On the Rocks by Dipper
Posted by shirleycurran on 6 September 2013
What have we here? One of the Listener tipsy setters coming clean and admitting his love of the hard stuff ‘on the rocks’? But no, it’s Dipper. Isn’t he the one who lounges in his deck chair admiring his garden and inflicts his horticultural passion on us solvers every now and then? I check for the alcohol and sure enough, there’s RAKI (Spirit of Dvorak’s coda in music – K in RAI) but not much else – there are fish in his barrel (Bucket or barrel containing fish – BL round AI) and breadsticks (Grand Italian composer’s one for ordinary breadsticks – G + ROSSINI with I for O) and ONIONS and IMIDE (Translator swallowing this organic compound would be more apprehensive [t]IMIDE[r]): those seem to be the sum-total of his rather monotonous diet.
Nice clues though! We solve with astonishing speed and barely a moan. Soon we have all but four of the solutions and have already managed to get the skeleton of a grid by luckily putting INHARMONIOUS, REDEMPTORIST, NOCTILUCENT and PERSONALISM in the right places. It was fairly clear to us from the start what was going to happen. We had no other 11-letter or 12-letter clues, so clearly those spaces that were to become rocks would intervene. There was only one place that GRISSINI could go. In it went and the grid fill took us about ten minutes with the happy appearance of IMPS and ONIONS as we filled the spaces.
Mrs Bradford explained the clue to me. Of course PIMPS are solicitors and IMPS were shoots (Shoots once – eliminating leader of solicitors) but I still don’t understand the ONIONS clue (Heads of Province and government number crunchers). Please explain somebody!
STATER was our final solution. We knew, by now, that we need to find our last misprint there and, of course, it gave us an I (CORN/COIN is vegetable = ‘S TATER Hmmmm! Amusing but just a little mutter of disapproval!) so that we had RTENSEGI as our seven letters. We had assumed that the ‘Old woman parking in park’ gave us a PARK/PART misprint. How easy it is to wander up a garden path (especially with Dipper!) From the start we had convinced ourselves that the extra rock was going to be GRANITE, so we had happily accepted that T. A rethink gave us PARE as a far more convincing definition for CHIP so that our correct letters RENSEGI now produced GREISEN – a far more satisfactory conclusion.
I wonder why that extra rock was there at all, sitting outside Dipper’s garden fence. I suppose the Editors must have insisted that some sort of end game was necessary to render this just a mite more difficult. I wonder whether there will be any despairing submissions that take a long shot at GRANITE.
This was a bit of gentle Friday fun. Thank you, Dipper.