Explanations: No. 14615 – Thursday, 3 November 2011

Thu, Nov 3, 2011, 23:59

One of the most powerful tools available to a crossword setter is the freedom to deceive by “fiddling” with punctuation. This means that when a solver is looking at a clue, he or she should be ready to add, subtract or modify punctuation in order to see the underlying cryptic and non-cryptic definitions that will lead to the answer. There’s a good example in today’s puzzle:

24A: Rambling about an H-road in Munster (8)
“H-road” looks a bit weird and probably is a made-up term just to fool us. If we drop the hyphen, then it’s a little easier to see that we are dealing with an anagram clue here. “Rambling” signals the anagram, and once the hyphen is out of the way, we see that we need to jumble up “about an H”. But what has all this to do with the historic province of Munster? If we add a little punctuation, an umlaut above the “u” in “Munster”, all becomes clear. We are dealing with the German city of Münster, so the “road” we’re chasing is an AUTOBAHN, an anagram of “about an H”.

Please feel free to leave a comment below, and tell us how you fared with today’s crossword. If you have a question about today’s puzzle I am sure that I, or a fellow solver, can answer it for you.

1 B + Pb … er … he coordinates them, using instruments (10)

B + Pb (B AND LEAD) er (ER) = BANDLEADER: he coordinates them using instruments.
6 Three for Seán, in front of the motorway that’s found in Meath (4)
“Three” for Seán (TRI) in front of “the motorway” (M) = TRIM: that’s found in Meath.
10 A drag overturning a law, man! (5)
“A drag” overturning (GARD-A) = GARDA: a lawman.
11 A textbook case of fish gathering a singular 1-down? (9)
Fish gathering (SCHOOL) a singular BAGS (BAG) = SCHOOLBAG: a textbook case (of)?
12 Faith and Catherine coil around (8)
Catherine (CATH) “coil” around (OLIC) and = CATHOLIC: faith.
13 Many around you, I hear, get into this position (5)
Many (LOTS) around “you”, I hear (U) = LOTUS: get into this position.
15 Reproduce the Irish butter it consumed (7)
The Irish “butter” (IM) it consumed (IT ATE) = IMITATE: reproduce.
17 Perhaps a bright spark gets the girl drunk (7)
“The girl” drunk, gets = LIGHTER: perhaps a bright spark.
19 Say, made AA-calls for assistance (7)
Made AA (MADE As) say = MAYDAYS: calls for assistance.
21 Search for a suspect human twist to the New Testament (7)
“Human” twist (MANHU) to “the New Testament” (NT) for = MANHUNT: search for a suspect.
22 Argument for Sligo taking in an eastern pioneer (3-2)
Sligo (S-O) taking in “an eastern pioneer” (E-TT) for = SET-TO: argument.
24 Rambling about an H-road in Munster (8)
Rambling “about an H” = AUTOBAHN: road in Münster (the city in Germany).
27 A coat, wrapping up Ted, reversed the violent seizure (4,1’4)
A coat (CO-AT) wrapping “up”, “‘Ted’ reversed” (UP-DET) = COUP D’ETAT: the violent seizure.
28 It’s morning around the old city the French love (5)
It’s “morning” (AM) a-round (O) the old city (UR) = AMOUR: the French “love”.
29 The key for you, historically (4)
The (THE) (musical) key (E) for = THEE: “you” historically.
30 Contemporary Christmas (7-3)
Christmas (PRESENT DAY) = PRESENT-DAY: contemporary.

1 Cases where a little silver is found in bees? (4)

In “bee-s” (B-S) a little “silver” is found (AG) = BAGS: cases (where)?
2 A Norman landed at the Wye; reportedly what’s expected (9)
A Norman (NORM) landed (ALIT) at the “Wye”, reportedly (Y) = NORMALITY: what’s expected.
3 Lead a county, so to speak (5)
A county (LAOIS) so to speak = LEASH: lead.
4 Jack’s around 55 at the end of June, and free from responsibility (7)
Jack’s (AB’S) a-round (O) 55 (LV) at “the end of jun-E” (E) and = ABSOLVE: free from responsibility.
5 There’s one in the new chalet, honest! (7)
In the new “chalet” (ETH-CAL) there’s “one” (I) = ETHICAL: honest.
7 Robert gets back to being a metal worker (5)
Robert (ROB) gets back “to” (OT) being = ROBOT: a metal worker.
8 A magazine that’s first-rate and civil, officer (10)
A magazine (MAG) that’s “first rate” (IST RATE) and = MAGISTRATE: civil officer.
9 A thug in school, I gang-up (8)
In “sc-HOOL I GAN-g-up” = HOOLIGAN: a thug.
14 It eats mice, as arranged (7,3)
“Eats mice, as” arranged = SIAMESE CAT: it eats mice.
16 It puts the squeeze on an account number, backed by father (8)
An account (AN A/C) number, ‘no’, backed (ON) by “father” (DA) = ANACONDA: it puts the squeeze on.
18 A politician admits it hurts to woo, hopefully (5,4)
A politician (T-D) admits “it hurts” to “woo” (OUCH-WOO) = TOUCH WOOD: hopefully.
20 A star capturing a broadcaster, he might use a pistol (7)
A star (STA-R) capturing “a broadcaster” (RTE) = STARTER: he might use a pistol.
21 Changes the Greek characters around the London gallery (7)
The Greek characters (MU-S) around “the London gallery” (TATE) = MUTATES: changes.
23 It’s not quite true Clare gets a break in between shots (5)
It’s not quite “TRU-e” (TRU) Clare (CE) gets = TRUCE: a break in between shots.
25 Her support in showing it’s all in your head (5)
Her support (BRA) in (IN) showing = BRAIN: it’s all in your head.
26 Soldiers describing the Venus de Milo … not! (4)
Describing the Venus de Milo … not! (ARM-Y) = ARMY: soldiers.