Posted by nmsindy on April 23rd, 2012
A puzzle which I enjoyed, solving time 32 mins. I found the top half very easy but the bottom half far more difficult.
Mordred often has themes/Ninas, sometimes quite subtle ones. After completing solving, I noticed that there are quite a lot of food items in the grid including 18 and 25 taken together. Also 8, 15, 2, 9, 14D,17, 19, 23.
I notice AMEOBI appears in row 3. I think the appearance of this footballer who seems to score goal(s) for Newcastle every time they meet Sunderland in Tyne-Wear derbies, but rarely scores (or even gets a start in the team) otherwise is probably just a coincidence.
8 BREAD AND BUTTER Fare = food The phrase means ordinary, practical. Sticking just one little further bit with the football context, I seem to remember, during an FA Cup Final commentary way back when that was just about the only game shown live on TV, Pat Rice, a no-nonsense Arsenal defender (nowadays coaching with the club at Arsene Wenger’s side), trapped a ball in a very skilful way and passed it to another player to defuse a difficult situation. This led David Coleman, the BBC commentator, to remark “and they say Rice is a bread and butter player”.
10 LOOKS ON “look son!” (issue = child)
11 ANTIOCH Early centre of Christianity – in modern-day Turkey (to China)*
12 NUTCASE cuckoo = nutcase = insane or foolish person. I think the rest is just saying that a bird would have to crack the case of a nut to get at the nut, but happy to be advised if I’ve missed something
14 SCHLEPP A clumsy person sch = school 1st letters of the last 4 words in the clue
15 A FISH SUPPER (pup fears his)* a takeaway meal
20 UP-TRAIN (put)* rain = shower. Trains going to London are known as up-trains and Victoria is a London railway station. In the same way, down-trains are those going out of London, I think.
22 EFFACER (r)EF FACER (problem)
24 HARELIP defn; congenital split Took me quite a while to see the wordplay here, being distracted by the possibility of hip = cheer. Think I’ve got it now. ‘cheer about’ = RAH reversed ‘a great deal over’ = PILE reversed all giving har elip
26 TRANSIT defn: change coaches moving one means, I think, move i (= one) in trains (= coaches vb). This gives transi Then front eventually = last letter of front t. I think that’s it.
27 NATURAL IMPULSE defn: instinctive inclination natural = ordinary p (quietly) in (mule is)*
1 ABALONE b = beginning to burp (1st letter) AL = Al Pacino (film star) in A ONE =A1 = excellent.
2 LEMON TEA My favourite clue today – (ale not me)* with a magnificent surface. Defn is just ‘drink’ with ‘brewed’ the anagram indicator
3 ODESSA SS (Hitler’s guards) in ODEA (ancient buildings) = plural of odeum (or odeon) – from ancient Greece. Tho UK cinemagoers will be familiar with them too
4 ANON anon = soon Nona (coming up – reversed in a down clue). Girl’s name. Derived from ‘ninth’ so maybe not too many families with them now. No problem tho as definition and crossing answers gave it straightaway.
5 ABBA This clue uses the cake ‘rum baba’. In the cryptic reading ‘rum’ indicates the anagram of baba giving ABBA = father (used of God in New Testament)
6 STITCH UP defn: cheat The German tennis player is Michael Stich (Wimbledon singles winner, 1991). “taking up time” means to insert a ‘t’ up = in court pun on tennis courts and legal courts
7 DECODE cod (nonsense) in dee (the letter D)
9 CHIPS slang for a carpenter C = 100 (Roman numerals) hips = joints
13 ETHAN Joel and Ethan Coen, brothers, US film-makers. ET = film Han = Chinese (in contrast to Manchus, Mongols etc)
14 SAUCE defn: relish “source” = spring (homophone)
16 IN A CLOUD getting this after struggling for ages was the key to finishing the puzzle. Clever misdirection in use of ‘could scatty’ in the context of the whole surface reading of the clue. Cryptically ‘scatty’ indicates an anagram of ‘could’ ie cloud and the girl on top is Ina.
17 ROCK SALT rocks (shakes) Alt (key – on computer keyboard)
18 MUSHY mu(m) = not all quiet ie drop the last letter shy = timid
19 FRITTER TT (dry) in FRIER
21 TARTAR Cryptic definition, punning on ‘crust’ tartar (dentistry) being a crust
23 FRAPPÉ f = beginning of festival Eminem possibly hasn’t finished = rappe(r)
25 PEAS defn: pulse PE (exercise) A = beginning to accelerate S = son
28 TRIP trip(e)