Posted by nmsindy on May 14th, 2012
Very good puzzle from Quixote. Very good surface readings, all fair. Straightforward wordplay for less familiar words. On another xword blogging site, one of the bloggers lists the (classical) music listened to while solving. Wondered if Quixote did so while creating the grid for this as it is full of music references, mainly, though not all, classical. But little specialised knowledge of that needed I’d say from the fairness of the clues. I found it, even for the normally v accessible Quixote, very much on the easy side. Solving time, 13 times, v fast indeed for me, ideal for a Monday.
* = anagram
1 BACCHANTES Not sure if the revellers on Newcastle’s Quayside call themselves this but you never know – wordplay made it pretty easy tho. BAC = cab (taxi) reversed (indicated by ‘back’) CHANT (sing) couple from Essex ie its first two letters.
6 CLEF Pun on ‘staff’ which also means musical stave. So cryptic definition with 22 being DOCTOR OF MUSIC. Sign shown on the staff.
9 FREEMAN This refers, I presume, to (the late) Alan Freeman. Whereas now 4PM on a Sunday might be associated with Premier League football for some, there was a time, initially ground-breaking, early 1960s, when the BBC had Pick of the Pops on the radio, with Alan Freeman presenting, what had before been considered hardly respectable and confined to radio programmes at night from eg the Grand Duchy. Curiously the leading personality in the latter, Barry Alldis, and Alan Freeman both originally hailed from Oz.
Freeman = opposite to a slave
10 BREATHE re (about) in bathe
12 VENETIAN BLIND (invented in lab)* One of a few v straightforward anagrams today.
14 EUROPE definition = several countries rue = regret (reversed = indicated by ‘about’) optimism beginning to fade is, I think optimism = hope with the first letter removed. Guess the surface refers to the economic and financial troubles of recent times in the area.
15 TEAR INTO Definition: attack tear (sign of sadness) in t (time) then nothing (O)
17 IN THE BAG (hat being)* Definition: secured
19 MADRAS A type of material original from Madras (India) – city now known as Chennai mad (nutty) artists (RAs)
22 DOCTOR OF MUSIC Cryptic definition with pun 0n ‘noted’
24 CELESTE A very well concealed hidden reversal – it goes ‘the wrong way’ in MargarET’S ELECtronic
25 RHENISH Definition Schumann’s Third Symphony (I confirmed this afterwards in a reference book). It’s an anagram of Herein’s plus H ie Schumann’s third (letter) less E ie Beethoven’s third (letter).
26 LIST Definition: inclination. Homophone of Franz Liszt (Hungarian C19 composer)
27 DEPARTMENT go (depart) soldiers (men) t (edge of desert ie its last letter)
1 BUFF Double definition. Guessed it from expert. Did not know the other definition but it’s in dicts. buff = blow tho shown as archaic in some (apparently ‘blind man’s buff’ is the main usage now).
2 CLEAVER A in clever (smart)
3 HYMENOPTEROUS (Some hornet yup)* Thanks for giving an anagram here. After crossing letters filled up it was fairly clear where the others might go and I verified that there is indeed such a word – I won’t explain it further here, but I’m sure you can look it up if interested. This was my final entry.
4 NINETY Definition: number. IN (home) ET (extraterrestrial = out of this world) in NY (New York = Big Apple)
5 EMBRACED E (English) MB (Doctor) raced (made rapid progress). A clue that helped to make rapid progress. Definition: accepted enthusiastically
7 LATVIAN LA (Los Angeles) TV (set) Ian (Scot) Latvia was part of the Soviet bloc before the fall of Communism in Europe from 1989.
8 FIELDMOUSE (demise foul)*
11 EMBARRASSMENT (best man Sam err)*
13 PERIODICAL (police raid)*
16 LA BOHEME Opera by Puccini endless tea = bohe(a) in lame (unsatisfactory)
18 TACKLES les (the French) tack (food) first ie goes above ‘les’ Definition: gets stuck into
20 RECEIVE Definition: get RE (education about religious matters) CE (Church – of England) I’VE = I have
21 SMYRNA This is a port in Asia Minor which moved from being part of Greece to part of Turkey after the Greece-Turkey conflict soon after WW1. It’s name was then changed to Izmir and remains so today. Pun on ‘port’ n = noon in (Mary’s)*
23 SHOT Definition: go deficient = short, not right = take the r = right out to leave shot.