Posted by Eileen on June 1st, 2011
I was delighted to see Crucible’s name on this puzzle and I was not disappointed. His crosswords often have a theme and here we have a nice cheerful one, with no obscurities, I think, apart from one clue which could evince a protest of ‘parochialism’. There are some excellent clues, with characteristic story-telling surfaces and lots to amuse and entertain. Many thanks, Crucible, for a very pleasant start to the day.
[Many of the answers* can be preceded or followed by the word 'Spring', or have some reference to it. I may have missed some!]
5 *SEASON: SEA [main] SON [offspring]; a great clue to start us off and set the scene
6 *SOURCE: anagram of COURSE
9 HUMBLE: double definition: Kate, presenter of the very popular SPRINGWATCH programme which is 8dn with its parts exchanged
10 ASSIGNED: anagram of DIAGNOSES minus O [none] – or ‘none the less': an excellent clue!
11 *TIDE: reversal of EDIT, which is what sub[editor]s do
12 ARCHIMEDES: anagram of SCREAMED and H[is] I[ntuition]: and we all know that what he screamed was .’Eureka!’ – a hilarious &lit.
13 ASSESSMENTS: ASSETS around [housing] SS [ship] and MEN [crew]
18 UNILATERAL: UNI [college] + ATE [worried] RA [artist] in LL [lecturers]
21 *ROLL: hidden in patROL Leader
22 COQ AU VIN: anagram [cook] of EQUIVOCATING minus anagram [messy] of GITE
23 SPIRAL: anagram of RAILS around P [post]. I’ve only met P as an abbreviation for ‘post’ in P.O, G.P.O. or p.m. but Collins gives it for ‘after’. This is another great &lit.
24 SCENTS: sounds [a bit] like SENSE
25 *BOARDS: double definition
1 *WARBLERS: anagram [unseemly - nice!] of BRAWL + ERS [Queens]
2 BODEGA: odd characters of B. OdDiE + GA[ve] – a favourite crossword word. Bill Oddie also used to present ‘Springwatch’.
3 SOLSTICE: cryptic [?] definition
4 *PRAGUE: PR [Public Relations - 'publicity'] + AGUE [fever]
5 STUDIO: anagram [broadcast] of OUTSID[e] [cut] – another excellent clue
7 ELEVEN: XI [middle letters of Mexico]
8 *WATCHSPRING: WATCH [guard] + SPRING [jump]; the definition is 23 ['spiral']
14 ESTIVATE: IV [four] in E[ast] STATE [Vermont, say]: the less well known equivalent of ‘hibernate’, which I would spell ‘aestivate’, but this, appropriately, is the usual American spelling.
15 TERTIARY: double definition: ‘rock group’ [!] belonging to the geological time, system of rocks, or sedimentary deposits of the first period of the Cenozoic Era
16 *ONIONS; cryptic definition: I didn’t know the origin of the phrase ‘to know one’s onions but there are some suggestions here
17 *CLEANS: C[ontact] + A [one] in LENS
19 *LOADED: anagram of EL DORADO minus OR [gold]
20 LESSON: LESS ON