Posted by Uncle Yap on January 10th, 2012
Today’s puzzle is very entertaining with many lovely and clever devices.
When I say I found a puzzle easy (like I did last week) it probably meant that I took less than 10 minutes to complete. I hope this does not discourage the newer members of this fraternity of cruciverbalists. When I discovered cryptic crosswords as a student, I did not finish a Times puzzle until about a year later … but perseverance and a positive learning curve helped. After forty years, one should have made progress
1 CARPET Ins of R (first letter of Richard) in the House of CAPET which ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328
5 HEADSHIP HEAD (top) SHIP (liner) with an almost &littish surface
9 MOURNING Sounds like MORNING (alluding to the fact that lunch, the midday meal is usually taken from 12 onwards)
10 STRODE Ins of TROD (stepped) in SE (south-east where Kent is); also *(DORSET) which meant you got two cryptic elements in this clue. Quite like a Malaysian market vendor shouting “Buy one, free one”
11 OPEN SANDWICH cd The Open Championship, or simply The Open (sometimes referred to as the British Open), is the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf.
13 ERIN ER (Elizabeth Regina) IN
14 ENERGISE *(GREENIES)
17 ISOLATED *(IDEA LOST)
18 SHOW Not a very well-hidden answer; the only blot in this excellent selection of clues
20 LINGUA FRANCA Sounds like FRANKER (more open) for a language chosen as a medium of communication among speakers of different languages; any hybrid language used for the same purpose.
23 ATABEG Cha of A TAB (bill) EG (exempli gratia, for example)
24 INTRIGUE dd a secret illicit love affair would be grist to the mill for the tabloids
25 GOODNESS dd
26 PINION OPINION (view) minus O (love)
2 AMOK AM (morning) OK (fine) for this Malay-origin word
3 PERSONNEL *(LEPERS NON)
4 TOILET Ins of I (one) on TO LET (property available) Hands up those who have, as naughty teenagers, inserted the I in such a sign. Uncle Yap’s hand straight up in the air
5 HIGH-SPEED TRAINS HIGH (tall) *(PEDESTRIANS) A crafty surface, my COD
6 ABSENTEE cd nice misdirection; not all there is an euphemism for being a little insane or eccentric.
7 SHREW Ins of *(HER) in SW (south-west where Devon is)
8 INDECISION Ins of DE (rev of ED Miliband, leader of the British Labour Party) in INCISION (cut)
12 PROSCIUTTO *(POOR CUT IT’S) for finely cured uncooked ham, often smoked.
15 GESTATION *(INTO STAGE) from conception to delivery of a baby
16 STRANGLE Ins of L (learner or student) in STRANGE (unusual)
19 INSTEP Soldiers march in step
21 GIBED GI (soldier) BED (plot)
22 HUGO HUG (embrace) + O (love; same device as 26A, second blot) Victor-Marie Hugo (1802–1885) was a French writer best known for Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Key to abbreviations
dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
rha = reversed hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram