Explanations: No. 14638 – Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Wed, Nov 30, 2011, 23:59


There are a few terms routinely used to describe a so-called “rake”, often taken from literature. Sometimes such a womaniser might be called, somewhat unfairly I think, a “Romeo”. In today’s puzzle we encounter two more ways to describe such a man:

25A: Numbers men with a new Roman Lothario (8)
The answer here is CASANOVA, and the non-cryptic definition in the clue is “Lothario”.

Giacomo Casanova was an 18th century adventurer from Venice. We know so much about him, and his reputation as a womaniser, because he wrote his autobiography “Histoire de ma vie” (Story of My Life). Here’s a guy recounting stories of his love life and conquests, and all true I am sure!

There is a character called Lothario in Don Quixote, and in the “Fair Penitent”, a 1703 play by Nicholas Rowe. In both cases the Lothario in question exhibits less than wholesome behaviour towards a woman, giving rise to the term “Lothario” to mean a rake.

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?

1 Something small written on the volume beside N-Z? (4)

Written on the volume beside N-Z? A-M (A TO M) = ATOM: something small.
4 Maybe it’s Penny, the detectives and the specialist in sync (10)
Maybe it’s penny (COIN) the detectives (CID) and “the specialist” (ENT) = COINCIDENT: in sync.
9 Blows out three letters in a row in the vehicle (6)
In “the vehicle” (BU-S) three letters in a row (RST) = BURSTS: blows out.
10 Higgins quickly decided this might be atmospheric (8)
Higgins, ‘president’, quickly (PRES) decided (SURE) = PRESSURE: this might be atmospheric.
11 Bunches of trees lead us to the dumb aliens (8)
The dumb (THICK) aliens (ETS) lead us to = THICKETS: bunches of trees.
12 Perhaps a cup or a shot containing zero acidity (6)
A shot (TR-Y) containing “zero” “acidity” (O-PH) or = TROPHY: perhaps a cup.
13 It’s good for the French to love a singer (4)
It’s “good” for the French (BON) to “love” (O) = BONO: a singer.
15 It’s very French, the French in maybe mink at food shops (5-2-3)
In maybe mink, ‘f-ur’, “the” French [ F(LE)UR ] at “food shops” (DELIS) = FLEUR-DE-LIS: it’s very French.
17 They might give immunity for organisations of aunts, I hear (10)
Organisations of aunts (AUNTIE BODIES) I hear = ANTIBODIES: they may give immunity.
19 Tone Fianna Fáil used for the quarrel (4)
T-one (T-I) Fianna Fáil (FF) used for = TIFF: the quarrel.
20 Plants in exchange for braids? (6)
Plants (PLA-n-TS) “I-N” exchange, swap the “N” for an “I”, for = PLAITS: braids.
22 Risk termination and violent displeasure (8)
Termination (END) and “violent displeasure” (ANGER) = ENDANGER: risk.
25 Numbers men with a new Roman Lothario (8)
Numbers men (CAS) with a (A) “new” Roman/Latin (NOVA) = CASANOVA: Lothario.
26 Offer more for the escape attempt? (6)
The escape attempt? (OUT BID) for = OUTBID: offer more.
27 The smarts to be quiet before the new dress is altered (10)
Quiet (SH) before the “new dress” is altered (REWDNESS) to be = SHREWDNESS: the smarts.
28 A warning not to put on the tea, so to speak (3’1)
Put on (DON) the “tea”, so to speak (T) = DON’T: a warning not to.

2 Land that hurts 500 in the city (5,4)

In “the city” (T-OWN) “that hurts” “500” (OUCH-D) = TOUCH DOWN: land.
3 It’s 24-down for a Greek character, just like that (5)
A Greek character (MU) just like that (SIC) for = MUSIC: it’s NOTED.
4 Social group formed by a good man in Clare (5)
In “Clare” (C-E) a good man (A ST) formed by = CASTE: social group.
5 That is framing a British politician, the ass, and there’s no way out of it (7)
That is (I-E) framing “a British politician” the “ass” (MP-ASS) and = IMPASSE: there’s no way out of it.
6 A tear spilled inside makes better animals (9)
Makes better (C-URES) outside “a ‘tear’ spilled’ (REAT) = CREATURES: animals.
7 It’s lying by the plate, one’s tea, say (9)
By “the plate” (DISH) one’s (ONES) “tea” say (T) it’s = DISHONEST: lying.
8 Up for the choice between N and T and H? (5)
The choice between “N” and “T” (N OR T) and “H” (H) for = NORTH: up.
14 Begin to speak about one with drink (9)
To speak (OR-ATE) about “‘one’ with ‘drink’” (I-GIN) = ORIGINATE: begin.
15 Round Laois, go into a flock that’s worthless (5,4)
Into “a flock” (FO-LD) “round” “Laois” “go” (O-LS-GO) = FOOL’S GOLD: that’s worthless.
16 In the wire there’s one on the pitch variation (9)
In (IN) the wire (FLEX) there’s “one on” (I-ON) = INFLEXION: the pitch variation.
18 Mad about both ends of the repeat (7)
Mad (I-RATE) about “both ends of ‘T-h-E’” (TE) = ITERATE: repeat.
21 Fifty promise a verse? (5)
Fifty (L) promise (OATH) = LOATH: averse (a-verse).
23 Refuse to see the doctor round the ship (5)
The doctor (DR) round (O) the ship (SS) to see = DROSS: refuse.
24 Recorded how the seated went to sea? (5)
How the “SEA-ted” went to “SEA” (i.e. there’s NO TED) = NOTED: recorded.