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QC 1285 by Teazel

I think this is the third blog in a row that I have come up against Teazel, and I also seem to remember that my first ever blog was on one of his puzzles. So he feels like an old friend now and today's puzzle is probably the most lively one I have ever blogged (from him or anybody). Full of entertaining clues, including a couple of clever misdirections as well as two clues that I found a bit questionable as you will read. I really enjoyed it, so many thanks for a 10-minute (medium difficulty) work-out. It really was great fun.

FOI was 5A I believe, and my LOI was the lovely 22A, which was also my COD on a day when there were several good candidates. Coming in close behind were 8A, 16A, 20A, 3D and 9D.

As an aside, a few weeks ago I referred to CID (I think) as an acronym. Kevin (I believe it was him) rapped my knuckles on the basis that an acronym has to be pronounced in general usage as a word rather than as a series of letters, as in UNESCO, or NASA, or FIFA. I acknowledged his comment and owned up to loose usage as that was my understanding as well. However I heard on the radio the other day the string of letters 'MTCSA' referred to as an acronym in a comedy programme. In fact, in that context it was set up as a self-referential joke as the letters stand for 'Mysterious and Therefore Cool-Sounding Acronym'. So I thought I would check up on it in the dictionary and it seems after all that an acronym is simply a string of initial letters, whether it can be pronouced as a word or not.

So having straightened that out I deployed my own acronym, the NATRAF (Nina And Theme Radar And Filter), which yielded no results.

Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as I see it in the simplest language I can manage.

1 Things people are going to say? (8)
GOODBYES - cryptic definition. GOODBYES are what people who are going (i.e. leaving) will say. I don't think the syntax quite works, but it is such a neat idea that I feel it would be churlish to complain.
5 London statue painful to put back (4)
EROS - SORE backwards ('put back').
8 Persevering, even if difficult terrain (13)
THOROUGHGOING - can be rewritten as THO' (even if) ROUGH GOING (difficult terrain).
10 Edged forward, with hooter? (5)
NOSED - hooter = slang for nose. Reminds me of a dear friend now departed who had a very big nose. I once mentioned to someone that he had passed my room and "put his nose round the door", to which the reply was "not all of it, surely?"
11 A little European larva (7)
TADPOLE - nice bit of misdirection here if you only had the last checker 'E', as I did, in which case you might have started looking for a 6-letter word meaning 'little', onto which you could tack E for European. As it is the parsing is TAD (a little) + POLE (European).
12 Profit from one number by country-and-western singer (4,2)
CASH IN - I (one) + N (number) 'by' CASH (late lamented C&W singer Johnny). I never cared for his music much until he started producing some very thoughtful stuff towards the end of his life, most notably for me an excellent cover of Nick Cave's 'The Mercy Seat'.
13 Compete to block drunkard in Russian council (6)
SOVIET - VIE (compete) 'blocking' SOT (drunkard).
16 Popular, Castro, but no Christian (7)
INFIDEL - IN (popular) + FIDEL (Castro, the late Prime Minister and latterly President of Cuba). OK, the defiintion is 'no Christian', but it could equally well be 'Christian', as the word INFIDEL is also used by Muslims to describe non-Muslims.
18 Fit in curve round lake (5)
BLEND - BEND (curve) 'round' L (lake).
20 Person consulted appearing uninterested in listening (8,5)
SOUNDING BOARD - if you are listening to the words SOUNDING BOARD you could hear them as SOUNDING BORED (appearing uninterested).
21 Crazy food for squirrel (4)
NUTS - double definition.
22 Drink beginning to befuddle Dame Edna (8)
BEVERAGE - a lovely misdirection. The first thing any self-respecting solver would do here would be to pick out 'befuddle' as an anagrind and attempt to apply it to DAME EDNA as anagrist. This even remains feasible after you have all the vowels as checkers [sorry, this is incorrect - see comment by templarredux below] and then you are left with the unpromising Scrabble selection of D, M, D, N. At this point the light should dawn as you realise that Dame Edna's surname is Everage, and if you take B (the 'beginning to' Befuddle) and put it in front you get BEVERAGE.
1 Board work harmoniously (3,2)
GET ON - double definition.
2 Players sit: boos break out (7)
OBOISTS - straight anagram ('break out') of SIT BOOS.
3 No puritan, keen on American women? (5-6)
BROAD-MINDED - BROAD is American slang for a woman. If you are keen on American women, therefore, you might always have them on your mind, and so might be said to be BROAD-MINDED.
4 Crews have no head for heights (6)
EIGHTS - take the 'head' off Heights and you have EIGHTS (rowing crews).
6 One impaled on terrible horn — its? (5)
RHINO - the definition is 'ITS?', as the horn on which one is impaled could be that of a RHINO. This is another clue where I don't think the syntax quite works. I (one) 'impaled' on an anagram ('terrible') of HORN. Except that to my mind it is the 'terrible horn' that is impaled on 'one', given that it is the I that goes right into the middle of RHNO rather than the other way round.
7 Section of, say, people in street (7)
SEGMENT - EG (say) + MEN (people) in ST (street).
9 I obliged Ben to arrange feature of hotel room (6,5)
GIDEON BIBLE - a lovely little anagram (of I OBLIGED BEN ('to arrange')) and pleasing definition. Is it still the case in these godless times that the Gideon Society manage to sneak a bible into every hotel room? I must look for one and check next time I'm in a hotel.
12 Edges into study, bright red (7)
CRIMSON - RIMS (edges) in CON (study).
14 President to refuse to allow a Japanese art form (7)
IKEBANA - the two most common presidential visitors to Crossword Land are probably ABE (Abraham Lincoln) and IKE (Dwight D Eisenhower). Here we have IKE (president) + BAN (to refuse to allow) + A = IKEBANA, the Japanese art of flower arrangement (in case you didn't know).
15 With power thrust forward and fall precipitously (6)
PLUNGE - P (power) + LUNGE (thrust forward).
17 Quickly grabbing uniform for opera (5)
FAUST - FAST (quickly) 'grabbing' U (uniform).
19 Avoid Santa Fe Trail city (5)
DODGE - double definition, the second one being Dodge City in Kansas.


( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 11th, 2019 12:16 pm (UTC)
I had to range across this puzzle, completing odd clues here and there until I had enough checkers to complete a few more and so on. So a very good challenge. GOODBYES was a claver idea but for me didn't quite work as clued. I struggled with that. Not at all sure about THOROUGHGOING = persevering either, although beautifully clued.
LOI = RHINO (needed all the checkers for that one)
COD = CASH IN (only because I am a Johnny Cash fan who was wonderful seen live with June Carter).
Feb. 11th, 2019 12:28 pm (UTC)
I puzzled a bit over 1a and 8a, but shrugged and moved on. OBOISTS was my FOI. 9d was a write in, as I'd been out at the folk club and someone sang Rocky Raccoon:-) IKEBANA was in a recent 15x15. My LOI was BEVERAGE, where I initially thought it might be an anagram, but with the initial B indicated, there was no suitable anagrist of 7 letters, so the crossing letters soon put me right. 9:36. Thanks Teazel and Don. I was also enlightened as to your avatar by yesterday's 15x15:-)
Feb. 11th, 2019 12:39 pm (UTC)
Nobody seems to have mentioned this: isn't 'broadminded' an adjective, whereas 'no puritan' leads to a noun?
Feb. 11th, 2019 02:20 pm (UTC)
I think it works OK. If you are no Puritan then you are broad-minded and vice-versa.
Feb. 11th, 2019 12:39 pm (UTC)
24 minutes with three errors so a DNF. I misspelt GIDEON which was just plain silly. I invented a new Japanese art form IKEnAyA and a new word for things GOOmBrES which to me sounded like go hombres (hombres is Spanish for men). I did manage to get 8a correct from the word play although I have never heard of THOROUGHGOING for persevering. Not a good day.

Edited at 2019-02-11 12:53 pm (UTC)
Feb. 11th, 2019 01:44 pm (UTC)
Hotel rooms
It's also an anagram of BEING BOILED which is something I've experienced in hotel rooms. Tradescant
Feb. 11th, 2019 02:43 pm (UTC)
Very slow start with a wander around the grid for little gain. Then something clicked and I finished in 16 mins. Some very nice clues. I liked SEGMENT, GOODBYES, BEVERAGE, TADPOLE and the long anagrams. LOI SOVIET. Thanks to Teazel for the usual challenge and, of course, to Don. John M.
Feb. 11th, 2019 02:51 pm (UTC)
One down
I have to post anonymously as something wrong with my Password!
Don’t understand double def of 1d. Getting on harmoniously is OK and a switch is working if ON but what has BOARD got to do with it?
Feb. 11th, 2019 03:50 pm (UTC)
RE: One down
Board a train/get on a train.
Re: One down - horryd - Feb. 11th, 2019 03:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: One down - flashman - Feb. 11th, 2019 04:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: One down - horryd - Feb. 11th, 2019 09:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: One down - flashman - Feb. 12th, 2019 04:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 11th, 2019 03:04 pm (UTC)
Anothrt tricky one
Took me best part of an hour with a lot of resorting to aids. Got rhino pretty much straightaway but couldn’t parse it for the life of me. What’s the opposite of biffing? Couldn’t fathom out any definition.

Only got 1ac & 8ac with aids.

Feb. 11th, 2019 04:24 pm (UTC)
Agree with most comments that this was hard going. Failed to see the double meaning of board 1d, but it had to be get or got on, chose the wrong one. Failed with 1a. Enjoyed the dame edna clue. Thanks to Teazel and Don.
Feb. 11th, 2019 06:29 pm (UTC)
Rather late getting here today. Had to walk the dog early prior to a visit to the vet. Then off to London for lunch to find that yet again there are signalling problems in the Lewisham area. For some reason signalling seems to be intractable. Finally home (problems still there) and after a lovely lunch I sat down to this.
I felt sluggish. My last two were GOODBYES and BROAD MINDED. I would have spelt Beverage wrong but for the checkers. Home in 17:14 which doesn't look too bad based on the comments.
Ikebana seems quite common in puzzles -one to remember. Took rather a long time to decode the BIBLE clue; was thinking of design or decoration.

Feb. 11th, 2019 08:21 pm (UTC)
19 down. Got Dodge as it is clear when you have other letters and ties in with Avoid. But I would appreciate someone helping with tie in to Santa Fe Trail city. (Film with Orson Wells and future President Mr Reagan)
Feb. 11th, 2019 09:52 pm (UTC)
You are missing Dodge City!
Feb. 12th, 2019 11:52 am (UTC)
Agree with most comments that this was hard going. Failed to see the double meaning of board 1d, but it had to be get or got on, chose the wrong one. Failed with 1a. Enjoyed the dame edna clue. Thanks to Teazel and Don.
Feb. 12th, 2019 08:26 pm (UTC)
Not easy but managed to finish. Fairly clued apart from 1a which is so vague as to be not really a clue at all. A minor complaint.
Feb. 13th, 2019 06:48 pm (UTC)
nice puzzle-liked 20A (person consulted appearing uninterested in listening).
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