Saturday, 20 December 2014

No.11271, Saturday 20 Dec 2014, The Phantom


This is a typical Phantom puzzle with well thought out stories in each clue. Ticked several including TICKER, DEARTH, OCCUPIED, ALLOWED, CHOOSE, BRANCH, DISC and EXCHANGE. I'm not sure if any theme of sorts is afoot. The only thing I noticed was that 5 answers end in ED and another 5 in ER. If you spotted something I didn't, pitch in.

ACROSS
8 Mountain pass with lofty and rugged peaks forming ring (6) COLLAR [mountain pass=COL + Lofty And Rugged] peaks might have worked better in a down clue?
9 Judge to investigate again, right from beginning to end (8) EXAMINER [investigate again=(r-)E EXAMINE(+R)]where does the first E go?
10 Quietly I would leave home for companionship (8) PRESENCE [quietly (softly?)=P + home=RESidENCE]
11 Bill’s lost head or heart? (6) TICKER [bill=sTICKER]
12 Need woven thread (6) DEARTH [THREAD]*
13 Busy copper spotted behind officer (8) OCCUPIED [officer=OC + copper=CU + spotted=PIED]
15 Beer to get over bad day is permitted (7) ALLOWED [beer=ALE outside bad=LOW + Day]
17 Without an iota of fear disproves theories (7) BELIEFS [Fear inside disproves=BELIES]
20 Blow hot and cold play is sensual (8) PHYSICAL [Hot Cold PLAY IS]*
22 Select champs according to report (6) CHOOSE [~champs=CHEWS]
23 A secretary involved in chatter about fruit (6) PAPAYA [A + secretary=PA inside chatter=YAP] <=
25 Condemned provost possessed grass? On the contrary (8) REPROVED [PROVost inside grass=REED]
26 Dazed Jules Verne’s traveller, Phileas at base, sleeping (8) BEFOGGED [Phileas=FOGG + base=E sleeping=in BED]
27 Decrypted code he copied (6) ECHOED [CODE HE]*

DOWN
1 Chime rings in valley (8) DOORBELL [rings=O O inside valley=DELL] not sure where 'RB' comes from see comments below
2 Girl’s jumper Mark found in campus’s vacant lecture halls (10) CLASSROOMS [girl=LASS + jumper=ROO + Mark inside CampuS] how do you see one jumper in multiple halls?
3 Bishop looked after church’s subdivision (6) BRANCH [Bishop + looked after=RAN + CHurch]
4 Create first day cover overlooking new leader … (7) DEVELOP [Day + cover=EnVELOP]
5 … bit weak nursing rear end convulsion (8) PARTICLE [weak=PALE outside reaR + convulsion=TIC]
6 One’s broken current record (4) DISC [one's=1S inside current=DC]
7 Difficult to continue by backing out (6) SEVERE [continue=PERSEVERE - by=PER]
14 … thinking hip’s mended, left very upbeat with operation, extremely happy (10) PHILOSOPHY [HIP* + Left + very=SO<= + OPeration + HappY]
16 Former champion’s short temper led to argument (8) EXCHANGE [former=EX + CHampion + temper=ANGEr]
18 Fellow’s unusually earnest for a screw! (8) FASTENER [Fellow + EARNEST*]
19 See, one in road free to wear nothing at all in American state! (7) FLORIDA [{see=LO + one=1 inside RoaD} inside nothing at all=FA] wouldn't one be 'on' the road?
21 Man with the runs swallowed bitter medicine perhaps (6) HEALER [man=HE + Runs outside bitter=ALE] 'the' is superfluous?
22 Photo returned by woman provides code (6) CIPHER [photo=PIC<= + woman=HER]
24 Excited to be visiting synagogue (4) AGOG [T]

Friday, 19 December 2014

No.11270, Friday 19 Dec 2014, xChequer


Devious as ever, but probably a wee bit easier than yesterday ;-) With xC, mere solving is but one step, the anno is a different ballgame altogether. 8d my COD

Across
7 Hands card with threat (6) MENACE (MEN ACE)
8 Cancelled plenty of shifts (8) OFFLOADS (OFF LOADS)
9 Chap mainly needed on machine breaking down (8) MECHANIC (Chap +MACHINE)* &LIT
10 Puts up with upright son (6) ERECTS (ERECT S)
11 Tough bow? Just the opposite (5) STERN (2) ref to bow of a ship
12 Paid for pleasure, ecstasy missing in the act (6) FUNDED (FUN DeED)
14 Resistance in essence comes to mere stonewalling, one at a time or in parallel (15) CORRESPONDINGLY (R in CORE(=essence) + POND= Mere stonewalling? in SINGLY=one at a time) See comments
17 Revolting act associated with a very old profession (6) AVOWAL (A V O LAW<)
18 Fancy display by an unknown entity (5) SHOWY (SHOW Y)
22 Condition requiring learner to wear scrubs (6) HEALTH (L in HEATH=scrubs)
23 Undecided hands overcome by inertia replaced (2,3,3) IN THE AIR (H in INERTIA*)
24 Inevitably execution has man getting axed (8) PERFORCE (PERFORmanCE)
25 Throw a fit to date man about town (6) SEETHE (SEE HE around T)
         Mohsin, couldn't help but remember you here ... ;-)
Down
1 School noticed holding record for cheating (9) DECEPTION (NOTICED* holding EP)
2 Marshal revealing gun to man pursued by Rangers (6) GATHER (GAT HE R)
3 Stands for instruments (5) MEANS (2)
4 Away at finish, journalist gets upset (8) OFFENDED (OFF END ED)
5 Model to wear clothes originally intended for a god (8) POSEIDON (POSE DON around Intended)
6 Notice to sit properly in passages for access (5) ADITS (AD SIT*)
8 Formerly used at the start in old novel, ancient poem (4,4,1,4) ONCE UPON A TIME (Used in Old (ANCIENT POEM)*)  phew!
13 Class in boxing with primarily young people in general going through a set of steps (9) FLYWEIGHT (Young WE (people in general) in FLIGHT=set of steps)
15 Touching upon each and every condition on earth in the practical world (4,4) REAL LIFE (RE ALL(each and every) IF(condition) Earth)
16 Extremely silly to keep mum if suffocating (8) SMOTHERY (MOTHER in SillY)
19 Paid careful attention to hours polling required (6) HEEDED (H nEEDED?) polling=cutting the horns/hair off.   Next time, I'm gonna ask my hairdresser to poll me. I hope he does not refer the dictionary and behead me! Watch this space!
20 Craft beer having distribution cap (5) BERET (BEER* T)
21 Band holds tickets initially in reserve (5) STASH (Tickets in SASH)