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Definitely one for the first-time snowboarder rather than the triple-corking slopestyler. I was only taken over the 20-minute mark by having too much knowledge at 1dn. A first time for everything...21 minutes.


1 DIATRIBE - DIA[l] + TRIBE; one of my last in owing to my travails with 1dn.
5 SPAR+TA - the butchest boys in Greece.
9 ORDNANCE - 'ordinance' minus the 'i'; I wonder when a setter will clue it as 'coherence'.
10 IN FORM - easy enough for even a Tasmanian to solve...
12 VICIOUS CIRCLE - two definitions: one a sort of interlinear translation and the other from Dictionary Corner.
15 LEEDS - ED in LES - Dawson, I presume...
16 REHEARSAL - HEARS in REAL; this would probably require two Tasmanians.
22 ARTIST - hidden; Tazzies will be trying to work in Luke Murphy or Roger Wagner. (Yeah, okay, I had to Google Tasmanian artists.)
23 FANTASIA - FAN + IS AT (reversed) + A[nimated] for the Disney film featuring Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer's apprentice, presumably because Rebekah Brooks was contractually obligated elsewhere.
26 REPARTEE - actually quite cunning this one, and my last in: RE (concerning) + PART (split) + last letters of [fashionabl]E [boutiqu]E.


1 DROP VOLLEY - DROP ('spot', as in 'spot of rain' or a wee dram) + lovely*; I attempted to finesse the setter with 'stop volley', which works but is wrong.
2 A+DD - one to get the Tazzies going in the Downs.
3 REASONS - REA[d] + SONS; I liked this one for its definition, the full version of which would be 'other people's reasons'.
4 BACK STRAIGHT - Collins has one meaning of 'straight' (adv.) as 'in an even, level, or upright position', and ODO has a straight arch as a flat-topped one; one has a back straight but not, so far as I am aware (at least in common parlance), a front straight. This is typically a home or finishing straight, is it not?
7 RHODE ISLAND - I in RHODES + LAND in a transitive sense ('put the hot-air balloon down' seems to work). Forget all that linguistic nonsense - it's a common verb and it can do what it wants transitivity-wise. Thanks to McT.
8 ARMY - Barmy without the b; 'host' as in the heavenly host.
11 RICHTER SCALE - circles earth*.
13 CHEAPSKATES - CHEAP + (KATE in SS), where SS indicates the girl is to be put into the ship (AKA 'on board').
19 BIRETTA - attire* following ('topped by') B[lack] for the hat that sounds like a gun.
21 FAR+M
24 SIT - a warm welcome is waiting in Launceston, Tas, for anyone who can't work this one out.


( 66 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 10th, 2014 01:51 am (UTC)
As said, a very easy solve with most of the defs standing out like the proverbial.

Took the verb in 7dn as intransitive*: "Biggles had the controls and decided to put down despite the fog". (From "Biggles Flies Undone".)

And hey ... lay off the Taswegians eh? What have they ever done to you? Try a holiday there some time and you'll change your mind.

* On edit ... oops!

Edited at 2014-02-10 08:48 am (UTC)
Feb. 10th, 2014 02:06 am (UTC)
32 minutes with 1dn and 12 delaying me at the end. Nice to have a tennis reference - the only sport I follow - instead of cricket. For some unknown reason I failed to spot that an anagram was involved at 11dn; I just wrote the answer straight in.
Feb. 10th, 2014 02:09 am (UTC)
Nice way to start the week, although I wouldn't want too many more of these in one week; definitely lacking chewiness. Several of these went in on checkers & def, or checkers alone, including 1d, which I didn't even know.But the surfaces were wonderfully smooth.
Feb. 10th, 2014 02:17 am (UTC)
Not quite so easy here....
....coming in a 31 minutes due to being unable to see the obvious. I was determined that 3 down would start with [d]EN, which made it very difficult to clean up that corner. I also had trouble with 'repartee', putting it in and then erasing it, thinking is was supposed to have S[pli]T in it.

"Now she gets her kicks in Stepney,
Not in Knightsbridge any more...."

Feb. 10th, 2014 02:52 am (UTC)
Quite easy, well within 30 minutes. Rufus in The Guardian today has He's likely to look out for inexpensive fish (10) to keep 13Down company. Thank you, ulaca for your very readable and amusing blog.
Feb. 10th, 2014 09:00 am (UTC)
Amusing? I assume you mean the dubious references to Tasmanians? What else?

Edited at 2014-02-10 09:05 am (UTC)
Feb. 10th, 2014 02:55 am (UTC)
13:02 … initially threw in a stop volley, which made untangling the NW tricky. Otherwise, fairly routine.

COD .. REPARTEE - lovely surface and construction.

Seems chrisw91’s young feller is in the sport du jour, with Slopestyle going down a storm in Sochii. Great to see all these rad, gnarly youngsters putting the fun back into sport. Awesome!
Feb. 10th, 2014 04:56 pm (UTC)
It would be more enjoyable if the commentaries weren't incomprehensible. Whatever happened to explaining what's going on?
Feb. 10th, 2014 04:42 am (UTC)

All in 30mins, but another few for REPARTEE. I too was trying to fit S(pli)T in.

