Posted by Eileen on September 9th, 2011
A fairly typical Gordian mixed bag, I think – some clever clues, together with some very loose definitions and one glaring inaccuracy. Older solvers may have found this puzzle rather easier.
1 HARDBACK: Spoonerism for ‘barred hack’
5 MASSIF: MASS [service] +IF [provided]: reference to the Massif Central
9 IN-GROUP: anagram [out] of POURING
10 PROFFER: I tried at first to think of a word to take ‘on’ from and couldn’t, so decided that it’s PR OFF ['not on'] ER [sovereign]: I looked for PR = promotion and again didn’t find it, so presume it’s the usual PR = Public Relations
11 ELAND: ELAN [dash] + D[ied] – two favourite crossword words in one clue
12 TENNESSEE: T[ime] + two anagrams [wandering] of SEEN – and a double definition: the playwright Williams and the American state: rather nice, I thought.
13 DIALLING TONE: DIE [what's cast] around ALLINGTON [castle in Kent] : a reference to Julius Caesar saying, ‘The die is cast’, when he crossed the Rubicon in 49BC: I won’t quote the Latin because the last time I did there was a dispute about the word order.
17 HAIRDRESSING: DRESSING [putting clothes on] after HAIR [musical] – definition: ‘going over the top’!
20 SPAGHETTI: anagram [managed] of THE GAPS IT: &lit
22 OP ART: reversal [reflecting] of TRAP O [catch nothing]
23 INHALER: double / cryptic definition and another &lit, I suppose
24 ATTRACT: reversal [over] of CART [vehicle[ in A TT [a race]
25 NASSER:hidden in egyptiaN ASSERting: reference to the president of Egypt during the Suez crisis
26 MEANTIME: cryptic definition?
1 HEIFER: HE + anagram [out] of FIRE – definition: ‘on the farm’!
2 REGGAE: EGG in reversal [rising] of EAR [listener]
3 BLOW-DRIED: anagram [carelessly of WOuLD BRIDE minus U [turn]
4 CAPITAL LETTER: cryptic definition referring to the notorious landlord Peter Rachman, who gave the word Rachmanism to the English language – Chambers: ‘the conduct of a landlord who charges extortionate rents for property in which very bad slum conditions prevail’
6 ANODE: AN ODE [a poem]
7 SOFT SPOT: SOFT [P] + SPOT [point]
8 FORCE -FED: double / cryptic definition
10 PONTIUS PILATE: anagram [made] of PUPIL SIT AT ONE: this notorious governor
14 GUNCOTTON: anagram [form] of COUNT ON GT: this ‘old banger’ was a new one on me
15 THESPIAN: THE [article] + SPIN [embellishment] around A
16 PIRANHAS: anagram [mis] of HAPS around IRAN [land]: I like the construction of this but piranhas are freshwater fish!
18 SAFARI: hidden in mombaSA FAR Into – another &lit
19 STATUE: U [upper class] in STATE [body politic]
21 HALLE: E [direction] after [concert] HALL: the UK’s oldest extant orchestra, founded in Manchester in 1857 by Sir Charles Hallé