Posted by RatkojaRiku on August 28th, 2012
It’s my turn to blog the crossword this Tuesday, one of those days when you can never quite be sure whose work you will be pitting your wits against.
It hadn’t fallen to me to blog a Scorpion for a while, so I was quite excited at the prospect, knowing that there would probably be a theme to this puzzle, which I would probably crack, but that I might struggle to sort out the wordplay of one or two of the entries.
A quick glance at the grid revealed a large number of double entries, and a closer look indicated that I would be looking for the names of various famous people born in the same place.
If I could have remembered that the new BBC premises were located at MediaCityUK, I would have been able to reveal the shared place of origin immediately, but alas, I did not, and indeed 3 was one of the last clues to be solved, and from its wordplay. I was able to identify the famous faces from a combination of their professions, the wordplay and the letters already entered in the grid. I have to admit to not knowing 27/14, and as for the others, 1/5 was the only one that I could associate with Salford. I also seem to remember that the artist Lowry hailed from Salford and was looking out for him in the grid, but he doesn’t seem to feature in the puzzle at all. I found myself wondering if Scorpion had a personal connection with Salford: is he another such famous face?
My favourite clues today were 4 for its concision, 17 for its deceptive surface and 1/5 for its wordplay (especially “Events Guide”). 20 was new to me but was eminently gettable from the wordplay.
*(…) indicates an anagram
|1/5||RUSSELL WATSON||<Feb>RU<ary> (“mid-” means middle letters only) + S (=special) + SELL (=merchandise, i.e. as a verb) + W<h>AT’S ON (=Events Guide; “hard (=H) to miss” means letter “h” is dropped); tenor Russell Watson was born in Salford (entry at 3) in 1966|
|9||HAIL||Double definition: HAIL is “applaud”, salute (as verb) AND volley, e.g. of shots (as noun)|
|10||SHEAR||Homophone (“picked up”) of “sheer” (=plain, i.e. utter)|
|12/8||HALF NELSON||HALF (=50% of) + NELSON (=column heading, i.e. statue of Nelson at top of column on Trafalgar Square); a half nelson is a “hold” in wrestling|
|13||POLO NECK||LONE (=only) in POCK (=mark)|
|15||FEUD||F<r>EUD (=psychoanalyst); “working out Reason primarily (=first letter only)” means the letter “r” is dropped|
|16||A LEVELS||ALE (=boost) + V (=fifth, as in George V) + ELS (=golfer, i.e. South African Ernie Els)|
|19||SWEAR IN||WEAR (=don, as a verb) in SIN (=vice)|
|20/7||PAUL SCHOLES||*(CLA<m>S UP) + HOLES (=golf); “with mobile (=M) off” means letter “m” is dropped from anagram, indicated by “playing”; footballer Paul Scholes was born in Salford (entry at 3) in 1974|
|24||OVERRIPE||OVER (=six deliveries, i.e. in cricket) + RIP (=tear apart) + <s>E<amers> (“second of” means second letter only)|
|25||FETA||F (=fine) + ETA (=Greek character, i.e. letter of Greek alphabet); the definition is “food there”, i.e. in Greece|
|26||MASAI||MAs (=graduates) + A1 (=excellent)|
|27/14||TONY WILSON||Y (=unknown) in *(NOT SLOW IN); “raving” is anagram indicator; music impresario Tony Wilson was born in Salford (entry at 3) in 1950|
|28||TAHITI||TAH (HAT=headwear; “turned” indicates reversal) + <p>I<g>T<a>I<l> (“regularly showing” means alternate letters only)|
|2||UNAVOWED||AV (=type of Bible, i.e. Authorised Version) in [UNO (=Italian one, i.e. the Italian word for “one”) + WED (=married)|
|3||SALFORD||DR (=doctor) + OF LA<w>S; “without wife (=W)” means letter “w” is dropped; “back” indicates reversal; MediaCityUK, located in Salford, is a recently developed site housing media organisations, including various BBC and ITV divisions|
|4||LESSER APE||LESS (=not as much) + ERA (=time) + PE (=training, i.e. Physical Education)|
|6||ARROW||*(<f>ORWAR<d>); “removing extremities” means first and letters are dropped; “thrown” is anagram indicator|
|11||ELKIE BROOKS||ELK (=ruminating type) + I.E. (=that is) + [OK (=allowed) in BROS (=boy band, i.e. from late 1980s)]; songstress Elkie Brooks was born in Salford (entry at 3) in 1945|
|17||ERNIE WISE||[I (=writer, i.e. the compiler of the puzzle) in ERNE (=eagle)] + WISE (=well-informed); the reference is to English comedian Ernie Wise of Morecambe and Wise fame, hence “comic”|
|18||SUSPENSE||US in SPENSE<r> (=Elizabethan poet, i.e. Edmund Spenser; “mostly” means last letter dropped)|
|19/29||SHELAGH DELANEY||[H (=hour) in SELAG (GALES=winds; “adverse” indicates reversal)] + *(DAY + HELEN); “rearranged” is anagram indicator; dramatist Shelagh Delaney was born in Salford (entry at 3) in 1938|
|20||PARATHA||AT in [PAR (=usual) + HA<wks> (“pair of” means first two letters only)]; paratha is unleavened bread from India|
|21/22||ROBERT POWELL||*(PORT) in [ROBE (=gown) + WELL (=completely)]; “spilt” is anagram indicator; actor Robert Powell was born in Salford (entry at 3) in 1944|
|23||LUMET||[U (=upper-class) + M (=male)] in LET (=grant); the reference is to American film-maker Sidney Lumet (1924-2011)|