Posted by Eileen on July 13th, 2012
When the first two across clues went in straightaway, I thought this might be going to be a doddle. Not so: I found it quite hard going, even after getting the theme early on.
We have no fewer than four characteristic 15-letter answers, with some intricate wordplay, making parsing in some cases a more lengthy process than the solving. There are also, unusually for Araucaria, I think, several double definitions.
Overall, this was an enjoyable solve, with a theme which would have warmed the cockles of my grandpa’s heart.
8 LAST POST: double definition
9 VOLUME: a rather loose double / cryptic definition!
10 ISLAND: and another!
11 TURNPIKE: anagram [changing] of PIN in TURKE[y] [tailless bird]: a turnpike is a toll road
12 RAIL: double definition and a reference to the fact that there is both a landrail [corncrake] and a water rail: this took me longer than it should have, because I’ve always associated ‘rail’ with criticism or rebuke rather than mockery. Anyway, we now have our gateway [© Kathryn's Dad] word
13 SLOW TRAINS: anagram [forming] of TWO RAILS [answer to 12] + NS [poles] – very clever
15 FLICKER: FLICK [movie] + ER [queen]
16 SUBJECT: double definition
18 ANIMADVERT: AN I [individual] + MAD [very angry] + VERT [green]: I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard this word used but I was aware of it, because I’m familiar with the Letin verb animadvertere [literally, to turn one's mind to] from which it comes
19 NERO: hidden in oNE ROof; a nice allusion to the Topol musical and the mythical fiddling of the emperor but I’m not keen on ‘for’ as an indicator
20 HYSTERIA: anagram [problem] of THIS YEAR: another rather loose definition
22 NUTRIA: NUT [crazy?] + reversal [backed] of AIR [tune]: I wanted this to be the answer from the start [nutria is another name for the coypu - learned from crosswords] but, of course, was bamboozled into thinking we needed an anagram of tune: can nut mean crazy?
23 TRAVEL: T + RAVEL [composer]: I’m not sure how to read this: is it T = ‘piece of top’ or simply top = first letter [but this is an across clue]?
24 DISGORGE: DIS [Hell] + GORGE [throat]
1 MARSHALLING YARD: R [king] SHALL [is going to] in MAGYAR [Hungarian] + D [Germany]: [it's not true that philately will get you nowhere ]
2 STEAM LOCOMOTIVE: S [second] + TEAM [XI, possibly] + LOCO [crazy] + MOTIVE [driver] – not so convoluted as usual!
3 CONDESCEND: anagram [possibly] of SECOND C [century] + END [termination]
4 STATION: SON [boy] round [restricts] TATI [Jacques, comedian]
5,21 OVERRULE: ‘over rule’ – part of the laws of cricket
6 CLAPHAM JUNCTION: anagram [revealed by?] of MAJ [major] HL [House of Lords] ACCOUNT PIN
7 SMOKING CARRIAGE: MO [doctor] KING [Martin Luther] in SCAR [trauma] + I [first] in RAGE [anger]
14 TRUSTINESS: T [time] ‘before’ RUSTINESS [lack of practice]
17 REGARDS: another double definition