Posted by Bertandjoyce on April 27th, 2012
We were pleased to see that it was Phi again in his regular Friday slot. As usual, smooth surface readings and some tricky misdirections, especially in 8a and 25a. A really enjoyable puzzle and the more that we looked at it, the more we admired the compilation of the crossword. We felt that last Friday’s Phi wasn’t quite up to his usual high standards, but this is definitely back on form! Thanks Phi!
‘Joyce’ used to teach mathematics O Level and then GCSE in a Further Education College so it was interesting to discover why the philosopher in 11a was deemed to be unhappy. Most of the students in her class would have said that they felt suicidal learning maths rather than the other way around. This was NOT due to her teaching we hasten to point out!
10a amused us in particular and brought back memories of black tongues from eating liquorice as a child. One of Joyce’s favourite sweets was a sherbet fountain – a cardboard tube filled with fizzy sherbet and a straw of liquorice to suck it up!
We were really pleased to have the opportunity to include the link to 14a. It is an absolute MUST!
|8||HEART OF DARKNESS||Bert guessed it from the crossing letters but it took us a while to parse. An anagram or ‘massacre’ of E (English) + RANKS gives you the middle or ‘heart’ of (d)arknes(s)! = classic 1902 novel by Joseph Conrad set in Africa, which was used as the source for the 1979 Francis Ford Coppola film ‘Apocalypse Now’, the story being moved from the Congo to Vietnam and Cambodia|
|9||HEAD-ON||HE (Ambassador as in His Excellency) next to or ‘colliding with’ A DON (a lecturer) = if you collide with someone you would meet them head-on|
|10||LICORICE||CO (company) inside or ‘beset by’ IR (taxmen as in Inland Revenue) inside or ‘amongst’ LICE (‘other’ vermin) = US (spelling of) confectionery. We really liked the inclusion of the word ‘other’ in the clue! It’s not necessary to the clue but added to the enjoyment.|
|11||BERTRAND||Bert filled this one in before I had a chance to look at the grid. I didn’t notice the ‘R’ and was looking elsewhere for ‘Joyce’! Anagram of BRAT and NERD (anagrind is ‘unhappy combination’) = this philosopher. The ‘unhappy’ is no doubt included because as an adolescent, Russell often contemplated suicide. In his autobiography, he commented that it was only his wish to learn more mathematics that kept him alive.|
|13||BODKIN||KIN (family) after or ‘chasing’ BOD (man) = dagger|
|14||PERIODIC TABLE||P(r)EDICTABLE (‘readily surmised’ without r (river)) around RIO (foreign river) = ‘elementary information’ – relating to the elements. Click here, sit back and ENJOY!|
|17||COMMIT||C (start to chill) + OMIT (forget) about M (money) = do. We wondered first of all whether ‘do’ was a synonym for ‘commit’ but it comes up as the first entry in Chambers Thesaurus.|
|19||NOONTIDE||Anagram of INTO (anagrind is ‘moving’) inside or ‘blocking’ NODE (point) = 12 as in 12 o’clock. We looked for anagrams of 12d first of all until the penny dropped – a good misdirection!|
|22||OPEN-PLAN||PEN (writer) inside OP (work) + LAN (computer network) = describes a type of office layout|
|24||FRESCO||(t)RESCO (one of the Isles of Scilly) with F (fine) instead of t for the first letter (opening) = painting|
|25||NEWCASTLE UNITED||Again, we surmised the answer when we had enough checking letters having worked out from 23d that the two words started with N and U. It took a while to work out that it is an anagram of TAINTED CLUES with NEW acting as the anagrind as well as the beginning of the answer = sports team|
|1||SERENE||Hidden within (‘component of’) la(SER ENE)rgy = impassive|
|2||CREDITOR||COR (exclamation) about RED (a debtor would be in the red) + IT = recipient of money|
|3||CORNEA||CORE (heart) around or ‘receiving’ N + A (one) = body part|
|4||IDOL||Again, we needed the checking letters for this one. LIDO (swimming-pool) with L (length) moved or ‘in a different part’ = admired figure|
|5||BRICKBAT||B (British) + BAT (cricketer) around or ‘receiving’ RICK (stack, as in haystack) = criticism|
|6||INBRED||I + NB (nota bene or note well) + RED (description of radical) = deep-seated|
|7||ISOCLINE||Anagram of SILICONE (anagrind is ‘composed’) = a particular type of rock formation|
|12||DEIGN||DE(s)IGN (plan) lacking the initial letter (‘a bit’) of ‘something’ = think. Appropriate doesn’t seem to be necessary apart for the smooth reading of the clue.|
|14||PROMPTER||PROM (concert) + P (piano) + TE(a)R (one removed from tear or ‘opening’) = someone who suggests things could be a prompter|
|15||OUTCLASS||(b)OUT (‘fight’ with B(baron) ‘quitting’) + C (about) + LASS (girl) = do better than|
|16||BATHETIC||I inside or ‘invested in’ BATH (UK city) + ETC (and so on) = sentimental|
|18||MENACE||MEN (blokes) + ACE (crack as in crack-shot) = ominous atmosphere|
|20||OFFCUT||OF + FC (‘Soccer team’ or Football club) + (b)UT (initial letter removed or ‘not starting’) = end|
|21||DOCKET||DOCK (harbour) + (s)ET (prepared without initial letter) = delivery note|
|23||NULL||NU (Openers in 25a – Newcastle United) + LL (50s in Roman numerals) = invalidated|