Posted by Pete Maclean on June 2nd, 2011
Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of May 21
I have the pleasure and honour of revealing that Gozo constructed this puzzle to mark his daughter’s wedding which took place the same day the crossword was published. I did not learn about this until after I had solved the puzzle. I had sensed that there was something special about it but could not guess what; neither did I happen to notice that the first letters of the clues spell out, “LOVE TO HELEN AND JOE ON THEIR GREAT DAY”.
Many of the answers have a significance for the occasion. As Tom Johnson (Gozo) told me:
On May 21st Helen Johnson and Joe BRIDAL (15A) get married at MARYLEBONE (6D) Registry Office: PENNY (23D) Jameson is the chief bridesmaid.
Joe proposed to Helen by the SERVALS (11A) in London Zoo. Helen worked for PROSPECT (19D) magazine before moving to the Bauer offices on OVAL (3D) Road in Camden to work on THAT’S LIFE (2D) magazine, which is where she met Joe who was already working on TAKE A BREAK (14D) magazine. Helen and Joe live in PRIMROSE (4A) HILL (27D) and appeared on the BBC2 quiz POINTLESS (9D-26A) last October and won! Joe is one of country’s leading SCRABBLE (18D) players. ALBEIT (31A) is a family joke from Helen’s university days.
I add my congratulations to all concerned for both the wedding and the most apposite puzzle.
1. BATHOS – BATH (spa) + SO (so) reversed
4. PRIMROSE – anagram of [e]MPERORS + I (one)
10. ARAPAHO – OH (very surprising) + A (a) + PARA (soldier) all backwards
11. SERVALS – ER (Queen) in SLAVS (Eastern Europeans) backwards
12. TEST – double definition
13. ON THE LOOSE – ON THE LOO (having a pee) + SE (Home Counties — i.e. SouthEast)
15. BRIDAL – homophone (“bridle”)
16. OUTBACK – OUT (erroneous) + BACK (support)
20. REBECCA – REBEC (instrument) + CA (accountant)
21. UNFAIR – [f]UNFAIR (eliminating touch of flair from sideshow event)
24. CELEBRATED – anagram of REBEL ACTED
28. PROVERB – ROVER (nomad) in PB (lead)
29. NOISOME – OM (intonation) in NOISE (sound)
30. SHACKLES – HACK (journalist) in anagram of LESS (26)
31. ALBEIT – anagram of I (one) TABLE
1. BRAN-TUBS – anagram of SUBURBAN with T[ank] replacing U (posh)
2. THATS LIFE – anagram of LATE SHIFT. I have heard of Esther Rantzen but had to search to find the name of her program.
3. OVAL – O (nothing) + LAV (John) backwards
5. RUSH HOUR – cryptic definition
6. MARYLEBONE – MARY (girl) + anagram of NOBLE + E (east)
7. OTAGO – [l]O[s]T[b]A[r]G[e]O[n]. One of my favourite parts of NZ by the way, around Dunedin.
8. EASTER – EAST E(cardinal points) + R (rector)
9,26. POINTLESS – double definition
14. TAKE A BREAK – anagram of A BAKER in TEAK (wood)
17. CHAPERONE – P (page) in anagram of REACH + ONE (individual)
18. SCRABBLE – anagram of CELEBS BAR with E[arly] removed
19. PROSPECT – anagram of COPPERS and T (time)
22. SCOPES – COPE (vestment) in SS (on board). A cope is a hooded vestment worn by priests for certain ceremonies.
23. PENNY – double definition
25. LOOFA – A (a) + FOOL (idiot) all backwards
27. HILL – hidden word