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Independent 10,680 / Wire
It has been a long time since it has fallen to me to blog a puzzle by Wire.
I found this to be an enjoyable, not overly taxing, puzzle to kick off my blogging duties in 2021.
As today is Tuesday, a theme is to be expected, and this one is easier to spot that many: the grid contains many references to wine, how it is made and how it is consumed. Indeed, a rather impressive amount of thematic content has been accommodated in the grid.
My last-ones-in today were the intersecting entries at 6, 11 and 13, the first two of which were unfamiliar to me but could be worked out satisfactorily from the wordplay.
My favourite clues today were 4, for the use of “pitchers”, which kept me guessing for ages; 13, for making me smile when the penny finally dropped; and 12 and 23, both for smoothness of surface.
*(…) indicates an anagram; definitions are italicised; // separates definitions in multiple-definition clues
01 DOCILE Easy to manage stealing note from abode
DOCILE (=abode); “stealing note (=mi)” means letters “mi” are dropped
04 CHAMPERS Posh stuff husband put into pitchers
H (=husband) in CAMPERS (= “pitchers”, i.e. those pitching tents!)
10 MARVELLED Comic publisher left, editor was amazed
MARVEL (=comic publisher) + L (=left) + ED (=editor)
11 SOAVE Verona’s drop of espresso average
Hidden (“of”) in “espresSO AVErage”; Soave is a dry, pale white wine from a small region east of Verona, hence “Verona’s drop (of alcohol)”
12 JUST Succeeded in project by a whisker
S (=succeeded, in obituaries) in JUT (=project, stick out); e.g. I just made it = I made it by a whisker
13 TRANSACTOR Player who’s perhaps switched sides gets negotiator
Cryptically, a player (“actor”) who’s perhaps switched sides, i.e. had a sex change, could be described as a “trans-actor”!
15 HARVEST Gathering hears TV broadcast
*(HEARS TV); “broadcast” is anagram indicator
16 CHEESE Briefly applaud south-east Cheshire maybe
CHEE (=applaud; “briefly” means last letter dropped) + SE (=south-east)
19 SWOOPS Sorry after empty show nosedives
SW (“empty” means all but first and last letters are dropped + OOPS (=sorry, as exclamation)
21 POLEMIC Staff getting bug possibly creates controversy
POLE (=staff, rod) + MIC (=bug possible, i.e. a hidden microphone)
25 MEAD Mother recalled swallowing energy drink
E (=energy) in MAD (DAM=mother, of horse; “recalled” indicates reversal)
27 ALIBI Bimbo regularly interrupts boxer’s defence
IB (“regularly” means alternate letters only) in ALI (=boxer, i.e. Muhammad Ali)
28 TABLE WINE Ordered new balti and eastern booze
*(NEW BALTI) + E (=Eastern); “ordered” is anagram indicator
29 TREATISE Free entertainment is essentially cheap work
TREAT (=free entertainment, i.e. paid for by someone else) + IS + E (“essentially” means middle letter only)
30 GUTROT In Rhineland, it’s good red plonk
GUT (=good, in German, hence “in Rhineland”) + ROT (=red, in German); gutrot is rough, cheap alcohol, hence “plonk”
01 DEMIJOHN Bottle stars Moore and Travolta
DEMI (=Moore, i.e. American actress) + JOHN (=Travolta, i.e. American actor)
02 CORKSCREW Irish County’s team opener
Cork’s (=Irish county’s) + CREW (=team)
03 LEES Python discovered in sediment
LEES (=Python, i.e. John Cleese, from Monty Python’s Flying Circus); “dis-covered” means first and last letters are dropped
05 HEDONIC Bacchanalian party held by female in charge
[DO (=party) in HEN (=female)] + I/C (=in charge); hedonic is a synonym for hedonistic
06 MUSCADELLE Contractor stores one key grape
[A (=one) + DEL (=key, i.e. DELETE on a keyboard)] in MUSCLE (=contractor); muscadelle is a white wine grape variety
07 EXALT Praise old sailor having had tip-off?
EX- (=old, former) +
ALT (=sailor; “having had tip-off” means first letter is dropped)
08 SHERRY Wander into quiet yard – it’s fortified
ERR (=wander) in [SH (=(be)quiet) + Y (=yard)]; sherry is fortified wine
09 CLARET Somewhat better alcohol to be served up
Hidden (“somewhat) and vertically reversed (“to be served up”) in “betTER ALCohol”; semi-& lit.
14 OENOLOGIST Expert one got Lois in a state
*(ONE GOT LOIS); “in a state” is anagram indicator; an oenologist is a wine expert
17 SOMMELIER Waiter weaving more lies around top of menu
M (“top of” means first letter only) in *(MORE LIES); “weaving” is anagram indicator; a sommelier is a wine waiter in a restaurant
18 ACID TEST Ultimate decider of a police departmental match?
Cryptically, “a CID (=Criminal Investigations Department) test” could be described as a police departmental match
20 SPRITES Elvish folk spin in places
PR (=spin, i.e. public relations) in SITES (=places)
21 PASS BY Ignore ticket on unoccupied Bentley
PASS (=ticket, permit) + BY (“unoccupied” means all but first and last letters are dropped)
22 DECANT Transfer cycling Geordie duo on the box
ANT and DEC are a “Geordie duo on the box”; “cycling” indicates that the two names are swapped round
24 OVINE Sheepish bearer of grapes bearing nothing
O (=nothing, pictorially) + VINE (=bearer of grapes)
26 PERU Paddington’s home page initially enrages rail union
P (=page) + E R U (“initially” means first letters only are used); Paddington Bear originates from Peru in the children’s stories by Michael Bond
Independent 10.680 / Wire
Kuye kwaba isikhathi eside ngoba uwile kimi Ukubloga indida ngokudonsa Wire.
Ngathola lo ukuba ujabulise, hhayi ngokweqile unzima, iphazili ukuqalisa imisebenzi yami ukubhuloga ku 2021.
Njengoba namuhla ngoLwesibili, ingqikithi kulindelekile, kanti lena ingcono lula ukuzibona ukuthi abaningi: kugridi iqukethe likhuluma kaningi ngewayini, yenziwa kanjani futhi kanjani it yokuqothulwa. Ngempela, imali kunalokho umxhwele okuqukethwe thematic iye izinkudla kugridi.
My last-abathandekayo-e namuhla kwakungamadodana intersecting okufakiwe at 6, 11 no-13, nabantwana bami ababili bokuqala zazo babengasazi kimi kodwa angase saveza ngokugculisayo kusukela ubuciko benkulumo enomqondo ofanayo.
My imikhondo ozithandayo namuhla babe 4, ngoba ukusetshenziswa “nemiphanda”, okuyinto Ungigciné ukuqagela abaneminyaka engu; 13, ngokungenza ngikwazi smile lapho ekugcineni penny kwehla; futhi 12 no-23, kokubili olubushelelezi surface.