Posted by Eileen on February 22nd, 2013
A pleasant puzzle from Brummie to end a rather remarkable week – not so taxing as the last day or three but a nice, unobtrusive little theme, which I’ll leave you to spot, and some witty and enjoyable cluing. Many thanks, Brummie.
8 Dicky Hunt holding firm, with leader of union touching base
anagram [dicky] of HUNT round [holding] CO [firm] next to [touching] U[nion]
9 Speak without distinction, reversing laws lacking energy
reversal of RUL[e]S [laws] minus e [energy]
10 Oil blended in French wine: Bob Kennedy’s performing aid
anagram [blended] of OIL in VIN [French wine] + BOW [bob] – Nigel the violinist rather than Robert the senator
12,7 Capital place supplying two sorts of cheese
district of London [capital place] and two sorts of cheese, of course
3 Nearby row surrounded on all sides
CLOSE [nearby] DIN [row]
16,22 Fig tree possibly restricts weight reduction: beware of such an offering
anagram [maybe] of FIG TREE round [restricts] KG [abbreviation - reduction] of kilogram [weight]
reference to Laocoön’s warning to the Trojans in the Aeneid not to take in the wooden horse: ‘ I fear the Greeks even [or especially] when they bring gifts’.
18 Acted like one who doesn’t go in for conventional bedtime activity?
cryptic definition, with a play on ‘go in for’
20,25 Missus, having 100 years of the Guardian, displays spirited confidence?
DUTCH [Missus - wife in Cockney rhyming slang: Duchess of Fife] + C  + OUR AGE [years of the Guardian], for ‘the artificial courage induced by drinking alcohol’, hence ‘spirited’ – nice!
21 Eg Laurel and Hardy’s “dodo”
DO = act
not being a fan, I didn’t know if there was a special reason for using these two: googling produced a line from ‘Sons of the desert’ , ‘Now listen, dodo, you keep out of this’. [the second Google entry was this clue!]
24,15 Fancy UK T-shirt? Bah! — you’ll sweat in it
anagram [fancy] of UK T SHIRT BAH
2 Fir moved into store that has several arms, mainly
anagram [moved] of FIR in STASH [store] – ‘mainly’ meaning ‘in the sea’
3 Very long time holding up Virginia’s plants
AGES [very long time] round [holding] reversal [up] of VA [Virginia]
I didn’t know this plant but the cluing is faultless
4 As might be brakes of tank with coil rotation
anagram [rotation] of TANK and COIL
5,17across Not a single feature that would make old-style toast
CHIN-CHIN – an old-style greeting or toast
11 Group of players or front running athletic starters
OR + CHEST [front] + first letters [starters] of R[unning] A[thletics]
a change to have a charade for this word, rather than the anagrammed chestnut CARTHORSE [or Morph's variation SHORT RACE last week]
12 Quiet boring thing’s clothing item?
SH [quiet] + AWL [boring thing]
14,6 Perhaps Murdoch wants the SW broadcast dish
IRIS [perhaps writer Murdoch] + anagram [broadcast] of THE SW
16 Irish lough without its source river turned unwholesome
anagram [turned] of [ir]ISH LOUGH without its source [first letter] and r [river] – I think: I thought this was a rather weak clue, the anagram being so obvious, but I fear I may have missed something
17 Familiar female film star, bloody sort
CATE [female film star] + GORY [bloody]
I’m not really sure of this one, either: initially, I wanted ‘familiar’ to mean CAT [as in witch's familiar] but then I was left with E. The film star is always called CATE, so I can’t see the need for ‘familiar’
19 Brave as a rose picker?
20 Electronic concern when reverse circuit terminals in ruin
CT [reversal of first and last letters - terminals - of CircuiT] in DOOM [ruin]
21,1 Beats introducing performer’s speciality act?
23 Fruits singularly not given by uncaring types
cryptic definition, referring to the expression: I don’t give / care a fig for …