Explanations: No. 14623 – Saturday, 12 November 2011

Sun, Nov 13, 2011, 23:59

   
Sometimes a reference in a clue might be quite subtle. Sometimes the reference might even look like an error, a spelling mistake perhaps. Here’s an example from Saturday’s crossword:

1A: Annual message for one of the dwarfs by a third, disguised (5,8)
I know I’ve been living in the US for a long time, so someone doing today’s puzzle might forgive me for using the Americanized (with a “zee”!!) spelling for the plural of “dwarf”. But in fact, there’s a reason for not using the “dwarves” spelling. In the original Brothers Grimm tale, the seven “dwarves” aren’t named. It was when Walt Disney created his seven “dwarfs” that he decided to give them all names. So, our clue probably refers to American dwarfs, the ones in Disney’s 1937 classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. One of these is HAPPY, and when we add him to our anagrammatically disguised BIRTHDAY (“by a third”), we get the annual message, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. As I said, it’s a subtle reference, and not needed to solve the clue, but it might help point one in the right direction.

If you have a question about a clue that isn’t answered in the explanations I am sure that I, or a fellow solver, can answer it for you. Blog posts appear at midnight on the day the puzzle appears in the paper, so if you’re up late be sure to drop by!

How did you fare with this crossword?

Across
1 Annual message for one of the dwarfs by a third, disguised (5,8)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
One of the (seven) dwarfs (HAPPY) “by a third” disguised (BIRTHDAY) = HAPPY BIRTHDAY: annual message.
10 The UN’s team take a turn? (7)
UN’S-CREW
The “UN’s” (UNS) team (CREW) = UNSCREW: take a turn?
11 It helps to balance the ball, like a tee (7)
BALL-AS-T
The ball (BALL) like (AS) a tee (T) = BALLAST: it helps to balance.
12 The minute Kay shows her coat perhaps? (4)
MIN-K
The minute (MIN) Kay (K) shows = MINK: her coat, perhaps?
13 It’s risky, Clare … do it yourself outside (5)
DI(CE)Y
“Do-it-yourself” (DI-Y) outside “Clare” (CE) = DICEY: it’s risky.
15 She goes with a guy to a big event (4)
GAL-A
She goes with a guy (GAL) to “a” (A) = GALA: big event.
17 It’s semi-linear and it can be bent (3)
EAR
It’s semi “lin-EAR”, and = EAR: it can be bent (as in “bent one’s ear”).
19 With the old police, he’s accumulated wealth (6)
RIC-HE’S
With “the old police” (RIC) he’s (HES) = RICHES: accumulated wealth.
21 One-sided description of a redhead perhaps? (6)
UN-FAIR
Description of a redhead, perhaps? (UN-FAIR) = UNFAIR: one-sided.
22 Ecstasy after the frogmen separate (7)
DIVERS-E
After “the frogmen” (DIVERS) Ecstasy, the drug (E) = DIVERSE: separate.
23 Only partly enjoys teriyaki seafood (6)
OYSTER
Only partly “enj-OYS TER-iyaki” = OYSTER: seafood.
25 Bar a reversal, one hundred can hear this on Al Jazeera (6)
ARAB-I-C
“Bar a” reversal (ARAB) one hundred (I-C) = ARABIC: can hear this on Al Jazeera.
27 Club the lout, the little beast (3)
CUB
Club (C-L-UB) the L-out (-L) = CUB: the little beast.
29 Indulge only the odd characters not working (4)
IDLE
“I-n-D-u-L-g-E” only the odd characters = IDLE: not working
30 Therefore, Larry quickly shows some energy (5)
SO-LAR
Therefore (SO) Larry, quickly (LAR) shows = SOLAR: some energy.
31 The first half of that is not that at all! (4)
TH-IS
The first half of “TH-at” (TH) is (IS) = THIS: not that at all!
34 Inordinate desire for a car I’ve ordered (7)
AVARICE
“A car I’ve” ordered, for = AVARICE: inordinate desire.
35 Quite a predicament for little Diane and big Em, with only fifty between them (7)
DI-L-EMMA
Little Diane (DI) with only “fifty” between them (L) and big “Em” (EMMA) = DILEMMA: quite a predicament.
36 24-hour cigarette lighter; perhaps it is shown on BBC (5,2,3,3)
MATCH OF THE DAY
24-hour cigarette lighter, perhaps (MATCH OF THE DAY) it is shown on BBC (MATCH OF THE DAY).

Down
2 It could kill you, ploughing acres around the North (7)

ARSE(NI)C
Ploughing “acres” (ARSE-C) around “the North” (NI) = ARSENIC: it could kill you.
3 The school exercise room will make your hair curl! (4)
PE-RM
The school exercise (PE) room (RM) will make = PERM: your hair curl!
4 It’s an accessory for a boat, I heard (3,3)
BOW TIE
A “boat, I” heard, for = BOW TIE: it’s an accessory.
5 He stole, or returned, the bees to the emergency room (6)
RO-BB-ER
“Or” returned (RO) the bees (BB) to “the emergency room” (ER) = ROBBER: he stole.
6 Of course, I aim for this before I cheer for the Spanish (4)
H-OLE
Before I (H) cheer for the Spanish (OLE) = HOLE: of (golf) course, I aim for this.
7 In the manner of a degree, a higher degree that’s found in the 21-down (7)
A-LA-BA-MA
In the manner of (A LA) a degree (BA) a higher degree (MA) = ALABAMA: that’s found in the USA.
8 For Di’s royal mum, he arranged leave, mid-year (6,7)
SUMMER HOLIDAY
“Di’s royal mum, he” arranged, for = SUMMER HOLIDAY: leave, mid-year.
9 Apt yardsticks used for a yearly event (2,7’1,3)
ST PATRICK’S DAY
“Apt yardsticks” used for = ST PATRICK’S DAY: a yearly event.
14 Guarded a vehicle with volatile fuel (7)
CAR-EFUL
A vehicle (CAR) with volatile “fuel” (EFUL) = CAREFUL: guarded.
16 Listen … see Edward? Edward gave up! (5)
C-ED-ED
Listen “see” (C) Edward (ED) Edward (ED) = CEDED: gave up.
18 Finer tin extract that’s non-reactive (5)
INERT
“f-INER T-in” extract, that’s = INERT: non-reactive.
20 One taken in by a senior knight (3)
S(I)R
A senior (S-R) takes in “one” (I) = SIR: knight.
21 A country you said, beside South Africa? (3)
U-SA
“You” said (U) beside “South Africa” (SA) = USA: a country.
24 It’s all dried up, lieutenant, in the boiling sauna (7)
SU(LT)ANA
In the boiling “sauna” (SU-ANA) lieutenant (LT) = SULTANA: it’s all dried up.
26 A European kingdom full of artists and Dublin footballers? (7)
BOHEMIA
A European kingdom (BOHEMIA) full of artists? (BOHEMIANS) and Dublin footballers (BOHEMIANS).
27 Wake up to see something heavenly circle (4,2)
COME T-O
Something heavenly (COMET) circle (O) = COME TO.
28 Outlaw the use of B & IT? (6)
B-AND-IT
The use of “B & IT” (B AND IT) = BANDIT: outlaw.
32 The last letter incorporated into an element? (4)
Z-INC
The last letter (Z) incorporated (INC) into = ZINC: an element.
33 This is one cue that a learner interrupted (4)
C(L)UE
Cue (C-UE) interrupted by a “learner” (L) = CLUE: this is one.