Posted by beermagnet on May 21st, 2011
First session: 8 answers in 15 mins all below the half-way line.
Then I slowed down a bit ( <- understatement alert)
This was tough. Tough as any Bannsiders I’ve tackled. But enjoyable tough rather than hair pulling tough.
There are still a few aspects to wordplay that need further explanation below.
|1||A STIFF UPPER LIP|| Hiker by border following dog with no lead, one kept by Briton? (1,5,5,3)
[m]ASTIFF (dog with no lead) UPPER (hiker – as in raising something) LIP (border) The clue the provided the breakthrough in the top half and most of the puzzle, when I eventually got it – purely from definition and letter count.
|9||BUSMAN’S HOLIDAY|| His damn lousy break with BA? (7,7)
(HIS DAMN LOUSY + BA)* AInd: Break. Beautiful &Lit anagram clue. I tried to make Britsh something fit for a while of course.
|10||SPOT CHECKS|| Vets unexpectedly having designs on pet dog? (4,6)
Cryptic Def. Spot being the archetypal name for a dog as per this cartoon
|12||ECHO|| Remember to contain this sound effect between mikes (4)
? Is this a reference to feedback
|13||WINIFRED|| Girl to make socialism a condition of electoral success? (8)
WIN IF RED (socialism a condition of electoral success – if only! Not in deepest bluest Surrey here. Last May 5th I kept up my unbroken record of always voting for the losing side)
|15||ROTARY|| Race in football strip across pitch, going round and round (6)
TAR (pitch) inside ROY (Race in football strip) Roy Race is Roy of the Rovers
|17||STATUA|| Small cheers repeatedly ringing for everyone in old cast (6)
S[mall] TA TA (cheers – as in goodbye, my usual sign-off of choice as it happens) around U (for everyone – as in Certificate U)
|18||LITERACY|| Ability to absorb stuff that’s low-calorie and packed with spice? (8)
LITE (stuff that’s low calorie) RACY (packed with spice) Def.: Ability to absorb – ideas etc.
|19||ACER|| Tree a banker cut down (4)
A CER[t] (a banker – certain to win)
|21||MATCHMAKER|| Stick producer and Union organiser in one (10)
Explicit Double Def. – marriage union
|23||PIG-IN-THE-MIDDLE|| Catching game to go with ham sandwich? (3-2-3-6)
Double Def. one of them Cryptic. An earlier answer for me from the letter count mainly
|25||BAY CITY ROLLERS|| Dancing erotically, Ruby’s removing posh tartan band (3,4,7)
(EROTICALLY RUBY’S – U)* AInd: Dancing. First answer entered from “tartan band” and letter count – I wasn’t surprised to read through all across clues before finding something solveable on first sight. I the interests of sanity I will not provide a link to any Rollers output.
|2||SE-BAPTIST|| Lord of the Rings (abridged) – a small part first – one immerses oneself (2-7)
SEB ( Lord of the Rings abridged – Ref. Lord Sebastian Coe) A PT (A small part) IST (First – i.e. 1st) Unsurprisingly this required checking in Chambers but there it is on pg 1369: A person who baptises himself. Also unsurprisingly it was the last that I put in.
|3||INSET|| Clubs no longer involved in cricket perhaps not getting the bigger picture (5)
I’m sure I understood this one when I solved it – the Def refers to a small picture. Ah yes it’s INSE[c]T Cricket is the insect C is Clubs as in suit of cards.
|4||FEATHER PALM|| Feature of Oasis or Iron Maiden LP – a Heart composition (7,4)
FE (iron) then (M[aiden] A HEART LP)* AInd: composition. I had PALM early on but it took a while to tease out which bits of the rest of the clue to anagram to find a type of palm. There are a few palms in local gardens near my home that lasted for years up until last winter’s cold snap – now all stone dead, like my little mimosa.
|5||POSTCODE LOTTERY|| Which implies WCs in London might be better for one’s health? (8,7)
Cryptic Def. The WCs mislead me to lavatorial musings for ages and even when Lottery looked a likely 2nd word the significance of WC as a postcode did not easily spark
|6||ECO|| Writer keen on recycling old material? (3)
Double Def. Ref. Umberto Eco, and re-use and recycling being one of the central tenets of being green, i.e. ecological living. I had ENO in there at first, thinking it was a hidden (in keEN On) with material as the hidden indicator, referring to Brian Eno, but was unhappy as he would be described as a musician/composer/artist rather than a (song-)writer. So I gave it a rethink (I had plenty of time before getting the rest)
|7||LEICESTER|| Character accepting totals for the first time arrives at fifteen (9)
No. I can’t understand this clue. Given L-I-E-T-R nothing else but Leicester fits. Is it a Shakespeare reference that I can’t winkle out? Leicester always reminds me of “Who croaked Leicester?”
|8||PEACH|| Grass that’s sort of green covering chestnut (5)
PEA (sort of green) CH[est] (split chestnut so “chest nut” means the nut (head) of chest – Ooow!). Def: Grass. Snitch. Reminds of Jeremy Hardy describing someone peaching to the rozzers in a 50’s RP accent
|11||STRETCH LIMO|| Extended vehicle tax and put up fuel, bringing in millions (7,4)
STRETCH (Tax) M[illions] inside OIL<
|14||INTERCITY|| The old express it in empty rhetoric, yet originally (9)
(IT IN R[hetori]C YET)* AInd: originally.
|16||RACKETEER|| One maybe offering protection from noise at any time, killing volume (9)
RACKET (noise) E[v]ER
|20||CLIMB|| Scale derived from Celsius, stepping lower and lower, but not ending in zero (5)
|22||ABDUL|| Muscle European out of battle that’s often in the name of Islam (5)
AB (Muscle) DU[e]L
|24||TUI|| Bird with wings clipped ate bug and hid (3)
[a]T[e] [b]U[g] [h]I[d] Clip the wings of these words! Here’s the bird