Posted by scchua on February 18th, 2013
A Rufus with, I thought, a more than usual share of anagrams, cds and dds, so it might win even fewer friends. There are some nice surfaces and misdirections, though. Thanks Rufus. Definitions are underlined in the clues. [[The pictures at the bottom have unidentified links to the puzzle. Please enclose any comments on them in double brackets. Thank you.]]
1 Ground and house might be theirs (9)
LANDLORDS : Cryptic defn: Owners of house rented out and maybe of land;ground, from which the term is derived.
6 Scratch starter? (4)
ITCH : Cryptic defn: What might cause you to start scratching.
8 Cock-a-hoop, still following City (8)
ECSTATIC : STATIC(still;unmoving) placed after(following) EC (abbrev. for Eastern Central, the group of postal areas including almost all of the Roman to Middle Ages City of London, as distinct from the larger city of London).
9 The short answer about foreign capital (6)
ATHENS : THE contained in(… about) ANS(abbrev.;short for “answer”).
10 Note the world shortage (6)
DEARTH : D(a note in the musical scale) + EARTH(the world).
11 Ill-disposed ladies to be separated (8)
ISOLATED : Anagram of(Ill-disposed) LADIES TO.
12 Unfriendly country, we hear (6)
CHILLY : Homophone of(we hear) “Chile”(the South American country).
15 Unnecessary to curtail one’s requirements (8)
NEEDLESS : NEED LESS(enumerated as 4,4, to curtail or decrease one’s needs or requirements).
16 Old coach station (8)
VICTORIA : Double defn: 2nd: Underground and mainline rail station in London.
19 Part of the Mass is identified with St Francis (6)
ASSISI : Hidden in(Part of) “Mass is identified “.
Answer: The town from which St. Francis came from, and by which he is identified.
21 Embraces sweetheart and wives (8)
ESPOUSES : The central letter of(…heart) “sweet” plus(and) SPOUSES(wives). Nice surface – that’s one sweetheart and how many wives again?
22 Mountain retreat needs freezer for fish (6)
PLAICE : Reversal of(retreat) ALP(a mountain in the Alps chain) plus(needs) ICE(something used to freeze).
24 Orphan who was accepted as a Wolf Cub (6)
MOWGLI : Cryptic defn: Not a Wolf Cub (a junior Boy Scout) but the boy raised by wolves in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.
25 Producing elastic (8)
YIELDING : Double defn:. 2nd: Yielding to pressure.
26 Worst — and best! (4)
BEAT : A synonym for 2 apparent antonyms. To “worst” is to defeat, as in “he worsted his opponent easily” and to “best” is to get the better of;to defeat.
27 One step up from the gutter (9)
KERBSTONE : Cryptic defn: The step bordering the street gutter.
1 No end of good fortune concerning money (5)
LUCRE : “luck”(good fortune) minus its last letter(No end of) + RE(concerning;with reference to).
Answer: Slang for “money”.
2 Living in the wild, not a flat (7)
NATURAL : Double defn: 1st: In one’s natural habitat, as opposed to, say, being cultivated in a greenhouse; and 2nd: A musical note that is not flat (nor sharp).
3 Drop a catch in the close (5)
LATCH : Double defn. , I think. 1st: To drop the catch of a latch, thereby locking it; and 2nd: To close;shut, presumably with a latch. The 2 definitions being a bit too close in meaning?
4 Disturbance in court, perhaps (7)
RUCTION : Anagram of(perhaps) IN COURT.
5 Propose a broadcast on a serial TV drama (4,5)
SOAP OPERA : Anagram of(broadcast) PROPOSE A placed above(on, in a down clue) A.
6 Elisha ordered to take in male Biblical outcast (7)
ISHMAEL : Anagram of(ordered) ELISHA containing(to take in) M(abbrev. for “male”).
7 Agreement to study population count is announced (9)
CONSENSUS : CON(to study) + homophone of(is announced) “census”(a national population count).
13 A drop of the hard stuff (9)
HAILSTONE : Cryptic defn: One of many pellets of ice falling from a (cumulonimbus) cloud in a hailstorm. Nothing to do with hard liquor.
14 It’s a rigid rule (9)
YARDSTICK : Cryptic defn: Literally, a graduated rigid stick, one yard long, used for measurement. Figuratively, a standard or measure for comparison purposes, as in “by any yardstick, his actions were unforgiveable.”
17 The first half of this should be considered (7)
THOUGHT : The first 2 letters of(The first half of) “this” + OUGHT(should be;to indicate duty or obligation).
Answer: As in “he was thought/considered a hero”.
18 Years possibly follow as a metal tester (7)
ASSAYER : Anagram of(possibly) YEARS placed below(follow, in a down clue) AS.
20 An unpleasant person, but an unnamed one (2-3-2)
SO-AND-SO : Double defn: 1st: A euphemism for an unpleasant person;a real SOB; and 2nd: Someone (or thing) not definitely named, as “to gossip about so-and-so”.
22 Decrease in newspapers (5)
PRESS : Double defn: 1st: Cryptic, to de-crease;to remove creases;to iron or press clothes; and 2nd: Newspapers collectively.
23 Ocean-designed craft? Hardly (5)
CANOE : Anagram of(designed) OCEAN.
Answer: Hardly a craft meant to be used in the open ocean. A WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition) clue.