Posted by duncanshiell on May 23rd, 2012
I think all the entries for this puzzle are words familiar to Independent readers.
The clues were clear and not too difficult to solve in the majority of cases. However, you will see from the detailed parsing below that I am completely defeated by the word play for 2 down, the Surrey town.
Sometimes as a solver I can’t see the wood for the trees. I am sure that will be shown to be the case in 2 down. Also, when solving 9a, I got hung up on MA being the qualification and I spent some trying to understand how DIPLO meant paper, before the penny finally dropped on DIPLOMA.
There were no complex word plays. I felt the two long down clues were fairly obvious anagrams, with an added containment in one.
The last in, for me, was TIMEPIECE at 4 down.
I was slightly surprised the see ‘first of’ and ‘first in’ appear as first letter indicators in successive clues at 5 and 9 across, but I probably wouldn’t have noticed if the clues had been separated more.
Overall, a pleasant but not too taxing puzzle (apart from the wordplay in the clue at 2 down). No doubt I will kick myself when I am told how it works. Afternote: I don’t think I’ll kick myself too hard as it seems a bit of stretch in the interpretation of ‘wry’, although I accept that Chambers confirms it. Thanks to all who pointed out the correct interpretation.
|1||Before match top player returns (6)||PRO (professional; top player) + FIT (be in agreement or correspond with; match)||PROFIT (gains; return)|
|5||Trial started off with first of offenders brought in (4,4)||
Anagram of (off) STARTED containing O (first letter of [first of] OFFENDERS)
R (O) AD TEST*
|ROAD TEST (trial)|
|9||Envoy’s paper qualification: first in theology (8)||DIPLOMA (a document conferring some honour or privilege; paper qualification) + T (first letter of [first of] THEOLOGY)||DIPLOMAT (envoy)|
|10||People with talent like keeping grip on office (6)||
AS (like) containing (gripping) DEPT (department; office)
A (DEPT) S
|ADEPTS (experts; people with talent)|
|11||Something cooked in oven crackles intermittently (4)||Letters 1, 3, 5 and 7 (intermittently) of CRACKLES||CAKE (something cooked in oven)|
|12||Hope a store can fix child’s toy (10)||Anagram of (can fix) HOPE A STORE||PEASHOOTER (child’s toy)|
|13||Try carrying long box exported from India? (3,5)||
TEST (try) containing (carrying) ACHE (long [for])
TE (A CHE) ST
|TEA CHEST (India is one of the countries that exports tea, originally in chests)|
|14||Farmer’s tool in poor condition, loose at the edges (6)||SICK (in poor condition) + LE (first and last letters of [at the edges of] LOOSE)||
SICKLE (an implement with a curved blade and a short handle, for cutting crops; farmer’s tool)
|15||Be source of inspiration for puzzle (6)||BE + MUSE (any of the nine godesses of the liberal arts; source of inspiration)||BEMUSE (puzzle)|
|17||Heir to throne shortened snazzy blue garment (8)||
CHAS (shortened form of CHARLES; reference Prince CHARLES, heir to the British throne) + an anagram of (snazzy) BLUE
|CHASUBLE (sleeveless vestment; garment)|
|19||Military unit’s indifference (10)||DETACHMENT (a unit of troops away from the main body; military unit)||DETACHMENT (state of being aloof or separate; indifference) double definition|
|21||Girl seen entering Emirates stadium (4)||Hidden word in (seen entering) EMIRATES STADIUM||TESS (girl’s name)|
|22||Film about origins of an old Marxist supporter (6)||
MIST (film) containing (about) A and O (first letters of [origins of] AN and OLD)
M (A O) IST
|MAOIST (an adherent of the style of communism advocated by Mao Zedong; marxist supporter. My knowledge of the variants of communist theory is not good enough whether Mao was an adherent of Marx, but for the clue to work I shall assume he was)|
|23||Crimes not well received by men in charge (8)||
ILL (not well) contained in (received by) KINGS (rulers; men in charge)
K (ILL) INGS
|24||Child at home twice given toast (4-4)||CH (child) + IN (at home) repeated (twice)||
CHIN-CHIN (good health, as a toast)
|25||Hit on head, officer dropped (6)||CO (commanding officer) + SHED (dropped)||COSHED (hit with a truncheon or equivalent) I think you can be coshed on parts of the body other than just the head.|
|2||Speaker’s turned in wrong direction, walking in Surrey town (7)||
The wordplay for this defeats me. My random thoughts are,
speaker’s = sounds like, but I can’t make REIGATE sound like anything else in the clue. Alternatively speaker = I.
