Posted by Eileen on June 18th, 2011
An entertaining puzzle from Pasquale, in which we were told that six solutions were undefined in their clues, with five lying within the bounds of the sixth.
I think non-UK residents might have had problems with this Shropshire theme [and this UK resident had not heard of one of the answers] but, as we would expect from Mr Manley, the cluing throughout was impeccable and these locations are all worth a visit, even if it’s only a virtual one. Anyway, he always aims to extend our experience, in one way or another.
There is a good variety of clues in this puzzle, with the usual fine surfaces, several of which raised a smile. Thank you for the puzzle, Pasquale: I enjoyed it – and the nice tour of Shropshire, which I don’t know as well as I should like.
[Looking forward to seeing some of you next Saturday in Birmingham. ]
1 Written passages bringing doctrine into middle of lesson (7)
SCREEDS: CREED [doctrine] in [le]SS[on]: a nice change from ‘on board’
5,24 A number of chessmen (7,6)
BISHOPS CASTLE: at least three chessmen here, if you don’t have an apostrophe: the town’s own website seems to be in two minds about that!
10,29 Silly clown, he gets into mess (4,7)
MUCH WENLOCK: anagram of CLOWN HE in MUCK [mess]: another Shropshire town
11 Small mammals hide in the ground (10)
SHREWSBURY : SHREWS [small mammals] + BURY [hide in the ground]: this was my first theme answer and, as it’s the county town, it led immediately to 26ac.
12 Ring turning out vulgar and cheap (6)
LUDLOW: LOUD [vulgar] minus O [ring] + LOW [cheap]: it’s really ‘vulgar turning out ring’ or ‘ring turning out of vulgar’ but I think it just about works. [John Betjeman called Ludlow 'the most perfect town in England'.]
13 Mammal from Simon’s territory, so we’ve heard (8)
SIRENIAN: sounds like CYRENEAN: Simon of Cyrene, according to the Synoptic Gospels, was forced to carry Christ’s cross.
Sirenians are also known as sea cows and, according to Wikipedia, ‘are also referred to by the common name sirens, deriving from the sirens of Greek mythology.This comes from a legend about their discovery, involving lonely sailors mistaking them for mermaids’.
14 Yankees in muddle following economist (9)
KEYNESIAN: anagram of YANKEES IN: following economist John Maynard Keynes
16 Prophet returning to power (5)
PREES: reversal of SEER [prophet] + P[ower]: the one location I hadn’t heard of [not really surprising, since it's a village, with a population of just 2688!] but the wordplay is crystal clear.
17 Street containing little that’s appealing (5)
SWEET: WEE [little] in ST[reet]
19 What ’arbour did for female sailor, being more senior (9)
ELDERSHIP: [h]ELD [h]ER SHIP: this made me laugh but I resisted entering it for a moment or two, as I only knew the ‘church office’ meaning of this word.
23 English institute attracting a German physicist (8)
EINSTEIN: E[nglish] INST[itute] EIN [German 'a']
26 Retail outlets to rent across eg Reading? (10)
SHROPSHIRE: R ['Reading for example' - one of the 'three Rs'] in SHOPS [retail outlets] + HIRE [rent]: the other five theme answers lie within this county’s boundaries.
27 A source of inspiration (4)
PUMP: cryptic definition
28 Upper-class Bond actress not the first to strip (7)
UNDRESS: U [upper class] + [a]NDRESS: perhaps not quite &lit! Ursula Andress – Bond girl Honey Ryder in ‘Dr No’ : this is the second outing for this photograph on this site this year!
2 Designer’s work parish priest goes around in? The opposite! (7)
COUTURE: CURÉ [parish priest - in France] round OUT [opposite of 'in']
3 Locate the lady — cherchez la femme! (5)
ETHEL: hidden in locatE THE Lady
4 Turns one’s back on certain clues? Is stuck (7)
DISOWNS: IS [stuck] in DOWNS [certain clues]
6 Where hospital visitors may be private? (6)
INWARD: IN WARD: why just the visitors, I wonder?
7 Dances getting a prohibition in hard times (9)
HABANERAS: A BAN [a prohibition] in H[ard] ERAS [times]:
8 Replace damaged fabric (7)
PERCALE: anagram of REPLACE
9 Bodily chemical for male comin’ down to earth (13)
PROSTAGLANDIN: PRO [for] STAG [male] LANDIN’ [comin' down to earth]
15 Physicist is deferential, tedious fellow to listen to (5,4)
NEILS BOHR: sounds like ‘kneels’ [is deferential] ‘bore’ [tedious fellow]: I’m ashamed to say I only knew this physicist from a crossword, also by Mr Manley, with his Bradman cap on – but at least I remembered him! Edit: but then, by a slip of the finger, spelt his name [NIELS] wrong here, though not, of course, in the grid – thanks, Pasquale!
18 Access said to be such a necessity before a fight (5-2)
WEIGH-IN: sounds like ‘way in’ [access]: I’m not sure why we need ‘such’?
20 Discharge direct from island (7)
EXCRETE: EX [direct from] CRETE [island]
21 Priest not totally in charge is at forefront of religion (7)
ISLAMIC: LAM[a] [priest not totally] IC [in charge] with IS at the forefront
22 Count blames soldiers doing a bunk (6)
CENSUS: Censures [rebukes] minus RE [soldiers]
25 Bit of a bloomer could be construed as “lapse” (5)
SEPAL: anagram of LAPSE