Explanations: No. 14641 – Saturday, 3 December 2011

Sun, Dec 4, 2011, 23:59

The vast majority of contemporary clues are a melding of two definitions for the answer (one cryptic, one non-cryptic). But as I’ve said before, rules are meant to be broken, so sometimes we come across two cryptic definitions, something of which Derek Crozier was quite fond. I think such a structure is acceptable in a puzzle, provided at least one of the cryptic definitions is relatively easy to solve. Here’s an example from today’s puzzle:

24A: Characteristic or XXer? (7)
It’s not too difficult to break this clue into its two component parts, giving us “characteristic or” and “XXer”. We can see pretty quickly that “characteristic” can be a “trait”, which added to “or” gives us TRAITOR. But is this the answer? After a little thought we see that if each of those Xs is viewed as a “cross”, then XXer can be transformed into “double-crosser”. Double-crosser is a pretty tight definition for a TRAITOR.

How did you fare with this crossword?

Across
1 Irrigates part of the rose, up opposite where Adams rabbits live (9,4)

WATERS-HIP DOWN
Irrigates (WATERS) part of the rose (HIP) “up” opposite (DOWN) = WATERSHIP DOWN: where (Richard) Adams rabbits live.
10 One more gets a note cut short by her (7)
A-NOT-HER
A (A) “not-e” cut short (NOT) by “her” (HER) gets = ANOTHER: one more.
11 Cornelius and his little brother get ten to play with vigour (3,4)
CON BR-IO
Cornelius (CON) and his little “brother” (BR) get “ten” (IO) = CON BRIO: to play with vigour.
12 A southpaw turned to trade (4)
S-WAP
A south (S) “paw” turned (WAP) = SWAP: to trade.
13 A drink before my game (5)
RUM-MY
A drink (RUM) before “my” (MY) = RUMMY: game.
15 Feathers make a theme here (4)
DOWN
Feathers (DOWN) make a theme here, in today’s puzzle (DOWN).
17 The woman to start the proceedings (3)
SUE
The woman (SUE) to start the proceedings (SUE).
19 Do come back with yours, and mine smells! (6)
OD-OURS
“Do” come back (OD) with “yours and mine” (OURS) = ODOURS: smells.
21 It’s a first class room to an aviator (6)
AI-RM-AN
It’s a “first class” (AI) room (RM) to “an” (AN) = AIRMAN: aviator.
22 A capital B and L … quick! (7)
B-EL-FAST
B (B) and L (EL) quick (FAST) = BELFAST: a capital.
23 Partly own it, with a fool (6)
NITWIT
Partly “ow-N IT WIT-h” = NITWIT: a fool.
25 They’re seen in Africa by trendy post offices (6)
HIP-POS
By “trendy” (HIP) post offices (POS) = HIP-POS: they’re seen in Africa.
27 Half-inches for the jack and king, but not the queen (3)
HES
Half “inc-HES” for = HES: the jack and king, but not the queen.
29 Gather it’s about a piano (4)
RE-A-P
It’s “about” (RE) a (A) piano (P) = REAP: gather.
30 The fish for each church (5)
PER-CH
For each (PER) church (CH) = PERCH: the fish.
31 He was royally mad with three daughters and at fifty, near-decapitated (4)
L-EAR
At “fifty” (L) “n-ear” decapitated (EAR) and = LEAR: “King Lear”, he was royally mad with three daughters.
34 A diplomat that’s a pioneer, and a bit of a pain! (7)
A-TT-ACHE
A pioneer (A TT) and “a bit of a pain” (ACHE) that’s = ATTACHE: a diplomat.
35 It is quickly inside more than half the joint? (7)
MOR(‘TIS)E
Inside “more” (MOR-E) “it is” quickly (‘TIS) = MORTISE: half the joint (i.e. a mortise and tenon joint).
36 Recording what you’re doing for every second answer perhaps (7,2,4)
WRITING IT DOWN
Recording (WRITING IT DOWN) what you’re doing for every second answer perhaps (WRITING IT DOWN) … the rest you write across.

Down
2 Something for the salad, perhaps at the Irish river party? (7)

AVOCA-DO
At “the Irish river” (AVOCA) party (DO) = AVOCADO: something for the salad, perhaps.
3 It’s what you just said … just said … (4)
ECHO
It’s what you just said (ECHO) just said … (ECHO!).
4 Iris returns to America a star (6)
SIRI-US
“Iris” returns (SIRI) to “America” (US) = SIRIUS: a star.
5 I take the sergeant say, with me for the receipts (6)
I-NCO-ME
I (I) take “the sergeant say” (NCO) with “me” (ME) for = INCOME: the receipts.
6 Yes, in Moscow at the last half of June it could be ‘Hamlet’ (4)
DA-NE
Yes, in Moscow (DA) at the last half of “ju-ne” (NE) = DANE: it could be Hamlet.
7 The little kangaroo inside heated part of the Mil HQ! (3,4)
WAR-(ROO)M
Inside “heated” (WAR-M) the little “kangaroo” (ROO) = WAR ROOM: part of the Mil HQ.
8 Wild woodlands near the ground (9,4)
Wild “woodlands near” = LANSDOWNE ROAD: the ground.
9 It’s noted for no 10pm working, there in the UK (7,6)
DOWNING STREET
It’s noted for No. 10 (DOWNING STREET) PM, Prime Minister, working there in the UK (DOWNING STREET).
14 Monsieur, this loose ruffle, it goes around your neck (7)
M-UFFLER
Monsieur (M) this loose “ruffle” (UFFLER) = MUFFLER: it goes around your neck.
16 Path around 4-down or a little piece (5)
OR-BIT
Or (OR) a little piece (BIT) = ORBIT: path around SIRIUS.
18 Stay at home for the demonstration (3-2)
SIT-IN
Stay at home (SIT IN) for = SIT-IN: the demonstration.
20 Collection found oddly in sheets? (3)
SET
Found oddly in “sheets” (the odd letters in S-h-E-e-T-s) = SET: collection.
21 A quiet grey colour (3)
A-SH
A (A) quiet (SH) = ASH: grey colour.
24 Characteristic or XXer? (7)
TRAIT-OR
Characteristic (TRAIT) or (OR) = TRAITOR: double-crosser (“XX-er”).
26 It’s early look, and about six inside sit there for Mass (7)
P(RE-VI)EW
Sit there for Mass (P-EW) “about” “six” inside (RE-VI) and = PREVIEW: it’s early look.
27 Into this, place something to guide a male horse? (6)
HE-REIN
Something to guide a male horse? (HE-REIN) = HEREIN: into this place.
28 It’s a swindle … 22/7 for seafood! (6)
SCAM-PI
It’s a swindle (SCAM) 22/7 (PI) for = SCAMPI: seafood.
32 Counsel over time it could be ‘Macbeth’ (4)
SC-OT
Counsel (SC) over-time (OT) = SCOT: it could be Macbeth.
33 Brother Edward had an issue (4)
BR-ED
Brother (BR) Edward (ED) = BRED: had an issue.