Posted by bridgesong on April 21st, 2012
This is the second prize puzzle by Paul that has fallen to me to blog in succession, and there are no complaints from me, although I do have a couple of quibbles. This puzzle featured an animal theme, with every clue (and many solutions) having a reference to an animal of some kind, some very ingeniously. I am bothered by 2 down (assuming that I’ve got it right), which strikes me as a very weak clue by Pauline standards.
8 Dirty animal having to go off among vile waste (5,3)
ERR in *WASTE
9 Incarnation putting a tax on skinned hare (6)
A VAT (h)AR(e)
10 Show off 24 across (4)
Cryptic definition – 24 across is BIRD
11 Study of The Beast done with gloomy cryptic (10)
12 Predatory mammal, paws taking in rivers (6)
RR in FEET (paws).
14 Those tending mules, say — or 24 down? (8)
Cryptic definition, with a nice use of the word “mules” to refer to a type of shoe. 24 down is BULL, which gives another meaning.
15 Caught by bat, hear this, fundamentally (2,5)
Hidden in “bat,hear this”. One of the best-concealed hidden clues I’ve seen for a long time.
17 Cat reserving books by Conservative elder statesman (7)
NT in LION, preceded by C. Presumably the clue refers to Bill, not Hillary.
20 Mongrel can live west of a European city (8)
*(CAN LIVE) west of – i.e. to the left of, A.
22 24 across — pig (6)
Cryptic definition again – both a gannet and a pig are synonmous with greed.
23 Product of a chicken may be blest with food, I suspect (4-6)
*(BLEST FOOD I). “Suspect” was the anagram indicator.
24 Creature’s time in cage (4)
Cryptic definition, referring to a slang term for time in prison.
25 Champion, popular horse (6)
HERO, IN. Horse is an old slang term for heroin.
26 Live more like a savage fox (8)
BE WILDER. Fox is used here in a subtly misleading way.
1 Cow drinking last of lager set off for drinking event (8)
R in BEEF, *SET. The only problem is that this compound doesn’t appear in Chambers; it’s also not in the online version of Collins. It was the title of a film in 2006.
2 Comment from cat, or setter — something bit me? (4)
ME, OW? I can’t really explain this clue, which seems very weak, especially as “me” appears in the clue, but nothing else fits.
3 Swallow etc, 24 across less black, perhaps (6)
4 Bear put cat in bag with tail of fish (7)
TOM in SAC, (fis)H.
5 Originally Hurt, obsessively tidy, screening writer’s part for The Elephant Man (8)
H(urt), NIB in ANAL. The reference is to David Lynch’s film in which John Hurt starred. Hannibal famously defeated the Romans by taking elephants over the Alps.
6 Tell 9 bats about sailor getting material on board (5,5)
AB in *TELL NINE.
7 Animal (hound) (6)
Definition and cryptic definition
13 Members may seek this angling equipment — notice fishy on the end (2-8)
16 Animals finding company in fruit, moving right to the surface (8)
CO in ACORNS, with the R moved to the front.
18 Duck close to the sea, a limb short (3-5)
0 NEAR MED.
19 Animal, ass eating headless fish (7)
(d)AB in WALLY.
21 Time to support one entertaining very old 24 across (6)
V(ery) O(ld) in ACE, T.
22 Dog now barking, seeing drop (2,4)
24 Animal’s hogwash (4)