Posted by bridgesong on November 3rd, 2012
A harder than usual prize puzzle this week, I thought. A theme exploiting two meanings of an old chestnut which often crops up in cryptic crosswords. Thanks to Paul for a satisfying challenge. And thanks also to PeeDee for helping me with access to his excellent blogging software program. I’ve underlined the definitions in the clues.
1 Note down something in bed (6)
F (note), LOWER. The reference to “bed” is clever, as both flowering plants and rivers can be found in a bed, and both meanings of the word are to be found below.
4 1 across finding fault with bully (7)
COW SLIP. A straightforward charade, made harder by having the elements reversed.
9 Medium discharge, maximum in obstreperous camels (9)
TOP in *CAMELS.
10 1 across‘s Antarctic expedition? (5)
S(outh) TOUR. There is more than one River Stour in southern England and the Midlands. The question mark is perhaps justified by the relative obscurity of the answer.
11 Strongly maintain small 1 across (5)
S(outh) WEAR. A better-known river in the North of England.
12 1 acrosses border river in places (9)
RIM R(iver) in POSES.
13 A conspirator twisted at first, seeking plant (7)
A BRUTUS, with the first two letters of the name reversed. Not clued as a 1 across, perhaps because (on this side of the Atlantic at any rate) it’s a tree rather than a flower.
15 1 across having to kiss a redhead (6)
NECK A R(edhead). The first of two German rivers.
17 The way to have a relative balance (6)
ST(reet) A SIS(ter).
19 1 across experienced UN’s absence at the front (7)
(un)DERWENT. Another river from the North of England.
22 Tiredness certainly in use of retina? (9)
YES in *RETINA. Arguably an & lit clue, with the whole of it serving as a definition.
24 1 across more likely to win, leader dropping off (5)
26 Just around the corner, diet? (5)
Sounds like “lo – cal”. The absence of anything explicit to indicate a homophone certainly justifies the question mark.
27 1 across one’s to discover behind new line (9)
N(ew) ARC I’S SUS.
28 Skill of a tennis player pinches prize on the backhand? (7)
NIPS POT (all rev). Another question mark clue, perhaps acknowledging the slightly loose definition. My understanding (and I don’t claim any particular expertise here) is that topspin can be imparted just as well on a serve and a forehand, so the clue is not perhaps an & lit.
29 Open unimaginative starter, prawn cocktail (6)
1 1 across lets ya out, say (7)
Sounds like “frees ya”.
2 Bizarre off and on (5)
3 1 across risen, there’s a cuckoo circling (9)
UP in *THERES A. A Middle Eastern river this time.
4 1 across, hero missing rugby posts (7)
C(h)AMPION. I rather liked “rugby posts” for “H”.
5 1 across gets to stitch up monarch (5)
SEW(rev) ER. The second German river.
6 Prided hair is on male that’s wild, covering top of neck (5,4)
N(eck) in *(IS ON MALE). Is “prided” a valid word, I wonder? I know that “pride” can be a verb, but I can’t recall seeing the participle used in this adjectival sense.
7 Study the country’s economy, primarily (6)
8 Joint where tenor almost swallows piano (6)
P(iano) in CARUS(o).
14 1 across‘s bottom half set on a stool, we hear? (9)
Sounds like “buttock up”! (I can hear Eileen disagreeing). A typical Paul clue.
16 1 across for motor race (9)
18 1 across being quiet in the year, forlorn ultimately (7)
SH ANNO (forlor)N. An Irish river this time.
19 Man with a tough guy image ironed pants (2,4)
20 More than one vessel among sheep arrives (5,2)
URNS IN TUP.
21 Drink problem out of season, fate ensuing (6)
23 1 across, everyone can see, left in dump (5)
U(as in film certificate) L(eft) in TIP. The way into the theme for me.
25 Clip from Bardot, a serious stunner (5)
Hidden in “Bardot a serious”.