Posted by Pierre on February 27th, 2012
The boss has given himself the Monday slot, and given us a fine crossword with a wide range of reference material and some clever cluing.
The Monday Indy is generally an accessible puzzle (which is why I volunteered to blog it) and this was certainly that, although there were quite a few towards the end where the solving was easier than the parsing. There is a theme here: there are at least six answers which are films from 2011. There may be more: movies are not my strong point so it’s entirely possible that I’ve missed some. And of course it was the Oscars last night, so that might just have something to do with it. Movie buffs among you can no doubt elaborate.
As usual, there’s one where I need help with parsing.
cd cryptic definition
dd double definition
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x] letter(s) removed
8 One formerly known as Prince’s courage is shown in motorcycle races?
An insertion of HEART IS in TT for the Isle of Man races. The singer Prince changed his name to THE ARTIST. Our first film – it was a silent one.
9 Boy to embrace with love
A charade of HUG and O, and another 2011 release.
10 Dim thing difficult to find when it’s dark
(DIM THING)* ‘Difficult to find’ is the anagrind. Midnight in Paris was another 2011 film, but I’m not sure if that’s what the setter intended.
11 Republican with money problems? Not exactly!
(R MONEY)* ‘Problems’ is the anagrind. Referring to Mitt Romney, the allegedly French-speaking Republican Presidential candidate, who’s not short of a few bob.
12 In this Meryl’s heart’s not always in playing of hardline Tory?
THE IRON LADY
Clever. (HA[R]DLINE TORY)* ‘Playing’ is the anagrind and Eimi’s inviting you to take R for the heart of MeRyl out of the anagram fodder. Another of last year’s films, which starred Meryl Streep as the ageing Margaret Thatcher and outraged some hardline Tories. I haven’t seen it, so I couldn’t possibly comment. Let’s just say that when the day arrives, I won’t be voting for a state funeral …
16 Closed before closing time in drinks fiascos
I was hoping this would come to me when writing up the blog and it has (I think). It’s an insertion of SHU[T] for ‘closed’ without the closing T for ‘time’ in LAPS for ‘drinks’. LASH-UPS are ‘fiascos’.
17 Traveller in Italian capital going over Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in E-flat major
A reversal (‘going over’) of REP in ROME for the Emperor Piano Concerto, Beethoven’s last.
18 Car held by driving school helps attendants
An insertion of RIDE in BSM, British School of Motoring, then AIDS. Another film. Is the BSM still going?
22 Senior citizen cooking almond
24 Veteran soldier’s not so good without a right hand
An insertion of A and RH in WORSE gives us our next film.
25 Nail the source of “Let the train take the strain”
A BRAD is a ‘thin, flat, small-headed nail’ (SOED) and although I personally can’t remember it, I am guessing that ‘Let the train take the strain’ was a promotional phrase for British Railways in the heady days when the railways were nationalised and you could buy a ticket cheaply and easily rather than having to spend a fortune and a fortnight online trying to find the best price. Anyway, it would have been a BR AD(vertisement). Brad Pitt, of course, but I don’t know if that’s part of the film theme.
26 Thirst for beers and Tango contained here in the Middle East
An insertion of ALES and T for Tango from the phonetic alphabet in PINE for ‘thirst for’.
1 Stumped by simple-minded person’s landing
A charade of ST for the cricketing abbreviation and AIRHEAD to give you another word for the landing on a flight of stairs.
2 Source of illumination in the long run
(IN THE LONG)* with ‘run’ as the anagrind. Good spot.
3 Bug French painter about old painting’s finish
This little fellow is an insertion of O for ‘old’ and G for the last letter of ‘painting’ between FR and HOPPER for the American painter Edward Hopper (1882-1967).
4 Supporter of unusual intelligence
Hidden in unusuaL INTELligence.
5 Celebrity set fair to appear regularly
The odd letters of SeT fAiR.
6 One character in Western having a setback – what a pity!
I can tell you that it’s another 2011 film, but how the clue works, I haven’t the foggiest.
Thanks to Querulous for explaining this at comment no 1. I wouldn’t have got that in a million years.
7 Woman Frayn finally cast in Donkeys’ Years
An insertion of N for the last letter of Frayn in AGES. Donkeys’ Years is indeed a play written by Michael Frayn.
13 Sweet-scented flower originated around Slovakia, below embankment
A charade of DAM for ‘embankment’ and an insertion of SK for the internet domain code for Slovakia in AROSE. I only discovered recently (through a crossword, natch) that the material DAMASK is so-called because of its links with Damascus, the Syrian capital, and it seems that the DAMASK ROSE may have similar origins. What is happening in Syria at the moment is, sadly, anything but ‘sweet-scented’.
14 Hormone replacement treatment of ailment’s working internally
An insertion of ON for ‘working’ in (AILMENT)* with ‘replacement treatment’ as the anagrind. MELATONIN is the hormone implicated in mammalian circadian rhythms.
15 Reformed sea dog now in perfect condition
GOOD AS NEW
(SEA DOG NOW)*
19 One regulation I’d overturned for festival
A reversal of I LAW I’D to give you one version of the Hindu festival of light. DEWALI, DIVALI and DEEPAVALI are your other options. From the Sanskrit dipavali, ‘row of lights’, if you’re remotely interested.
20 Liberal involved in distasteful widespread praise
An insertion of L in GORY.
21 To be found in MDMA compound
‘Compound’ is the definition: it’s a charade of AMID for ‘to be found in’ and E for Ecstasy, which is the street name for MDMA, or 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. AMIDES are compounds which contain a CONH2 group.
23 Gym cancelled? I’m afraid not
A cd. If gym were cancelled, there’d be NO PE.
Thanks to Eimi for a well-crafted puzzle which I enjoyed solving and blogging. I was going to complain that there wasn’t the usual football-related clue, but after events in North London yesterday afternoon we’ll perhaps leave that till next time …