Posted by beermagnet on May 5th, 2012
Nimrod has been lurking around the restricted section of the etymological library again and half-inched the special dictionary of obscure words.
I had only very few answers after the first pass of the clues and as most of those were from the shorter answers the grid looked very bare. The rest of the solving was greatly assisted by dictionary bashing. The surprising feature of this crossword was the variation in difficulty of the clues: A few uncharacteristically easy like 1A and 6D, mixed with the absolutely impenetrable. The blog is still a few explanations short
Towards the end (4 days later) I looked around for themes or suchlike for more help and thought I saw the pangram coming on, for a while I was trying to squeeze SQUEEZE into 23A for no better reason than trying to get a Q in somewhere, but in the end we still missing that Q, and the tricky J, and now I look closer, the surprisingly absent G.
|1||READIES||A desire to distribute cash (7)
(A DESIRE)* AInd: to distribute. First answer read, and answered immediately. That’s got to be a first for a Nimrod - what is going on?
|5||PURVIEW||Range of The Old City Sextet when seated? (7)
UR (old city) VI (sextet) all inside PEW (seated). I liked this
|9||PULVILLIO||Turning up hairs on back of skull’s old, old snuff (9)
UP< [skul]L VILLI (hairs) O[ld]
A kind of perfume in the form of a powder – thus “snuff”. Does tobacco snuff count as Pulvillio?
|10||SAY-SO||Authority keeps cards close to chest? (3-2)
WORDPLAY: “Says 0″, i.e. says nothing, thus besides the definition the rest of the clue (I was vainly looking for a T from [ches]T)
|11||SCHWEITZER||Missionary position we adopted behind church – then love’s cut short (10)
SIT (position) around (“adopting”) WE after CH[urch], then ZER[o] Mr H just couldn’t resist pairing missionary with the obvious to make this Philanthropist
|12/17||RUNS INTO||Singles keen on contacts (4,4)
RUNS Singles in the cricketting sense INTO (keen on). One of those where I had no real excuse for not solving it 3 days earlier
|14||CASK-CONDITIONED||During the return of cold period, enquire if still maturing (4-11)
ASK (enquire) inside C (cold) eeerrmm … Damn, I thought I’d get the rest of this wordplay before the blog was due out. Help!
I was very pleased when getting this as I had to remind myself what it tasted like, after all it had been a good half-hour …
|16||DEMENTIA PRAECOX||Eccentric cut short medical expert on a psychosis of old (8,7)
WORDPLAY ? (missing again)
I suspect that the “of old” in the def does not refer to senior citizens, but to the fact that this term has fallen out of use
|18||KILMARNOCK||Scottish team‘s normal kick-about? (10)
(NORMAL KICK)* AInd: about. Reasonable anagram saved me from panicking when I thought I was drying up. (And stopped me thinking 13D was “something Waves”)
|21||IDYLL||Simple story line with which one’s idly played about (5)
(L[ine] IDLY)* AInd: played about
|22||INNOVATOR||Pioneer bar at which one gives a hand (9)
INN (bar) OVATOR (one gives a hand)
|23||SHUTEYE||Rapid old solver finally stuck on zeds (7)
Zeds = sleep. YE (old solver) put on the end after SHUTE (rapid – noun)
|24||NURSERY||Race for horses that are two – not one, in Surrey, using new course (7)
(SURREY N)* AInd: ?
Can someone who knows about horse racing please explain this for me. Which end of the horse, I men the clue, is the def., and where is the anagram indicator? I’m not sure if the N is from the New doing double duty as anagrind, or if the N is from [i]N (not one, in)
|1||ROPES||They’re known by experts to be pearls or onions (5)
You know the ropes if you are an expert, and both Pearls and Onions come in ropes (cue vision of stereotypical Frenchman cycling around with massive ropes of pearls on his handlebars)
|3||IRIDESCENT||Like a rainbow not completely discerned, shimmering in it (10)
(DISCERNE[d] IT)* AInd: shimmering
|4||SPLIT INFINITIVE||To limitlessly divide? (5,10)
How does one describe this? A cryptic def by example? Lovely clue.
|5||PROPERISPOMENON||For spirit, men in court accentuated word (15)
PRO (For), PERI (spirit), MEN inside SPOON (court)
A word which has the circumflex accent on the penultimate syllable. It’s all Greek to me: Wiki
Coincidentally this was the propreantepenultimate clue I solved
|6||RASH||Unwisely incurring danger spots (4)
The juxtaposition of simple little Double Defs like this among fearsome logolepsy and massive misleading anagrams serves to knock my brain off balance
|7/8||IN YOUR NECK OF THE WOODS||Know the score? Nod if you do where you live (2,4,4,2,3,5)
(KNOW THE SCORE NOD IF YOU)* AInd: do. Minimalist anagram indicator.
The answer that gave me second wind to continue once I’d cracked it
|13||TIDAL RIVER||It rises and falls – it’s when going uphill a new motorist has to change third to first(5,5)
IT< then A L DRIVER (a new motorist) shifting the D to the 1st position. Another clue with a great big tick from me.
|14||COD||Mock dwarf doing headstand?(3)
DOC< Mock in the adjectival sense. Not my COD (clue of the day) but wouldn’t have got the two long acrosses without it.
|15||DUX||Departs university by reaching top of the class (3)
D[eparts] U[niversity] X (by) DUX Latin: Literally, leader, noun derivative from base of ducere, to lead. (Coo. A bit of cut’n’paste and you can sound like you know what you’re talking about.) Apparently used colloquially in certain schools – which explains why I’ve never heard of it before.
|17/2||IF ITS ALL THE SAME TO YOU||Do you mind ordering me fuel (that is to say, oil)? (2,3,3,3,4,2,3)
(ME FUEL THAT IS TO SAY OIL)* AInd: Ordering.
Oh dear, the time I spent on that anagram even after lifting out THE, YOU and ALL when they seemed likely.
I got stuck thinking SOME was in there rather than SAME
|19/20||KERRY BLUE||Terrier may, if bone’s the key to Spooner’s mystery? (5,4)
A nice little spoonerism to end with: “Bury Clue”.
It’s a kind of dawg: Wiki