Posted by RatkojaRiku on March 13th, 2012
Although I am familiar with Radian’s work from this and other publications as a solver, this is the first time I have blogged a puzzle of his for the Indy.
It was clear from the outset that I had a puzzle on my hands that was themed around a writer (at 10/18) and one of his works (at 5D). By solving other intersecting clues in the SW quadrant, I was able to guess the author at 18 and confirm it via the wordplay, whereupon there was really only one candidate for 5D. Radian had cleverly worked the famous Mercier quotation into the grid (at 11/20/14) and reinforced the theme (more incidentally) through a number of other entries (6, 7, 12, 26, 28 – and 24).
I particularly liked the reference to “7 Across” in 9, which held me up for a long time – was there a typo in the clue, I wondered, since 7 was a down clue? Eventually, the penny dropped! The last clue that I parsed was 1, which I had solved instantly but where the relevance of “in France” didn’t dawn on me until it was almost time to post the blog.
Furthermore, perhaps someone could confirm the wordplay in 19: is duke really “du”, since it is normally just “d” – done, thanks!
Many thanks to Radian for an enjoyable and accessible puzzle, and for reminding me that it is perhaps time for me to dust off my copy of WFG which hasn’t been touched since my university days.
*(…) indicates an anagram
|1||LETS GO||Definition: “releases”; <g>allons (“starting off” means first letter is dropped); “Allons!” means “Let’s go!” in French|
|5||WARFARE||FAR (RAF=flyers, i.e. Royal Air Force; “circulated” indicates reversal) in WARE (=China, e.g. Delftware)|
|9||VIRTUOSI||*(TOURS) in VII (=7; “across” means it straddles the rest of entry); “arranged” is anagram indicator|
|10/18||SAMUEL BECKETT||[ELBE (=European “banker”, i.e. river) in MUCK (=filth)] in *(TASTE); “poor” is anagram indicator; the reference is to Irish playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett (1906-89), who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969|
|11||NOTHING||THIN (=weak) in NOG (=drink); the definition is “love”, as in zero score in tennis|
|12||ERIN||Hidden (“in”) in “Lord of thE RINgs”; the definition is “Samuel Beckett (10 18)’s poetic source”, since Beckett was from Eire, referred to poetically as Erin|
|14||TWICE||*(WIC<k>ET); “Kent opener (=K) abandons” means that first letter is dropped from anagram; “sticky” is anagram indicator|
|15||GUESSING||[*(ISSUE) + N (=Norway)] in G G (G=government, x2); “in dispute” is anagram indicator|
|17||SOMBRERO||ER (=Queen) in *(MOS<s> Bro<s>); “ignored tails” means that last letter of each word is dropped from anagram; “in panic” is anagram indicator|
|19||CHESS||<du>CHESS (=his wife, i.e. of duke); Duke (=Du) left” means the letters “du” are dropped; the definition is “board meeting”, referring to the game|
|22||TALC||Hidden (“what’s kept in”) in “hospiTAL Cupboard”; & lit.|
|23||REGROUP||O (=circle; “inner” means inside rest of word) in [REGRUP (PURGE (=evacuate) + R (=king)]; “in retreat” indicates reversal|
|25||HIKERS||<m>I<l>K (“regularly” means alternate letters only are used) in HERS (=woman’s)|
|26||DITHERED||THERE (=in that place) in DID; & lit.; the characters in Waiting for Godot (=5D) certainly do plenty of dithering|
|27||DETRACT||RAC (CAR=vehicle; “overturned” indicates reversal) in [DE (=Delaware) + TT (=races)]|
|28||ABSURD||SUR<e> (=certain; “to be cut” means last letter is dropped) in *(BAD); “broadcast” is anagram indicator; Samuel Beckett (=10 18) was an exponent of the theatre of the absurd|
|2||EXIT||X (=ten) in EIT (TIE=match; “over” indicates vertical reversal)|
|3||SATANIC||SA (AS=like; “being recalled” indicates vertical reversal) + TAN (=Brown) + IC (=in charge); the definition is “like hell”|
|4||OPORTO||PORT (=harbour) in O O (=loves; love = 0, i.e. zero, nil, x2)|
|5||WAITING FOR GODOT||Once grid references are replaced by their entries, the clue reads: “Work by Samuel Becket in which nothing happens twice”; Waiting for Godot is an absurdist play written in French and translated into English by Samuel Beckett, premièred in 1953; theatre critic Vivian Mercier famously described it as “a play in which nothing happens, twice”|
|6||RESIGNED||*(DESIGNER); “theatrical” is anagram indicator; the characters in Waiting for Godot (=5D) are certainly resigned to having a long wait|
|7||AIMLESS||A + *(SMILE) + S<cenery> (“only one piece of” means first letter only); “wry” is anagram indicator; the characters in Waiting for Godot are certainly aimless|
|6||EYEWITNESS||IT (=appeal, i.e. sex appeal, as in She’s got it!) in *(Sweeney’s); “surprisingly” is anagram indicator|
|13||TWO OF A KIND||In poker, two of a kind is less than three of a kind or a flush; the main characters in Waiting for Godot, Vladimir and Estragon, are clearly two of a kind|
|16||NEBRASKA||A (=America, as in USA) in *(BANKERS); “toxic” is anagram indicator|
|20||HAPPENS||APP (=apprentice) in HENS (=egg producers)|
|21||ROSTRA||ARTS (=faculty) + OR (=men, i.e. other ranks); “stood up” indicates vertical reversal|
|24||REAR||<vladimi>R + EAR (=attention); incidentally, Vladimir is one of the main characters in Waiting for Godot|