Posted by Pierre on July 3rd, 2011
A clearly-clued and entertaining entry-level puzzle from Everyman. I was particularly taken with some clever anagrams this week.
cd cryptic definition
dd double definition
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x] missing letter
1 British PM receiving a kiss from a domineering woman
A charade of B for British and ATTLEE with an insertion (‘receiving’) of A X for ‘a kiss’. Clement Attlee was the British PM in the post-war years after the Labour Party won a landslide victory over Churchill’s Conservatives.
6 Sensational cover capturing ancient city
An insertion (‘capturing’) of UR, CrosswordLand’s favourite ancient city, in LID.
9 Does it mean brand new slots?
This is the first of the anagrams that I really liked. It’s (DOES IT MEAN BRAND)* and the surface is very well-constructed. ‘New’ is the anagrind and since ‘slots’ is a slightly loose definition of ‘slot machines’, there’s a question mark at the end. Fine clue.
10 Staff and non-commissioned officers in a large country house
Lovely surface for a simple clue: it’s a charade of MAN for ‘staff’ in the verbal sense and OR for ‘other ranks’.
11 Runs from farm in a dell in flood
Everyman’s indicating that you should remove the R from [R]ANCH and then insert it into A VALE for ‘a dell’. It’s relying on the non-snowy definition of ‘avalanche’, as in a phrase like ‘an avalanche of criticism’.
12 Cause for hope in plight
A dd, and a very clever one, imho. This was my last one in, and I knew it had to be PROMISE, but it took me a while to see why. One definition is obviously ’cause for hope’; but the other relies on the archaic meaning of ‘plight’, as heard in church wedding ceremonies. ‘And thereto I plight thee my troth.’ Translation: ‘And so I promise you my fidelity’. One in three marriages in the UK ends in divorce, but hey ho, we all meant it at the time …
13 Provokes former partner with quotes
A charade of EX and CITES.
15 Turning device that could make you chatter
17 Artist getting help, a struggling Italian painter
A charade of RA for artist and (HELP A)* ‘Struggling’ is the anagrind for the second part of the answer. The painter was a contemporary of Michaelangelo and Da Vinci.
18 Former service provider?
Smiley clue, linking the old with the new. Most of today’s youth would immediately think ISP, but of course in the olden days, the press gang were the group of army or navy recruiters who would get you drunk and then sign you up for duty in the services with a promise of the King’s Shilling. A cd.
20 Drink drop of kirsch at party back in Virginia
An insertion of K for first letter of kirsch and DO for party (all reversed, ‘back’) in VA for Virginia state.
22 Crafty minor orders mask to bring about artful deception
SMOKE AND MIRRORS
Another fine anagram. I was off into Oliver Twist and Artful Dodger territory for a while, but it’s (MINOR ORDERS MASK)* and ‘crafty’ is the anagrind.
23 In the process of looting, with place being abandoned
It’s [PL]UNDER, and ‘in the process of’ as in ‘in the process of construction’/’under construction’.
24 Those who just missed out on the gold rush?
Not referring to the ’49ers but to a race or other competition where you’re competing for the gold medal. A cd.
1 Bishop fell over brush
A charade of B for bishop and a reversal (‘over’) of MOOR for ‘fell’.
2 He had tender foot treated in bus terminus?
THE END OF THE ROAD
Another clever anagram. It’s (HE HAD TENDER FOOT)* ‘Treated’ is the anagrind.
3 Praise Garland, reportedly, and a broadcasting executive
A homophone clue, indicated by ‘reportedly’, of ‘laud wreath’. LORD REITH was the founder and first Director General of the BBC, and is remembered each year through the Reith Lectures.
4 Mean to declare silver and lead in earrings
Plenty of misdirection here, with both ‘mean’ and ‘lead’ changing their meanings from the surface reading. The definition is ‘mean’ and then it’s AVER, AG for ‘silver’ and E for the ‘lead’ letter in earrings.
5 Welcome hug
6 Girl in hotel in Damascus
Hidden in hoteL IN DAmascus.
7 Rule in hearing on domestic pets, then come down hard
RAIN CATS AND DOGS
A charade of RAIN for a homophone (‘hearing’) of ‘reign’ and CATS AND DOGS. This phrase is one of the mysteries of the English language, with a number of theories of where it came from, none of them conclusive. You can ask Mrs Google if you like, but I’m not convinced by the most common explanation, which is that cats and dogs used to live under thatched roofs and would be washed down to the floor when it rained heavily. The French have a much better expression: ‘Il pleut comme les vaches qui pissent‘, ‘It’s raining like cows pissing’, which you don’t need much imagination to interpret.
8 Natural spread of seed is spread out on lawn, initially
A charade of (IS SPREAD) and L for the first letter of lawn.
12 Together, eccentric pair get through university
A charade of (PAIR)* PASS and U. ‘With equal speed; side by side; simultaneously and equally’ (SOED). If you’re interested, it comes from the Latin for ‘with equal step’. And yes, I only know this from crosswords.
14 Always seen with daughter wearing cloak in republic
The archipelago in the Atlantic is an insertion (‘wearing’) of EVER and D for ‘daughter’ in CAPE.
16 Rough terrain for a coach
Another cleverly hidden anagram. It’s (TERRAIN)* and the anagrind is ‘rough’.
17 Most of army unit’s recommended diet
19 Weapon attracting special attention
A charade of SP for ‘special’ and EAR for ‘attention’.
21 Storyteller can make adult sit up
He of the fables fame is a charade of A for ‘adult’ and ESOP for ‘pose’ or ‘sit’ reversed. ‘Up’ is the reversal indicator since this is a down clue.
I enjoyed solving and blogging this one. Thank you to Everyman.