Monthly Prize Puzzle No 14 (July 2013) by Prolixic
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A review by crypticsue
Congratulations to John Cruickshank, the winner of the July competition who receives “The Daily Telegraph Cracking Cryptic Crosswords Collection” – four books of daily puzzles in a slipcase, kindly donated by Tilsit – the prize will be posted when the latter returns to Tilsit Towers at the end of his Scottish adventures.
To win the prize John correctly noticed that ‘To serve them all my days’ was written round the perimeter of the puzzle and then found the author of the book. I read all of RF Delderfield’s works back in the 1970s and so had no trouble with this prize puzzle poser.
Thanks once again to Prolixic for another cryptic crossword which proved both entertaining and educational.
5a Mark fails to start drink (6)
TIPPLE – Remove the first letter (fails to start) from
STIPPLE, a verb meaning to paint using small dots (marks) to get an alcoholic drink.
7a Approach to strike procedure (8)
DRIVEWAY – The approach to a house from the public road – DRIVE ( to strike eg a golf ball) and WAY (procedure).
9a Hackneyed opposition leader’s knowledgeable about Unionist (8)
OVERUSED – The first letter (leader) of Opposition followed by VERSED (knowledgeable), into which is inserted the abbreviation for Unionist.
10a Disreputable ladies lay back embracing a sport (6)
SLALOM – Well it wouldn’t be a Prolixic crossword without a disreputable lady or two in it somewhere! A reversal of MOLLS, a slang term for either gangsters’ female accomplices or prostitutes (all disreputable ladies) into which is inserted A from the clue.
11a Pretty morsel prepared for Mother Carey’s chicken (6,6)
STORMY PETREL – I didn’t need to make an anagram (prepared) of PRETTY MORSEL as I did know the name of the bird which is also known as Mother Carey’s chicken!
13a Permit El Tel to sack wingers (6)
ENABLE – You don’t have to be a football fan but you do need to know the manager whose nickname is El Tel as you need to remove the outside letters (sack wingers) from his surname –
15a Draw a small tuft of hairs (6)
PENCIL – A double definition, the second being exactly as written in the BRB!
18a Type of gear fat infielder sported (12)
DIFFERENTIAL – The epicyclic gear mounted in the driving axle of a road vehicle that permits one driving wheel to rotate faster than the other as when cornering. I know that you didn’t need all that information! All that was necessary was to make an anagram (sported) of FAT INFIELDER.
21a Tool Prolixic inserted in bottom (6)
REAMER – Inserting ME (Prolixic here referring to himself) into REAR (bottom or back) produce a tool used to smooth the bores of holes accurately to size. The wordplay doesn’t conjure up a very pleasant image and, although I know Gazza for one is going to be extremely disappointed, I have illustrated this in the nicest way possible – there are a lot of very painful looking reamers out there!! 22a Attar, a remedy containing inverted sugar (8)
DEMERARA – A type of brown sugar is hidden and reversed (inverted) in attAR A REMEDy.
23a New metal instrument (8)
VIRGINAL – VIRGIN (extremely pure and fresh (new)) followed AL, the abbreviation for aluminium (metal) produces a small type of harpsichord.
24a Arrangement in symphony about French saint (6)
SYSTEM – A method, arrangement or an ordered manner – insert STE, the French abbreviation for saint into SYM, the abbreviation for symphony.
1d Relative holds kitchen implement donated by Adam? (5,3)
SPARE RIB – PARER (a kitchen implement used to remove the skin or peel from something) is inserted into a SIB (blood relative) – Eve was created from this body part donated by Adam. Yes I know, another ‘disappointing’ illustration
2d Byzantine yet, say, insubstantial (6)
YEASTY – An anagram (Byzantine meaning complicated) of YET SAY – one of the definitions of the solution is insubstantial or frivolous.
3d Apparently repairs triplanes in part of Heathrow (8)
AIRSTRIP – A particular well-hidden d’oh moment-inducing hidden word – part of an airport such as Heathrow is hidden in repAIRS TRIPlanes.
4d Patrol dock? (6)
DETAIL – A patrol assigned for a specific duty. For the second part of this double definition clue, you need to insert a hyphen so DE-TAIL or cut the tail off.
6d Prompting Victor to oust Charlie is delightful (8)
INVITING – Changing the third letter in INCITING(prompting) from a C to a V produces an adjective meaning attractive, delightful.
7d Pentagon occupants treasure a car (6)
DODGEM – An electrically-powered car used to bump into others for fun – follow the abbreviation for the American Department of Defense, which has its headquarters in the Pentagon building , with GEM, a treasure, a person or thing held to be a perfect example.
8d Main point is oddly overlooked before too long (4)
ANON – An archaic or literary way of saying soon, before too long, is found in the even (oddly overlooked) letters of mAiN pOiNt.
12d Take issue with timeless tragedies perhaps (8)
DISAGREE – An anagram (perhaps) of
TRAGEDIES once you have removed the T (timeless).
14d Swear European payment’s a nerve of sorts? (8)
EFFERENT – An adjective relating to a nerve which carries impulses away from the central nervous system. EFF (swear) E (European) and RENT (payment made periodically for the occupation of buildings etc).
16d Warrant a pay cut or freeze is implied (8)
NOTARISE – To authorise or certify documents – split 3, 1, 4, it would mean that you definitely wouldn’t be getting an increase in pay!
17d Forces supported by key scientist (6)
MENDEL – The German scientist who told us all about heredity by genes – MEN (troops, non-commissioned soldiers ) and DEL ( one of the keys on a computer keyboard I use a lot when making changes to things such as this review).
18d In retrospect, say, a defence strategy creates devastation (6)
DAMAGE – EG (for example, say), A (from the clue) and MAD (defence strategy) all reversed (in retrospect). Mutually Assured Destruction is a defence strategy in which a full-scale use of high-yield weapons of mass destruction by two opposing sides would effectively result in the complete, utter and irrevocable annihilation of both the attacker and the defender – no, I’d never heard of it either!!
19d Forces leave horsemen floundering in trap (6)
ENMESH – To trap or entangle in a net – Remove OR (other ranks, troops) from H
ORSEMEN and then rearrange (floundering) the remaining letters.
20d Creature seen in the old Pacific tree (4)
YETI – A creature seen a long way from the Pacific. YE, the old way of saying ‘the’, followed by TI, a tree growing in Polynesia. I might have had to investigoogle the tree but for the fact that I had already done so shortly before I test solved this puzzle as it was in a Nimrod (Elgar) crossword in the Independent.