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Times 10300, retro puzzle, May 1963
Solving time: About 30 minutes

Don’t like the retro puzzles much; but it’s at least an indication of how times have changed in the cruciverbal world since I was about to come up to my 11th birthday when unsignalled anagrams, absent literals, quotation completions and general puns were fair game. Didn’t bother with the timer.

The Club site does not include today’s (actual) first qualifier; but says it’s “available online as a pdf”. If I can find it, then I’ll post a blog when the qual. period closes; which I assume will be next Thursday 23rd May. If not ... not.

1 BUBBLES. A famous painting by Millais from the 1860s. Used to see this on visits to the Lady Lever Gallery. Well worth the trip if you’re into the Pre-Raphs.
5 BAGGAGE. A rather dated and derogatory term for a cheeky gal.
9 YARDS. Two defs; one given by a customary adjective.
10 ELEVENSES. Rather assumes that one breakfasts at 9:00. Those were the days.
11 ON THE SPOT. I suppose a reference to the phrase ‘spot on’.
12 TENSE. Two defs again; the first slightly loose.
13 TUBBY. Two jokes — one about the shape of the boat, the other about the shape of the rower.
15 ORPINGTON. Two defs. This bit of history explains one of them.
18/19 BREAKNECK SPEED. Where ‘late’ = dead.
21 AS,SAM.
23 VIRGINALS. On the assumption that there were wise and foolish virgins in the parable (Matthew 25:1-13).
25 PUNCTILIO. An unsignalled anagram.
26 AM,ICE. Not sure how the civil engineer figures here. But someone will know.
27 EXPOSES. Two defs (one loose); or cryptic def?

1 BOY,COTT. And just about a year before Geoff’s test debut (31st May 1964). Little did they know!
2 BIRD-TABLE. Another pun.
3 LISLE. A kind of thread (twist). If ‘addicted’ is an anagram indicator, it’s an interesting one. Any of our regulars doing the Twist in 1963?
4 SHEEPCOTE. A kind of distraction clue assuming we might take ‘flock’ as a verb.
5 BREST. Cf ‘breast’?
6 GREETINGS. More humour.
8 EASTERN. Had to Google this to be sure. It’s all here.
14 YOKEMATES. A pun on ‘yolk’ and there’s no literal!
16 POKERWORK. Another pun.
17 THERAPIST. Ditto.
18 BRAN-PIE. Husky (substance) = BRAN + ‘bird’ = PIE. Dipper?
22 SUN-UP. In fact?
23 VALES. Another def by adjective. Vales are depressions.
24 IDAHO. Where ‘make’ is probably the indicator.


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