Posted by Eileen on November 8th, 2012
I think there might be some cries of ‘obscurity’ this morning but the less familiar [or unknown] solutions were all very fairly and clearly clued, I think. For me, the difficulties lay more in the misdirection in some of the clues and the parsing of some of the less obscure answers. I enjoyed the research and learned a few things along the way, which is always a good thing. [I apologise for the rather late posting of this blog – there were a lot of links to provide and the said research led me along several interesting diversions. Then, finally, I made an error in posting the blog and had to call on Gaufrid for technical help!]
1 Unfortunate way of spelling “speshal”
anagram [way of spelling] of SPESHAL
5 Queen and stoic with unending prejudice
ZENO [Stoic] + BIA[s] [unending prejudice]
I was familiar with this as the name of a range of toiletries used by my grandmother when I was a child: it’s derived from the Queen of Palmyra: there were a couple of Stoic philosophers called Zeno – this is the one who founded the school
9 Distribute grand brandies to one that carries some?
SAINT BERNARD DOG
clever anagram [distributed] of GRAND BRANDIES TO, referring to the story of the Alpine rescue dogs with a small keg of brandy round their necks [used in Hennessy adverts]
10 With US lawyer about, sign for English play
DA [District Attorney – US lawyer] round RAM [English translation of zodiac sign Aries]
11 Carp‘s residence in difficulties
HO [house – residence] in PICKLES [difficulties] – I was misled by thinking for a while that HOLES were the difficulties
12 Queen cat holding one page for the Sun
CAT round [holding] LEO [cat] + P [page] + RA [sun] – a rather more familiar queen
15 Bitter start to a cry from the heart
A CRI D[e coeur] [a cry from the heart]
16 Live outside right the same as live outside left? Not likely to last
BE [live] round [outside] R [right] + AKA [also known as – the same] + BE [live] round [outside] L [left]
18 Queen with sacred thanksgiving keeping one very quiet
HOLY [sacred] + TA [thanksgiving] round [keeping] I [one] PP [very quiet] for the queen of the Amazons, who appears in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, which quite often appears in Araucaria crosswords
21 Historian of the West in flower
W [west] in ROSE [flower] for historian A L Rowse
22 Displacement of animal organ: is it possible?
anagram [possible] of ANIMAL ORGAN IS IT
23 Desert state‘s currency in order?
YN [abbreviation of yn – currency] in DRESS [order]
24 Fury makes us make a statement about some people
AVER [make a statement] round ENG [English? – some people?]
1 Ultra-orthodox head of college has a lot of stupidity to start with
HAS + IDI [a lot[?] of IDI[ocy] – stupidity] + C [first letter – head] of College
2 One’s own loo in which to return paper used
anagram [used] of TO RET[urn] PAPER in PRIVY [loo]
3 Unable to escape from The Sound of Music?
amusing pun on the von Trapp family, stars of the said musical
4 Gamble with broom?
double[ish] / cryptic definition
5 Queen, last one to go up with old aircraft
Z [last letter] + reversal [to go up] of ONE + CRATE [old aircraft] for the queen in Marlowe’s ‘Tambourlaine’
6 Function of the man or the woman at the top?
hidden in maN OR THe
7 Supposed force in eastern front covered by flashy stuff causing cricket problem
ODYL [a hypothetical force formerly thought to be responsible for many natural phenomena, such as magnetism, light, and hypnotism] + IN E [in eastern] + BOW [front] in [covered by] BLING [flashy stuff] for this cricketing problem
8 Girl golfers’ place on first of month?
double definition and AUGUST [month] + A [first]: I don’t see the need for this rather odd piece of wordplay
13 Bill with close to musical for basic pets
TAB [bill] + BY [close to] + CATS [musical]
14 Fire iron to confront what’s kept straight
simple charade of POKER [fire iron] + FACE [confront]
15 A bogus journalist wishing he hadn’t done it?
A SHAM ED
19 Express view of piece with four sharps
OP [opus -piece of music] + IN E: the scale of E Major has four sharps
20 Soul of American imagery
hidden in americAN IMAgery