Posted by Pierre on June 11th, 2012
It’s Monday, it’s Quixote, and it’s the usual mix of fine surfaces, clear definitions, and polished wordplay. Quixote was mentioned in nms’s recent survey as being one of the ‘easier’ Indy setters, and I did find this an accessible puzzle, presumably aimed at improving solvers. I’ve tried, therefore, to give full explanations, so if you polished this off in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, look away now … There was just one which I couldn’t quite see, and an unfortunate spelling mistake in one of the clues (in the online version, at least). And I have wittered on a bit as usual.
cd cryptic definition
dd double definition
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x] letter(s) removed
1 Bishop managed church division within large organisation
A clearly signposted charade to give us some starting letters for the down clues. B for ‘bishop’, RAN for ‘managed’ and CH for ‘church’.
4 Somehow I stop before edge of precipice catching two females on dangerous slope?
An insertion (‘catching’) of FF for ‘two females’ in (I STOP)* plus E for the last letter (‘edge’) of precipicE. ‘Somehow’ is the anagrind.
9 Gather what mathematician may do to make approximation
11 Polish image that signifies a famous boundary
A charade of RUB for ‘polish’ and ICON for ‘image’. I have the impression that ICONIC has shifted its meaning in the last ten years or so. Strictly it’s to do with religious imagery, but even David Beckham is iconic these days.
12 Hard worker in church given employment as singer
An insertion (‘in’) of H and ANT for ‘hard’ and ‘worker’ in C for ‘church’ and USE for ‘employment’. Une CHANTEUSE is a female singer, and we’ve nicked the word from our opponents in Donetsk later on today. Let’s hope we can nick a result.
13 Birds in castles
A dd, with the chess piece as the second.
14 Economic principal made to look silly by harmless wag
(HARMLESS WAG)* with ‘made to look silly’ as the anagrind. I hadn’t heard of it, but worked it out from the anagram. It’s too complicated to explain in words of one syllable, so if you’re that fascinated, you’ll find it here. However, the clue has a spelling howler in it: it should of course be ‘principle’ and not ‘principal’. Was the same spelling in the paper?
18 Supports eminence, the fellow lacking the ability to see ahead
I think this is a charade of SECONDS for ‘supports’ and [M]IGHT for the removal of man for ‘fellow’ from MIGHT for ‘eminence’, but am happy to be corrected.
21 Old character going around with some of the stars
Not Mr Malfoy this time, but the constellation. I did need the list of stars and constellations in my dog-eared Thesaurus to get this one. It’s a reversal (‘going round’) of O for ‘old’ and CARD for ‘character’. ‘Oooh, he’s a real card.’
22 Left-winger trapping various Tories celebrated noisily
An insertion (‘trapping’) of (TORIES)* in RED for ‘left-winger’. ‘Various’ is the anagrind.
24 Great joy when beer comes round (nothing in can)
A charade of ELA for a reversal of ALE and an insertion of O (‘nothing’) in TIN for ‘can’.
25 Almost reluctant to stop?
I’m guessing that this is a cd, but I can’t really explain it. Over to you …
26 Agent’s outside hostelry with drug where bushes may provide cover
An insertion of INN and E for ‘ecstasy’ in SPYS for ‘agent’s’. If setters took E as often as they used it to clue ‘drug’ they’d be so spaced out that the cruciverbal world would grind to a halt. According to one source, ‘Ecstasy (E) can lead to emotional openness, euphoria, an intense, energetic, spiritual high; and can connect people freely and openly with each other, promote deep inner thinking and analysis, or lead to a reduction in cynical or critical thoughts’. Solving cryptic crosswords leads to the same thing, imho. And it’s a lot less dangerous, of course.
27 Singers beginning to chant in front of Egyptian god
Another word for ‘choir’ or ‘singers’ is a charade of C for the first letter of ‘chant’ and HORUS, the Egyptian god of the sky.
1 Polly’s home perhaps in Cambridge – sadly lacking room for male
‘E’s joined the bleedin’ choir invisible. This is an EX-PARROT!’ Quixote’s asking you to remove the M for ‘male’ from ‘Cambridge’ and then make an anagram: (CA[M]BRIDGE)* ‘Sadly’ is the anagrind.
2 Mature editor penning article will be given excessive praise perhaps
An insertion (‘penning’) of A in ADULT ED. Not sure why the ‘perhaps’ is there, since ‘given excessive praise’ is a perfectly good definition of ADULATED.
3 Trainee is bad sort – and not English!
A charade of CAD for ‘bad sort’ and ET for the Latin (ie not English) word for ‘and’. Or indeed French.
5 Troubled airman finally cradled in fog making his manoeuvre to counteract weather?
It’s (N CRADLED IN)* inserted into FOG, but isn’t ‘in’ doing double duty here? I’ve never quite understood what the ‘rules’ are about this.
6 Turning up to join hundred in fights – boozy events
A reversal of UP followed by an insertion of C for ‘hundred’ in BRAWLS for ‘fights’.
7 District has second religious minister having got rid of the first
A charade of S and [R]ECTOR.
8 Man lodging in northern estate
Hidden in northERN ESTate.
10 Singer establishing cult may prance around
(CULT MAY PRANCE)*
15 The man’s man full of perverse rubbish? One sort of academic
A charade of HIS for ‘the man’s’ and IAN for ‘man’ with an insertion (‘full of’) TOR, which is ROT (‘rubbish’) reversed (‘perverse’).
16 A sort of fish repeatedly put into gelatinous substance
A GAR repeated gives you the vegetarian alternative to gelatine, used in cooking.
17 Trainee medics possibly taking bosses round one part of the hospital
‘Trainee medics possibly’ is the definition and it’s an insertion of ENT for ‘Ear, Nose and Throat’ in STUDS for ‘bosses’. ‘Trainees’ would have worked just as well, but the medics bit is there to give a better story-telling surface. Otorhinolaryngology is the posh name for ENT, but personally I’ll be sticking with the acryonym.
19 Poisonous types more miserable first to last
Quixote’s inviting you to make the first letter of SADDER become the last. ADDER is an interesting word: in Old English, næddre meant any snake, not just an adder; in Middle English people called the snake A NADDER (and apparently some Northern dialects have maintained this usage); then by a process the name of which I’ve forgotten, the N got stuck onto the indefinite article and it became AN ADDER. But in French today, the slippery fellow is still un nadre.
20 Herb used to be a person without sexual preference?
I’m sure this has been done before, but it still made me smile. If I used to fancy both boys and girls (and I firmly refute any allegations to that effect) then I WAS A BI. WASABI is used in Japanese cuisine. A quick butcher’s online suggests that it’s a root rather than a herb, but I’m no botanist.
23 End of skirt well up to reveal this?
A charade of T for the last letter of skirT and HIGH for ‘well up’.
In the clues today we’ve had ‘singer’ twice, ‘church’ twice, and the last across is CHORUS. Is this a rare Quixotic mini-theme? I think we should be told. Thanks to him for a smooth start to the Indy week.