Posted by Eileen on November 4th, 2011
I’m certainly not complaining today at having landed the third of a recent handful of a setter’s puzzles to blog! This time it’s Tramp and, in fact, this is only his fifth Guardian cryptic, so I count myself lucky.
There’s a wide variety of cluing style and subject matter here and not too many liberties taken, though I think 20dn might raise some eyebrows, if not howls of protest.
The length of some of Tramp’s clues has caused some comment and there’s a lovely self-parodying one at 5dn, which made me laugh, offset by the admirably economical 10 and 15ac and 1dn.
I was relieved to be able to identify the components of the mini-theme: after solving 1 and 4ac, I was afraid it was going to be something even further beyond my ken!
Many thanks, Tramp for another ingenious, witty and enjoyable puzzle to end the week. I hope to meet you soon in Derby.
1 MODEMS: MODE [fashion] + M and S
4 ADWARE: anagram of WAR[h] EAD minus H [hydrogen]: an inventive way to clue this menace if you solve the puzzle online – far better to buy the paper!
9 DRIVING LICENCES: anagram [controversially] of C[onservative] + DISCERNING VEIL
10 PUTSCH: PUT [state] + SCH[ool]
11 MAY QUEEN: Brian MAY, guitarist with QUEEN [band]
12 EYE CANDY: EYE [spot] + C AND Y [borders of city]: EYE CANDY has cropped up half a dozen times in the last few months, with a wide variety of clues. I especially liked this one.
14 TWEETS: sounds like [‘on the radio’] Jonathan ‘Woss’s’ pronunciation of ‘treats’
15 TAYLOR: Dennis Taylor, former world snooker champion, therefore one who pots: also Roger Taylor, drummer / vocalist in our theme band, Queen
18,21 BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY: anagram [‘relax’] of O [centre of storm ] + HM[v] + HYPE RADIO BANS: Queen song which was number one in the charts for nine weeks in 1975
22 DEACON: DEA[d] [almost late] + CON [rogue]; John Deacon played bass guitar with Queen
24 HERO-WORSHIPPING: anagram [‘careless’] of WHISPER HOPING OR
25 EGESTS: EG [say] + SS [Steven Spielberg’s opening sequence] alternating [dovetails] with ET, his favourite crossword film
26 AGENTS: A GENTS
1 MERCURY: double definition: Freddie Mercury, lead vocalist of Queen
2 DIVAS: V [five] in reversal [‘up’] of SAID [spoken]
3 MENUHIN: HIN[t] [short clue] under MENU [board] : Yehudi Menuhin, the Russian Jewish American violinist, who, I must admit, played more my kind of music.
5 DECRYPT: DECRY [express disapproval] + [tram]P [Tramp’s latest] + [effor]T [effort ultimately] – superb clue!
6 AD NAUSEAM: reversal [flipped] of MAE [West] AND A [and Australia] around US [the Guardian]: I had to check that A was an abbreviation for Australia, since it usually indicates America[n] in crosswords, which, indeed it does in 23dn – perhaps a little bit naughty to use it both ways in one puzzle?
7 EVEREST: EVE [day before] + REST [break]
8 BLIMEY: B[ritain] + LIMEY [Brit abroad]: North American / Australian slang originally applied to British sailors, who drank lime juice as a protection against scurvy
13 CELLPHONE: CELL [part of battery] + PH ONE [ph 1 – measure of acidity]
16 ATHLETE: TH [initials – ‘primarily’ – of Tim Henman] following A + LET [call from line judge] + E[nglish]: I’m going to be picky and say that it’s the net-cord judge who would call a let.
17 ROOT OUT: ROO [Australian bouncer] + TOUT [illegal seller]
18 BOYISH: BO [smell] + IS [lives] in Y[outh] H[ostel]
19 HEDGING: even letters [‘oddly missing’] of SHEEPDOG SIGNAGE – as in ‘hedging one’s bets’
20 ANOINTS: ‘picks up’ indicates a ‘sounds like’ [I won’t say ‘homophone’ ] of ‘an ounce': I tried this out and it made me laugh out loud – I did live in Belfast for several years! I wonder what stiofain will make of it?
23 ALPEN: A[merica] + LP [album] + E [fourth letter of ‘Supertramp’- nice reference!] + N [last letter of ‘perfection’]: there have been comments about the number of brand names creeping into crosswords. I’ve no objection – I think this one’s well enough known.