turned – something reversed, but I can’t see anything obvious related to the clue that can be turned; turned in – gone to bed, again nothing obvious.
in – RE
wrong – ERR?, but we have only got ER
direction – there are couple of Es (East?)
walking – GATE is a variant spelling of GAIT (a way of walking) and we have an anagram of GAIT contained in REE but I can’relate REE to the rest of the clue. Also, using GAIT would involve using an indirect anagram.
No doubt there is something mindbogglingly simple with this clue that I have missed – I look forward to comments telling me what it is.
Afternote: Thanks to commenters @ 1, 2 and 3 – I see that my first idea of ‘Speakers = sounds like’ was nearest the mark. I note also that Chambers defines ‘wry’ as twisted or turned to one side or in the wrong direction. I thought that was a definition of ‘awry’ but crosswords continue to be an educational toll’.
|REIGATE (town in Surrey)|
|3||Son faces actual trouble, admitting one trumped-up charge? (5,10)||
Anagram of (trouble) SON FACES ACTUAL containing (admitting) I (one)
FALSE ACCUSAT (I) ON*
|FALSE ACCUSATION (trumped-up charge)|
|4||Facing the wrong way, discharge weapon, causing alarm, perhaps (9)||EMIT (discharge) reversed (facing the wrong way) + PIECE (gun; weapon)||TIMEPIECE (a TIMEPIECE may also act as an alarm)|
|5||Take back plot of land – under half an acre (7)||RE (final two letters of [half of] ACRE) + TRACT (plot of land) This being a down clue TRACT is under RE||RETRACT (take back)|
|6||Embarrass adult at party (5)||A (adult) + BASH (party)||ABASH (embarrass)|
|7||With ten euros, colonel briefly tours parts of Europe (3,3,9)||Anagram of (tours) WITH TEN EUROS and COL (brief form of COLONEL)||THE LOW COUNTRIES (historical lands around the low lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt and Meuase rivers including modern countries of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg together with some parts of Northern France and Western Germany)|
|8||Be good model for writer (7)||SIT WELL (be a good model)||SITWELL (reference SITWELL siblings Dame Edith SITWELL [1887 – 1964], Sir Sachervell SITWELL [1897 – 1988] and Sir Francis Osbert SITWELL [1892 – 1969] . All could be termed writers; Dame Edith focused most on poetry)|
|14||Clever sort swots up absorbing piece of literature? (5,4)||
CRAMS (learns hastily; swots) reversed (up; down clue) containing (absorbing) TALE (story; piece of literature)
SMAR (T ALE) C<
|SMART ALEC (would be clever person)|
|16||Rot even beginning to appear on two kinds of timber (7)||E (first letter of [beginning] EVEN) + YEW (tree; timber) + ASH (tree; timber)||EYEWASH (nonsense; rot)|
|17||Reception area in Prague hotel, you say? (5-2)||CHECK IN (sounds like [you say] CZECH [reference CZECH Republic, capital city Prague) + INN (hotel)||CHECK-IN (area to register arrival; reception area)|
|18||In a way, chopped herb will do for Italian dish (7)||
SAGE (herb) excluding the final letter (chopped) E contained in (in) LANE (narrow road or street; way)
LA (SAG) NE
|LASAGNE (Italian dish – both the pasta alone and the combination of meat, tomato and pasta as a dish)|
|20||Husband’s restless desire creating problem (5)||H (husband) + ITCH (restless desire)||HITCH (small or passing difficulty; problem)|