Posted by beermagnet on March 31st, 2012
I had a bit of ‘blogger’s blindness’ on this one.
I found it a struggle, harder than most Tyrus puzzles I’ve tackled before – hard to get started and hard to make inroads into.
I can see there are a few simple clues sprinkled around but they didn’t give enough crossing letters for me to get enough of the mental crowbar on the edge of the tough ones. There were only 2 clues solved on the first pass, only about half done when I called a halt after 45 mins for half time oranges. The bottom half was particularly troublesome at this point, the top was beating the bottom about 4- 1 (though that pesky 1A held out till the end) . In the end the match went to extra time and we all know what happens then (see 14D)
There is probably loads more footy related stuff that has gone over my head. Can someone please enlighten us with what I’ve missed. (If I don’t reply immediately it’s probably because I’m picking the ball out the back of the net)
|1||AGIN||Further cuts a local’s opposed to (4)
AG[a]IN Last answer in. It is not unusual for 1A to be the last. This time it is because although I had -G-N for some time I could not see what it could possibly be. I eventually convinced myself it was AGIN, mainly because there isn’t much else that fits, and found it is a dialect word for against. I found the wordplay hard: “Again” is not the first synonym of “further” that springs to mind.
|9||ALL RIGHT||Anything amiss? No … yes (3,5)
Double Def. one cryptic.
|10||PLAYER||Arrange parts for each performer (6)
LAY (arrange) inside (parts) PER (for each)
|11||REPAST||Soldiers have gone for meal (6)
RE PAST One of the simpler clues – why didn’t I see it on first pass? – saw it soon enough on a re-read
|12||PINNACLE||Top hotel in slightly dodgy place (8)
INN inside (PLACE)* AInd: dodgy (slightly indeed, PACLE not much different from PLACE)
|13||FABIO CAPELLO||—– ——- able? Flop! Ciao! Harry! (5,7)
(ABLE FLOP CAIO)* AInd: Harry. I presume this is an &Lit as there’s nothing left of the clue after spotting the anagram – maybe that’s it: He ducked out of the England Manager job recently and now he’s ducked out of this clue! I got this about half way through and thought it might bode for a more fulsome footy-related theme.
|16||UNREGIMENTED||Meeting run badly – man’s not strictly organised (12)
(MEETING RUN)* AInd: badly then ED (man)
|20||OMISSION||Something lacking in old job (8)
O[ld] MISSION (job)
|22||LIE LOW||This will be blown up reportedly – take cover (3,3)
Homophone “lilo”. Fooled me into thinking about enlarging pictures (I though the explosive “blow up” was being used to misdirect) I didn’t think of the more direct sense till much later
|23||ARTIST||Performer’s sweetheart is taking part (6)
Hidden in sweetheART IS Taking
|24||MAINTAIN||Insist head isn’t arrested (8)
AINT (isn’t) inside MAIN (head)
|25||THE GERMANS||Race beginning in Athens originally (3,7)
GERM (beginning) inside (ATHENS)* AInd: originally. Several levels of misdirection going on here: Race/Athens making us think of marathon, Olympics or other running race, “originally” more usually being a leading character indicator etc. etc.
|26||NIGH||26 Almost dark? Almost (4)
NIGH[t] First clue answered. Yes, all across clues unsolved on first sight till the last one.
|2/4A||GOLDEN GENERATION||2/4A Group of 10s, leading one, finally winning – er … not as it turned out (6,10)
(LEADING ONE [winnin]G ER NOT)* AInd: as it turned out. Not a phrase I’d come across. [Wiki] Couldn’t be much else from the (eventual) crossing letters. I have a strong suspicion that this is a key phrase that unlocks the puzzle’s theme but understandable to the initiated(?)
|3||NIRVANA||Back in front in Argentina’s group (7)
IN< VAN inside RA (República Argentina)
|4||GO-GETTING||Boiled egg tonight – husband declined to be enterprising (2-7)
(EGG TONIGHT -H[usband])* AInd: boiled
|5||NET||Score half when promoted (3)
TEN< Ten as in half of twenty = score reversed (promoted) I do not understand where the definition is here, but it possibly fits into the general/possible footy theme.
|6||RIPON||Reverse of swindle in Yorkshire city? (5)
As opposed to Rip-Off (swindle) Liked this
|7||TRAVAIL||Labour right about benefit (7)
RT< (right, about) AVAIL benefit
|8||OVERLOOK||Miss short public appearance (8)
|12||PACEMAN||After spin, handle top fast bowler (7)
NAME (handle) CAP (top) all reversed
|14||PENALTIES||English plans miscarry, getting draw and what may follow (19 to 25?) (9)
TIE (draw) inside (E[nglish] PLANS)* AInd: miscarry. It’s a well-known feature of International Cup competitions that if England play Germany they will draw after extra time and lose on penalties
|15||OUTMARCH||Walk further than border with pain in joints – not good (8)
MARCH (border) preceded by [g]OUT (pain in joints, not Good) I know as much about gout as I want to, thank you very much. I’m also prepared to answer to the name The Anti-Inflammatory Kid.
|17||RESTING||Not working on police trap (7)
RE (on) STING (Police trap) Not working in the actors’ sense
|18||EVERTON||Norman’s ex on team (7)
EVERT (Norman’s Ex) ON. I had to look this up: Greg Norman married Chris Evert in June 2008, but separated in October 2009
|19||LOSING||See wrong girl’s top and behind (6)
LO (see) SIN (wrong) G[irl]. A clue surface worthy of Cyclops – “which is why it’s my pick of the week”
|21||INTER||Season’s spent with top Italian side (5)
|24||MIA||End up with her (3)