NTSPP – 259
What’ll it be? by Soup
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A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.
Welcome back to Soup who appears to be preparing us for the cruciverbalists convention next weekend where several alcoholic beverages will be consumed though only at the one public house!
9 Have a whip-round for romp – allegedly on beer wagons (9)
FUNDRAISE – A word meaning a romp followed by (on) a homophone (allegedly) of drays (beer wagons). A few points to note on this clue. I hope that the “for” is part of the definition otherwise the construction “definition for wordplay” does not work. More importantly, putting the homophone indicator before the “on” breaks the link between the indicator and the word to which it applies. A purely personal preference is for the homophone to lead to a word it its own right not a series of letter that sounds like the word.
10 Blackbird has insect’s body then its head (5)
OUSEL – … an archaic word for the blackbird. A type of wingless parasitic insect has the body (all the letters but the first) followed by its initial letter (L) at the end.
11 Asked for American whisky – with a drop of coke in, it’s lethal (5)
RICIN – A homophone (asked for) of RYE (American whisky) followed by the first letter (a drop of) coke and the “in” from the clue.
12 Vermouth popular with queen and worker on the road (9)
ITINERANT – A two letter word for Vermouth (as in gin and **) followed by a two letter word meaning popular and a two letter abbreviation for the Queen finished off with a three letter word for an insect worker.
13 Takes back jumper acquired by mistake – that’s awkward (7)
BOORISH – Reverse (takes back) a three letter diminutive word for a kangaroo (jumper) and put it inside (acquired by) a four letter word meaning a mistake.
14 Writer regularly seen at ballets with olives and nuts, perhaps (7)
NIBBLES – A three letter word for the end of a pen (writer) followed by the odd letters (regularly seen at) of BaLlEtS. A man walks into a bar and sits down. Even though he is the only person in the place, he keeps hearing a voice – “your looking good today”, “l like that shirt”, “Nice pecs”. When the barman comes over, the man asks him whether he is hearing thing. “Oh no”, says the barman, “Its the peanuts – there complimentary.”
17 Bucks about, now in the middle of orgasm (5)
WONGA – Reverse (about) the NOW from the clue and follow it with the middle letters of orGAsm. The use of the “in” in the clue is unfair as it tells the solver to put the reversal in the middle letters when the answer requires the middle letters to follow the reversal.
18 Starts to pump up beer from the cellar here (3)
PUB – The initial letters (starts to) Pump Up Beer. For this clue to work, the beer needs to do double duty as part of the wordplay and as part of the definition.
20 Novice student in the Alps (5)
TYROL – A four letter word for a novice followed by the abbreviation for a student.
22 Bleakly pessimistic, back-pedals, taking far-right group to a 18 (3,4)
RED LION – … the name of a pub. Reverse (back-pedals) a word meaning bleakly pessimistic (used as a film genre) includes (taking) the abbreviation for English Defence League (far-right group). This abbreviation has not yet made it into Chambers.
25 Passed on a message to take back beer – without grain and duff head (7)
RELAYED – Put a three letter word for a type of grain around (without) a reversal (take back) a three letter word for beer and follow this with the first letter (head) of duff.
26 Turn over earth with a 18 (5,4)
WHITE HART – An anagram (turn over) of EARTH WITH A.
28 “Stocking any London gin?” “A bit!” (5)
NYLON – The answer is hidden (a bit) in ANY LONDON. The gin is superfluous to the the wordplay and is added only for the surface reading.
30 Right to pursue exercise, having good game (5)
POKER – The abbreviation for right goes after (to pursue) a two letter word for exercise inside which (having) you add a two letter word meaning good. I would have thought that the word for good more usually meaning fine or just acceptable.
31 Quickly spots something found on a Guinness label (4,5)
LOOK SHARP – A word meaning spots (I am not entirely convinced that the two are synonyms) followed by the musical instrument that forms part of the brand logo for Guinness.
1 Clipped wings on wildlife trip a long way away (4)
AFAR – Remove the outer letters (clipped wings) from a word for a wildlife trip.
3 Some oaf rang; I panicked, smelling of jasmine (10)
FRANGIPANI – The answer is hidden inside (some) OAF RANG I PANICKED.
4 Push in, if forced to have what’s left (6,2)
FINISH UP – An anagram (forced) of PUSH IN IF.
5 18 on the outskirts of Northampton poured wine (3,3)
NEW INN – … a pub name. An anagram (poured) of WINE goes on the outer letters (outskirts) of Northampton.
6/2 Wretched sorrow canned in a 18 (4,3,5)
ROSE AND CROWN – … a pub name. An anagram (three in a row!) (wretched) of SORROW CANNED.
7 Set about topless revelry (6)
ASSAIL – Remove the W from the beginning (topless) of a word meaning revelry.
8 18 finally allowed to decay (4)
BLET … a type of decay seen in fruit. The final letter of the answer to 18a followed by a word meaning allowed.
13 Smell we first encountered in rude lady’s private area (5)
BOWER – The abbreviation for body odour (smell) followed by the WE from the clue and the first letter (first encountered in) of rude.
15 Dolphin‘s 23 in here with smell of wine (10)
BOTTLENOSE – The container in which the answer to 23a may be contained followed by a word meaning the smell of wine.
16 A bit on the side in a 18? (5)
SALAD – The garnish that may accompany food in a pub.
19 Locks out prat found in a 18 (3,5)
BAR STOOL – … an item of furniture found in a pub. A four letter word meaning locks out followed by a derogatory word for a prat.
21 There are two blokes, right, outside a 18… (5,3)
ROYAL OAK … a pub name. Two boys names (the second a diminutive) followed by a word meaning right (also meaning good in 30a) around the A from the clue.
23 Clinician tattoos swallows (6)
DRINKS – The abbreviation for doctor (clinician) followed by a word for tattoos. This particular meaning is a modern usage that does not yet appear in Chambers.
24 Daintily have the last of melomel and whisky – without ice, at first (6)
NEATLY – The final letters (last of) of melomel (a fruit flavoured mead) and whisky after a word describing any form of drink that is not diluted with water.
26 Rub coin we hid (4)
WIPE – The way you would write one pence (coin) goes inside the WE from the clue.
27 Pay every sailor (4)
EARN – The abbreviation for each (or every) followed by an abbreviation for Royal Navy. As others have pointed out, the answer is a stretch as a synonym for pay. Also, although RN is the abbreviation for Royal Navy it is not usually used to describe a sailor in the way that AB or OS would be.
29 Drops catches (4)
NIPS – A double definition to finish. Drops as in a small amount of spirits and catches as **** in the bud.