Posted by Eileen on May 26th, 2011
Philistine hasn’t yet got a profile on the Guardian website, let alone made it to Michael Curl’s ‘Who’s Who’, so I think we can take it that s/he is a new setter. This was somewhat disconcerting, especially on a Thursday, when we expect something rather challenging, but it turned out to be plain sailing. In fact, this would make an admirable Quiptic puzzle: as well as an abundance of anagrams, there is at least one example of just about every clue type imaginable [and some old favourites] with some wit thrown in at 12, 23 and 26ac and 9dn. A good puzzle for those still cutting their teeth on cryptics.
1 UMBRIAN: [c]UMBRIAN
5 NERVOUS: anagram of OR VENUS: I was at first looking for a verb meaning ‘mars’, thinking that ‘getting excited’ was the anagram indicator.
10 EYED: homophone of !’d
11 MAINSTREAM: MA [degree] + anagram of MERITS AN
12 LABOUR: double / cryptic definition, ‘term’ being ‘the normal duration of a pregnancy, or its completion’: I liked this one very much – as a clue! – and I don’t remember seeing it before, though it seems so obvious, really.
13 EYE CANDY: CAN [preserve] in EYED [solution to 10ac] + Y[our]
14 PRESCRIBE: anagram of BEER and CRISP
16 GIDDY: GIDD[a]Y: I think I’d only seen this written as ‘G’ day’ before.
17 MANIC: anagram of CINEMA minus E[nergy]
19 VEHEMENCE: HE-MEN [macho types] replacing the two middle letters of VE[ni]CE
23 PATIENTS: TIE [knot] in PANTS [knickers]: nice misleading definition
24 OUTING: double definition
26 GO COMMANDO: GO [try] COMMANDO [soldier]: a nice surface!
27 LOOT: reversal of TOOL – thankfully unambiguous this time
28 FERTILE: anagram of LET FIRE
29 GYPSIES: anagram of YES PIGS
2 MAYFAIR: MAY [hawthorn] + FAIR [just]
3 RADIO: AD [plug] in RIO [port]
4 ADMIRER: anagram of MARRIED
6 EASTER: hidden in camE AS TERm – another end-of-term celebration!
7 VERSATILE: anagram of RELATIVES
8 UNAIDED: I [one] in anagram of UNDEAD
9 MIXED BLESSING: reverse anagram of GLIBNESS: I’ve seen this more than once but it still raised a smile and it’s a nice clue for those who haven’t met it before.
15 SPIT IT OUT: double definition
18 ABALONE: AB [sailor] + ALONE [on his tod]: I have never seen this on a fish stall but I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen it in a crossword.
20 ECONOMY: anagram of MONEY and CO
21 CONDONE: CON [swindle] + DONE [swindled]
22 ANIMAL: reversal of LAMINA [plate]: another familiar clue
25 TALKS: initial letters of Thus A Loving Kiss Signifies