Posted by PeeDee on November 24th, 2012
I enjoyed this one very much, sort of middling in difficulty I would say.
The crossword does not have theme as such, more of a game of word-association. The idea of France/French seemed to be somewhere at the centre and it wandered around from there. Something like this…
I’m sure I have never come across a clue containing the word fissiparous before either. It was worth it for that alone! Of course protean and portmanteau are lovely words too but I knew those already. On the flip-side I think splittism is really quite ugly, I’m not keen to memorize that one at all.
Thank you Araucaria.
Hold the mouse pointer over any clue number to read the clue.
|1||CUSTOS||SCOUTS* anagram=at sea|
|4||FIASCO||double definition – a fiasco is a type of Italian bottle with a round bottom wrapped in a wicker basket|
|9||FURNITURE POLISH||FUTURE (coming) round R (royal) NI (Ulster) and then POLIS (constabulary, Scottish spelling for police) H (hard) – definition is ‘French shiner’, french polish|
|10||INSTEP||IN STEP (marching)|
|12||BLACK EYE||LACKEY (minion) in BE – definition is the solution to the following clue… ’shiner’|
|14||SHINER||ER (The Queen, famous corgi owner) following SHIN (bone)|
|15||ALKALI||A L (learner, pupil) and KALI (Hindu godess associated with death) – chalk is an alkali. I don’t think chalk is a very good example of an alkali, it is only weakly soluble and is not very alkaline. Update: ‘piece of chalk’ is chALK, which is an abbreviation for alkali, so we get a confirmation of the definition. Very clever from A.|
|18||FACE MASK||ACE (champion) inside (entertained by) FM (Field Marshal) with ASK (to request)|
|21||EMIGRATE||sEMI (half, topped) GRATE (fireplace)|
|22||INFORM||IN FORM (doing well)|
|24||SELF DISCIPLINED||(SPLENDID LIFE SIC)* – ‘to achieve’ is to be read as ’used to achieve this result’, an anagram hint rather than an anagram indicator|
|25||EALING||GALE* around IN – Ealing Studios|
|26||ODDS ON||ODD (unusual) SON (issue)|
|1||CHUNNEL||CHannel tUNNEL (whats taken on visit to France) missing ANNE (queen) and LT (lieutenant) – ‘chunnel’ is an example of a portmanteau, made by combining two other words.|
|2,16||SON ET LUMIERE||SO (like this) NET (catcher) and LURE (decoy) round M1 (a road) E (east) – a French word meaning ‘light show with music’. M1 for ‘road’ will not be liked by some.|
|3||OCTUPLE||COUPLET* - definition is &lit|
|5||IMPETUS||I’M (the setter is) PET (favourite) US (American)|
|6||SPLITTISM||MISS* anagram=wayward holding P LITT (letters page) – fissparious means ‘reproducing by fission’, splittism is ‘advocating the withdrawal of a group from a large central body’. I can’t give a really good explanation why P LITT is letters page. LITT.D is Litterarum Doctor ’a doctor of letters’, so would P.LITT be ‘a page of letters’?|
|7||OBSCENE||The River OB in Siberia and SCENE (situation). I initially thought expecting us to know the names of Siberian rivers was going a little too far, but the Ob turns out to be the 7th longest river in the world, so fair enough.|
|8||TRIPLE||L (fifty) in TRIPE (nonsense) – less than half an octuple|
|13||CHANGEFUL||CH (church) with FUn (a lot of the letters of) in ANGEL (spirit) – protean means variable, readily assuming different shapes|
|17||ITALIAN||NAIL (fixer) AT I (first) all reversed – Italy is found next to France|
|18,23||FRENCH FRIES||Dawn FRENCH (actress & comedienne) with FRI (day, short form) ES (east, south points of the compass) – definition is… ‘chipped potatoes’ solution of the following clue|
|19,11||CHIPPED POTATOES||A TOE (single digit) inserted into CHIPPED POTS (damaged vessels)|
|20||SURGEON||SURGE (sudden increase) ON (happening) – someone who cuts for a living|