Posted by Pierre on September 24th, 2012
I think this is the second crossword from Rorschach for the Independent. His first was well-received, and this too was in my opinion a very good puzzle: there was plenty of inventive cluing with some lovely light touches. If he can continue to produce this standard of puzzle, he will be a most welcome addition to the Indy team. There is – comme d’habitude – one clue I can’t explain.
When I stared into the inkblots today, I saw Europeans, philosophers and crossword setters. Plus a bunch of other well-constructed clues, of which 26ac was my favourite.
cd cryptic definition
dd double definition
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x] letter(s) removed
1 Of Mice and Men novel gripping spoon-bender
Well, if you’re going to learn a new word, it might as well be 1 Across. In the same way that URSINE is descriptive of bears and LUPINE is of wolves, MURINE is the mousey equivalent. An insertion (‘gripping’) of URI (Geller) in (MEN)* ‘Novel’ is the anagrind.
4 One’s captivated by a desire for the taste of Pernod, perhaps?
An insertion (‘captivated’) of I’S for ‘one’s) in A NEED. Just the smell of Pernod makes me want to chunder.
9 In the beginning they reposed indivisibly one as the father, spirit and son
First letters of They Reposed Indivisibly One. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, and all that.
10 TimeWarner panic to fix copyright infringement
TimeWarner is the media and entertainment giant (and its name is so spelled on its own website). The whimsical definition is ‘Time Warner’, and it’s an insertion of C for ‘copyright’ in ALARM for ‘panic’ and LOCK for ‘fix’. ‘Infringement’ just about works as the insertion indicator, I think.
11 An automotive service is established in the old part of Europe
An insertion of RAC in THE. The ancient Balkan region.
12 Ostentatious ayatollah did a Hajj, setting off late and finishing early
Hidden in ayatolLAH DID A Hajj.
13 Standards have been raised here somewhere in Arizona
A dd, referencing FLAGSTAFF Arizona, population 65,914.
15 Englishman in Australia gets around a run a ball
An insertion of R for ‘run’ in POM for the slightly derogatory Aussie word for Englishmen. Usually prefixed by ‘whinging’.
16 Gathered to restore the site of Achilles’ downfall?
Clearly Achilles’ downfall was his heel, but I can’t see how this works, I’m afraid.
Sidey has explained this at comment no 1 – thanks.
17 One filling prescription for future Princess of Wales after Charlie left for first of suitors
The Princess that the Daily Mail and Daily Express are still grieving over was DI(ana) SPENCER. Rorschach is asking you to replace the C (Charlie) in the phonetic alphabet with S for the first letter of ‘suitors’.
21 More problematic than Gordius, perhaps?
Bit of an in-joke, but you didn’t have to know that Gordius is a regular setter in The Guardian. He has his fans; I’m not one of them. Referring to the Gordian knot.
22 The Prime Minister doesn’t take on a media producer
CAMER[ON] plus A.
24 Lines of speech?
A cd cum dd, I suppose, with CORDS and ‘lines’ being synonymous.
25 Infusion of turmeric enhances this?
Clever clue, and semi &lit, I guess. Hidden in turmeRIC Enhances. ‘Infusion’ is the hidden indicator. A bit of Star Anise and a few cloves also do the business, despite what I said at 4ac.
26 A German encrypted a number?
This was my favourite today; I thought it was really inventive. It’s ‘number’ in the anaesthetic sense, and is EIN (‘a’ in German) in CODE. And if EIN is ‘in code’, it’s encrypted.
27 Almost all the French in disarray
The setter’s being very precise with his cluing and with his French grammar: TOUSLE[S]. TOUS LES is one option for ‘all the’ in French: tous les enfants sont méchants. And if you use TOUS, it has to be followed by LES and not LE, because it’s plural.
1 Hit back and lash out at an officer
A reversal of RAM followed by (LASH)*
2 European agreement to support port wine region
Since it’s a down clue, it’s JA for the German word for ‘yes’ below RIO, the setters’ fave port.
3 Next store finally discovered in adjacent street
An insertion of E for the last letter of ‘store’ in NEAR ST.
5 River people in the finale of The Mission with Jeremy Irons ultimately gather in speed …
A charade of N for last letter of ‘missioN’, and an insertion of MPH for ‘speed’ in YS for the last letters of the actor’s name. And he did indeed star in the 1986 film The Mission.
6 … to bear up De Niro, suffering under the Spanish sun
French, German, Spanish … we’re getting a bit multilingual this morning. A charade of (DE NIRO)* under SOL for the Spanish word for ‘sun’.
7 Old seafood sandwiches? I say!
Another one I especially liked. EX for ‘old’ with an insertion of I in CLAM. ‘Sandwiches’ is the insertion indicator.
8 Rocky Horror film’s winning the French over in the silver screens of Versailles
HALL OF MIRRORS
France 2-1 Spain. An insertion of AL (LA for ‘the’ French) reversed in (HORROR FILMS)* with ‘rocky’ as the anagrind. HALL OF MIRRORS is La Galerie des Glaces in the Palace of Versailles.
14 A best friend of Kierkegaard, perhaps?
Now the Danish make an appearance: Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a nineteenth century Danish philosopher and theologian, and could rightly be described as a GREAT DANE. History doesn’t record whether he had a dog, but if he had, it could easily have been one of these.
16 Harrison Ford’s character makes an appearance in the opening of Home Alone
A further insertion: of AN in H SOLO. HAN SOLO is Harrison’s character in Star Wars. I’m more of the NAPOLEON SOLO generation myself.
18 Citroën model in photos taken around a well
It’s another cleverly misleading surface. Citroën’s model is another insertion of A in PICS and SO for ‘well?’
19 Anarche mistakenly omits noun at conclusion of puzzle resulting in a complaint to The Listener
For crossword obsessives who know the names of all their setters, this would appeal; but for the majority who don’t know or don’t care about who’s produced the puzzle, it might have been a bit strange, with them thinking that it was a misprint for ‘Arachne’. It’s clear enough, though: (A[N]ARCHE)* and E for the last letter of ‘puzzlE’. ‘Mistakenly’ is the anagrind.
20 Source of climate change drastically cut down raincoat production
As far as I can see, this is (RAINCO[AT])* with ‘production’ as the anagrind. But I’m not mad about clues like this: how ‘drastically’ do you want me to cut down ‘raincoat’? One letter, two letters … But AIR-CON is certainly a contributing factor to climate change. I was reading the other day that the US uses more energy keeping cool in the summer than keeping warm in the winter.
23 Communist broadcast!?
The horrible double punctuation marks at the end of the clue are the key to this one: they are an exclamation mark and a question mark, and MARKS is a homophone (‘broadcast’) of Karl MARX, the German-born philosopher who is buried in Highgate cemetery.
This was a fine puzzle from Rorschach, which I very much enjoyed.