Posted by scchua on January 23rd, 2012
Apologies for the later than usual posting. Thanks Rufus for a typical gentle start to the week, and to the New Year, the Lunar one, that is. Today’s the first day of the Chinese New Year celebrations, marked by the traditional visiting of family and friends, the reason for my being late. And if you’re celebrating, A Happy Chinese New Year of the Dragon to you too. Definitions are underlined in the clues. The set of pictures at the bottom has an unidentified link to the crossword.
7 Say it, for example, before church (9)
PRONOUNCE : PRONOUN(an example of which,for example is “it”) placed before(before) CE(abbrev. for Church of England)
8 Where one may put the chalk before break, at the right moment (2,3)
ON CUE : Double defn: 1st: Cryptic defn: A billiards/snooker/pool player may put chalk on his/her cue just before his/her turn,break
9 Keen for action? (6,3)
BATTLE CRY : Cryptic defn: BATTLE(action,fighting) + CRY(keen,mourn, usually for the dead) making something to rally the troops keen,eager for action,fight. A nice wordplay intertwined with the definition (WIWD)
10 Boat with half the crew in the stern (5)
CRAFT : CR(half the letters of “crew”) plus(in the – I thought “at the” would have been more apropos to avoid confusion with a container indication) AFT(sea-going parlance for stern,the back of the boat). The salutary nautical reference with Rufus. A nice surface.
12 Keep quiet about silver and nitrogen in the bottle (6)
MAGNUM : MUM(keep quiet) containing(about) AG(symbol for the element silver in chemistry) plus(and) N(similarly for the element nitrogen)
Defn: A large bottle (for wine) whose capacity is that of 2 ordinary bottles, or 1.5 litres
13 Service is nevertheless no good (8)
EVENSONG : EVEN SO(nevertheless,notwithstanding) NG(abbrevs. for “no” and “good” respectively)
Defn: Church service held in the evening
14 Problem for retired cover girl (7)
DILEMMA : Reversal of(retired) LID(cover for a container) + EMMA(name for a girl)
Defn: A problem that comes with a pair of horns on which you find yourself
17 Makes slow progress by streetcar (7)
STROLLS : ST(abbrev. for street) + ROLLS(Royce, the iconic British car marque, though also well known for jet engines)
20 A quiet river location, well chosen (8)
APPOSITE : A + P(piano, musical direction to play quietly) + PO(river in Italy) + SITE(location)
22 Boil – the spot comes first (6)
SEETHE : SEE(to spot,notice) placed before(comes first) THE
24 Conservative-Labour rift? (5)
CLEFT : C(abbrev. for a member of the Conservative Party) + LEFT(the traditional position of the Labour Party in the political spectrum, but traditions fade away)
25 Famous trumpet piece? Not impressed (9)
VOLUNTARY : Double defn: 1st: An English keyboard piece from the Baroque era, usually played on the organ using the trumpet stop – the most famous is perhaps Jeremiah Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary, mistakenly attributed to Henry Purcell; and 2nd: The opposite of,not being impressed/pressed/forced into, say, maritime service. Another nautical reference.
26 Shuffle the cards dishonestly and make a pile (5)
STACK : Double defn: 1st: From “to stack the deck/cards“,to arrange,shuffle cards in the deck in order to deal an advantageous hand, in other words to cheat
27 Removed fat, including wrinkle (6,3)
STRUCK OUT : STOUT(fat,weight-challenged in PC terms) containing(including) RUCK(a wrinkle,crease eg. in fabric) Lovely surface – think plastic surgery
1 Mistakes in Latin translation (6)
ERRATA : Cryptic defn (weakly?): Latin for wanderings,errors,strayings, translated as “ mistakes“
2 Example set by the Ancients (8)
INSTANCE : Anagram of(set by) ANCIENTS
3 Place of interest it’s the custom to be silent going round (6)
MUSEUM : MUM(be silent) containing(going round) USE(it’s the custom,customary practice or employment of as in “to follow the current use of such methods”
4 Colour of Sherlock’s study? (7)
SCARLET : Cryptic defn: Colour from the title of the Sherlock Holmes story “A Study in Scarlet”.
5 Entraps by gin? (6)
SNARES : Cryptic defn (slightly?): A gin is a trap for game The crypticness is from the surface of someone being snared,seduced by gin the drink?
6 Chelsea’s opener precedes painful play in big match (3,5)
CUP FINAL : C(initial letter,opener of “Chelsea”) placed before(precedes) anagram of(play) PAINFUL
11 It comes before the final passion (4)
HEAT : Double defn: 1st: The event that comes before, and to decide who is in, the final race.
15 Naughty child to lie when in trouble, being insolent (8)
IMPOLITE : IMP(naughty child) + anagram of(when in trouble) TO LIE
16 Leading sea power (4)
MAIN : Triple defn: 1st: The foremost,leading,significant, as in “the main event”; and 2nd: The high sea,the bounding main; and 3rd: Physical strength,force,power as in “might and main”
18 Go by car, perhaps (8)
OVERTAKE : Cryptic defn: To pass,go by (another) car, perhaps in your own,by car
19 Paces (sic) visited on holiday, or between holidays (7)
RESORTS : OR contained in(between) RESTS(holidays)
Defn: Places you go to to spend your holidays perhaps
21 Firm base? (6)
OFFICE : Cryptic defn: Place from which,base for a company’s,firm’s operations Situated perhaps in Slough?
22 Reduce to silence when imprisoned (4,2)
SHUT UP : Double defn.
23 Poor firm later making a profit (4,2)
HARD UP : HARD(firm, not company this time, but tough or solid) + UP(making a profit,in the black)