# Explanations: No. 14621 – Thursday, 10 November 2011

Thu, Nov 10, 2011, 23:59

Cryptic crossword clues are chock-full of references to abbreviations. 99 times out of 100, there is no indication that we are dealing with an abbreviation. However, sometimes such an indication can actually help the surface read more smoothly, so the indicator can be added without losing any precision in the clue. There are a couple of examples in Thursday’s puzzle:

19A Honours a quick estimate, to seem flexible (7)
This clue could quite easily read, “Honours an estimate, to seem flexible” and it still works. An estimate (EST) to “seem” flexible (EEMS) = ESTEEMS: honours. But, if we say we are dealing with a “quick” estimate, then the clue infers we are being flexible because we rushed the estimate, which I think reads much more smoothly and sends us off in a slightly different direction. And the use of “quick” is valid, as it indicates that we need a quick, abbreviated form of “estimate”, namely EST.

29 Swears in the President quickly; half an omission (8)
Technically, this clue could read, “Swears in the President; half an omission”. It still works, but is somewhat “clunky” to read. If we add “quickly”, then we infer that there is an omission because the President’s swearing-in was rushed. That makes a little more sense. And the “quickly” helps point out that we want to write down the word “President” quickly, in the abbreviated form: PRES.

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
8 It’s a state colour, according to an American at a party (8)

COLOR-A-DO
“Colour” according to an American (COLOR) at “a party” (A DO) = COLORADO: it’s a state.
9 A lot went back before the fifties to see the islands (6)
A-TOL-LS
A (A) “lot” went back (TOL) before “the fifties” (LS) to see = ATOLLS: the islands.
10 Implore an individual to leave? (6)
BEG-ONE
Implore (BEG) an individual (ONE) = BEGONE: implore an individual to leave.
11 People wearing the wrong clothes for a car competition? (4,4)
DRAG RACE
People wearing the wrong clothes? (DRAG RACE) for a car competition (DRAG RACE).
12 Have a rest, with no land for Dorothy in the southeast (6)
S(NO-OZ)E
In “the southeast” (S-E) with “no”, “land for Dorothy” (NO-OZ) = SNOOZE: have a rest.
13 They don’t like to see 500 at hers (8)
L-O-AT-HERS
50-0 (L-O) at hers (AT HERS) = LOATHERS: they don’t like.
15 South Los Angeles, against a European (4)
S-LA-V
South (S) Los Angeles (LA) against (V) = SLAV: a European.
17 A number from the Caribbean Company surrounding Alan, the counter-spy (7)
C(AL-YPS)O
Company (C-O) surrounding “Alan” the counter “spy” (AL-YPS) = CALYPSO: a number from the Caribbean.
19 Honours a quick estimate, to seem flexible (7)
EST-EEMS
A quick “estimate” (EST) to “seem” flexible (EEMS) = ESTEEMS: honours.
22 Gasp when I dropped off paint (4)
PANT
Paint (PAINT) when “I” dropped off (-I) = PANT: gasp.
24 Not accepting the reality of being in jail? (8)
ESCAPISM
Not accepting the reality of being in jail? (wanting to escape?) = ESCAPISM: not accepting the reality.
AR(RES)T
Arthur (AR-T) round “abouts” (RES) = ARREST: stop.
29 Swears in the President quickly; half an omission (8)
PR(OMIS)ES
In “the president” quickly (PR-ES) half an “OMIS-sion” (OMIS) = PROMISES: swears.
30 Germany gets that bit to go away (6)
DE-PART
Germany (DE) gets “that bit” (PART) = DEPART: to go away.
31 We get the theologian and editor in the union (6)
WE-DD-ED
We (WE) get “the theologian” (DD) and “editor” (ED) = WEDDED: in the union.
32 He presents his account making an unrestrained roar and rant (8)
NARRATOR
An unrestrained “roar” and “rant”, making = NARRATOR: he presents his account.

Down
1 Inducement to get a county motorway upset one (4-2)

COME-ON
A county (CO) motorway (M) upset “one” (E-ON) to get = COME-ON: inducement.
2 It’s always the same pitch from Dr No, Anthony (8)
MO-NO-TONY
Dr (MO) No (NO) Anthony (TONY) from = MONOTONY: it’s always the same pitch (tone).
3 LAX’s delays caused by this? (8)
LA-TEN-ESS
LA (LA) X (TEN) ‘s (ESS) = LATENESS: delays caused by this?
4 Nearly gone, at a party on the French boat (7)
GON-DO-LA
Nearly “GON-e” (GON) at “a party” (DO) on “the” French (LA) = GONDOLA: boat.
5 Forbid a sodium and potassium-laden fruit (6)
BAN-A-NA
Forbid (BAN) a sodium (A NA) and = BANANA: potassium-laden fruit.
6 It’s part of our three this quarter (6)
FOURTH
It’s part “o-F OUR TH-ree” = FOURTH: this quarter.
7 Working cutler in the afternoon, and a guitar player! (8)
P(LECTRU)M
In “the afternoon” (P-M) working “cutler” (LECTRU) and = PLECTRUM: a guitar player!
14 It adds heat in love notes (4)
OVEN
In “l-OVE N-otes” = OVEN: it adds heat.
16 Cuts apt to leave laptops (4)
LOPS
Laptops (L-apt-OPS) “apt” to leave (-APT) = LOPS: cuts.
18 Not the same choice, between that eejit and Ted (8)
ASS-OR-TED
Choice between “that eejit” and “Ted” (ASS OR TED) = ASSORTED: not the same.
20 Flag for a street, and a road (8)
ST-AND-A-RD
A street (ST) and (AND) a road (A RD) for = STANDARD: flag.
21 Are one-up playing a 15-across, for example (8)
EUROPEAN
“Are one-up” playing = EUROPEAN: a SLAV, for example.
23 Funny morning taking drugs! (7)
AM-USING
Morning (AM) taking drugs (USING) = AMUSING: funny.
25 The fleet-arm gets an American lawyer (6)
ARM-A-DA
Arm (ARM) gets “an American lawyer” (A DA) = ARMADA: the fleet.
26 I get the northside locked up (6)
I-N-SIDE
I (I) get “the north” (N) side (SIDE) = INSIDE: locked up.
28 Poles embracing more bizarre mass communication (6)
S(ERMO)N
Poles (S-N) embracing “more” bizarre (ERMO) = SERMON: Mass communication.