Posted by Uncle Yap on September 27th, 2011
What a tour de force by this Master.
(spoiler space to prevent a mild reproof as suggested by NeilW … thanks) He used the mini-theme of lexicography to bring to light some rare wit and humour, especially of the Irish and other quirky types. I was distracted by having to look up various references that it took me more than a delightful hour to completely solve today’s puzzle. Bravo! Brendan.
8 KANGAROO Allusion to this marsupial whose young always travels in the pouch with its mother for Kangaroo, a novel set in Australia by D. H. Lawrence, first published in 1923. See samak @ 1 for a more plausible parsing.
9 ECLAIR *(A RELIC) “a cake, long in shape but short in duration, with cream filling and usu chocolate icing.” (Chambers)
10 OATS cd In Samuel Johnson’s dictionary, oats were defined as “a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.” The description reveals his low opinion of the Scots … A Scotsman’s retort to this is, “That’s why England has such good horses, and Scotland has such fine men!”
16,3 is harmless drudge which Johnson’s definition seems to be. See also samak @ 1
11 DICTIONARY *(ROAD IN CITY) such as Concise Oxford, Collins or Brewer
12 DEFINE Ins of FIN (some fish) in River DEE
14 SEEPAGES See Pages (refer to other places) to seep is to ooze or percolate
15 GNOCCHI GN (rev of No Good) + *(CHOICe) Italian dish of small dumplings made from flour, semolina or potatoes, sometimes with the addition of cheese, and served with a sauce.
17 COLLINS Ins of LL (lines) in COINS (changes) for Jackie Collins
20 MONAURAL Ins of ON (acceptable) A (area) in MURAL (work of art) having only one ear like Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
22 BEYOND *(DONE BY) as in His performance was better than (beyond) expectation of a boy his age
23 OFF BALANCE Ins of B (British) in OFFA (8th century Essex king) + LANCE (weapon)
24 BRED B (book) RED (colour)
25 CRORES Ins of R (rupees) in CORES (central parts) CRORES (esp of rupees) ten million, or one hundred lakhs (Chambers) new word to me
26 THE IRISH Samuel Johnson once said “the Irish are a fair people, they never speak well of one another.” I was momentarily distracted by a web page of Irish humour . For example “You know it’s summer in Ireland when the rain gets warmer.” Hal Roach. What an enjoyable distraction
1 PANACEAN Ins of AN ACE (expert) in PAN (be critical)
2 AGES WAGES (carries on, e.g. a war) minus W to give AGE (esp in pl) a long time, however short (Chambers).
3 DRUDGE D (duke) RUDGE (Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty, a novel by Charles Dickens)
4 CONCISE C (first letter of court) + ins of IS in ONCE (previously)
5 BE WISE TO *(OBESE WIT)
6 BLIND ALLEY *(LIE BLANDLY)
7 BIERCE BIttER CluE for Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (1842–1913) an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist. Today, he is best known for his short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and his satirical lexicon, The Devil’s Dictionary.
13 IN CHAMBERS Cha of INCH (move cautiously) AMBERS (warning signals between RED and GREEN)
16 HARMLESS H (husband) ARMLESS (with weapon not so)
18 NONSENSE Ins of O (nothing) in NNSENSE (lots of points on the compass) Nonsense, n. The objections that are urged against this excellent dictionary Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary (1911)
19 PLANETS Ins of ET (extra-terrestrials) in PLANS (policy)
21 OXFORD Ins of X (vote as in the cross on the ballet paper) in O (old) FORD (Gerald Ford, Jr. (1913–2006) the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977) I found at least one town named Oxford in more than 20 states in the USA
22 BREWER Ins of *(WE’RE) in BR (British Rail, the operator of most of the rail transport in Great Britain between 1948 and 1997)
24 BORE Quotations “Bore: a person who talks when you wish him to listen” [Ambrose Bierce in The Devil's Dictionary]
Key to abbreviations
dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram