Posted by PeeDee on February 22nd, 2012
No prizes for guessing the subject of the celebration in this puzzle.
Happy 80th birthday to Roger Squires, also known in FT circles as Dante.
This puzzle contains numerous references to Roger Squires’s life. He was born in 1932 and educated at Wolverhampton Grammar School, leaving at 15 to serve as a rating in the Royal Navy, training at the HMS Ganges base, once notorious for harsh treatment. He eventually became an observer flying in the Fleet Air Arm. At sea he passed his time setting cryptic crosswords, learning card tricks and joined the Magic Circle. On leaving the navy he became a professional actor and magician, making hundreds of appearances on British Television. On the breakup of his marriage he was forced to give up acting to be at home to care for his two children. To make ends meet he ramped up his crossword output, selling crosswords at some time to almost all the British newspapers, notably including the FT, Observer, Guardian (as Rufus) and the Glasgow Herald. He calculated that at the time he needed to produce 40 crosswords per week to survive financially. This output eventually led to him being recognised in the Guiness Book of Records as the most prolific cryptic crossword setter in the world. He is a member of Mensa, lives in Ironbridge and has grandchildren called Esme and Oscar.
My apologies for the late posting, but for some reason there was no online version of this puzzle and I had to spend ages driving around trying to find a somewhere selling a paper copy of the FT.
Thank you very much to John H who kindly prompts me to look for words hidden in today’s grid: guru fusillade, period antepost, basillica russet, sharpshod gear and longbow erect. These are all pseudonymns used by Roger Squires.
|9||SQUIRES||Second QU (question) I RES (reserve)|
|10||SHARP-SHOD||SHARP (someone crafty with cards) SH (quiet) ODd (funny, unfinished) – fitted with spiked horseshoes|
|11||GEAR||hidden (secret) in IronbridGE ARtitste – definition is paraphernalia|
|12||BASILICA||B (first letter of boat) and anagram (seen off) of CALAIS and I (one, roman numeral)|
|15||RUSSET||RUfuS (missing much of fun) and SET (compile) – rufous means reddish-brown|
|17||ITS A KIND OF MAGIC||(KING ADMIT FIASCO)* – album and song by the rock band Queen, also reference to Roger Squires membership of the Magic Circle and also his frequently elegant cryptic clues|
|21||PERIOD||EsmE and OscaR (final letters) in POD (school, of whales)|
|24||ANTE-POST||Ace and TEN-SPOT* – a bet placed well before a race|
|25||GURU||maGic (essence of=centre) with Relax (start of) between UU (two u-turns)|
|26||FUSILLADE||anagram (preposterous) of DULL (mostly) LIFE A and Stultifying (a little of) – definition is ‘hail’|
|29||LONGBOW||MeNsa (core of) in LOG (record) and BOW (take a bow=to acknowledge)|
|30||ERECT||puzzlE (ultimately) and RECT (sounds like wrecked=ruined) – definition is ‘hard’|
|1||BRASSART||BRASS (chutzpah) and ART (trickery) – an arm-piece in a suit of armour|
|2||PROP||PRO (for) Puzzling (a little bit of) – definition is ‘back up’|
|3||GSOH||SO (very) inside Glasgow Herald (leaders of) – abbreviation in the personal columns for ‘good sense of humour’, wit|
|4||FUND||FUN (entertainment) crossworD (end of) – definition is ‘supply’|
|5||BRUGES||BRUtal GanGES (skipping over six letters)|
|6||ESCAPE||APE (take off, copy) after ESC (key on computer keyboard)|
|8||GRANITA||(A RATING)* – an Italian water-ice dessert|
|13||ILIAD||DAILIes (newspapers, two letters missing) reversed (recalled) – epic poem by Homer|
|14||ALDEA||cAlLeD (regularly, every other letter) and EA (each) – a place in Lanzarote, also Spanish for ‘village’|
|15||REFIT||anagram (affecting) of FT IE (that is) Right – definition is ‘refit’|
|16||SAG||gAnGeS* periodicaly=every other letter, planned=anagram – definition is ‘sinking’, as a noun|
|18||SIR||contained in makeS IRonbridge – definition is ‘feted fellow’|
|19||APPEASE||Actor (first letter of) PP (very quiet) EASE (quiet) – definition is ‘quiet’, to quieten|
|20||INSPECTS||INSECTS (flies perhaps) containing (without, going outside of) Parachute (initial letter of)|
|22||EQUALS||E (electronic) QUAiLS (game, birds) missing I=the first bit of incertitutde|
|23||IGUANA||GUArdIAN (missing RD=road, way) – could be a monitor lizard|
|26||FOBS||From One Brilliant Setter (starting letters) – definition is ‘tricks’, old=archaic defiition|
|27||SEWN||EW (bridge partners) in School and Navy – definition is ‘joined’|
|28||LEEK||General Robert E. LEE and Knowledge (part 1=first letter) – town in Staffordshire|