Posted by Simon Harris on May 12th, 2012
Monk’s puzzles are always challenging and inventive, and this was no exception. I honestly want to be able to enjoy them, as he seems like an awfully nice chap, but for me this felt more like an unrewarding slog than anything else.
There’s sort of a theme, or at least a repeated device, here in that several rows – but frustratingly not all of them – have triple letter combinations. So for example BUSINESS STUDIES at 14ac. This helped a bit, but it would have helped more if it had been all rows rather than just nearly all, so that one didn’t waste so much time looking for the device in rows where it did not apply.
Perhap I’m missing something important, but given that distraction, plus the sheer quantity of unfamiliar material, this was all still terribly hard, and I didn’t get very far under my own steam.
*=anag, =dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.
|1||LEE ENFIELD – (NEEDLE FILE)*. Apparently a manufacturer of firearms, which your blogger has little knowledge of or interest in. Still, I managed a successful “shot” at it from the checking letters. A quick shufty at the internet suggests this term should actually be hyphenated and so enumerated as (3-4) rather than (3,4), but I’m not about to defend the brand integrity of a weapons manufacturer.|
|6||FAFF – (A + F) in FF, as in the multiple of F.|
|10||SCHMUTTER – SCH + M + UTTER. Another unfamiliar term, which just means “clothes”.|
|11||LORRE – ERROL<. The Hollywood stars involved are the swashbuckling Errol Flynn and the slightly creepy Peter Lorre.|
|12||YARDARM – (DAY[d]R[e]AM[e]R)*. The letters forming the name of the River DEE, a favourite of crossword compilers, are removed from the anagrist.|
|13||OFF FORM – I think this is just OFF + FORM, with OFF being “removed from” and FORM being “ceremony”, I guess in the sense of “the done thing”.|
|14||BUSINESS STUDIES – BUSINESS (“concern”) + STUDIES (“work areas”) &lit.|
|17||DEAD TREE EDITION – (REEDITED + IDEA[s] NOT)*.|
|20||ROSS SEA – SS in ROSE.|
|23||LOCALES – CAL in [b]L[o]O[p]E[r]S.|
|25||EQUIP – [blu]E + QUIP.|
|26||POINT DUTY – cd? Not sure. Ballerinas talk of “points” and it’s to do with standing on their toes. Expecting there to be a triple-letter construction in this row, I confidently wrote in PRITT TACK, assuming this was a cryptic reference to it being competition for the manufacturers of Blu-Tack. Not so, so out came another office supply, the Tipp-Ex.|
|27||SETT – ([villag]E + [idio]T) in ST. Dictionaries tell me this is some sort of paving slab, which could be a “block”.|
|28||TAKE A DEKKO – dd.|
|1||LUSTY – L[o]U[t] + STY.|
|2||EXHORTS – X (the opposite of a tick) in (S + OTHER)*.|
|3||NEURAL NET – (LEARN TUNE)* &lit.|
|4||INTUMESCE – (T[h]E MUNC[h]IES)*.|
|5||LARGO – dd. The villain from the Bond film Thunderball, the internet tells me.|
|7||A PRIORI – PRIOR in A1.|
|8||FREEMASON – FREE + (SO in MAN).|
|9||CLEF – cd.|
|14||BEDARKENS – ED + BANKERS*.|
|15||SHELL-LIKE – SHE’LL LIKE.|
|16||UNINCITED – U + INCIDENT*.|
|18||ASSAULT – A + S + (U in SALT).|
|19||ILL LUCK – [p]ILL + [p]LUCK.|
|21||SOPH – [philo]SOPH[y], abbreviation of “sophomore”.|
|22||ALPHA – LP in AHA[b].|
|24||SAY-SO – I’ve no idea how this works:
Perhaps sow a rumour.