Posted by RatkojaRiku on April 10th, 2012
The pleasure and challenge of blogging an Anax had not fallen to me in a good long while, so I was excited this morning when I first set eyes on the grid. However, I was also a tad apprehensive since I am away from home at the moment, with less time and fewer works of reference at hand than would normally be the case.
The clues themed around 23/25 proved tantalisingly elusive, even though I had guessed 11 from the wordplay and sorted out the breast/bust/bosom references at 1, 5 and 18D respectively. I suspected that clothing would figure in one form or another and eventually solved the anagrams at 18A and 23/25. The expression at 23/25 was new to me, so it really was a case of working out 25 from the left-over letters.
The wordplay is characteristically tight, with every last letter being fully accounted for. I haven’t yet worked out the wordplay at 13, which is no doubt wholly fair and which I look forward to having explained to me – done, thanks! In a way, with a puzzle of this quality, it seems almost fitting for Anax to have had the last laugh.
2 was also a new word but could be satisfactorily deduced from the wordplay. My favourites today were the cheekily concise wordplay at 10 and the deceptive surface at 5. And as a Whitney fan, I just can’t resist 15!
*(…) indicates an anagram
|1||CHICKEN BREAST||Wordplay: CHICKEN (=yellow, cowardly, i.e. the entry at 8 ) + BREAST (=bosom, i.e. the entry at 18D); cryptic definition: “layer cut”, i.e. a cut of meat from a layer of eggs|
|9||ETA||<gr>ETA (=Garbo, i.e. the Swedish actress); “King George (=GR) stolen” means the letters “gr” are dropped|
|10||DRESS CIRCLE||The word “Garbo” has to be split in two in the wordplay to give DRESS (=garb) + CIRCLE (=O)|
|12||LADDERED||LAD (=boy) + [R (=runs) + DEED (=performance)]; “with wardrobe malfunction perhaps”, i.e. the entry at 23 25, referring here to laddered tights and stockings|
|13||IRONED||Definition: “prepared for wardrobe”, i.e. entry at 23; wordplay: DEN (=hole) + OR (=yellow, in heraldry, i.e. entry at 8 ) + I (=one); “around” indicates reversal|
|15||WOWS||First letters (“starts to”) of W<eep> - O<bviously> W<hitney’s> S<inging>|
|16||STREET LAMP||TLAM (MALT=whisky; “perversely” means wrong way round, reversed) in STREEP (=actress, i.e. American actress Meryl Streep)|
|18||BODY-WARMER||*(MY WARDROBE); WARDROBE is entry at 23; anagram indicator is MALFUNCTION, i.e. entry at 25|
|19||TYPO||Hidden (“part of”) in “parTY POpper”|
|22||SESAME||<u>SE<r> (“with no need for banks” means outer letters are dropped) + SAME (=not changed); the reference is to the password Open Sesame! from the Ali Baba story)|
|23/25||WARDROBE MALFUNCTION||*(WOULDN’T CONFIRM, A BARE); anagram indicator is BUST, i.e. entry at 5; a wardrobe malfunction is the temporary failure of an item of clothing to do its job in covering a part of the body that it would be advisable to keep covered!|
|26||EFF||E (=echo, i.e. the letter “e” in international radio communication) + FF (=very loud, i.e. fortissimo); the cryptic definition is “blind companion” as in “effing and blinding”|
|27||SYSTEMATISING||[STEM (=flow (from), originate) in *(IT, SAY)] + SING (=pipe); “damaged” is anagram indicator|
|2||HEAD-DOWN DISPLAY||HEAD DOWN (=end up’s opposite, i.e. entry at 11) + D (=date) + IS + PLAY (=act as); a head-down display is a display, usually visual, mounted inside the cockpit to supplement the head-up display, hence “monitor for pilot”|
|3||CUDGEL||CUD (=chewy stuff, as in to chew the cud) + GEL (LEG=on, i.e. side in cricket; “flipping” indicates a reversal)|
|4||ELEMENTARY||[E (=English) + MEN (=soldiers) + TAR (=pitch)] in ELY (=see, i.e. diocese); the definition is “one precursor to secondary modern”, i.e. entry at 7|
|5||BUST||US (=American) in BT (=calling business, i.e. British Telecom)|
|6||EMIGRATE||<settlin>G (“finally” means last letter only) in EMIRATE (=land overseas)|
|7||SECONDARY MODERN||*(RECORDS – AND MONEY); “lost” is anagram indicator|
|8||YELLOW||YE (=the old, i.e. an archaic word for the) + L (=Latin) + LOW (=near the ground); the reference is to China’s Yellow River, the 6th-longest river in the world|
|11||END UP||*(NUDE) + P (=piano); “dancing” is anagram indicator|
|14||FEDERALIST||FED (=given) + ERA (=time) + LIST (=register); the Federalist Party was the first American political party, founded in the 1790s|
|17||SWIMSUIT||SWI<g> (=drink; “short” means last letter is dropped) + *(I MUST); “get out” is anagram indicator; definition is “part of summer wardrobe”, i.e. entry at 23|
|18||BOSOM||S (=seconds) in BOOM (=bust’s opposite, i.e. entry at 5, referring to the economic expression boom or bust); the definition is BUST, i.e. entry at 5, referring to a woman’s chest|
|20||ONE-OFF||F (=female) + FOE (=rival) + NO (=certainly not); “upset” indicates vertical reversal|
|21||ADONIS||*(SAID NO); “unfortunately” is anagram indicator|
|24||SCUM||C (=100) in SUM (=total); the definition is “the lowest”, as in the expression the lowest of the low|