Explanations: No. 14639 – Thursday, 1 December 2011

Thu, Dec 1, 2011, 23:59


There are many expressions that we hear that have their origins in the Bible. One such expression is “to sell your birthright for a mess of pottage”. This phrase is used to describe a situation where one takes a trivial gain while losing something more important. There’s an oblique reference to it in today’s puzzle:

19A: Part of the book contains an over the top soup for Esau (7)
The answer to this one is POTTAGE, as explained below.

Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When Rebekah, gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a soup made of lentils).

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 RC memo circulated by spies before 50AD (10)

“RC memo” circulated (COMMER) by “spies” (CIA) before “50” (L) = COMMERCIAL: ad.
6 He arranged notes in Germany and took a taxi back to Holland’s capital (4)
Took a taxi, ‘cab’, back (BAC) to “H-olland’s” capital (H) and = BACH: he arranged notes in Germany.
10 Ian set off after Saint Mark (5)
After “saint” (ST) “Ian” set off (AIN) = STAIN: mark.
11 In the backroom, with her support there might be something in it at the end of October (4,5)
In “the back” (BA-CK) “room” with “her support” (RM-BRA) = BARM BRACK: there might be something in it at the end of October (tokens in the Halloween brack).
12 Reckon I’m interrupting what’s left at the end (8)
What’s left at the end (EST-ATE) interrupted by “I’m” (IM) = ESTIMATE: reckon.
13 A quick thank you outside the hotel is kind of shoddy (5)
A quick “thank you” (T-Y) outside “the hotel” (INN) is = TINNY: kind of shoddy.
15 Had way too much to speak about victory in Europe (7)
To speak (O-RATE) about “Victory in Europe” (VE) = OVERATE: had way too much.
17 Artificial river in Italy has nothing for a lock-keeper of sorts (7)
Artificial (SHAM) river in Italy (PO) has “nothing” (O) for = SHAMPOO: a “lock” keeper of sorts.
19 Part of the book contains an over the top soup for Esau (7)
Part of the book (P-AGE) contains an “over the top” (OTT) = POTTAGE: soup (for Esau).
21 One lives there (pointing to the bed by the broken gate) (7)
The bed (COT) by the broken “gate” (TAGE) pointing to = COTTAGE: one lives there.
22 Are you listened to by the doctor, a Cuban export? (5)
“Are you” listened to (RU) by “the doctor” (MB) a (A) = RUMBA: Cuban export.
24 Do replace the poster displaying this, at the entrance (8)
Do (DO) replace the “poster” (ORSTEP) displaying = DOORSTEP: this at the entrance.
27 Scared admitting what’s at the heart of letters broadcast (9)
Scared (SCA-RED) admitting “what’s at the heart of ‘le-TTE-ers’” (TTE) = SCATTERED: broadcast.
28 Prone or previous (5)
Pr-one (PR-I) or (OR) = PRIOR: previous.
29 We left the newest for the home in the sticks? (4)
The newest (NE-we-ST) “we” left (-WE) for = NEST: the home in the sticks?
30 Back with mother to the specialist preparing for more of a fight (10)
Back (REAR) with “mother” (MAM) to “the specialist” (ENT) = REARMAMENT: preparing for more of a fight.

1 Readies for the crash and rout (4)

The crash (C-r-ASH) and R-out (-R) for = CASH: readies.
2 Intended holding the sets back for examination of one’s 1-down, for example (5,4)
Intended (MEAN-T) holding “the ‘sets’ back” (STES) for = MEANS TEST: examination of one’s CASH, for example.
3 Lack of interest for N. University here initially (5)
N (EN) University here, initially (NUI) for = ENNUI: lack of interest.
4 Enclosure full of bees with a vegetable (7)
Enclosure (CA-GE) full of “bees” with “a” (BB-A) = CABBAGE: vegetable.
5 Still, Ireland is surrounded by rough seas (7)
Rough “seas” (A-ESS) surround “Ireland” (IRL) = AIRLESS: still.
7 A ruler in another time (5)
A ruler (AGA) in (IN) = AGAIN: another time.
8 Before I get the wrong yoke, perhaps this will open the post office for the dance (5-5)
Before “I” (H) get the wrong “yoke” (OKEY) perhaps this will open the post office (PO KEY) for = HOKEY-POKEY: the dance.
9 A summary for Jack’s treatise (8)
Jack’s (AB’S) treatise (TRACT) for = ABSTRACT: a summary.
14 By contrast, perhaps it’s common to lose a grand around the capital (10)
It’s “COM-m-ON” to lose a grand, -M (COM-ON) around “the capital” (PARIS) = COMPARISON: by contrast, perhaps.
16 One way to order the beer around a trolley (1,2,5)
The beer (AL-E) around “a trolley” (A CART) = A LA CARTE: one way to order.
18 The gym class expert gets it back to me when the fight’s over (9)
The gym class expert (PE ACE) gets “it” back (TI) to “me” (ME) = PEACETIME: when the fight’s over.
20 Back with the last horse in ‘Eastenders’ (7)
With “the last” (END) “horse” in ‘Eastenders’ (‘ORSE) = ENDORSE: back.
21 She went with Sonny ringing around Waterford for soup! (7)
She went with Sonny (CH-ER) ringing “‘a-round’ ‘Waterford’” (O-WD) for = CHOWDER: soup.
23 The resources answer me first (5)
“Me” first (ME) answer (ANS) = MEANS: the resources.
25 Right after the end of August there’s a brown colour (5)
Right after the end of August (SEP-I) there’s “a” (A) = SEPIA: brown colour.
26 Worry about breaking a foot (4)
A foot (F-T) broken by “about” (RE) = FRET: worry.