Explanations: No. 14717 – Friday, 2 March 2012

Fri, Mar 2, 2012, 23:59


There has been some discussion here lately about the length of time taken for submitted comments to appear. As promised, I have discussed the issue internally and as a result some changes will be made.

A crossword blog usually generates a lot of comments as solvers discuss the clues of that day’s puzzle in real time. For this “real time” commenting to take place though, such a blog has to be moderated 24 hours a day so that comments are posted within a very short time. I have been serving as the moderator for this blog and we have to blame the time difference (I am 8 hours away) for much of the delay in posting comments.

The main focus of the blog will stay as is, providing clue explanations for the hundreds of readers that visit the Explanations Post each day.

The Chat Post will be discontinued. Very few people are leaving comments anyway, primarily because of the delay in posting. We don’t have the infrastructure in place to provide the necessary moderator coverage, so the comment function will be shut down altogether. We know this might disappoint the few regulars who have been placing comments, and that is unfortunate.

That said, thank you for all the feedback over the past few months.

Roy Earle
Lorna Kernan
Crossword Editor

1 Birds cut head off chickens (4)

Chickens (F-OWLS) cut head off (-F) = OWLS: birds.
4 Getting out exercises to dismiss doctor troubles (4,6)
To dismiss (FIRE) doctor (DR) troubles (ILLS) = FIRE DRILLS: getting-out exercises.
9 50 = L – XL (6)
50 (L) = (IS) L – XL i.e. 50 – 40 (TEN) = LISTEN.
10 One following Mary Ada’s dances (8)
One following Mary (LAMB) Ada’s (ADAS) = LAMBADAS: dances.
11 American leader returning nothing, like some keys for example (8)
“Nothing” like some keys, ‘minor’, “for example” (O-MINOR-EG) returning = GERONIMO: American leader.
12 Fitting project witnessed after dance (6)
After “dance” (JIG) witnessed (SAW) = JIGSAW: fitting project.
13 Spots a pout from ones calling the shots (4)
Spots a p-out (take a P out of S-P-OTS) from = SOTS: ones calling the shots.
15 Spells accompanying about a hundred to a vessel (10)
Accompanying, ‘with’, about “a hundred” [WIT(C)H] to “a vessel” (CRAFT) = WITCHCRAFT: spells.
17 Finally lay to rest religious groups exhibiting crosses (10)
Finally lay to rest (INTER) religious groups (SECTS) exhibiting = INTERSECTS: crosses.
19 Taking a hundred out of filthy money for an inducement (4)
Filthy money (LU-C-RE) taking a hundred out (-C) for = LURE: an inducement.
20 Drawing those who battled for Britain and flew mostly (6)
Those who battled for Britain, in the Battle of Britain (RAF) and “fle-w” mostly (FLE) = RAFFLE: drawing.
22 A) smell B) touch C) sight … E) hearing (8)
In the list of senses D is missing and D IS TASTE = DISTASTE.
25 One charged in part of South Africa for being from the country (8)
In “part of South Africa” (NAT-AL) one charged (ION) for = NATIONAL: being from the country.
26 Primitive sort to call Dad up (3-3)
“To call” “Dad” (NAME PA) up = APE-MAN: primitive sort.
27 X really wanted backing and got pounded, maybe (10)
X (TEN) really wanted, ‘desired’, backing (DERISED) and = TENDERISED: got pounded, maybe (like a steak prior to cooking).
28 Perhaps wrongly, help move the last letter to the front of that second letter from overseas? (4)
That second letter from overseas (BET-A) move the last letter (A) to the front = ABET: perhaps help wrongly.

2 Record how to answer this (5,4)

Record (WRITE DOWN) how to answer this (WRITE DOWN, as it’s a down clue).
3 Argument to put in rollers for the audience as well (3-2)
To put in rollers (SET) as well, ‘too’, for the audience (TO) = SET-TO: argument.
4 Kicks an American serving mushrooms (5)
Kicks (FUN) an American serving (GI) = FUNGI: mushroom.
5 Exclude one of thirteen popes you heard is in a rut (4,3)
In “a rut” (RU-T) one of thirteen popes, ‘Leo’, “you” heard (LEO-U) = RULE OUT: exclude.
6 Bottles for actors Moore, Cleese and Gielgud (9)
Actor Moore (DEMI) actors Cleese and Gielgud (JOHNS) for = DEMIJOHNS: bottles.
7 First in a month at the river in Russia (9)
In (IN) a month (AUG) at “the river in Russia” (URAL) = INAUGURAL: first.
8 Dharma teacher heard the beast (5)
Dharma teacher (LAMA) heard = LLAMA: the beast.
14 Blockaded houses one day to get part of Wagner’s ring (9)
Blockaded (SIEG-ED) houses “one day” (FRI) to get = SIEGFRIED: part of Wagner’s “Ring” (one of the four operas in “The Ring Cycle”).
15 A European for example, finds you and I less forgiving (9)
You and I (WE) less forgiving (STERNER) finds = WESTERNER: a European, for example.
16 Eve is one, at sea (5,4)
Eve (FIRST MATE) is one at sea (FIRST MATE).
18 Desmond takes in a pound after the fish cooks in water (7)
After “the fish” (COD) Desmond, ‘Des’, takes in a pound, ‘L’ [D(L)ES] = CODDLES: cooks in water.
21 With eyes open for a boat trailer? (5)
A boat trailer? (A WAKE) for = AWAKE: with eyes open.
23 Reportedly remained sober (5)
Remained (STAYED) reportedly = STAID: sober.
24 A time in history coming up where one might fight (5)
A time in history (AN ERA) coming up = ARENA: where one might fight.