Posted by RatkojaRiku on December 8th, 2011
Having enjoyed my last encounter with Nestor a month ago, from which I emerged with my solver’s pride more or less intact, I was relishing the prospect of solving this one when I noticed it was signed by Nestor. Pride comes before a fall, as they say, and, alas, today he has well and truly wiped the floor with me. Consequently, I will be needing input from fellow solvers to put the finishing touches to this blog.
I am still not quite sure what it was about this puzzle that made me struggle so much: was it objectively harder than the average Nestor offering? Was I simply not on his wavelength today, or was I just having a bad day? Or perhaps a combination of these factors?
I got off to a fairly good start by filling in 8, 9, 19, 20, 21, 26 and 28 upon first perusal, but then I just ground to a complete halt. After much head-scratching, I managed to puzzle out the longer entries at 15 and 18, and slotted in 2, 3, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 22, 24 and 25 around them. 17 was a new word for me, while I vaguely remember seeing 27 in a crossword before; both could be worked out from wordplay and the checking letters. As for the rest, I had to resort to searching Chambers for words which would fit and then trying to make them fit their respective clues, which is always a very last resort for me; this was particularly the case for 1, 5 and 23, although I kicked myself for not spotting the beautifully hidden definition at 5.
Of the clues that I solved wholly independently, my favourites would be 15 for its & lit. element and 6 for its well-disguised definition; of the ones where I sought assistance, my favourite would be 5, as mentioned above.
I am not sure that I have understood the definition at 7 correctly, and I need someone to explain the wordplay at 4, which has completely baffled me – done, thank you!
After such a tussle, suffice it to say that I shall approach my next Nestor with more fear and trepidation than I did this morning’s.
*(…) indicates an anagram
|1||UNHOLY||<i>NH<a>L<e> (=draw breath); “seeing completely different vocal (=relating to a vowel) parts” means that all the vowels are changed (to other vowels in the alphabet)|
|5||AT MOST||*(MAT<e>S TO); “shift allegiancE finally” means that the letter “e” is dropped from the anagram; “mad” is anagram indicator; the definition is “max” (=maximum)|
|10||ABSTRUSE||<tricep>S (“back of” means last letter only) in [ABS (=muscles) + TRUE (=right)]|
|11||UPLOAD||*(A LOUD P<iano>); “played” is anagram indicator|
|12||BLACKHEATH||B (=bishop) + LACK HEAT (=to be thoroughly cold) + H (=hard)|
|14||CHAV||C (=conservative) + HAV<e> (=own; “docked” means last letter is dropped); the definition is “classless society member”, where “classless” means lacking in class, unrefined|
|*(<l>W+ IFE’S MANY RISKS); “sacrificing length (=L) for width (=W)” means that the letter “l” is dropped from the anagram and the letter “w” added to it; “contrivance for” is anagram indicator; & lit.|
|18||BROAD IN THE
|[A DIN (=an uproar) in BROTHE<r> (=comrade; “mostly” means last letter is dropped)] + BEAM (=broadcast); the definition is “hippy” in the sense of having large hips|
|20||SHOO||SHOO<t> (=aim for target; “missing tee (=T)” means the letter “t” is dropped|
|22||END OF STORY||End, i.e. first or last letter, of StorY, i.e. “either of “y” or “s”; the definition is “period”, as in full stop, that’s the end of it|
|24||SAMOSA||AMOS (=book, i.e. in OT) in SA (=South America); the definition is “turnover”, referring to the savoury pastry turnover in Indian cuisine|
|25||EXIT POLL||X (=vote) in [L L (=lines, i.e. 2 x L) + OPT (=to make election, i.e. choose) + I.E. (=that is)]; “returning” indicates a reversal; & lit.|
|27||DAY-GLO||*(GAY OLD); “flourishes” is anagram indicator; Day-Glo as an adjective means “of a luminously brilliant green, yellow, pink or orange”, hence “striking shades”|
|28||KIBOSH||SOB (=blubber, as verb) in HIK<e> (=long walk; “most of” means last letter is dropped); “back” indicates reversal|
|2||NEBULISER||LUBE (=oil) in RESIN (=plant exudation); “upped” indicates vertical reversal|
|3||OUT||<y>OUT<h>; “4 undressed” means that the first and last letters are removed from the entry at 4|
|4||YOUTH||The definition is “freshness”; homophone (“oral”) of U-th (=21st in ranking, i.e. alphabetically, behind “teeth” for T-th)|
|6||TOUCH-TYPE||T<rust> (“basis of” means first letter only) in [TOUCHY (=sensitive) + PE (=games, i.e. Physical Education)]; the cryptic definition is “not peeking, key”|
|7||ONLY CONNECT||ON (=about) + [N (=noon) in *(CYCLE NOT)]; “fixed” is anagram indicator; the definition is “call for personal involvement”, associated with E M Forster’s Howards End – and the recent BBC Four quiz show!!|
|8||TIARA||Hidden (“somewhat”) in “anTI-ARAb”|
|9||REPAIR||REP (=type of theatre, i.e. repertory) + AIR (=ventilation)|
|13||CLIMATOLOGY||C (=cold) + LIMA (=capital, i.e. of Peru) + TO (=until) + LOG (=record, as noun or verb) + Y (=year)|
|16||SLIMEBALL||I’M (=I am) in SLEBALL (L (=large) + LABELS (=recording companies); “up” indicates vertical reversal)|
|17||FUMAROLES||[UM (=sign of hesitation) in FAR (=very much)] + OLÉS (=encouraging cries); fumaroles are holes emitting gases in a volcano, hence “vents”|
|19||TIDIER||DI (=detective, i.e. Detective Inspector) in TIER (=rank)|
|21||HOARD||O (=old) in HARD (=difficult)|
|23||FLICK||F (=loud) + LICK (=musical phrase, i.e. an instrumental passage in jazz or rock); the definition is “perhaps a short”, i.e. film|
|26||PUB||U (=university) in Pb (=lead, i.e. chemical symbol); the definition is “local” as noun|