Posted by RatkojaRiku on October 11th, 2012
It is Thursday today, so you take pot luck in terms of which compiler you get, and I am always very pleased to cross swords with Nestor.
With Nestor you know that what you will be getting is not some (obscure) theme with complex interconnected clues, but rather a set of ultrasound, highly original clues for straightforward insertion in the grid, with occasional cross-referencing: nothing more, nothing less.
Alas, Nestor has won the day this time, since I cannot parse 2, although I think that I have found the solution if “nature” is indeed the definition. Any suggestions will be gratefully received and I will try to update the blog later – done, thanks!
Nevertheless, overall this puzzle proved less taxing to me than many recent Nestors, albeit just as enjoyable. The grid, a new one on me, was constructed in such a way that I didn’t seem to get bogged down in any particular corner, and the longer entries provided a good crop of intersecting letters.
My favourites today are the 11 and 19 for their & lit. element, although the former took me a lot longer to crack than the letter; 15 for its deceptive surface; and self-referential 9 for being such a great spot on the part of the compiler
*(…) indicates an anagram
|7||ECHO||EC<h>O (=repetition), “not hard (=H)” means letter “h” is dropped; the reference is to Italian author Umberto Eco (1932-)|
|8||AMBIVALENCE||[VA (=Virginia, i.e. US State) + L (=left)] in AMBIENCE (=atmosphere)|
|11||PUPPETEER||[UP (=lift) + PET (=doll, i.e. term of endearment)] in PEER (=fellow); & lit.|
|12||TABOO||TA (=expression of gratitude) + BOO (=expression of displeasure)|
|13||TREE OF KNOWLEDGE||*(EDEN FOLK WERE GOT); “in trouble” is anagram indicator|
|16||NIPPLE||PP (=very quiet, in music, i.e. painissimo) in NILE (=African river); a nipple can be a small projection with an orifice for lubricating machinery, hence “oil supplier”|
|17||MINING||MIN<g>ING (=disgusting, now common UK slang); “the heart’s not in” means middle letter is dropped|
|19||HUNTER-GATHERERS||THERE (=that place) in *(THUS GARNER); “nuts” is anagram indicator; & lit.|
|21||MIDAS||SAD (=sorry) + I’M (=I am); “overthrown” indicates reversal; the reference is to King Midas in Greek mythology, cursed in that everything he touched – including his daughter, his food and his drink – turned to gold|
|23||OPEN HOUSE||O (=old) + <scho>PENH<auer> (“middle section” means central letters only) + O’ (=briefly of, i.e. abbreviation) + USE (=benefit)|
|25||SLEEVE NOTES||SET (=hardened) + ONE (=a person) + V (=against) + EELS (=devious people); “going the wrong way” indicates reversal; the reference is to the sleeve notes that would accompany an album, hence track commentary|
|26||ILK||<d>I<s>L<i>K<e>; “regularly suppressed” means that alternate letters only are used|
|1||TEAPOT||PO (OP=surgery; “up” indicates vertical reversal) in TEAT (=nipple, i.e. entry at 16); to be mother is to pour the tea|
|2||COMPLEXION||COMP (=free ticket, i.e. from “complimentary”) + [EX (=earlier) in LION (=international sportsman, e.g. the British Lions)]; the definition is simply “nature”|
|3||FAKE||[A + K<nife> (“edge” means first letter only)] in FE (=iron, i.e. chemical symbol)|
|4||OVERCOMMITMENT||OVER (=finished) + [MIT (=US university, i.e. Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in COMMENT (=gloss, perhaps, e.g. a term in a text)]|
|5||FLATULENCE||FLAT (=unexciting) + [EN (=letter, i.e. of the alphabet) in *(CLUE)]; “crafted” is anagram indicator; the definition is “windiness”, i.e. suffering from wind, being flatulent|
|6||KNOB||B<ars> O<f> N<ew> K<inds>; “initially” means first letters only; “inverted” means vertical reversal|
|9||BREAK NEW GROUND||All three words – break, new, and ground – can be used by crossword compilers to indicate anagrams!|
|10||EXOCET||COX (=steerer of boat, i.e. in rowing) in TEE (=support, i.e. in golf); “mounted” indicates vertical reversal; an Exocet is a type of subsonic tactical missile|
|14||OPPRESSIVE||*(SPIES PROVE); “shifty” is anagram indicator; sultry is oppressive, humid when referring to heat, weather|
|15||DANCE MUSIC||C<halk> (“tip of” means first letter only) in *(AND MISCUE); “broken” is anagram indicator; the cryptic definition is “ball sounds”|
|18||CHAMPS||A kind of double definition: the Tour de France ends on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, which is also where the race champ(ion)s are crowned|
|20||SNEAKY||NEA<t> (=smashing, in US slang; “endless” means last letter is dropped) in SKY (=hit high, e.g. a ball)|
|22||DYED||Hidden (“in course of”) in “stuDY EDucation”; the definition is “not natural”, e.g. of hair colour|
|23||HASH||H (=hot) + ASH (=residue from fire)|