Listener No. 4393: Vingt-et-un by Little Hare
Posted by Dave Hennings on 1 May 2016
Apologies for the late appearance of this blog, but it has been a bit of a hectic week for yours truly — golf, stag dos, dining out and theatre occupying more of my time than normal. [Here I must plug The Comedy about a Bank Robbery, currently playing in the West End. It’s from the same crew that gave us The Play that Goes Wrong which is still on. Both are hilarious.]
Back to the matter in hand, and no history for Little Hare since this is his first puzzle. Bravely, he admits to being a gambler, if only at vingt-et-un… or pontoon for those of us who play it for fun! The down clues here had to have two or three letters omitted before solving, so it seemed logical to attack the acrosses first, which I normally do anyway.
5 ICEBERG, 11 HONOURS and 13 RUE got me off to a good start. I decided to carry on with the acrosses, rather than get tempted by the intersecting downs. This turned out to be a bad move, since the rest weren’t as forthcoming, yielding only huit. The downs were a bit more rewarding, but not a lot, A nice round douze were slotted in. Unfortunately, 20dn Mardy, having dropped mobile taking tea outside, is madder (5) seemed like MAR
DY – M in CHA, but, although CHARA is a plant, it didn’t seem too have any connection with the madder family. I wrote it in anyway… shameful!
Solving sped up quite nicely then, and the down clues were great fun to unravel. My favourites were:
BONZERS (top, Australian) holding R
|10dn||GEEK||Athenian possibly spurning run
GREEK – R (run)
|23dn||EAST CAPE||Let him take nibble of éclair after te
CAP (let him) + E after TEAS*
|15ac||GANOINE||Bacharach maybe loses weight on curried peeled mangos: it’s evident on scales (7)
WINE (Bacharach, maybe) – W after [M]ANGO[S]*
Nothing to do with Burt, still going and soon to be 88
|32ac||Spin first in low court (3)