Posted by beermagnet on September 3rd, 2011
When I opened the paper on my blogging Saturday my heart sank.
Anax popped up on Saturday only 2 weeks ago so I thought I might be spared.
First pass I got 6. That is quite good for me for an Anax so was misled into thinking I might get somewhere.
In the end I tackled this in several sessions. That was necessary.
Second session: I had to call a halt after another half hour or so with only 13 clues in place. I reckoned a break might do some good. 13 does not look very much in a grid with 32 lights.
Cleared my head doing the Super Suduko on the same page – that seemed absurdly easy.
Later on I had another bash and got further, but called it a day with 8 still to solve, several entered where I didn’t understand the wordplay, and a very strong suspicion I had some in wrong. Bottom left corner looking very empty.
Searched and searched for a Nina that might help – couldn’t find one.
Next day, threw niceties to the wind and used aids to tackle the rest. As is usual in these situations when I finally got the last couple I wondered why I hadn’t seen the answer earlier.
Now I’m expecting you good folk to point out the answers I have wrong, the answers I can’t explain, and probably the obvious theme that’s completely gone over my head.
OK. I have been prompted by a friend to look again at 3D which I got completely wrong – it is the comedy BOTTOM which is the theme <link to imdb>
If I’d seen this and known the series better it might have helped with solving – I did think some answers were a little “under-defined”
The show featured:
Adrian Edmondson playing Edward “Eddie” Elizabeth Hitler (12A, 24A, 21D)
Rik Mayall playing Richard “Richie” Richard (2D)
Other characters included
Dave Hedgehog (6D)
It was absurdly Anarchistic (11D)
The title music was played by The Bum Notes (15D)
and the whole show was set in Hammersmith (8D)
At 11 Mafeking Parade (16D, 22D)
(Thanks to Gaufrid for spotting that last one)
|1||THROB|| Pound note missing from the loot (5)
TH[e] ROB Def. POUND as in what your heart does when robbing the bank (allegedly). E is the note, removed from “THE ROB” from “The loot”
|4||MOUTHWASH|| Gargle what so hum dissipates? (9)
(WHAT SO HUM)* AInd: dissipates. Def: Gargle. Like many people I guess I identified the fodder and tackled the anagram thinking “gargle” was the anagrind and the answer was going to be a sideways (due to the “?”) def of “dissipates”. Anyway, it was the first answer I gleefully entered.
|9||OSCITANCE|| Cat is wandering in after yawning (9)
Def. Yawning. (CAT IS)* AInd: wandering, inside ONCE (after). A word that I haven’t met before and was pleased and surprised to find it in the dictionary after (eventually) decrypting the wordplay – I shouldn’t be surprised, it is close in origin to osculation etc.
|10||DURUM|| Barrel full of superior wheat (5)
U (superior) inside DRUM (barrel) Def. Wheat. It seems likely that wheat has genetically engineered the human race to enable it to spread to vast acreages and conquer the world.
|11||ANACONDAS|| Snakes a cheat feeds with arsenic (9)
A CON (A cheat) inside AND (with) then AS (Arsenic). The chemical symbol for Arsenic is AS beause AR was already taken by Argon
|12||EDDIE|| Large comedian regularly needs break (5)
Alternate letters of nEeDs (ED, indicated by “regularly”) then DIE (Break) Def. Ref. Eddie Large, erstwhile comedian. I initially took that alternate letters method to its logical end and wondered who “Edbek” was. I still have trouble equating Break with Die …
|13||AIDE|| I’ll help some comedian to return (4)
Hidden reversed in comEDIAn. Def. “I’ll help”
|14||BLOOMERS|| Black rings around 24’s boobs (8)
Def: Boobs, as in mistakes. I put this in early on and was happy at the time, especially as it fits with 15D, bur now I’m writing the blog I find I cannot explain the M. I thought the wordplay was BL[ack] OOs (rings) around ER (Elizabeth, via 24). Maybe black only gives a single B, in which case rings might deliver LOOMS. Oh Good Grief! It is LOOPS and the answer is BLOOPERS – I would not have reconsidered this answer’s wordplay so carefully if I had not been writing this. The definition of both is very close. That shows how unnoticed errors can creep in.
|17||CISLUNAR|| I pitched endlessly in ride between earth and moon (8)
I SLUN[g] (I pitched enlessly) inside CAR (ride). A very precise def. for this word: The region between Earth’s atmosphere and the Moon is sometimes referred to as cis-lunar space.
