : LIE(place on, which is synonymous with stand if the object’s height is of no consequence compared to its length/width) around ASS(behind, not the animal). Defn: A little girl. Took some time to disentangle the 2 prepositions.
11 Presumably loose clothing right for this? (7,5)
SLUMBER PARTY : Cryptic defn: Also called a pyjama party, which you go to wearing the same loose clothing you wear to slumber. (Ed. note: ditto see Eileen@2)
14 Open to attack while black guards worry (10)
ASSAILABLE : AS(while,for the duration) + SABLE(black) around(guards) AIL(worry, as in “what ails you?”).
16 House master turns into likely provider of wisdom (8)
APHORIST : HO(House) + reversal(turns) of SIR(master) into APT(likely, as in “is he apt to complete this crossword?”. Defn: One who makes or uses aphorisms, those short expressions of truth and wisdom.
17 TV award’s put up with judge’s agreement (8)
SYMMETRY : Reversal(put up) of EMMYS(what the Oscars are for movies, the Emmys are for TV) + TRY(judge, as in court). Defn: Agreement,match of an object’s size, form and arrangement, on opposite sides, eg. this crossword grid.
19 Short book for Goonish teenager (6)
ECCLES : Double defn: 1st: Abbreviation(Short) of ECCLES[iastes](a book in the Bible) and 2nd: Character in the Goon Show. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Goon_Show
20 In a film about Germany (6)
AMIDST : A MIST(film) about D(International Vehicle Registration code for Deutschland,Germany). Defn: In, the locational preposition.
23 Threaten to provide meal with no starter (4)
LOUR : [f]LOUR(finely ground meal of grain, but with no starter, ie. without its first letter). Defn: Threaten, to be dark, overcast, menacing, eg. of the sky before a storm.