Times 24786, 1st Qualifier, 2011 Championships (2nd March)

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 21 minutes.

Not a difficult puzzle, though I had some hold-ups in the NW. Of note is the inclusion of three homophone clues; none of which should be controversial. The answer to 17 down shows that setters know when at least some special puzzles are due to appear.


 1 IN(DIRE)CT. The def is ‘sort of speech’.
 5 RHODES. Sounds like ‘roads’.
10 DOWN TO THE GROUND. Two defs: one cryptic; one alluding to the expression ‘suits me down to the ground’.
11 CHICO,RY. A Marx brother on a railway. The def is ‘Leaves’.
12 OIL WELL. Two defs, together forming a pun.
13 MEMSAHIB. Anagram of ‘beams’ and ‘him’.
15 RE-SIN.
18 TASSO. S (for ‘son’) and SAT reversed; then O (for ‘old’).
20 Omitted; but it will sneak up on you.
23 ANCIENT. Anagram of ‘tin can’ and E (a musical note).
25 FIDDLER. Two defs; one alluding to the musical. Overheard once on the Kop: “That Bremner’s a great fiddler of the ball eh?” — “When Tommy Smith gets ’im, ’e’ll be a fiddler on the ******* roof”.
26 INSTRUMENTALIST. Anagram of the first two words of the clue.
27 S(PY)ING. Included letters are the first and last of ‘plenty’.
28 HE(A)DGE,A,R. The hedge is the avoidance, containing A. Then A, and R (for ‘run’). This is what the M$-Word spell-checker suggests if your document contains the word ‘Heidegger’!
 1 INDUCE. A short INn; then C (for ‘clubs’) inside DUE (‘expected’). The def is ‘cause’.
 2 DOWDINESS. Anagram of ‘Downside’s’.
 3 RATIONS. In the verbal sense of ‘limits’. A reversal of SITAR around a reversal of NO. The reversal indicator (‘Take up’) has to be seen to apply to both elements.
 4 CATTY. Take the first letter from SCATTY.
 7 DRUPE. Sounds like ‘droop’.
 8 SI(DELI)NE. The sine is the function; it includes a reversal of I LED.
 9 REDOUBLE. Two defs: a bid at the game of bridge and the more straightforward sense of doubling again. Perhaps the two defs are rather close?
14 H,ECA,TOMB. H (for ‘husband’); reversal of ACE; then TOMB (memorial). Mac Oxford: “(in ancient Greece or Rome) a great public sacrifice, originally of a hundred oxen”.
16 SH(ELLF)IRE. The county is wrapping an anagram of ‘fell’.
17 ST DAVIDS. Yesterday (1st March) was St David’s day. Tyddewi, Pembrokeshire.
21 OLD MAID. Two defs; one cryptic.
22 GRATER. Sounds like ‘greater’.
24 CU,SHY. First two from the odd letters of ‘club’; then a word meaning ‘modest’.
25 Also omitted. Or am I just sitting on it?


6 comments on “Times 24786, 1st Qualifier, 2011 Championships (2nd March)”

  1. 26 minutes and therefore somehting of a stroll in the park for me. HECATOMB – familiar to me from Homer – is the potential banana skin.
    1. I commented rather prematurely on that point last week. I am not sure whether the whimsical nature of the clue allows that point to be overlooked, but it is surely a mistake?
      1. The main dictionary definition of city is usually “large town”, and the def for town doesn’t include anything like “not a city”. So all cities are also towns, and in the case of St Davids (Pop. c. 2,000) “town” seems reasonable to me as an alternative to the official “city” in a crossword clue.
  2. Even London’s referred to as a ‘town’ – as is Hong Kong! But I get Jon’s point – as a kid, I learned that St David’s is the smallest city in Britain. I don’t believe the setter was trying to be disrespectful to the Welsh and misdirection is what we seek.
  3. What in the world is a drupe? I will have to go Google it. “Prune” was the only fruit that fit __u_e as far as I knew, so I entered it and guessed “Shipps” for the island (hoping that maybe there is a Shipps Island somewhere – will Google that also).

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