Posted by Pierre on August 1st, 2011
A wealth of wit, a soupçon of smut, and a cracking cruciverbal Monday morning. Mr Halpern’s moseyed into town.
After the trauma of finding that I had to blog Anax a few weeks ago, I was a bit apprehensive when I saw Punk’s name on today’s crossword, because he can do toughies too. But it turned out to be a reasonably straightforward and very pleasing puzzle, with only a few of the final solutions holding me up. I’ll 22ac and get on with the explanations.
cd cryptic definition
dd double definition
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x] missing letter
8 Bullet finally piercing beast, one dead
An insertion of T for the last letter of ‘bullet’ in APE for ‘beast’, followed by ACE for ‘one’.
9 Pipe smoker, English, stuffing pet
I was chuffed to get this one from the wordplay, having never come across the term before. The definition is ‘an American Indian tobacco pipe, smoked as a sign of peace’; it’s LUM plus E for English in CAT. LUM is a Northern English/Scottish word for ‘chimney’, apparently coming ultimately from the Latin ‘lumen’ for ‘light’, in the sense of light coming down your chimney, I suppose. There’s a Scottish expression ‘Lang may yer lum reek’, ‘Long may your chimney smoke’, which is used to wish someone long life and happiness.
11 Cucumbers may be experiencing a problem
IN A PICKLE
12 Idiot’s display behind catching ringleader
Brilliant …. lmao, as young people would text. It’s MOON for ‘display behind’ with the inclusion of R for ‘ringleader’. Good job I don’t do pictures in my blogs.
13 What not to do on a high wire? You’re kidding!
COME OFF IT
15 Compound France’s 10-0 reverse with England’s opener
A charade: you need to reverse DIX O (French for ‘ten’, plus 0) and then add E for ‘England’s opener’. Oxides are compounds of oxygen with another element, the best known of which is probably Nitrous Oxide, or laughing gas. Although Hydrogen Oxide might give it a run for its money if it wasn’t better known as water.
16 Fruit basket – in which jokes get caught?
A kind of cd, or – appropriately – pun. If jokes got caught, it might be in a PUN NET.
17 Twit is after cold drink
A charade of C for cold, ASS for ‘twit’ and IS. Cassis is a blackcurrant liqueur which when mixed with dry white wine gives you kir; if money’s no object, you can mix it with champagne and enjoy kir royale. Santé!
21 Beginners in army activities really get hurt – ouch!
Clearly signposted as the first letters of Army Activities Really Get Hurt. So clearly signposted that it was my last one in, muppet that I am.
22 For example, Monroe nobbled, nudge nudge, wink wink!
SAY NO MORE
A charade of SAY (for example) and (MONROE)* ‘Nobbled’ is the anagrind. Reminded me of the Monty Python sketch.
23 Fragile friend?
A dd cum cd, or whatever. CHINA is cockney rhyming slang for ‘friend’ (china plate = mate), and of course if you drop it, it’ll break.
24 Shape in lass, guy hideous
UGLY AS SIN
(IN LASS GUY)* ‘Shape’ is the anagrind.
26 Bloody noon in the shade
An insertion of N for ‘noon’ in VIOLET.
27 Nation’s succeeding principle, principally for old state
A charade of P for the first letter of ‘principle’ and RUSSIA.
1 A short pass in Washington winning tennis tournament
The international men’s tennis tournament is an insertion of A plus VIS (short VISA) in DC for ‘Washington’ and UP for ‘winning’ (as in ‘England are up in the series against India’ … yessss).
2 Club for ‘gentlemen’ offering gyrating harem in strip – no fumbling!
(HAREM IN STRIP NO)* Classic Punk clue. ‘Fumbling’ is the anagrind, and apparently SPEARMINT RHINO is a gentlemen’s club in Tottenham Court Road, London, and according to its website ‘a world leader in upscale adult entertainment’. That’d be a porn joint, then. Only got this when it couldn’t be anything else, because my existence has been sheltered and I evidently don’t move in the same social circles as Punk. Where I live, the Women’s Institute fur coat and no knickers night at the village hall on the first Tuesday of every month is as exciting as it gets.
3 Island partial to cruciverbalism
Hidden in cruciverBALIsm.
4 Short break prescribed, speaking of minor ailment?
A homophone of ‘wee cough’.
5 Believes book to be full of fungus
An insertion of CEP for ‘fungus’, or mushroom, in ACTS, a book of the bible.
6 Cartoon dog bites cartoon cat opening mother’s tinned food
The animated canine and feline pets are PLUTO (Mickey Mouse’s mate) and TOM (Jerry’s tormentor); Punk’s inviting you to put the cat into MA for ‘mother’ and then put the whole thing into the dog, if you see what I mean.
7 Average limits divided by 200 immediately
An insertion (‘divided’) of TON and C (‘two hundred(s)) in AE, the outside letters of ‘average’.
10 Film director casting minor actresses
Great surface. (MINOR ACTRESSES)* I’m not massively into film, but even I’d heard of him. Taxi Driver (‘You talkin’ to me?’) and The Last Temptation of Christ are probably his best-known works, but those who know more about the man than I do might disagree.
14 In the sky, about time, gale finally blew
‘Blew’ is the definition; it’s an insertion of T for ‘time’, and E for ‘gale finally’, in OVERHEAD.
18 Grand people set out popular method
The manufacturers of the famous grand piano: it’s (SET)*, IN for ‘popular’ and WAY.
19 Prime Minister has cocked up, about to resign
An insertion of QUIT for ‘resign’ in (HAS)* ‘Cocked up’ is the anagrind. If only this were true …
20 Giant – as opposed to giiant, you might say?
A creative clue from Punk. CYCLOPS is the one-eyed monster from classical mythology. So he’s a one-eyed (one i), as opposed to a two-eyed (two i’s) giant. Which reminds me of my lad’s favourite joke when he was little:
Q What do you call a deer with no eyes?
A No idea
Q What do you call a deer with no eyes who’s not moving?
A Still no idea
21 A Conservative in great fondness for recess
A plus C in LOVE.
25 Touch on a bar
A plus BUT, in the sense of ‘all bar one’, for example.
Plenty of smiles in an enjoyable but accessible puzzle to start the week – thank you to the setter, who if I’ve read the Fifteensquared runes correctly, got hitched at the weekend. If he drops in to the blog on returning from his nuptials: Lang may yer lum reek!