|19||LO-FI|| Somewhat typical of inferior sound? (2-2)
Hidden in typicaL OF Inferior
|23||INURN|| Bury one after the other – time to go (5)
T[ime] removed from IN TURN (one after the other). Slightly unusual word for inter.
|24||ELIZABETH|| Female priest’s last letter to help husband (9)
ELI (priest) Z (last letter) ABET (to help) H[usband]
|25||TIGHT|| This evening’s about to go fast (5)
TONIGHT (this evening) minus ON (about). Def. Fast, as in tied fast. The last answer I entered, and yet again one which doesn’t seem too hard in retrospect though it took all crossing letters for me to see it.
|26||ILL NATURE|| Naff all true, in a bad way (3,6)
(ALL TRUE IN)* AInd: Naff.
|28||CANE SUGAR||Could bait work the wrong way as sweet stuff? (4,5)
Def. Sweet Stuff. Wordplay: ? Help please. It must be this from the crossing letters but I cannot see any “bait” or “work” in RAGUSENAC
<Edit> CAN (Could) the RAG (bait – as in tease) USE (work) all reversed
Thanks to several commenters for that.
|29||EJECT|| Euro fighter potentially pierced by constant fire (5)
E[uro], C (constant) inside JET (fighter) Def. Fire, as is applied to a projectile.
|1||TWO|| A couple of short words (3)
Hidden in shorT WOrds. This seemed such a simple hidden that I had string doubts I was missing something till the crossing letters were confirmed.
|2||RICHARD||Cleaner’s shut outside by man (7)
CHAR (cleaner) inside RID (shut outside).
|3||BATHOS|| Grow out of dry comedy? (6)
I presume this is a Cryptic Definition. I tend to make that assumption when I can’t see any wordplay, especially when a question mark is involved. But I am unsure about this. Bathos is a change from serious to silly, so “growing out of comedy” seems to indicate the wrong direction unless you admit that bathos doesn’t occur until comedy is reached. Enough of this train of thought – what else fits B-T-O- and the clue?
OK. It’s BOTTOM (see preamble) and now I can see the wordplay: TT (dry) inside BOOM (grow)
|4||MONODY|| Unhappy about name for sad poem (6)
N[ame] inside MOODY (unhappy) Def: sad poem. A monody is a threnody in the voice of one person.
|5||UNEASILY|| A French area just doesn’t need MP lacking confidence (8)
UNE (A French) A[rea] SIMPLY minus MP (just … MP).
|6||HEDGEHOG|| Creep into hotel to corner prickly type (8)
EDGE (creep) inside H[otel], HOG (corner, as in cornering the market). Def. Prickly type
|7||ABRIDGE|| A leader of big band gets contract (7)
A B[ig] RIDGE (band) Def. Contract
|8||HAMMERSMITH|| Walks over river to avoid fun part of London (11)
HAMMERS (Walks over, as in “Arsenal hammered 8-2 at Man Utd”), then MIRTH (fun) minus R[iver].
|11||ANARCHISTIC|| Bill tackling unorthodox Christian subversive (11)
AC (Bill, account) (CHRISTIAN)* AInd: Unorthodox. Def. Subversive.
|15||BUM NOTES|| Borrow cash for musical 14 (3,5)
BUM (Borrow) NOTES (cash, colloquial) Def. musical Bloomers
|16||MAFEKING|| Iron parts production in African city once (8)
FE (Iron) inside (indicated by parts, as in separates parts of) MAKING (production) Def. African city once. Now Mahikeng, capital city of the North-West Province of South Africa, best known for the siege during the Second Boer War (October 1899 to May 1900).
|18||SPUD GUN|| Small sweet, good one, providing toy (4,3)
S[mall] PUD (sweet) G[ood] ‘UN (one)
|20||OVERUSE|| Milk not subject to rationing (7)
Double Def. (maybe?)
|21||HITLER|| Tyrant wants gas, 5 litre (6)
H (Gas, Hydrogen) (LITRE)* AInd: 5 – Uneasily
|22||PARADE|| Show soldier what’s done if not operational? (6)
PARA (soldier) D[on]E (Not operational = not ON) Def: show
|27||EFT|| Electronic organ, pink again, very old (3)
E[lectronic] FT (organ, pink – the Financial Times in this case which is still printed on its distinctive paper) Def. Again, in an obsolete sense of eft, thus “very old”. No newts here just a very nice misleading clue