Colossus 136 - The Judge Sums Up
in the shop
Let’s start with clue 169dn in the Stinker, which was a little ambiguous. ‘Stores’ suggests a few different answers including two that fitted the spaces on our grid; the noun SHOPS, places you buy things, or the verb STOWS, stashes away. We accepted both answers.
One of the world’s endangered animals is a Himalayan creature called a Hispid Hare. The hare is so named because of its bristly coat. Stinker clue 72ac was ‘Covered with bristles’ and needed HISPID as the answer. HISUID and HISHID were incorrect.
At 63dn the ‘Dramatist’ was ‘BERTOLT Brecht’ not BERTOIT or BERTORT. This German playwright and poet is perhaps best remembered for his collaboration with Kurt Weill on the satirical musical, The Threepenny Opera. One of the songs from the show, the murder ballad known as Mack The Knife, has been recorded many times since its creation in the 1920s.
Intrepid is a word that is quite well-known; an intrepid explorer is one who is fearless even while facing unknown dangers. The word comes from the Latin trepidus meaning alarmed or anxious and so the lesser-known TREPID was the answer to 35dn ‘Quaking’. TREVID and TREMID
‘Jot’ was the clue at 87ac and while a simple little word, it did cause some trouble. Jot means to write down quickly and briefly. By extension it means a little bit, especially in the phrase, “I don’t care a jot”. WHIT has a similar meaning and was the answer we were looking for. CHIT means a voucher for food or drink, a memorandum, or an impudent girl.
For 136dn ‘Kin’ both RELATIVES and RELATIONS seemed to be suitable, but only RELATIVES would fit with 186ac APE for ‘Tailless primate’.
At 76dn the clue ‘Do penance’ needed EXPIATE. The second part of expiate shares its Latin root word pius with pious, which we might clue as ‘devout’ or ‘reverent’. EXPLANE, is unfortunately not a word , perhaps those who opted for this were thinking of EXPLAIN.
A few simple spelling errors to note include CHARLATON, which needed to be CHARLATAN for ‘Quack’ at 15ac, INADVERTANT, which needed to be INADVERTENT for ‘Unwitting’ at 129dn and USERER, which needed to be USURER for ‘Greedy moneylender’ at 291dn.
Over in the Giant Cryptic and 61dn was ‘Centre area of club is a candy store? (5,4)’. The answer was SWEET SPOT, the clue containing two meanings. A sweet spot on a golf club, tennis racquet or bat is the centre area from where the most effective shots are made. A sweet spot could also be a place to sell ‘candy’. A couple of entries had SCENT SPOT.
We had a lot of discussion about 63ac as many different answers appeared in entries including IFS, ITS and ILS. The ins and outs of something are the intricacies or details, so INS was the answer to ‘Half of the finer details’.
In Cashwords entries we noticed quite a few blank squares. This can easily happen when you leave a letter to check the spelling in a dictionary and then forget to go back and fill it in. It’s a shame to do all the work of filling in the answers to then be disqualified for one or two blank squares. So, a friendly reminder from our judges to recheck your entries before posting.
‘Narrow river crossing’ at 1dn was FORD not FEED and ‘Unlatch’ at 157ac was UNBOLT not UNBELT.
‘Be an omen of’ at 61ac needed BODE not MODE, RODE or CODE. I could say that this didn’t bode well for the rest of the Cashwords, but that would seem a bit cruel!
There were two acceptable spellings at 132dn. ‘Car’s petrol-mixing device’ was either CARBURETTOR or CARBURETTER.
‘Soundest of mind’ at 71ac was SANEST not SAFEST and 141dn ‘Happiest’ was CHEERIEST, not CHEEKIEST. For both these answers I am reminded of that strange idiom, ‘close but no cigar’, meaning your worthy efforts unfortunately fall just short and receive no reward.
The expression, which was used in the 1935 film of Annie Oakley, apparently comes from a time in the US when cigars were given out as fairground prizes.
I’m sure you eager-beavers are all as keen as mustard to tackle the next lot of contests. May you fare well in your quest for the sweet smell of victory!