Posted by Eileen on August 18th, 2011
It’s five months since I blogged a Boatman puzzle and I commented then that we don’t see him often enough. There have been only two in between, so that’s certainly true!
We know to expect a theme from Boatman – and what an enjoyable one here: that well-known crossword enthusiast, Inspector Morse! The first two rows spell out A MURDER MYSTERY USES TITLE TRACK and, apparently, as I read in the Guardian’s ‘Notes and Queries’ the title music spells out ‘Inspector Morse’ and incidental music actually bleeps the killer’s name when the penny drops for Morse.
Quite apart from the theme, which crops up all over the place, together with references to shooting films, there are some excellent clues, as ever with Boatman. For the second week running, there are a couple that I can’t explain at the moment: this time, I plead the fact of waiting for / being interrupted by A Level / AS Level results from my granddaughter and grandson respectively [now both in and all that could be wished for] to account for impaired concentration and a delayed blog!
I enjoyed this puzzle hugely – many thanks, Boatman!
1.18 A MURDER OF CROWS: great anagram [recipe] of SOUR CREAM F WORD: last year, I blogged a Brendan puzzle themed round collective nouns and I suspected I might be in for another one here, as this was my first entry – but no.
5 MYSTERY: MY STORY [Boatman's tale] with the O replaced [love lost] by E [last letter of life]
10 USES: this came to me only as I was writing this: ‘us emphatically’ is ‘ourselves’ and taking the letters of ‘lover’ from that gives USES – brilliant!
11 TITLE TRACK: TIT [songbird] + LET [suffered] + RACK [distress] Edit: thanks to DoughHug and Geoff for pointing out that this is another ‘lift and separate’ clue, like those I admired at 4 and 7dn: the definition is ‘eponymous song’ and TIT is the bird
12 DEXTER: Colin Dexter, the author of Morse, who killed off his hero by a heart attack, a death that was not at all sinister: the cryptic element is that, in heraldry, dexter is the right-hand side of a shield and sinister the left
13 ENDEAVOR: a lovely clue! Morse’s [long-concealed] first name was Endeavour [his mother being a Quaker and his father an admirer of Captain James Cook]: here, the U [uniform] is removed in the US spelling of endeavour [venture]
14 OSCILLATE: LATE [dead] after anagram of COIL round S[ergeant]
16 CLANG: CLAN [faction] + [shootin]G
17 MORSE: MORSE [l]
19 SHUBUNKIN: BUNK [berth] in SHUN [give a wide berth]: I’m not quite sure how to fit the I in: taking it as ‘a’ doesn’t really work. This was a new one on me but it’s a pretty goldfish
23 SCHEMATA: anagram of A SCAM THE
24 MALLET: ALL [everyone] in MET [got together]
26 MONTE CARLO: anagram of ETC NO MORAL: craps is a gambling game in which a player rolls two dice
27 WRAP: anagram of WAR + P[eace]: a film director would say, ‘It’s a wrap’ [or 'It's in the can'] at the end of shooting
28 ASTRIDE: [f]AST RIDE – quick spin using no f[orce]
29 OFFSIDE: anagram of FIELDS OF, minus L [middle of England]: the definition is ‘trap for attacker’ but I’m a woman, so not expected to understand.
2 MISTERS: T [last letter of 'violent'] in MISERS [those who give nothing away]
3 RESET: RE [sapper] + SET [location of shooting]
4 ENTHRAL: anagram of HALL RENT, minus one L [pound off]: nice misdirection in ‘entrance hall’
6 YIELDS: anagram of Y[ard] IS LED
7 TARPAULIN: anagram ['surprisingly'] of PARTIAL UN: perhaps my favourite clue, which made me laugh
8 RACCOON: CO [firm] + ON under reversal of CAR
9 STREET THEATRE: I’m struggling here: the definition is ‘drama at no stage’ and there’s ST [way] and a couple of TREEs but I’m afraid I can’t tease it out.
15 INSPECTOR: P [copper] in INSECT [bug] + OR [gold]
20 BUMP OFF: double / cryptic definition
21 ICELAND: C[risis] in anagram [upset] of DENIAL: a reference to the ongoing banking crisis
22 RANCID: RAN [carried on] + CID [detectives]
25 LEWIS: L [novice] + anagram [exceptionally] of WISE to give Morse’s side-kick, Detective Sergeant, now himself promoted to Inspector