Posted by HolyGhost on November 2nd, 2011
Phew – what a scorcher!
Twenty 3-letter answers to be fitted where they will (seven abbreviations, thirteen of another sort yielding a “juke box source”), an anagram of ten letters in shaded cells – mostly unchecked – to be figured out, then sixty-one (yes, 61!) cells to be highlighted.
And I’m on a narrowboat on the Llangollen canal for the weekend (partner’s birthday) armed with a dictionary but no web access.
I skip past the 3-letter abbreviations (3LAs) – too daunting – but get a few of the 3/4-letter double definitions (3/4DDs). No help, of course, because I don’t know where in the grid they go. On the first pass through the normal clues I solve just one of the Across’s and two Down’s – things are not looking too promising. However, my two Down’s are in the rightmost columns, and I begin to get a grip on the 3LAs and manage to enter a couple of the 3/4DDs, which means I can have a stab at the clearly signalled anagram at 8d – the slogan I come up with seems possible but I have no means of checking it. Anyway, I run with it and, after a first longish session, the right 60% of the grid is filled, but the rest is decidedly blank. I have GLORIA ESTEFAN as the “juke box source” and there are plenty other pop music references littered around.
After a sustained attack 1a falls, followed by a couple more Across’s in the top left quadrant, then I have a guess at the second clearly signalled anagram at 2d – something else to check when I get home. The bottom left quadrant sorts itself out, bringing 1d with it. Grid nearly done, but for some reason I’m struggling with 19d which would give me the tenth and final letter to be anagrammed. Eventually I have YRIONMUAEE to be arranged to confirm that “the setter’s the solver” (3 words).
“You are mine” is my best suggestion, and, now back home, I start looking for some connection with Gloria Estefan. In a career spanning 35 years she has 14 albums and over 60 singles for me to trawl through. My familiarity with Cuban dance music is very thin and I seem to be getting nowhere, so a day later I resort to my Listener-solving colleague. He has a vague notion of a chorus that starts “1-2-3-4 Come on baby” and ends “Until you are mine” … and everything falls into place. The complete chorus from “1-2-3″, her top 10 hit with Miami Sound Machine from 1998 is:
1-2-3-4 come on baby say you love me
8-9-10-11 I’m just gonna keep on counting
Until you are mine
And marvellously, starting at 1d-2d-3d-4d we find COME ON BABY SAY YOU LOVE ME, three synonyms for “time” at 5d-6d-7d (ERA, TEMPO, SECOND), and at 8d-9d-10d-11d we end with I’M JUST GONNA KEEP ON COUNTING. Brilliant! (Even “until”, the word seemingly missing from the start of the fourth line, is in fact present, italicised, in the preamble.)
“Hit or miss?” Hit! Give that man a prize.
Resolved by comment 7 (thanks, John): IO =10, as “keep one’s head” in the clue is the answer to 10d.
|CSE||Certificate of Secondary Education||a school-leaving qualification between 1965 and 1987 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland|
|ELO||Electric Light Orchestra||electric (=shocking) light (=with members missing) orchestra (=players)|
|JNE||Journal of Nursing Education||journal (=periodical) nurse (=tend) education (=learning)|
|NTY||No Thank You||[OUT ON]* around HANKY (=blower)|
|ONT||Ontario||ON (=first part of previous answer) rev. + TA (=thank you, =second part of previous answer) + RIO (=Brazilian city)|
|OTT||Over-the-top||ET (=alien) in OVERT (=public) + HOP (=dance)|
|SIG||Signor||(w)RONGIS(h) (=somewhat incorrect) rev.|
|3/4-letter double definitions|
|SAO||G||sao (=Neptune moon), sago (=grass)|
|SAY||L||slay (=kill), say (=perhaps)|
|INN||O||in on (=knowing about), inn (=pub)|
|MOE||R||moe (=grimace, obs.), more (=again)|
|GON||I||go in (=enter), gon (=grade, geometry)|
|LEE||A||alee (=toward the lee-side, =to shelter), Lee (=American general)|
|TIS||E||tis (=notes), ties (=neckwear)|
|MEW||S||mew (=confine), smew (=duck)|
|ALE||T||ale (=bitter), tale (=story)|
|TUN||E||tune (=air), tun (=cask)|
|REE||F||free (=uncage), ree (=female bird)|
|ION||A||ion (=charged particle), Iona (=Scottish isle)|
|OVA||N||nova (=new star), ova (=eggs)|