And I missed the anagram at 11dn, as I agree the definitions were for the most part easy to spot (hence didn't trouble to parse RHODE ISLAND).

Rooting for Woodsy on Thursday…funny how I feel a virtual frisson now every time I see/hear him mentioned in the media...

Feb. 10th, 2014 07:41 am (UTC)
Le muppet part deux
8m, but with REPARTIE. It didn't occur to me for a second that the spelling might have been anglicised. C'est la vie, as they don't say.
Feb. 10th, 2014 08:24 am (UTC)
Pleasant enough but I agree with Kevin that I would not want the whole week to be like this.

Go Woodsy.
Feb. 10th, 2014 08:59 am (UTC)
Isn't any commenter so far as bothered by Ulaca's negative references to Tasmania and Tasmanians as I am?
I find the whole thing highly offensive. Rather in the manner of Irish jokes that some people tell.
Please ... let's not have such negative discrimination on this site.

Feb. 10th, 2014 09:53 am (UTC)
Re: Tasmania
Why do Tasmanians end sentences with "but"?
Why do Tasmanians end sentences with "but"? - galspray - Feb. 10th, 2014 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Why do Tasmanians end sentences with "but"? - (Anonymous) - Mar. 14th, 2014 12:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 10th, 2014 09:41 am (UTC)
Just over 10 minutes, but looking at the on-line leaderboard, I feel positively pedestrian. I felt a bit aggrieved that STOP VOLLEY, which went in very early, then turned out to be wrong, obviously meaning it took me some time to work out what on earth 1ac could be. Not sure whether the setter was being extra devious, having a clue with two entirely correct alternative answers, or simply didn't realise the possible confusion. Given the gentle nature of the puzzle overall, I'm guessing the latter.
Feb. 10th, 2014 10:02 am (UTC)
Stop Volley
I think you're right to feel a bit aggrieved, Tim, what with 'stop volley' being a complete anagram of 'spot lovely' instead of the partial one required for the given answer. If I hadn't written in DIATRIBE so early in the proceedings I'd have gone for 'stop' too and would have been livid to find out it was wrong. As it was, with the D in place, I never even thought of it until coming here. I'm not sure that deliberate bear traps like this are entirely fair and I wonder if it simply slipped through unnoticed.

Edited at 2014-02-10 10:37 am (UTC)
Feb. 10th, 2014 09:44 am (UTC)
12 minutes (or a smidge under), though it felt a notch or two above a nursery slope. I would have opted for STOP VOLLEY if I'd thought of it; as it was, it was my SOI after ADD and gave significant impetus to the solve. After that, the ripples spread outwards, exactly as they don't when you throw a stone into a bucket of three toed sloths.
My hold up in the SE was caused by the conviction that 14 was a clever &lit with an anagram of "clones are", only abandoned when the T of BLAST made it impossible.
Currently living in Essex, I can understand Mct's botheration with toponymic stereotyping. Like Jewish jokes, they're usually ok when offered by the people themselves. Essex has learned to trade on it (cf TOWIE, Stacey Solomon), but I have no idea where Tasmanians stand on that. Offended, or celebrated as an astute marketing ploy?

Edited at 2014-02-10 09:45 am (UTC)
Feb. 10th, 2014 09:48 am (UTC)
Thought I'd have a quick look between the porridge and the eggs n bacon, and ended up completing it in 15 minutes! Not exactly solid fare.

Had to look up the Urban Dictionary to try to grasp the Tasmanian references. Still really none the wiser. But sadder.
Feb. 10th, 2014 10:11 am (UTC)
Still really none the wiser
... Ulaca should retract?
Feb. 10th, 2014 10:13 am (UTC)
Even as a newcomer to this exquisite torment, I found this one pretty straightforward. Like others, 26 held me up as I was looking for the ends of split, but eventually the penny dropped.

As a big fan of Tasmania and its great people, I was delighted to see the Apple Isle get a good airing in Ulaca's blog. For anyone who has not had the good fortune to visit and fall in love with the place, it's a bit like Devon - where (at least when I was a kid growing up in Somerset) the locals' proud boast was "I'm a west countryman, born and bred - strong in the arm and weak in the head". Their call, not mine.

At least we were spared any cartographic references (probably best let that rest with the Antipodean contingent)- let's be thankful for quite significant mercies...
Feb. 10th, 2014 02:49 pm (UTC)
I get it Nick. Hard to explain on a civilised site such as this though.
(no subject) - deezzaa - Feb. 10th, 2014 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 10th, 2014 10:14 am (UTC)
12min - would have been even quicker, but was looking at puzzle while having my cornflakes.
LOI was 1dn (from wordplay and checkers), as had never heard of either sort of volley, which from foregoing comments is apparently something in tennis - a sport I find particularly boring.
I'd not come across Tasmanian jokes before, and would be happy to never do again - there are too many of these quasi-racist themes already.
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