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Solving Time: None recorded, but I reckon around 45 minutes

I solved this one on holiday (although I'm back now), so I didn't record an official time. I remember I rattled through the bottom two-thirds quite quickly, in around 20 minutes, then got no further for about another 15. I put it aside and came back to it later, at which time it all seemed much more obvious and I finished it in about another 10.

Looking at the forum, a lot of people struggled with the bingo reference in 22a - maybe, like me, they assumed it must be a cross-reference to 11a YEAS. Also, 23d caused many problems. I saw the answer quite quickly, but hesitated over putting the answer in until all the checkers were in place, as it just seemed a tad weak.

I'm not sure about a COD, but I did like the misdirection in 13d and 27a. There were some well-disguised definitions here - 13's 'Famous Russian', and also 'Did gag' & 'Railing'.

cd = cryptic def., dd = double def., rev = reversal, homophones are written in quotes, anagrams as (--)*, and removals like this

9JAKARTA = "Did ya cart her?" when spoken quickly - a variation on the 'Jamaica?' 'No, she went of her own accord' gag. I was a little thrown off as I always thought it was spelt with a silent D at the start, but apparently this hasn't been the case since 1972. I must get myself a newer atlas!
19PARAPET = About in PAR (standard) + PET (brain scanning facility - Positron emission tomography)
20ACCOMPLISH = "ACCOMPLICE" when said in a drunken manner
22LEGS - dd - a reference to the bingo call 'Legs Eleven'. Normally when a number is written in a clue as digits like this, it refers to the clue with that number, but not this time.
25Hoover Under Machines + DRUM (part of kitchen, the kitchen being an informal term for the percussion section of an orchestra)
26EYE (as in private eye) + SORE
27VITAL STATISTICS - dd - 'corporation' being an informal term for paunch, and a woman's 'vital statistics' are her chest/waist/hip measurements
1E + N(JOb)Y
3N + ARK
5S(ACHE)T + tearS
6RACONTEUR = (NEAR COURT)* - I nearly put RECOUNTER before I realised that the As & Es weren't quite right.
16PEPPERONI = (PIONEER)* about PP (very quiet)
18DELIMIT = TIMED about (I + L) all rev
21COME + T
23SPECS - dd - builders work on specifications, alternatively to work 'on spec' means to do the work now in the hope of being paid later, which in my experience, is something very few builders do!
24WEDS - dd


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 20th, 2014 02:54 am (UTC)
I could have got under 20' but for 16d and my LOI 22ac. I totally missed the anagrind on the first, being determined to get Polo in there somehow; and in fact only parsed it post hoc. LEGS went in, finally, from definition; 'legs eleven' is meaningless to me. I also managed to waste a good deal of time by reading 'post' as 'poet' at 1d.'kitchen' and 'corporation' in one puzzle!
Apr. 20th, 2014 03:12 am (UTC)
20 minutes - the kind of time I have rarely managed on a ST puzzle since the current editor took over. All straightforward apart from the misprint at 21d ('rive' for 'arrive' in the Crossword Club). For those who are familiar with '[eye] glasses' as 'specs', 23d should be pretty much a write-in.
Apr. 20th, 2014 07:21 am (UTC)
33 minutes for this mostly straightforward puzzle. I didn't know the brain scan but the answer was obvious without that knowledge. I'd have thought architects did SPECS rather than builders but that seems dangerously close to the engineer vs mechanic debate so I won't pursue it.

I still have two letters missing from Saturday's prize puzzle and I am absolutely baffled by it.

Edited at 2014-04-20 07:21 am (UTC)
Apr. 20th, 2014 08:09 am (UTC)
8:37 with the bingo legs being the last penny to clang loudly to the floor.
Apr. 20th, 2014 08:53 am (UTC)
16:47 for me, with a few minutes at the end scratching my head over 22ac. I didn't understand it when I submitted, although I have heard the bingo phrase before. These calls aren't actually used any more in bingo clubs: a fact which I suspect has passed most crossword setters and solvers by.
Apr. 20th, 2014 11:59 am (UTC)
Agree no longer used actively but some of them still exist in the consciousness. The recent death of Clarissa Dickson Wright reminded everyone that she was one of the Two Fat Ladies.
Apr. 20th, 2014 01:07 pm (UTC)
Having read her Wikipedia entry, I feel proud to say I'd never heard of this lady, even if it turns out she was a great supporter of a cause that my cousin who owns half of Hampshire is rather fervent about.

Edited at 2014-04-20 01:08 pm (UTC)
Apr. 20th, 2014 09:07 am (UTC)
Didn't know legs, so chose the equally likely sets. I think building on spec is more a feature of the commercial and the large office market than it is of the home market we are all familiar with. Otherwise a quick solve for me too. I agree with David about some nice (?) misdirection.
May. 2nd, 2014 12:45 am (UTC)
I can recommend the book Cluetopia by David Astle. It is about 100 years of crosswords. David is the well known crossword man for the Sydney Morning Herald. A most entertaining read about the history of crosswords almost year by year. Some fascinating things about crossword development. Early crosswords had some very hard clues. Enjoy!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )