Posted by RatkojaRiku on January 5th, 2012
I looked through my past blogs this morning to see if I had blogged a Monk before, and to my surprise, since Monk has featured on my crosswording landscape for a very long time, I had not.
Like most of my previous encounters with Monk’s work, here and elsewhere, I found this a challenge and very much a crossword that I had to chip away at from start to finish, with no flurry of answers coming at any stage. Indeed, my first read-through of the clues produced answers for 9, 13 and 23 alone. When I read the clues for 22 and 24, I wondered if there had been a typing error, but I should have known better!
In the end, I managed to solve all the clues unaided, relying on the wordplay for the words that were new to me at 7, 20 and 26. 19 nearly beat me because I had convinced myself that a technical term, e.g. a unit of measurement, was what I needed to find, and I don’t recall every seeing the ultimate entry at 19 written down anyway.
It is hard to pick out a clue of the day today, since I very much appreciated the clue construction at 14 and the tandem of clues at 22 and 24. On reflection, however, my personal favourite has to be 4, for its smooth surface, its unexpected split between definition and wordplay and its Shakespearean coinage.
Overall, a puzzle that stretched and entertained me, as well as teaching me a thing or two – thank you, Monk!
*(…) indicates an anagram
|1||BIVVIED||I V V I (=old cardinals, i.e. Roman numerals) in BED (=apparently trying to sleep, i.e. they are in bed); bivvied is a short form of bivouacked|
|8||OLIVETTI||OLIVE (=green) + TT (dry, i.e. teetotal) + I (=island); the reference is to Italian electrical engineer Camillo Olivetti (1868-1943), founder of the Olivetti company, a manufacturer of computers, printers, etc|
|9||OMEN||The sign O MEN (=no men allowed in!) might appear on the door of the ladies’ toilet|
|*(PELTED AN<o>THER); “after nothing (=O) went missing” means that the letter “o” is dropped from the anagram; “in error” is anagram indicator; the Red Planet is Mars, hence “our of our neighbours” as Planet Earth|
|12||VEERED||Double definition: VEERED is “tacked suddenly”, swerved AND “let out at sea”, i.e. a nautical term for paying out, releasing rope|
|13||TOE DANCE||*(TOE DANCE); “about” is anagram indicator; a toe dance is a dance performed on tiptoes; “piggies” are toes, as in the children’s rhyme This little piggy went to market …|
|14||ERASURE||A in [ER (=Queen, i.e. Elizabeth Regina) + SURE (=Yes)]; Monk has cleverly used the names of two 80s groups in a clue for a third such group!|
|15||LONG AGO||A (=answer, as in Q & A) in [LONG (=tedious) + GO (=activity, as in to be on the go)]|
|19||HAP’ORTHS||PORT (=drink) in HAHS (SHAH=old ruler; “from the east”, i.e. to be read right to left, indicates a reversal)|
|21||ORMOLU||*(<g>L<a>MOROU<s>); “after release of gas” means that the letters “g”, “a” and “s” are dropped from the anagram; “ruined” is anagram indicator; ormolu is golf-leaf prepared for gilding bronze, hence “something decorative”|
|T<rur>O; “on vacation” means the word is “emptied”, i.e. all but first and last letters are removed; “returned” indicates reversal, to give OT = books|
|24||INTO||IN + T<rur>O “on vacation” means the word is “emptied”, i.e. all but first and last letters are removed; the definition is “digging” as in liking, i.e. I’m really into crosswords|
|25||INSPIRED||Double definition: INSPIRED means “drew in”, breathed in AND “brought about”, made happen|
|26||SIRENIA||IRENI<c> (=pacific, i.e. peaceful; “mostly” means last letter is dropped) in SA (=South Africa); the Sirenia are an order of aquatic mammals now represented by the dugong and manatee|
|1||BUM STEER||*(MUST) in BEER (=drink); “upset” is anagram indicator|
|*(COUNTER + VET + US); “chewed” is anagram indicator; a venture scout is a male or female member of a senior branch of the Scout organisation, formerly known as a Rover|
|3||INTENDER||END (=death) in INTER (=bury); the definition is “one (=a person) meaning (=having the intention of)”|
|4||DOZENTH||N<ight> (“at first” means first letter) in DOZETH (=Will’s sleeps, i.e. a Shakespearean version of dozes); the definition is simply twelfth|
|5||WIMPLE||MP (=member, i.e. of parliament) in WILE (=trick)|
|6||ETON||Vertical reversal (“turned up”) of NOTE (=mark, as a verb or noun)|
|7||LITTLE GO||LITTLE (=trivial) + GO (=attempt); the Little Go (or Responsions) was formerly the first of the three examination required for an academic degree at Oxford|
|11||AMALGAMATION||AMALGAM (=that may fill hole, i.e. a filling in dentistry) + <r>ATION<s> (=shares; “unlimited” means first and last letters are dropped)|
|14||ETHIOPIA||E (=European) + [OP (=work) in *(HAITI)]; “volatile” is anagram indicator|
|16||ODOMETER||METE (=measure) in *(DOOR); “broken” is anagram indicator; the definition is “one could be in a dash(board)”, since an odometer is an instrument for measuring distance travelled|
|17||GOLGOTHA||GO (=turn) + L (=left) + GO (=turn) + [H<ospital> (“front of” means first letter only) in TA (at roundabout, i.e. reversed and placed around)]; Golgotha is said to be the place where the crucifixion of Jesus took place, hence “cross from there”|
|18||ISLANDS||I (=one) + S (=son) + LANDS (=captures); the definition is “man and dogs, say”, referring to the Isle of Man and the Isle of Dogs|
|20||TISHRI||*(THIS) + RI (=theological training, i.e. Religious Instruction); “complex” is anagram indicator; Tishri is the first month of the Jewish civil year and the seventh of the ecclesiastical year|
|23||DOSE||D<r>O<w>S<i>E<r>; “regularly” means that alternate letters only are used; & lit.|