Posted by Pierre on April 1st, 2013
A puzzle from Quixote that was full of non-Ximenean constructions, loose cluing and obscure definitions. What’s the world coming to?
What’s the date again? There is a nod to it across the top row, but I can’t see anything further than that. In this avatar, the Don doesn’t often – or indeed ever – do themed stuff, so I’m reasonably confident that I haven’t missed anything. No particular favourites this morning; just a bunch of well-constructed clues using a variety of devices. A puzzle I’d definitely recommend to newish or improving cryptic solvers. Plenty of anagrams to get you going; a solver-friendly grid; and clear, faultless cluing, with some nice science-based clues as a bank holiday bonus.
cd cryptic definition
dd double definition
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x] letter(s) missing
definitions are underlined
1 Exceptionally peculiar English copper doing a bunk now
Given the topical nature of the puzzle, the definition is ‘now’, so if and when this gets recycled in the Indy i, it could confuse people. It’s (P[ECU]LIAR)* with ‘exceptionally’ as the anagrind.
4 WC Fields originally taken the wrong way as twit
Once APRIL went in, this couldn’t be much else today. A reversal (‘taken the wrong way’) of LOO and F for the first letter of Fields.
9 Noah so demanding about non-matching agricultural pair
ONE MAN AND HIS DOG
(NOAH SO DEMANDING)* with ‘about’ as the anagrind. Nice surface reading.
11 Jack or one of a dozen others getting accommodation in the Home Counties?
An insertion of PAD for ‘accommodation’ in SE for ‘South East’ or ‘Home Counties’. And a Jack, together with a dozen other cards, makes up the suit of spades.
12 Cool genie, magical, from an age long gone
(COOL GENIE)* ‘Magical’ is the anagrind and it’s the geological period which started about 34 million years ago, during which the Alps began to be formed by the coming together of the African and Eurasian plates.
13 Spear carried by Matabele is terrifying
Never heard of it myself, but it’s hidden in MatabeLE IS TERrifying. It’s a pronged implement for spearing fish.
15 Leg muscle’s first thing seen in country fellow of great strength
An insertion of ON for ‘leg’ in cricket and M for the first letter of ‘muscle’ in IRAN.
17 Increases enclosures by river
A charade of the river DEE and PENS.
19 The criminal in charge, gangster to become moral
A charade of (THE)* IC and AL (Capone).
21 Fiddling with metal object with security devices attached? Not unknown
I had to ponder the parsing of this for a while before I twigged it. It’s TIN for the metallic element with atomic number 50 and symbol Sn followed by KE[Y]RING. Clever.
24 Sound correct – it’s what an author must do
A homophone of ‘right’.
25 The way someone may get ‘screwed up’?
A cd. Quixote doesn’t often do cds.
26 Vehicle is guided – one lost
27 Lake in middle of Cheltenham enveloping a house
An insertion of A HO in the middle letters of ChelTEnham gives you the lake that forms part of the border between California and Nevada.
1 Organic compound contaminated iced tea brought round in the morning
(ICED TEA)* around AM. The anagrind is ‘contaminated’. CH3CONH2, since you ask.
2 Chemical fissure which gets filled in with time
More chemistry. Quixote’s inviting you to insert AGE into RENT.
3 Look round territory, mostly plain
Another insertion: of LAN[D] for ‘territory, mostly’ in LO! for ‘look’.
Lo, within a manger lies
He who built the starry skies
5 Soldiers in an old company may be seen running through South America
A charade of OR for ‘other ranks’ or ‘soldiers’, IN, O and CO for the South American river, but more importantly, this early recycler.
6 BBC boss hiding in shelter – a rocky situation
An insertion of DG for ‘Director General’ in LEE.
7 Brings together old canoeists for reunion
8 Something put into food that’s ‘moreish’, not cold
10 Cabbages and bits of lettuce perhaps voiced in song
A homophone (‘voiced’) of ‘greens’ and ‘leaves’. The traditional English song.
14 Most neglected and filthy places circumvented by track
Another insertion: of STIES in RUT.
16 One chum engaging another to concoct a plot
Another surface I liked, and another insertion: of CHINA in MATE. CHINA is Cockney rhyming slang for ‘mate’ – china plate.
18 Scuffle with a thousand coming out about tax being put up
And another insertion: this time of VAT for ‘tax’ in [M]ELEE.
20 Place with famous parsonage and hospital having a valuable quality
A charade of H for ‘hospital’, A and WORTH gives you the location of the parsonage where Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë did much of their writing.
22 Claws making mover unlikely to hurry, beginning to end
The setter is asking you to transfer the first letter of SNAIL to the end.
23 Good tirade makes one yield
A charade of G and RANT.
A gentle but enjoyable puzzle from Quixote for Easter Monday/April Fool’s Day. Thanks to him, and hope you all didn’t have a poisson d’avril stuck on you today. I wonder what the Indy’s spoof story was today? I solved this online as usual, so don’t know.