Posted by jetdoc on June 10th, 2013
Sorry about the late posting — I did the puzzle a while ago and had plans to complete the blog yesterday, but a migraine rather inconveniently intervened.
Another fairly quick solve for me, with nothing that help me up for long. I think I will go for 3d as top clue, because the wordplay is rather clever.
|7||OFFICER||Force, if forced to yield up one of its members?
*(force if), with ‘forced’ as the anagram indicator
|8||HOSIERY||House is backing, er, the ultimate in Tory members’ cover up
HO = house; IS, reversed; ER; Y = the ultimate in Tory. Definition: members’ cover up
|10||ROYAL MAIL||One like our Brian, said to be a carrier
Sounds like (‘said’) ‘royal male’, which Prince Charles (Brian) is
|12/11||BRIDAL GOWN||Union outfit laid out a lot of money to skewer unpopular PM
*(laid); G = a lot of money (£1000 or $100); in (‘to skewer’) BROWN = unpopular PM, Gordon Brown
|14||THE TROTS||Definitive revolutionaries’ movements out of control
Double definition — definitive revolutionaries (the Trots); movements out of control
|16||PSEUDO NAMES||Feature wince-makingly referenced by Sue, Don Aymes?
Sounds (a bit) like ‘Sue, Don Aymes’. Feature in the Private Eye letters section
|19||BALLYHOO||Fuss when bloody old-fashioned mobster drops dead
BALLY = bloody; HOO[d] = old-fashioned mobster, minus D (dead)
|20||EUROPE||Adieu, ropey housing which Cameron’s uncomfortable with?
Hidden in (housed by) ‘Adieu, ropey’
|21||OPEC||Oily group making love with “muscle”
O = love; PEC = muscle (pectoralis major)
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
|22||DARK BROWN||‘Tone’, threatening, ineffective PM
DARK = threatening; BROWN = ineffective PM (see above; getting rather a hard time in this puzzle). Definition: tone (with an implied reference to Tony Blair)
|24||CLUED UP||What you have before you: Dave’s first high — ready to take questions?
CLUE = what you have before you; D = Dave’s first; UP = high. Definition: ready to take questions
|25||ITALICS||Independent: ’Clegg’s Launch into A-list Unlikely’ (being in these)
I = Independent; C = Clegg’s Launch; in *(A list), with ‘unlikely’ as the anagram indicator. Nothing in the clue is actually in italics; I think I’d have expected ‘these’ to be, and Independent really should be, consistent with the surface reading of this as a newspaper headline.
|1||A FAR CRY||With Ray screwing around, endless entertainment — something else!
*(ray), with ‘screwing’ as the anagram indicator; around FARC[e] = endless entertainment
|2||CITY||Gucci type nursing football team?
Hidden in ‘Gucci type’
|3||BELLY LAUGH||Loud reaction to funny sight of Thatcher advisor? Lay off, that’s nasty
BELL = Sir Tim Bell, advisor to Margaret Thatcher; *(lay); UGH = “that’s nasty!”
|5||GINGER BEER||“Terrible being penetrated by short guy with erection” — queen, non-PC gay
REG (short form of man’s name), reversed (‘with erection’, in a down clue); in *(being); ER = queen. Rather old-fashioned rhyming slang for ‘queer’
|6||DRAWN TO||Pulled a third of Cameron’s lot, feeling an attraction
DRAWN = Pulled; TO[ries] = a third of Cameron’s lot
|9||LAST HONOURS||Misled Labour’s shot, having name for Brown’s chief sad service
Anagram of ‘Labour’s shot’, with N = name, replacing B = Brown’s chief. Funeral rites, especially when it’s a state funeral.
|13||DESELECTED||Rejected Ed Balls finally voted in — then politically rejected!
DE = rejected Ed; S = Balls finally; ELECTED = voted in
|15||EXACERBATE||Expert in crappy beer tax (compound)
ACE = expert; in *(beer tax), with ‘crappy’ as the anagram indicator. Definition: compound, as a verb
|17||WALPOLE||Legislation set up a rod for Tory-baited PM?
LAW, reversed (legislation set up); POLE = rod
Sir Robert Walpole, generally regarded as the first Prime Minister of Great Britain. The Tories gave him a particularly hard time, trying to ruin and discredit him.
|18||SPINACH||What might be applied to balls: Merkel’s oh so leafy vegetable
SPIN = what might be applied to balls, in cricket, tennis etc; ACH = German for something like ‘oh’, or even ‘oh so’, though I think the ‘so’ is really there to smooth the surface reading.
|22/4||DRUM ROLL||Booze during funny banged out introduction
RUM = booze; in DROLL = funny
|23||OSLO||City big in clothes has slob’s guts
OS = big (outsize) in clothes; LO = slob’s guts (central letters)
I’m a bit short of jokes this week, so instead I share with you this lovely image of orchids, from the Facebook page I fucking love science:
They are: Dracula simia (the monkey orchid), Orchis Italica (the naked man orchid), Habenaria radiata (the white egret orchid) and Caleana major (the flying duck orchid).