Posted by Eileen on December 6th, 2012
‘Mixed bag’ is a term that has been applied more than once to Gordius puzzles, by me and others – and here’s another: some good clues but, as so often, I have quibbles regarding quite a few more.
8 Director blows up record
anagram [blows] of UP RECORD
I don’t want to get involved in discussion about the difference between a producer and a director, so I’ll direct you here
9 Get up about noon for a quick dip
RISE [get up] round N [noon] – nice surface
10 Schools’ governor? Not half!
I think this is intended as an &lit but it doesn’t quite work for me. [For overseas readers, Michael Gove is currently Secretary of State for Education]
11 Plant that makes roads collapse
anagram [collapse] of MAKES ROADS
12 Foreigners express gratitude with a chunk of Olde England
MERCI [French ‘Thank you’] + A for the Anglo-Saxon kingdom, now known as the Midlands
14 “Roger”, as in building material
AS in CEMENT [building material] – a rather strange clue for the Irish nationalist, Roger Casement
16 Billingsgate titfer held plate for fish
BOATER [Billingsgate titfer – hat worn by fish merchants, as here] round L [‘learner’ plate] – the best clue by far for me
18 Some science in firm grip of an extremist
SCI [some science] in FAST [in firm grip] – ‘in’ doing double duty
21 Commercial sea song?
MER [French sea – only used in English, as far as I know, in the expression ‘mal de mer’] + CHANT [song]: I don’t think the question mark is sufficient to let Gordius off this hook
23 English wearing a winning medal is nothing new
E [English] in [wearing] A GOLD [a winning medal]
24 College enough for a little theology
AMPLE [enough] + FOR + TH [a little theology]
I liked the &littishness of this clue for Ampleforth College
26 Vehicle turns over, but not altogether
reversal [turns over] of PART [not altogether]: the ‘but’ makes it impossible for me to justify this clue
27 Ulster order was turned to stone
NI [Northern Ireland – Ulster] + OBE [order] for the tragic Niobe who was turned to stone for boasting of her children
28 One man able to produce a legume
anagram [to produce] of I [one] + MAN ABLE
1 Tree-dwelling, headless snake climbs — true!
reversal [climbs] of [c]OBRA [headless snake] + REAL [true]
2 Paid less — lacking pass, not working
hidden in paID LEss – or, as the clue says, ‘paid less’ minus ‘pass’
3 Listlessness can make one reject help
ACE [one] + reversal [reject] of AID [help]
4 Setter is in a blessed state, despite expression
I’M [setter is] in GRACE [a blessed state]
5 Flower not entirely like the Taoiseach
not entirely Iris[h] [like the Irish Prime Minister]
6 Hector’s wife had Cameron shattered
anagram [shattered] of HAD CAMERON, for the wife of Hector, son of Priam, king of Troy
7 Item in service reported to decrease
sounds like [reported] lessen [decrease]: I was reduced to using the ‘cheat’ button to decide which word to enter, since the position of ‘reported’ makes the clue totally ambiguous and there is no help from crossing letters
13 One with the opportunity to turn round?
CHANCE [opportunity] + reversal [round] of ROLL [turn]: I can only explain this as another attempted &lit, the Chancellor of the Exchequer being one with the opportunity to turn the economy round – but not just yet, apparently!
15 Source of water in outer space?
hidden [?] in SPAce – but why ‘outer’?
17 The “old days” are over
reversal [over] of ARE – but why ‘old’?
19 Put by for Jack abroad
SALT [Jack] + AWAY [abroad]
20 Reptiles, not soft but awkwardly unproductive
anagram [awkwardly] of RE[p]TILES minus p [soft]
22 Little time before surrounding an animal
MIN[ute] [little time] [with] ERE [before] surrounding
23 In a book about the beginning of history
A TOME [a book] round H [beginning of history] – a nicely concealed definition
25 Hired a straight man
26 Check acceptable but proscribed
TAB [check] + U [acceptable]