Posted by Eileen on November 17th, 2012
I’ve been looking forward for a long time to an Enigmatist puzzle, especially in the Prize slot – but I’m not sure I would have chosen to open my paper to find one on my blogging day, as I was preparing to leave for the latest Sloggers and Betters Derby meet. I like to solve and blog a puzzle, as far as possible, all in one go and, as I think many of you will agree, one can’t bank on even solving an Enigmatist puzzle at one sitting, so I didn’t even look at it before leaving home and, as my train journey was only twenty minutes, it wasn’t worth taking it with me.
A Sloggers and Betters meeting is a great opportunity for chewing over the day’s puzzle[s] but this time I had to spend the day struggling to avoid overhearing comments on the puzzle, which many / most friends there had at least started. [It reminded me of the Likely Lads’ day-long attempts to avoid hearing the result of that football match.] I did gather that people had generally finished it, apart from one or two clues, with problems arising mainly in the parsing department.
And so it turned out for me. A handful of anagrams provided a way in to the solving process but, thereafter, there was an impressive variety of clue styles to keep one guessing and a lot of misdirection along the way, together with some intricate constructions and several rather well-disguised definitions, as in 2, 5, 6 and 21dn. It was [of course] hard going but very rewarding, with the last bits of parsing taking almost as long as the puzzle – but that’s what I expect in a Prize puzzle. Huge thanks, Mr H: lovely to see you again – and thanks for a great quiz, too!
9,10 It’s applied in hilarious fashion, so singly formed?
The first clue but one of the last to be entered – and certainly one of the last to be parsed, with something of a clunk as the penny dropped. We need to take [vanishing] ‘cream’ out of ‘screamingly’ [in hilarious fashion] to leave ‘singly’. I haven’t heard of vanishing cream for decades!
11 Bum, near broke, owing money?
anagram [broke] of NEAR in [the] RED [owing money]. Some solvers don’t like this use of ‘in the red’ but I do – and it seems to be pretty standard these days: it’s a lovely surface, anyway
12 Bearded giant maybe sides with the family divided
EG [for example – maybe] divided by RL [sides] + KIN [family] for this bearded giant
13 Fish cause trouble for surfers
On the same day, the FT prize puzzle by Dogberry [our Shed] had this word clued by ‘Sing of cyber-bully’ and, just two days ago, Morph’s Indy puzzle had ‘Fish who’s stirring on-line': all great clues, using three definitions of the word, but without a hint of the [obvious] first meaning I knew: watch this for a trip down Memory Lane
14 Profane Croat finds new way to get through pass dangerously
anagram [new way] of CROAT in [to get through] CUSS [profane]
16 As distilled from the Weatherfield Gazette’s gossip column?
WORD ON THE STREET
I think this is just a cryptic definition, referring to Coronation Street’s notional local newspaper, but there may well be more going on
19 Cocktail of whisky is truly an incendiary
anagram [incendiary] of IS TRULY AN for this whisky cocktail
21 This petrol will make consignment
petrol will make a car go
22 Substantial food item accompanying pea in soup — the writer’s about to scoff a little more than 3
two lots of wordplay here: 1: anagram [soup] of ITEM and PEA and 2: ME [the writer] round EAT [scoff] + PI [at approximately 3.14159, the constant pi is ‘a little more than 3′]
23 Healthy state dresses as German city
GLOW [healthy state] round [dresses] AS G [German]
24,25 Distantly collecting rent, working together to stop mutual slating
A FLEA IN ONE’S EAR
I’ve given a lot of thought to this one throughout the week and I’m still not quite sure. The construction is quite clear: AFAR [distantly] round [collecting] LEASE [rent] leaving IN ONE somewhere in the middle. But then, for me, there are two ambiguities: – does IN ONE mean ‘working together’ or ‘mutual’? [It doesn’t really mean either to me.] And ‘to stop’, in crossword language, could mean either ‘contained in’ [stop = plug] or ‘containing’ [stop = hinder] – so it’s either ‘AFAR and LEASE ‘working together’ to stop [contain] ‘mutual’ [IN ONE] or IN ONE [‘working together’] in [stopping] AFAR and LEASE – but then what’s ‘mutual’ doing? Over to you!
1 Place of retreat from unorthodox Tory view, or one pulling teeth
another clue with two bits of wordplay – Enigmatist is being really kind! 1: anagram of TORY VIEW OR and 2: a lovely cryptic definition: tower [puller] of ivory [tooth]
2 For popular quartet a 5th is admitted
A V [a fifth] in [is admitted] IN [popular] FOUR [quartet]
3 Lao Tse has new formula from Bones
anagram of LAO TSE
5 Much regaled at a party!
A GREAT DEAL
anagram [party?] of REGALED AT A
6 “Long to pursue runner”, said rapper to wit
homophone [said] of SKI [runner] + L [long] + ICE T [rapper]: I really like this clue but I can only find L = length, not ‘long’. [Edit: as pointed out by r_c_a_d @9, you might find it in clothes labels]
7 Blind follower‘s taken out in Rome?
anagram [taken out] of IN ROME for this sheep, which could, like all sheep, be said to be a blind follower
8 Sticks up spruce
reversal [up] of GUMS [sticks]
I would never have thought of this as a synonym but [of course] it’s in Chambers
14 A little home cooking?
a lovely cryptic definition – one of those that make you wonder why it hasn’t been done before: perhaps it has but I’ve never seen it
15 Recommend awaiting hospital bed?
SET FOR WARD: ‘put forward’ seemed to fit the definition better but made no sense of the wordplay
17 Great God — preposterous palimony!
anagram [preposterous] of PALIMONY
18 With mounting amount of work getting in in good time for tea
reversal [mounting] of ERG [amount of work] in EARLY [in good time]
20 Keep horses under control
a neat double definition, which I really liked
21 Red mark checker uses to ring what’s not right?
CARET [mark checker uses] round [to ring] L [left – what’s not right]
this has to be, for me, a former teacher, one of the favourite clues, since the wonderfully misleading surface leads to that of which a glassful was often the reward for a prolonged session of the activity referred to in the wordplay
22 Design intermediate base
23,4 Bind outside of barrel supporting AOL server
GIRD [bind] round [outside of] B [barrel] + AOL – Amendment: [thanks NeilW @2]: it’s B following [supporting, in a down clue] AOL
I do hate this expression ‘outside of’ but, of course, I can see it’s necessary here for the surface – but I can’t find B as an abbreviation for barrel! [Edit: I missed it in Chambers: thanks tupu @12]