Posted by scchua on January 2nd, 2012
A nice easy puzzle to start the week, and the year with. Rufus’s trademark cryptic and double definitions, anagrams, and clever surfaces are here, and some possibly nautical references also. Thanks Rufus. And to those who insist on a diet of only tortuous crosswords and nothing less, I’m afraid you will be (or already are) disappointed. Definitions are underlined in the clues. Each of the 2 sets of pictures at the bottom has got an unidentified link with the crossword.
1 These lads may turn out to be immortal (9)
DEATHLESS : Anagram of(may turn out) THESE LADS
6 Handy aid to warmth (4)
MUFF : Cryptic defn: Tubular case covered with fur or warm material as an aid to keeping hands warm, primarily. Not to be confused with the later eary aids. A secondary purpose was as a handbag, or perhaps to conceal a weapon – I distinctly recall Lara (Julie Christie) pulling out a gun from her muff to shoot Komarovsky (Rod Steiger) in Doctor Zhivago.
8 Dog goes mad for fruit (8)
CURRANTS : CUR(dog) RANTS(goes mad in utterance,raves)
9 Worn by a woman for a dance (6)
BOLERO : Double defn: 1st: A kind of short jacket, not reaching the waistline with or without sleeves and open at the front, worn by women elsewhere and by men in Spain, especially those who appear in the bullring; and 2nd: A sensuous Spanish dance to the music of the same name.
10 Brings back games and increases keenness (6)
STROPS : Reversal of(brings back) SPORTS(a general noun for all sorts of games)
Defn: To sharpen,increase keenness of a razor by stroking it over a band made of leather or abrasive material. Can still be seen in old-style barber shops.
11 Doubled over and collapsed (6,2)
FOLDED UP : Double defn. 2nd: As when a business goes bust,collapses
12 Describing Hamlet and his rotten state (6)
DANISH : Double defn. as well as a semi-&lit. Wordplay: Anagram of(rotten state) AND HIS. 1st defn: Describing Hamlet, the great Dane; and 2nd defn: Describing his rotten state of Denmark – it is Marcellus (and not Hamlet) who says: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. A cleverly constructed clue.
15 Chap from Belgium is a loyal subject (8)
LIEGEMAN : A MAN(chap) who comes from LIEGE(a city in Belgium)
Defn: A faithful,loyal subject,vassal of his lord,the liege
16 More than one out of two is of higher standard (5,3)
ABOVE PAR : Cryptic defn: Above average,of a higher standard. One is the average of (none and) two; so out of two, more than one is above the average. Not to be confused with “under par”, which in golf means of a higher, and not lower, standard. Edit.note: Put another way, a score of one upon,out of two is average; anything more than that is above average. But tupu@2 has got a better explanation for which thank you.
19 Fancied to win and made a pile (6)
NAPPED : Double defn: 1st: In horse racing, to be named by a tipster as likely,fancied to win a race; and 2nd: Past tense of to raise the fibres on the surface of cloth, and hence make its pile, which is the raised fibres of a cloth such as velvet or corduroy. Liked the racing-related surface, though if everyone else has the same fancy, you wouldn’t be making much, let alone a pile.
21 A pamphlet’s sound – makes a personal appeal (8)
ATTRACTS : Homophone of(sound) [“a tract”,a pamphlet usually on a religious topic + " 's"]
Defn: To appeal to,be liked by another person
22 Turned on bad parent (6)
ENRAPT : Anagram of(bad) PARENT
Defn: Excited by,turned on,rapturously consumed by eg love – though some would rather fall in chocolate than in love.
24 Flagrant licence (6)
PATENT : Double defn: 1st: Obvious,for all to see; and 2nd: A licence that a sovereign state grants the holder,patentee the rights to an invention,original product,process etc. for a limited period.
25 All too human story in which evil makes a comeback (8)
FALLIBLE : FABLE(story) containing(in which) reversal of(makes a comeback) ILL(an evil, as in “of ill repute”)
26 Extremely light (4)
VERY : Double defn: 2nd: A flare,light shot from a special pistol, developed by Edward Very
27 Keep getting drunk? Now hang on! (4,5)
HOLD TIGHT : HOLD(keep,hold on to) plus(getting) TIGHT(slang for drunk)
Defn: A warning, usually shouted, to hang on firmly to something fixed, before one is flung off, – or falls off one’s barstool – nice surface.
1 Put off writing letter to a relative (5)
DAUNT : D(a letter of the alphabet) plus(to) AUNT(one of your relatives)
2 It comes from the Latin, as far as one knows (1,6)
A PRIORI : Cryptic defn (I think): Known to be true without requiring experience or examination of the matter. The phrase in Latin literally means “(it comes) from the former”. I hope I’ve got the first part of the clue interpreted correctly – could it perhaps have been better with “It comes from former Latin…..”?
3 They work around the clock (5)
HANDS : Double defn: 1st: People who work, usually at manual labour, and perhaps around the clock; and 2nd: The minute and hour (and perhaps second) hands of a clock that move,work around
4 Flu? See a doctor at home (7)
EASEFUL : Anagram of(doctor) FLU SEE A
Defn: Relaxed, as if one were at home
5 Young army chap is awkward, but learns (9)
SUBALTERN : Anagram of(is awkward) BUT LEARNS
Defn: A commissioned army officer below the rank of captain, and presumably young as well
6 French writer‘s story set in the ruins of Rome (7)
MOLIERE : LIE(story,fabrication) contained in(set in) anagram of(the ruins of) ROME
7 Lucky yet strange turn o’ fate (9)
FORTUNATE : Anagram of(strange) TURN O FATE
13 Bar attire set out for judge (9)
ARBITRATE : Anagram of(set out) BAR ATTIRE
14 Game for a drink after the dance (9)
HOPSCOTCH : SCOTCH(drink,whiskey) placed after(after) HOP(a dance party)
Defn: A children’s game which surprisingly is to be found in many countries, with various local names. We used to call it “aeroplane” here, and it seems that children in Mexico call it a similar name – “little aeroplane (avioncito)”.
17 Music hall medley (7)
VARIETY : Double defn: 1st: Another name for the entertainment found in music halls; and 2nd: A mixture,medley
18 Still in a terrible fluster (7)
RESTFUL : Anagram of(terrible) FLUSTER
20 Splitting hairs in divorce (7)
PARTING : Double defn: 1st: Cryptically, splitting, not individual hairs, but different areas of the hair on your head to get a parting. Nice surface, as in a divorce, the parties often split hairs,make unnecessary petty distinctions.
22 Spectacular effect when powder magazine finally goes up (5)
ECLAT : Reversal of(goes up, in a down clue) [TALC(powder) + E(last letter,finally, of “magazine”)]
Defn: Showy,brilliant display
23 One guide – or a good many (5)
PILOT : PI(short for pious,good) LOT(many,plentiful)