Explanations: No. 14619 – Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Tue, Nov 8, 2011, 23:59

As cryptic crossword addicts, I bet many of us wished that we had listened more carefully during chemistry class at school. The Periodic Table of the Elements gives us a lot of abbreviations for the names of elements that find their way into crosswords time and time again. Fortunately, we don’t have to remember relatively obscure elements like actinium, copernicium and promethium. But, it does help to know the more common element symbols. Here’s an example from today’s puzzle:

29A: Switching arsenic with oxygen is one way the plot might work (8)
There’s no need to look up the element symbol for arsenic (it’s As, by the way), but we do need to know that O is the element symbol for oxygen. Here we’re being asked to switch, make an anagram of, the letters in “arsenic” (SCENARI) and then tack on some oxygen (O). That little bit of work in the lab gives us the answer SCENARIO, which “is one way the plot might work”.

And to underscore the usefulness of remember some element symbols, gold (Au) turns up in 5-down!

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

How did you fare with this crossword?

8 Wild animals grab one and use it to move the boat (8)

Wild “animals” (MAINSA-L) grab “one” (I) and = MAINSAIL: use it to move the boat.
9 A way to halve my indifference (6)
A way (A PATH) to halve “m-Y” (Y) = APATHY: indifference.
10 From Liverpool, hundreds turned up at the river in Yorkshire (6)
Hundreds, ‘Cs’, turned up (SC) at “the river in Yorkshire” (OUSE) = SCOUSE: from Liverpool.
11 Tabulated thoughts for a dreamer of sorts (8)
Tabulated thoughts (IDEA LIST) for = IDEALIST: a dreamer of sorts.
12 Albert’s after Ann for the records (6)
After “Ann” (ANN) Albert’s (AL’S) for = ANNALS: the records.
13 Big waves from crazy nuts to pals in Paris (8)
Crazy “nuts” (TSUN) to “pals” in Paris (AMIS) = TSUNAMIS: big waves.
15 Was acquainted with Ken playing centre-forward (4)
“Ken” playing (KNE) centre “for-W-ard” (W) = KNEW: was acquainted with.
17 Father put back the buzzer that is on the house (7)
Father (FR) the buzzer, ‘bee’, put back (EEB) that is (IE) = FREEBIE: on the house.
19 Egg-white is a pound with this menu, scrambled (7)
A pound (A LB) with this “menu” scrambled (UMEN) is = ALBUMEN: egg-white.
22 Room at the zoo going back for example, to air-conditioning (4)
“For example” to “air-conditioning” (EG-AC) going back = CAGE: room at the zoo.
24 Angle with 5-down to get something to eat (4,4)
Angle (FISH) with GATEAU (CAKE) to get = FISH CAKE: something to eat.
27 Get off a flare, say (6)
A flare, say (A LIGHT) = ALIGHT: get off.
29 Switching arsenic with oxygen is one way the plot might work (8)
Switching “arsenic” (SCENARI) with “oxygen” (O) is = SCENARIO: one way the plot might work.
30 They happen to see openings online? (6)
Openings online? (e-VENTS) to see = EVENTS: they happen.
31 The rest took Leslie to see part of Italy (6)
The rest (NAP) took “Leslie” (LES) to see = NAPLES: part of Italy.
32 Hang around too long for a vacillating voter, say (8)
A vacillating “voter, say”, for = OVERSTAY: hang around too long.

1 Dance for Tintin (6)

Tin (CAN) tin (CAN) = CANCAN: dance.
2 Somehow unseal it to keep the heat in (8)
Somehow “unseal it” = INSULATE: to keep the heat in.
3 A way to follow the boat and risk a wet manoeuvre (5,3)
“Risk a wet” manoeuvre, and = WATER SKI: a way to follow a boat.
4 An Irish “Cheers” remake, set in LA (7)
Remake “set in LA” = SLAINTE: an Irish “cheers”.
5 Cake the entrance with gold (6)
The entrance (GATE) with “gold” (AU) = GATEAU: cake.
6 Plea arrangement by the French, and it’s on the table for the Spanish (6)
“Plea” arrangement (PAEL) by “the” French (LA) and = PAELLA: it’s on the table for the Spanish.
7 Discipline, it’s back in the hunt (8)
In “the hunt” (CHA-SE) “it’s” back (STI) = CHASTISE: discipline.
14 What’s stolen from his wages (4)
From “hi-S WAG-es” = SWAG: what’s stolen.
16 The next half the half-back gets the head’s support (4)
The “NE-xt” half (NE) the half “ba-CK” (CK) gets = NECK: the head’s support.
18 Mac is an artist in the company at last (8)
An artist (RA) in (IN) the company (CO) “at” last (AT) is = RAINCOAT: mac.
20 Like some bread for your time off work, Edward? (8)
Your time off work, Edward? (LEAVE, NED) = LEAVENED: like some bread.
21 Everything is poetry after college (8)
After “college” (UNI) poetry (VERSE) is = UNIVERSE: everything.
23 It vaporises chocolate bars with a cold centre (7)
Chocolate bars (AEROS) with a “c-OL-d” centre (OL) = AEROSOL: it vaporises.
25 Deal with characters from Macbeth and Lear (6)
Characters from “macbet-H AND LE-ar” = HANDLE: deal with.
26 Air France misplaced hers again (6)
Air France (AF) misplaced “hers” (RESH) = AFRESH: again.
28 He murdered Elvis maybe? (6)
Elvis, maybe (HIT MAN) = HITMAN: he murdered.