Posted by Eileen on May 4th, 2012
A rather more straightforward puzzle than usual from Shed, I thought, particularly for a Prize, although there seems to be a consensus that the Saturday puzzles are generally less of a challenge these days. The anagrams seemed to leap out fairly obviously for me – I’m not sure why – and there were some rather obvious charades but there was the inventive cluing we expect from this setter and lots to enjoy and smile at. Thank you, Shed, for the entertainment!
I have decided, this time, to underline the definitions, since some people like that.
[I shall be away for the day from early morning and so shan't be able to deal with corrections / clarifications until later in the evening.]
1 Endless alcohol added to the cold mixed drink (3,9)
anagram [mixed] of ALCOHO[l] TO THE C [cold]
8 City managed to continue (7)
RAN [managed] + GO ON [continue]
9 Rose proves less than coherent speaker (7)
double definition – I’m not sure why’proves’ rather than simply ‘is’
11 Get a grip on girl’s head in support of ritual murder (7)
HUG [get a grip on] + G [first letter - 'head' - of girl] in TEE [golfer's support]
12 Bitter (twisted) about exile’s old car (7)
reversal [twisted] of TART [bitter] round BAN [exile]
13 Invest last bit of revenue in cream (5)
E [last letter of revenue] in BEST [cream]
14 Tourist and prophet pursuing vision (9)
charade of SEER [prophet] after [pursuing] SIGHT [vision]
16 Home team in not entirely recent reshuffle (9)
SIDE [team] in anagram [reshuffle] of RECEN[t]
19 Bird is good in bed (5)
PI [good] in PIT [bed]
[There are sometimes queries when pi = good crops up: it's an abbreviation of 'pious' and has its own entry in Chambers: 'obtrusively religious, sanctimonious']
21 About time to adopt compiler’s candidate (7)
reversal [about] of EON [time] round [to adopt] MINE [compiler's]
23 One cretin floundering near the coast (7)
anagram [floundering] of I [one] CRETIN: a new word for me – it isn’t in my [old] Collins or SOED but Chambers has ‘belonging to the shallow waters near land’.
24 Attempt to match bird no longer with us (7)
EMU [bird] LATE [no longer with us] – shades of the dead parrot ?
25 Shed is en voyage in colour (7)
I [Shed] + IS ‘in RIDE’ = ‘en voyage’
26 Interrogate and masticate, independently entering Devil’s Province (12)
ASK [interrogate] and CHEW [masticate] independently in SATAN [Devil]
1 Type of degree obtained during working hours? On the contrary (7)
ON [working] in [during] HOURS, so the opposite of hours, during working
2 Bright idea, albeit Diderot’s last (7)
THOUGH [albeit] + T [last letter of Diderot]: I wondered about the need for ‘bright’ but it certainly enhances the surface, considering Diderot’s part in the French Enlightenment!
3 Female’s male progeny welcoming death of Bellow’s hero (9)
HER SON [female's male progeny] round [welcoming] END [death]: reference to Saul Bellow’s book ‘Henderson the Rain King’
4 He painted avian bearing right (5)
COOT [avian] round [bearing] R [right]
5 Pan of meat and wine I dropped (7)
LAMB [meat] + ASTI[i]
6 Farm work for the pre-senescent? (7)
TILL AGE: interestingly, this word appeared in the Times crossword on the same day, clued ‘cultivated land while young’
7 It sticks out of rolled gold pipe stuck into strut (12)
reversal [rolled] of OR [gold] + TUBE [pipe] in PRANCE [strut]
10 Cuter knitter producing something to get one thither and hither (6,6)
nice anagram of CUTER KNITTER
15 Novice hag wasting time where it’s monitored? (9)
GREEN [novice] + WItCH [hag] minus [wasting] t [time] – a neatly constucted clue with a fine surface
17 A youngster, by degrees, raised drink (7)
reversal [raised] of A CUB [a youngster] + MAS [degrees]
18 Country retreat given notice (7)
charade of DEN retreat + MARK [notice]
19 Scope to wire up 5, ineptly (7)
anagram [ineptly] of WIRE UP V [five]: even more spookily, this word appeared in Mr 3 dn’s Indy Nimrod puzzle on the same day, clued ‘range of The Old City Sextet when seated’. I know these coincidences do happen but neither this nor 6ac is a particularly common word, is it?
20 Oracular snake dropping round for 1A? (7)
I did wonder, momentarily, whether the answer was going to be a hit by the 70s / 80s pop band, Hot Chocolate [just a shameless excuse to play this favourite song] then quickly realised it had nothing to do with 1ac: it’s PYTHON [snake] with the O replaced ['dropping round'] by IA, referring to the Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi, one of the most magical places I’ve ever been to, which means, I think, this has to be my favourite clue.
22 Hard up? (5)
I laughed out loud at the cheekiness of this double definition after the erudition of the preceding clue. I think it has to be my second favourite for the ‘sublime to ridiculousness’ of it. Many thanks again, Shed – and congratulations on gettng away with it!