Posted by beermagnet on July 30th, 2011
I started off at a canter with this one from the bottom right, but slowed to a stop after 30 mins with just over half in place.
A re-start saw 1A fall providing useful first letters for other missing lights. Then the struggle to fill in and understand those final 4 or 5. In fact I didn’t understand many of them until preparing this blog though the answers are pretty solid from the definitions.
So there are some loose ends to polish off below.
|1||PROTOZOA|| Very simple types concocted a poor argument ultimately carrying little weight (8)
OZ (little weight) inside (POOR [argumen]T)* AInd: concocted. Def: Very simple types
|6||SHRIKE|| Bird’s cry when migrating East (6)
SHRIEK with the E (East) migrated a position Def: Bird
|9||BEAR IN MIND|| Remember what A A Milne had for his most famous creation? (4,2,4)
Double Def with one a cute CD that’s so apt I wonder if I’ve seen it before
|10||MAUL|| Married man’s not the first to discover what hooker might do (4)
M[arried], [p]AUL (man, not the first) Def: what hooker might do. That’s hooker in the Rugby playing sense you understand. This ain’t Private Eye y’know. A Maul is a rugby term – it’s one of those makeshift scrums that form which are most exciting to watch to see who actually gets the ball. There are, of course, very strict rules about what players can do in a maul – if the ref can see – otherwise the usual kicking, thumping and biting can proceed as usual I understand.
|11||WHEELER-DEALER|| Penniless bum we hear repelled shrewd businessman (7-6)
(WE HEAR REPELLED – P)* AInd: shrewd. Def: businessman. I didn’t nail down this wordplay till reviewing the blog before publishing. Though I was sure of the answer from the def, I thought it was either some kind of homophone (“we hear”) or reversal (“repelled”) or CD (visions of a down-and-out wheeling a supermarket trolley). That Anagram indicator, shrewd, looked like part of the def.
<edit> shrewd is indeed part of the def. - bum is the Anagrind. Ta. caretman
|13||RAVEL|| He scored runs, with Australian at cover dropping one (5)
R[uns] A[ustralian] VE[i]L (Cover dropping one) Def: he scored, indicating a composer.
I spent a long time trying to think of an Aussie to fit AVEL. Who could it refer to? A cricketer? Rod Laver?
|14||IN FULL CRY|| Criminal decapitated leaders of local crime rings hot on the trail (2,4,3)
[s]INFUL (Criminal, decapitated) L[ocal] C[rime] R[ings] Y[ards]
|17||NOTEBOOKS|| Bound tomes are _______ created by computers for computers (9)
Double Def: NOT E-BOOKS are “Bound tomes”; NOTEBOOKS are computers.
(I loved “not e-books”)
|18||EBONY|| Black hole’s final radius possibly endlessly variable (5)
[hol]E (hole’s final), BON[e] (radius possibly endlessly), Y (variable). Def: Black
|20||PRONOUNCEABLE|| Perhaps she’s a celeb on the rocks? That can be said (13)
PRONOUN (perhaps she) (A CELEB)* AInd: on the rocks.
|23||BURR||Murmur made by small stream, not quite river (4)
BUR[n] (small stream, not quite) R[iver] Def: Murmur. This was the last I wrote in. I couldn’t decide between PURR and BURR, and thought it might be something else, till I saw that wordplay.
| Old Unionist died after one stab with blade this could help contact him (5,5)
O[ld] U[noinist], then D[ied] after I JAB (one stab) OAR (blade). This was the first clue I read and the first I wrote in. My eye was caught by the capitalisation of Old Unionist in the clue and the (5,5) lettercount and I think I had the answer before finishing reading the clue. When that happens solving can only go downhill.
|25||CENSUS||Count abandoned countess, losing zero time (6)
(COUNTESS – O – T)* AInd: abandoned
|26||GRAY’S INN|| Its members can enter bar and chap’s popped in to drink before noon (5,3)
Ray’s (chap’s) inside GIN (drink), then N[oon]. Def: Its members can enter bar. Gray’s Inn is one of the four Inns of Court (professional associations for barristers and judges) in London. As I work within spitting distance of Gray’s Inn I can vouch for the fact that they do ‘pop in to drink’ at my lunchtime retreat occasionally before noon. Strange hours these lawyer types work – a bit like us computer types (that’s my excuse).
|2||REEF|| Bank charge is overturned after resistance (4)
FEE< (charge overturned) after R[esistance]
|3||TORCHIERE|| Plant mostly sheltered by tree struggling to get light (9)
ORCHI[d] (plant mostly) inside (sheltered by) TREE* AInd: struggling. Def: light
|4||ZINGER|| Scoundrel’s put out by Pope Benedict making lively quip (6)
RAT (scoundrel) removed from RATZINGER (Pope Benedict) Def: a lively quip.
I can’t really explain why, but this little clue gave me much pleasure and for that I bestow my Clue of the Puzz award.
|5||ALIVE AND KICKING|| Full of vigour, a knave I’d flogged’s thrashing around (5,3,7)
A, then (KNAVE I’D)* AInd: flogged. inside LICKING (thrashing)
|6||SIDE DRUM|| A couple of chaps need strong drink in the kitchen (4,4)
SID and ED (a couple of chaps) RUM (strong drink) Def: it’s in the kitchen. THe percussion section of th orchestra is colloquially known as the “kitchen”. Memorably evocative – especially the kettledrums.
|7||RUMBA|| Weird sailors are ejected from barn dance (5)
RUM (weird) BA[rn] the Sailors ejected from barn are the RN
|8||KRUGERRAND|| It could be cashed to pay for champagne on trip? (10)
KRUG (champagne) ERRAND (trip) I prefer the widow Cliquot myself
|12||BATON ROUGE|| Stay in hotel away from violent quarter in state capital (5,5)
BAT ON (stay in, in cricket terms) ROUG[h] (H for Hotel removed from violent) E (quarter – East). Def: state capital. State of Louisiana. Another of many in this puzzle where the definition + letter count gave the answer but the wordplay had to be teased out.
|15||LIBELLOUS|| Spreading lies or bull without right could be this (9)
(LIES O|R BULL – R)* AInd: spreading. &Lit: Definition is the whole self-referential clue.
|16||POPULOUS|| Excited about taking part in game with America be packed (8)
UP< (excited, about) inside (taking part in) POLO (game), US (America)
|19||HAVANA|| City that’s the Big Smoke? (6)
|21||NORNS|| Sisters whose origin is in old Scandinavian, largely (5)
N (origin – i.e. the first letter of the answer) inside NORS[e] (old Scandinavian, largely). How’s that for a self-referential clue. We’ve seen these weird sisters in other puzzles else I wouldn’t have heard of them.
|22||GRIN|| Smile when work is rarely presented preposterously (4)
RING* AInd: preposterously. Def: Smile. Is that all it is? Is the rest of the clue noise? I can’t help thinking there’s more to this clue than that parsing explains. I’m trying to convince myself that “presented preposterously” can imply the last letter G (the “post” letter) of RING is put at the front (“pre”). That’s what I thought when I solved it but I’m failing to convince myself that’s how it works now I’m writing the blog.
<edit> jmac & ChrisP point out that I should have checked Chambers. preposterously can mean last to first, rarely – see comments