Posted by bridgesong on October 6th, 2012
I think that this is the first puzzle by Qaos to appear in the prize slot on a Saturday, and certainly the first which I have blogged. Like Andrew a few months ago (No 25,691) I found it a bit of a mixed bag. At first blush it looked ridiculously easy, with several obvious anagrams, but some of the other clues presented a sterner challenge. 13 across was particularly inventive, I thought.
9 Economic region’s currency traded for no gas (5)
I assume that the clue is telling us to take Euro (the currency) from Eurozone (the economic region) and replace it with 0 (nothing), but taking one O away only to replace it with another feels a little clunky.
10 The rabble’s hard work turns into double oil spill (3,6)
H(ard) OP(rev) in * OIL(twice). Very easy to guess from the definition.
11 Saucy maid breaks brute’s toe (9)
12 South American comedy series is a hit (5)
S M*A*S*H. Nicely misleading surface.
13 Opening numbers: 500,000,000,000? (7)
NOS (numbers), TRIL(lion). 1,000,000,000,000 is a trillion (in some notations). I don’t recall seeing this device used before.
See 13 down
17 Bearing rubbish and litter (5)
SE *AND. Although a sedan is usually a chair, it can also be a litter, or bed.
18 Say, good clue for O? (3)
e.g. G(ood). O here is an abbreviation for ovum.
20 Silly production of Annie (5)
*ANNIE. A write-in.
22 Orbison returns to cover UK singer, not a US-Swiss singer (7)
(A)DELE in ROY(rev). The fact that this is an American spelling is shown by “US-Swiss”.
25 English composer or hitman? (7)
LAM, BERT. A simple charade, but the last one to go in for me, even though I had heard of Constant Lambert. I was misled into wondering if “hitman” was a reference to Kit Lambert, but decided that this was too obscure.
26 Loveless tabloid hack dismisses boss’s head girl (5)
*TABLOID less o(loveless) and b(boss’s head). I wasn’t particularly keen on “hack” as an anagram indicator.
27 Strong man possesses single talent (9)
I in POTENT AL. We come across Al again in 7 down, in a more familiar guise.
30 Cameron (he vacillates) changing sides like this one? (9)
*(CAMERON HE) with L for R. If you agree that Cameron vacillates (I express no opinion), then I suppose that this qualifies as an & lit.
31 Foreign film (5)
2 Concentrated Scouse stew follows fine starter for dinner (8)
F, *SCOUSE, D(inner).
3 Writer of real nonsense (4)
*REAL. Another write-in.
4 Spooner’s fair question leads to polite deception (5,3)
A Spoonerism of “light – why?”.
5 Excite Formula One’s pure racing (4,2)
6 Coalition party finds Greek character’s upset after angry riots (10)
CON(servative Party) *RIOTS, MU(rev).
7 Gangster and murderer reportedly manufacture paraffin (6)
AL (Capone), KANE (sounds like Cain). If you look up paraffin in Chambers, alkane appears in the entry, which is a bit of a give-away.
8,26 Vocal peak? By ’eck, that’s advanced (4,4)
Sounds like “height eck”.
13,15 Might they pry or sneak about to gain small exposé, ultimately? (5,7)
S(mall) (expos)E in *(PRY OR SNEAK). Another & lit clue, well-constructed I thought.
14 Chief lecturer quaffs gin cocktail with student (10)
*GIN, L in READER.
16 Female 31′s film (5)
19 Member promoted in Tea Party? It might raise the thickness level (8)
LEG(rev), *(IN TEA).
21 Profanities unfold when spoilt son leaves drink (8)
*PROFANITIES less SON. There are two anagram indicators here: “unfold” and “spoilt”; I think that the clue would work with only one.
23 Soap dish upended over top of legs (6)
L in SALAD(rev). The series has recently been revived.
24 Talented man on screen in Surrey village? (6)
The clue refers both to a Surrey village and to the film of the eponymous book by Patricia Highsmith.
28 Prophet discarding most of the bread (4)
Nathan the Prophet was the one who rebuked King David for adultery.
29,1 Pine shop condemned for bad deliveries (4,4)
LONG, *SHOP. Unless you’re a cricket fan, this clue may have eluded you, although it is in Chambers: ” a short-pitched, high-bouncing ball that is easy to hit”.