Posted by scchua on July 28th, 2011
This is my debut Guardian Cryptic. Hence, this preamble to a preamble, in case you’re wondering why the detailedness… I’m going on the basis that the 15sq’d motto means “… and never knowingly underexplained”. Furthermore, I can’t be sure where someone might have a blind spot (I’m sure some of my own blind spots will get in the way of the blog). Aside from the serious business of explaining, I also try to lighten it a bit, that is, in addition to the entertainment and education provided by the setter. And that’s why. Of course, all this (I hasten to add that it’s not unique in 15sq’d) is provided I have the time on the day….Which happily today I have, thanks to Pasquale with this enjoyable offering which was not too difficult, especially after having got the long ones at 5,23,11,19 and 8. (Definitions are underlined in the clues.)
1 People bothered about language in Mass — those devoted to the Virgin (11)
GRAMMARIANS : GRAM(measure of mass in the metric system) MARIANS(persons devoted to the Virgin Mary, mother of Christ).
Defn: Alas, such people who bother about the correct usage of language and its components, are becoming fewer, and those who do, are being unheeded more and more.
9 Worker is about to meet Her Maj, becoming more nervy (7)
ANTSIER : ANT(a worker in an ant colony) + reversal(about) of IS + ER(Her Majesty, Elizabeth Regina)
Defn: A comparative for “antsy”, from “ants in your pants”, which would definitely make you agitated and nervous or nervy. Nice surface.
10 Party men wanting dull, submissive type (7)
DOORMAT : DO(a function,bash,party) OR(other ranks,men in the military) +(wanting) MAT(matte,matt,with a dull surface, one of the options for eg. printed photos)
Defn: A person who passively accepts,submits to humiliation and abuse, like how a doormat is literally treated
11 See 5
12 Wobbly toilet seat half falling off (5)
LOOSE : LOO(toilet) SE(seat with 2nd half of the word, “at”, deleted,falling off). Another nice surface.
13 Maverick has lost his heart in a dance (4)
REEL : REEL(“rebel”,maverick,non-conformist without,lost “b”, middle letter,heart).
14 One decants mucky liquid (10)
CONDENSATE : Anagram(mucky) of ONE DECANTS
Defn: The liquid that forms when a hot vapour is sufficiently cooled down.
16 Try to engage with lunatic without saying much (10)
TACITURNLY : Anagram(to engage with) of [TRY + LUNATIC].
19 See 5
21 Yield of grass around about farm cut by 75% (5)
DEFER : Reversal(around) of REED(tall thin grass) round(about) F(farm with 75%,3 out of 4 letters deleted,cut).
22 Angry female’s wrath in lively exchange (9)
CROSSFIRE : CROSS(angry) F(female) IRE(wrath)
Defn: In addition to material fighting with bullets, and any sort of missiles, could also be verbal exchange. Just don’t get caught in it, that’s all.
24 Conceited type is to get teased (7)
EGOTIST : Anagram(teased) of IS TO GET.
25 Issue not raised naturally (7)
ADOPTEE : Cryptic defn. The issue,offspring that is not raised by its natural parents, but by the adopters. Famous example is the baby cuckoo, albeit the (smaller in size) foster parents have been deceived.
26 Setters we can deal with? (3,8)
DOG HANDLERS : Cryptic defn. The “we” who can deal with,handle canine setters, as opposed to the “we” solvers who can handle crossword setters.
1 Walk after a hearty breakfast? (2,2,3,8)
GO TO THE SCAFFOLD : Cryptic defn. For those who are to be executed at the scaffold, usually hanged, and usually in the early morning, the walk after the traditional last meal, which would be a hearty (or not) breakfast.
2 Girl seen in college put into a story (5)
ALICE : C(college) in(put into) A LIE(story,tale,fabrication).
3 Dance company following society’s conventions (7)
MORESCO : CO(company) after(following) MORES(society’s conventions,norms)
Defn: Another word for Morris dancing, derived from “Moorish” dance. The term originated from when the Spaniards were celebrating the expulsion of the Moors from Spain.
“Perhaps we need more multi-culturalism.”
4 Actor‘s car in colour Henry wouldn’t allow! (7)
REDFORD : RED(colour) + FORD(the mass-produced Model T Ford car, of which Henry Ford, industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company, famously said, “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black”). My COD, if only because it led me on a wild-goose chase after English Henry’s, especially kings and the War of the Roses (red against white). Got it after starting the blog.
Defn: Robert, actor, and latterly movie director and producer.
5,23,11,19 Saw why Keith couldn’t pick up Kate? (1,7,5,7,2,4)
A ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS : A ROLLING STONE(Keith Richards, a member of the rock group Rolling Stones) GATHERS NO(couldn’t pick up) MOSS(Kate, British model)
Defn: The proverb
6 What could make one moan so — staginess in old play (6,9)
SAMSON AGONISTES : Anagram(what could make one) of MOAN SO STAGINESS
Defn: Drama by John Milton about the Biblical character who owed his strength to his hair, and was betrayed by Delilah. “Samson” has come to personify a person of great strength, and “Delilah” a seductive treacherous woman.
7 Car registration set up for 5 23 (6)
JAGGER : JAG(short for Jaguar, an iconic British make of car) + reversal(set up, in a down clue) of REG(short for registration)
Defn: Mick, another member of the Rolling Stones.
8 Goddess sinking into bath energetically (6)
ATHENE : Hidden(sinking into) in bATH ENErgetically
Defn: Ancient Greed goddess of wisdom, fertility, the useful arts, and prudent warfare (a strange combination of attibutes?).
15 19′s uni? (8)
STIRLING : Double defn: 1st: STIRLING(Sir 19,Moss, a pioneering English racing car driver, who competed between 1948 and 1962) and 2nd: The University in Scotland.
16 Bound to carry identification that’s in good order (6)
TIDIED : TIED(bound) around(carry) ID(short for identification)
17 Cheese in bed girl’s eaten (7)
RICOTTA : RITA(name of a girl) around(eaten) COT(bed, especially for infants and young children).
18 Writer turning up to probe fat cat (7)
LEOPARD : Reversal(turning up, in a down clue) of POE(Edgar Allan, American Gothic writer) in(to probe) LARD(rendered fat, especially from pork…or it could be excess fat on a person’s body, with related rude names for the person).
20 Wife tucks into horse, fricasséed (6)
STEWED : W(wife) in(tucks into) STEED(horse).
23 See 5