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Solving time: About 48 mins with 1 mistake.

Many thanks, first of all, to PB for letting me have an advance copy of this puzzle so I didn't have to spend too much of my Christmas Day blogging.

I thought we might see something of a festive nature today, but apparently not. This seems a pretty standard Tim Moorey offering. The clues seem to be generally of a good standard as you would expect. My one mistake was in 3d.

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

6S(L)OW - One of my last in. I was expecting a homophone and failed to look past that possibility.
12NORFOLK BROADS = (LOOK FOR + S + BRAND)* - although the anagrist was awkward to pick out, so I had to reverse engineer it.
14STOPOVER = OVER after POTS rev
15HOOD + O/O
17CAD(D + I)S
21ONE-NIGHT STAND = (SNOG AND THEN IT)* - lovely anagram. The first part would probably have worked on its own as an &lit.
26HART = "HEART" - Lorenz Hart was best known for his collaboration with Richard Rodgers which produced many classic songs like Blue Moon and The Lady is a Tramp.
1VEAL - hidden in haVE A Lot
2TORONTO = ONTO (aware of) after TORn
3POWER POLITICS - cd - Not being familiar with the phrase, I went for POWER POLICIES, but I probably should have got it.
5unintelligenT + HICK - &lit - although 'bumpkin' doesn't really seem to form part of the definition, so I'm not convinced it quite works. But it's Christmas so I won't quibble.
7LEONARD = (ONE)* in LARD - My last in. It took me an age to work out the wordplay here. Very well disguised & my COD.
8WELL-SPOKEN = PEN (writer) about OK (in order) after WELLS (cathedral city)
20UNDERGO - hidden in foUNDER GOing
23OOPS = cO-OPS without the prime (first) letter. This one was so obvious, it took me an age to see it!


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 25th, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
I got sidetracked by putting in POWER STRUGGLE for 3D (perfectly good answer, just wrong) which delayed me until I got CADDIS which had to be right but didn't fit. In the end, POWER POLITICS was my last one in!
Dec. 25th, 2011 07:00 am (UTC)
28 minutes with many clues going in from definition alone.

I'm also not totally convinced by 5dn.

At 9ac 'igh is needed to indicate the dropped H and I assume is also a reference to Harrow School being located on a hill which may not be too well-known - to rival public schools it's known as "the dump on the lump", I believe.

I wondered about S=sun in 12ac and on checking it's not in COED or Collins, but Chambers has it.

Well done Dave, your third blog in three days! And thanks to all at the ST for giving us a puzzle today.
Dec. 25th, 2011 11:19 am (UTC)
Isn't 5d also T(erm for)-(unintelligent)-HICK (= bumpkin)?

Thank you for the blog and ST for the crossword.
Dec. 25th, 2011 11:35 am (UTC)
33 with 2 mistakes: 'power policies', which is a colllocation I'd never heard of, but I was mentally unprepared to go the extra Christmas mile having already changed from 'struggle', and 'Tarento' - a metropolis I am proud to have invented.

I don't know what it is about Canuck cities, but that's two I've messed up, having had 'Ottowa' earlier in the year.

A Merry Christmas to one and all, and thanks to PB and Dave.
Dec. 25th, 2011 11:56 am (UTC)
'Thick' as a noun is given in Chambers as a slang term, but it is defined as 'a stupid person', whereas a bumpkin is unsophisticated, awkward and clumsy, according to ODE and C - also a clown - but not precisely thick. Perhaps, in Collins or elsewhere we have thick or stupid, or perhaps Tim is relying on a folklinguistic understanding of bumpkin as a slow bloke sucking on a straw?
Dec. 25th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
hick noun \ˈhik\

Definition of HICK

: an unsophisticated provincial person

American usage. From Merriam Webster online.
Dec. 26th, 2011 02:40 am (UTC)
Thanks, but this is not in dispute. As Dave says, 'bumpkin' doesn't really seem to form part of the definition, and I was trying to make better sense of it.
Dec. 26th, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
Brief question
Did this one, Saturday's and today's (25042) before breakfast this morning. Good job the Boxing Day Test started at 7:30 WST: radio commentary and solving puzzles go well together.

The question is about 11dn (SERIOUS MATTER). We all say this and many, many more such things; but they don't occur in dictionaries. So are they cricket?
Dec. 26th, 2011 08:20 am (UTC)
Re: Brief question
Good question. I suppose we're in the realms of "well-known phrase or saying". I'd suggest that as long as the meanings of the constituent words are are not being stretched then inclusion of a term in a dictionary (or e.g. Brewer's) doesn't necessarily matter, but otherwise one should expect to find the expression documented somewhere.

SERIOUS MATTER has 6m hits on Google when searched as "exact phrase" which doesn't seem an awful lot to me but probably justifies its inclusion assuming there are no other better grounds.

Edited at 2011-12-26 08:21 am (UTC)
Dec. 26th, 2011 12:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Brief question
Wondering now if that makes any sense whatsoever! I thought it did at the time of posting.

When I go to add comments now the box comes up marked "anon" despite my being logged into LJ and my name logged in is showing at the top of the page. Maddening. I had to log in separately to post this under my user name.
Dec. 27th, 2011 10:30 am (UTC)
only just got to this, Xmas not for the faint-hearted :-)
Re 5dn: not sure I see the problem here? The parsing is T = "term for unintelligent," ie its last letter, + HICK = bumpkin. The definition is the whole, ie it is an &lit. "Thick" would seem to be a correct term for an unintelligent bumpkin. The COD, perhaps?
I too was slowed by putting power struggle for 3dn, but nevertheless didn't find this hard.. unlike Saturdays, which took me forever to complete
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )