Posted by Eileen on April 20th, 2012
I thought this puzzle was great fun – lots of smiles and ‘aha’ moments along the way. Many thanks, Puck, for a very enjoyable and entertaining end to a wet week.
PS 4.30pm: It’s a good job that the rest of the puzzle was of such a high standard and it didn’t rest on the delightful twist in the tail [or curl in the middle], which I missed [almost] entirely. I can’t believe I actually mentioned an armadillo! I might have said something less than positive in this preamble and ended up with even more egg on my face. It’s a comfort to know that I was not entirely alone!
Apologies again, Puck, and renewed thanks for what turned out to be an absolute gem of a puzzle.
1 STRANGLER: STR [initial letters of Spared The Rod] + ANGLER [one who may use it]
9 TAHRIR SQUARE: QU [Queen] inside [‘wearing’] anagram [improper] of SARI RATHER
10 ROOMMATES: anagram [poor] of THOMAS MORE minus H [Henry] – an excellent surface [but poor Thomas More didn’t have any roommates in the Tower!]
11 HIDDEN TALENT: cryptic definition? Edit: No, hidden in fronTAL ENTertainment – thanks, jvh, comment 2
12 VACUUMIMG: VAC [holiday] + UU [double U – ‘wife primarily’] + MING [china]
13,30 MORRIS DANCER: anagram [getting upset] of IS DR CAMERON R[ight]:
for non-residents of the UK, who may not be familiar with our quainter custooms, here’s an example of a hobby horse dance [the idea of Dr Finlay’s dour but lovable boss getting involved is hilarious]
17 ARM: A [area] R [right] M [male]: a rather Pauline clue!
19 ALCOHOL: AL[l] [nearly everybody] + COOL [calm] around [drinking] H [hot]
20 AVIGNON: anagram [drunk] of GIN in AVON [water] – lovely surface
21 LID: I instead of [after heart transplant] s in LsD [drug]
27 RETAILERS: anagram [hit] of LATE RISER
29 ERUDITION: EDITION [publication] round RU [Rugby Union – sport]
31 GRANDDADS: GRAND [piano] + D [died] + anagram [awfully] of SAD – yes, isn’t it?
2,26 THOMAS ARNOLD: HO [house] M.A.’S [master’s] in TARN [mountain lake] + OLD [former]: another excellent surface – Thomas Arnold was Headmaster of Rugby School 1828-41
3,25 ARMOUR-PLATED: anagram [badly] of RAPTOR MAULED: I think I’m being a bit dim here: I’ve tried playing around with the letters of 5 and 22 down and got nowhere, apart from seeing a reversal of IRON in there – is it just a reference to an armadillo? – I don’t think so! Edit: well, I was right there! See comments 1 and 7
4,24 GRAEME GARDEN: G [last letter [finally] of recordinG] + anagram [abandoned] of GAME RE[f] + ARDEN [forest] : Graeme Garden was one of the Goodies and is now perhaps best-known as a panellist on one of my favourite radio programmes, ‘I’m sorry, I haven’t a clue’
5 ELEANOR: LEAN [t]O [shed minus T [model] in ER [emergency room] – this conjures up an amusing picture of Puck’s fellow-setter!
6 HALITOSIS: anagram [new] of HOSPITALS minus P [no parking] around [put in] I
7 GRIDIRONS: GR [Georgius Rex – king] + reversal [taking up] of DI [the crossword princess] + IRONS [clubs]; a gridiron is an American football field
8 GRANDSONS: GR [the king again] + AND [with] + SONS [his princes] – a nice tie-in with 31ac.
14 LASSITUDE: LASSI[e] [wee girl almost] + anagram [collapsed] of DUE T[o]
15 SCRUBLAND: SCRUB [take axe to] LAND [country]
16 PHARYNXES: [l]YNX [headless cat] in anagram [about] of PHRASE
17 ALL: homophone [broadcast] of awl [boring item]
18 MAD: M AD [1000 AD]
22 IN ERROR: I [one] + anagram [confused] of ON + E [last letter of thE] + RRR