R WATSON found this puzzle highly entertaining. Much of the pleasure has been of the post solving variety, and occasioned, at least for him, by the necessity of revisiting many of the clues for the purpose of writing this review. In truth, he was not in the best shape for the first phase, part of which was wasted in trying to find a solution for 7 Across by puzzling over the clue for 10 Across. That stupidity served at least to acquaint him with every word that would fit, including the eventual CLAG, not so very far removed from the entry for ‘clanger’.
7. A cut from golf club in the fringe? RAND (i.e. ‘R and (A)’; s.v. rand1) The ‘club’ here is not the looked-for piece of equipment, but The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.
10. Stick cut shin in striking noisily. CLAG (cla(shin)g) Extra homework, perhaps, for those who failed to solve correctly last month’s clue for SWIG. ‘Clap’ is the predicted mistake for those who fail to spot the similar construction of this clue, and merely guess. See also 28A below.
11. My lord appears thus when receiving one. RANDOMLY (an in anag. & lit.) Dr Watson hesitates to describe this as an ‘& lit.’ clue. The surface reading may have a religious interpretation in the context of defining our solution, but the arrangement of its letters is surely particular and not at all ‘random’, except, perhaps, in the listed sense of ‘irregular’, a saving grace.
17. Sickly one before being taken in by family of charitable US types. KIWANIAN (wan, i, a (ante), all in kin; s.v. Kiwanis) The key to understanding this clue lies in not reading ‘before’ as indicating that ‘one’ precedes ‘being’ in the cryptic indication. The true reading is ‘sickly’, ‘one’ and ‘before’, all ‘being taken in’ etc, with ‘before’ indicating ‘a’ for ‘ante ’.
19. King on phone abandoned former charm, showing aversion to empty spaces. KENOPHOBIA (K, anag., obia) This clue was published in the on-line versions missing its defining second clause. The newspaper carried the clue printed in full as shown above.
23. I’ll be hugged by a girl, briefly in love from day one. AB INITIO (I in ‘a bint’, i’, 0) The placing of the comma has a bearing on the reading of this clue’s surface. As it stands, the girl was in love only briefly, and so the lover’s expected hug may prove to be bitter-sweet.
28. Maître d’ forgetting central piece in oven? HEATER (i.e. hea(d wai)ter) Most solvers are expected to get this ‘homework special’ (see 10A above) correct, whether or not the connection with ‘head waiter’ was noticed. It would never do for our judge to get too ‘heated’.
32. Harrow? A girl won’t be finishing here. ALAS (i.e. ‘a las(s)’; s.v. harrow2) Harrow School remains resolutely boys-only. Set next to its solution, Azed’s clue suggests a touch of regret about that.
33. French painter, special: having made it, one’s in. INGRESS (Ingres, s) This clue is notable for its witty definition and reference to Ingres.
2. Steathily redo plays after one penned by playwright. À LA DÉROBÉE (a, anag., all in Albee) The playwright here is Edward Albee.
3. Some monetary units from a nation’s coffers. MANAT (hidden) Our solution is the name of the currency of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. The use of ‘coffer’ as a verb to indicate the inclusion of the hidden word is a most pleasing feature, and is well disguised in the surface as the more familiar noun.
5. Mixed dish keeps (not anti wine being included) HACHIS (Chi(anti) in has) Dr Watson took a while to read the surface correctly. One may imagine left-overs being fortified with wine not drunk, and kept for later. All were in agreement.
6. Lord and lady dividing fish on Japanese menu. ADONAI (Doña in ai; s.v. don1 & ayu) Lord and lady, definition and subsidiary - only teasing!
9. Not breathing easily, as NYPD found out about ultimate in sleaze. DYSPNEA (e in anag.) The reference to the New York City Police Department, besides providing anagram material, may be understood as hinting that our solution is the US spelling of ‘dispnoea’, and not necessarily to suggest any case of sleaze within its ranks, real or imagined.
14. Deals involving wavering trio - they betrayed fellow-Christians. TRADITORES (anag. in trades; s.v. tradition) Chambers has our solution listed under ‘tradition’ as an alternative plural form of ‘traditor’. Opera buffs may find the surface of this clue pleasingly apt.
21. Pressure lump on back of head: bind, restricting movement. PINION (P, inion) A very fine clue with its amusing surface reading of a grumpy complainant. Both parts suggest a simple cryptic indication, the latter proving actually to be the definition of ‘pinion’.
22. Don’s work perhaps that is held up in warehouse. HOEING (i.e. (rev.) in hong1) Dr Watson numbers himself amongst those who think that gardens should be seen and not ‘hoed’. One who knows better has advised that our gardening Don is most likely Monty Don, a television presenter on the subject, apparently.
25. Poet’s controlled rising worries. GNAWS (swang (rev.); s.v. swing.) ‘Swang’ is listed as a rare form of the past tense of ‘swing’ used by Wordsworth. The use of ‘swing’ itself to mean ‘control’ might seem pretty rare also, but it is listed.
Across: 1. SAMADHI (mad in sahi(b)) 12. RANI (Iran, 1st letter to last place) 13. OOBITS (boo (rev.), anag; s.v. woubit) 15. ADAR SHEN (ad, anag; s.v. Adar & Veadar) 18. BRADYSEISM (anag; s.v. brady-) 27. ICHNEUMON (anag.) 29. FORA (for, a; s.v forum) 30. IGNITION (I in noting, i (all rev.)) 31. DREW (hidden (rev.))
Down: 1. SCRAW (s, craw) 4. DROSKY (rd. (rev.), O, sky; s.v. droshky) 7. ROBINSON (B in roins, on; s.v. royne1) 8. AMID (M in aid) 16. ADENITIS (it in Adenis; s.v. Aden) 18. BRACHIA (anag. in ba(ck); s.v. brachium) 20. NICETY (The competition word) 24. SMORE (m in sore) 26. MANA (mana(gers); s.v. manage)