Much to like this week. Answers went in quickly, until I slowed down in the NE corner. My LOI, and also my COD, was 7dn with its clever reference to Washington DC. Exceptional!
Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. How did you all get on?
Note for newcomers: The Times offers prizes for Saturday Cryptic Crosswords. This blog is for last week’s puzzle, posted after the competition closes. So, please don’t comment here on this week’s Saturday Cryptic.
Definitions are underlined. (ABC)* means anagram of ABC. Italics mark anagram indicators in the clues, and ‘assembly instructions’ in the explanations.
|1||Revamped Saudi PVC and international rubber business (5,3)|
|DAVIS CUP – (SAUDI PVC)*.
Sadly, the Davis Cup is a shade of its former self.
|9||Cruel, having daft host do a tune! (8)|
|INHUMANE – INANE=daft hosts HUM=do a tune.
One of my last in – HUM eluded me.
|10||Something indistinct posh sort of camera conceals (4)|
|SLUR – SLR (single-lens reflex) conceals U.|
|11||Deafening activity in cornmill? (3-9)|
|EAR-SPLITTING – a whimsical hint, perhaps.
I would think a cornmill grinds the corn, rather than “splitting” the ears.
|13||Entrance to basilica provided with ancient sort of doors? (6)|
|BIFOLD – B(asilica) + IF + OLD.|
|14||Welfare initiative with intent: right for everyone (8)|
|OUTREACH – OUT=intent (“he’s out for gold”) + R + EACH.|
|15||Pain keeping yours truly in old Scottish county hospital (7)|
|ANGUISH – ANGUS keeping I + H=hospital.
The Wikipedia entry suggests there still is a shire/county/council area (whatever) called ANGUS, so I’m not sure why the clue says “old”.
|16||Test position pontiff, inelegantly, has adopted (4,3)|
|FINE LEG – hidden. A cricket clue.|
|20||With team not qualified, we’re obliged to find station for lift home? (4,4)|
|TAXI RANK – TA=we’re obliged + XI=cricket or football team + RANK=not qualified, as in “utter nonsense”.|
|22||Disinfectant no help with dislocation (6)|
|PHENOL – (NO HELP)*|
|23||Several guards in front of gatehouse look cocky (12)|
|VAINGLORIOUS – VARIOUS=several, guards IN + G from Gatehouse + LO=look.|
|25||Dash from Channel, moving east to west (4)|
|ELAN – LANE=channel. Move E=east to the west! Cute.|
|26||Found vase for leading performer (4,4)|
|STAR TURN – START=found + URN=vase.
Found a business, for example.
|27||Bypass that is expanded in Home Counties, with parking (8)|
|SIDESTEP – ID EST=the unabbreviated form of i.e., meaning “that is”. Put it in S.E.=Home Counties, and add P=parking.|
|2||Of the fifty US states, ten finally earn a mention of sorts (8)|
|ALLUSION – ALL U.S.=the 50 States + IO=ten + N=(ear)N.|
|3||Note what you’re hoping to work out, after sort of light hesitation (12)|
|IRRESOLUTION – I.R.=infrared + RE=note (do, re, mi) + SOLUTION.|
|4||Had races organised as party game (8)|
|CHARADES – (HAD RACES)*|
|5||Hell for quiet supporter of mine! (7)|
|PITPROP – PIT=hell + PRO=for + P=quiet.
I saw the answer from the helpers quickly, but it took me ages to see the wordplay.
|6||Husband effectively to provide this plant? (6)|
|THRIFT – I didn’t know THRIFT is a plant (of course!) Let’s call the rest of the clue a cryptic hint.|
|7||Bed you’ll find in Washington DC’s superior (4)|
|WADI – WA=Washington State + D.I. (detective inspector)=D.C.’s superior.
A beautiful juxtaposition. Well done, setter!
|8||One rolling up for protection from fellow corporate head: what a blunder! (8)|
|HEDGEHOG – HE=fellow + D.G. (Director General) = corporate head, of the BBC for example + EH=what? + O.G. (own goal)=a blunder!|
|12||Thursday elevenses — small, not large — including a whole lot of water (3,5,4)|
|THE SEVEN SEAS – TH=Thursday + ELEVENSES with L changed to S, and including an A. Tricky!|
|15||Militant part of drama to be played out much earlier? (8)|
|ACTIVIST – ACT IV is one of the later parts of any drama, so it would be much earlier for it to appear IST=first.|
|17||Acting style by lead on paper better (8)|
|IMPROVED – IMPROV=an acting style + ED=the leader of the newspaper staff.|
|18||Point to angle being formed, as protractors do? (8)|
|ELONGATE – E=point of the compass + (TO ANGLE)*.|
|19||Films covering game seen in winter sports venues (3,4)|
|SKI RUNS – SKINS covering RU.|
|21||Batting team ultimately so determined? (3-3)|
|ALL-OUT – a cryptic hint from what usually happens to a cricket team when batting.|
|24||One’s always gracious (1,3)|
|I SAY – I’S=one’s + AY=always.|