Explanations: No. 14616 – Friday, 4 November 2011

Fri, Nov 4, 2011, 23:59

The use of references to popular culture in a crossword is a topic of much debate. There are some who feel that it’s sacrilege to intermingle Beethoven and Shakespeare with Bono and Roddy Doyle. Personally I feel that the odd reference to the Spice Girls and “Star Wars” adds a little colour and creates an opportunity for a little fun. However, references to popular culture should not be obscure, so that all solvers are given a fair chance at getting to the answer. There are two references to relatively recent Hollywood films in today’s puzzle. There’s a nod to “The Godfather” TRILOGY in 4-down, as well as the following reference to an iconic film from 1994:

25D: Shows gratitude to Forrest Gump? (6)
The question mark here warns us that there might be wording that’s not quite as precise as in other clues. Forrest Gump was played by the great actor, Tom Hanks. And “Tom Hanks” can get us to our non-cryptic definition of the answer: “shows gratitude to”. When we write the actor’s name as “T. Hanks”, we see the answer emerging … THANKS.

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.

8 Cuckoo owl … a bird that’s a right pig! (4,4)

Cuckoo “owl … a bird” = WILD BOAR: that’s a right pig!
9 So sour a bunch of detectives to listen to, I see (6)
”A” “bunch of detectives” (A CID) to listen to “I see” (IC) = ACIDIC: so sour.
10 Take a seat in this one here (2-4)
In this “one” (ON-E) take a seat (SIT) = ON-SITE: here.
NB: after reading comments through the day, I see now that the use of “here” to signify “on site” isn’t sufficiently precise. It only works if one is “here, at the site”. I see now that the site might be over “there” as well. My apologies.
11 Attacked and broke a tin idol (4,4)
Broke “a tin idol”, and = LAID INTO: attacked.
12 Me? I’d go back to the company doctor (6)
Me (ME) “I’d” go back (DI) to the “company” (CO) = MEDICO: doctor.
13 Terms listed for solar’s development in both ends of Galway (8)
In “both ends of ‘G-alwa-Y’” (G-Y) “solar’s” development (LOSSAR) for = GLOSSARY: terms listed.
15 Knock here may get nothing (4)
May (MAY) get “nothing” (O) = MAYO: Knock there.
17 He puts on a coat and the personal assistant gets the old school cert (7)
The personal assistant (PA) gets “the old school cert” (INTER) = PAINTER: he puts on a coat.
19 A kind of tissue commercial; that’s one stance (7)
Commercial (AD) that’s “one stance” (I POSE) = ADIPOSE: a kind of tissue.
22 Spots something in lilac nectar (4)
Something in “lil-AC NE-ctar” = ACNE: spots.
24 Check London Transport for experimental equipment (4,4)
Check (TEST) London transport (TUBE) for = TEST TUBE: experimental equipment.
27 A bum with not many a reason to be off the streets (6)
A bum (CUR) with “not many” (FEW) = CURFEW: a reason to be off the streets.
29 Our beach is in sight, Frank (8)
In “sight” (S-IGHT) is our “beach” (TRA) = STRAIGHT: Frank.
30 Half-asleep, confuse words ending with Y (6)
Confuse “words” (DROWS) ending with “Y” (Y) = DROWSY: half-asleep.
31 Damaged a machine gun round all right (6)
A machine gun (BR-EN) round “all right” (OK) = BROKEN: damaged.
32 Ann hears you with a friend every Xmas, say (8)
Ann (ANN) hears “you” (U) with “a friend” (ALLY) = ANNUALLY: every Xmas, say.

1 Intended, if backed by a 22-across arrangement (6)

“If” backed (FI) by an “ACNE” arrangement (ANCE) = FIANCE: intended.
2 Increase a disheartening addiction? (8)
A disheartening “ADDI-c-TION”? = ADDITION: increase.
3 Forlorn hearing 14-down, and then some (8)
Hearing “LOAN” (LONE) and then “some” (SOME) = LONESOME: forlorn.
4 Try catching the Italian, to go back to see “The Godfather” films, maybe (7)
Try (TR-Y) catching [“the” Italian (IL) to “go” back (OG)] to see = TRILOGY: “The Godfather” films, maybe.
5 Bet there are accountants, in a circle (6)
Accountants (CAS) in (IN) a circle (O) are = CASINO: bet there.
6 Protests standouts? Quite the opposite! (3-3)
“Stand-outs”, quite the opposite = SIT-INS: protests.
7 Backed serum containing nine pronounced tea blends (8)
Backed “serum” (M-URES) containing “nine” pronounced “tea” (IX-T) = MIXTURES: blends.
14 It sounds like the only accommodation (4)
The only (LONE) it sounds like = LOAN: accommodation.
16 There’s an artist in Jack, Jordan’s man (4)
In jack (A-B) there’s “an artist” (RA) = ARAB: Jordan’s man.
18 Better inside, as they back criminals (8)
Inside “as” (A-S) better (BETTER) = ABETTERS: they back criminals.
20 Ten years before, part of the Bible was self-indulgent (8)
Ten years (DECADE) before “part of the Bible” (NT) was = DECADENT: self-indulgent.
21 According to your boy, Albert is directed to one individual (8)
According to (PER) your boy (SON) Albert (AL) is = PERSONAL: directed to one individual.
23 150 houses aren’t rebuilt in the middle (7)
150 (C-L) houses “‘aren’t’ rebuilt” (ENTRA) = CENTRAL: in the middle.
25 Shows gratitude to Forrest Gump? (6)
Forrest Gump, famously played by Tom Hanks (T-HANKS) = THANKS: shows gratitude.
26 I hear you are a gentleman and very compelling (6)
I hear “you are” (UR) a gentleman (GENT) and = URGENT: very compelling.
28 A staggering lie, say, just like that (6)
A staggering “lie, say” = EASILY: just like that.