The Many Confoundings from the 27th of February

28 across: Gums capable of creating steam? (9)

The answer is messmates. I can only think there’s been a misprint somewhere, because this one seems absolutely nonsensical.

19 down: School master for the classroom, perhaps? (7)

Supposedly, the answer is anagram. Again, I’m not convinced given the clue.

25 across: Rommel’s coy reply when asked for his battle motto? (5)

The answer is Erwin, which is Rommel’s first name, but I just need confirmation that er win = coy reply when asked for battle motto.

1 down: Resign from computing? Vice versa, with facility nausea? (10)

The answer: queasiness; the explanation: missing.

15 across: Glaring back at tree knot (4)

The internet tells me that knar = tree knot, but what does that have to do with glaring back at?

4 down: In place, practically arctic outside (7)

Here, in = popular and arctic outside = polar, but what about pu and place, practically?

16 down: High school class regarding fresh salmon movements? (8)

OK, salmon movements = upstream and high = up; the rest, though?

13 thoughts on “The Many Confoundings from the 27th of February

  1. 28 across: I had to google this one to confirm.” Messmate” can mean a type of cargo ship, hence “steam” and also a group of rough -barked eucalypts ( I kid you not) hence “gums”
    19 down: this is pure DA genius! “school master” is an ANAGRAM of ” the classroom”. Extremely clever.
    1 down: another golden moment from DA. Resign from computing = “Quit” from “IT” If you reverse this you get “IT” from “Quit” whicn leaves you with the letters “QU”. Then with facility = “EASINESS” you get QUEASINESS = nausea.
    15 across: “rank” as in “rank stupidity ” = glaring or obvious.
    4 down: place = “put” practically = “pu” + arctic = “polar” outside gives “popular” or “in”.
    ( By the way I thought the Tito’s piercing clue the funniest I’ve seen in ages)

  2. 28 across: Gums capable of creating steam? (9)

    This clue sold me a gummy dummy. Figured the answer must be messmates = gums, and that creating steam = mates, but I couldn’t work out how capable gave mess. Never would have guessed a messmate is a steam ship.

    25 across: Rommel’s coy reply when asked for his battle motto? (5)

    “Er, win” is a reserved (coy) way of exhorting his troops to victory with “er” used like “er, excuse me”, “er, thank you” or “er, sorry about that, Chief.”

  3. I reckon 14A and 21D (‘Sex-cell scandal engulfs compiler: ‘scandal’ =gate as in Watergate and ‘compiler’ = DA = me gives gamete = sex-cell), should go down as one of the most excruciating clues ever, along with ’14A Tito’s piercing’.
    I found it a very challenging puzzle, so can someone enlighten me on the significance of vice versa in 1D: on 10A (I read it as (s)ped+agog+ue – what’s the ‘ue’?) and 23D.

  4. 16D. A School Class is simply a ‘stream’ (ie the choice of a group of classes)

  5. Gums = messmates, while messing up the letters of “mates” can produce steam.

    Place = up, and “up practically” is pu: inside polar = popular

    High = up; school class can be a “stream” (eg the specialist maths stream); and upstream is the direction of spawning “fresh” salmon …

  6. I got this one out, albeit with many confusions which the comments from everyone have now clarified.

    10A: Teacher ran topless, bewildered by speech (9)
    I think “by speech” is the “sounds like” indicator, so “bewildered by speech” = “sounds like agog” = agogue, which means there must be a word that ends in “ped” that means ran. I can only think of “loped”!?

  7. 15A: Glaring back at tree knot.
    glaring = rank (eg: a rank error). Rank back = knar

    4D: place = put. put, practically (not quite all of it) = pu

  8. Ah, yes. sped = ran is much better than loped = ran. Only one letter needs to be cut off rather than two (which would not be quite kosher).

  9. To answer JG’s queries:
    1D: For the significance of “vice versa”, see AL’s comments (two responses earlier).
    23D: Long = “itch”, snag = “hitch” (pronounced “itch” in London’s East End)

  10. Though I got the answer, I feel like 14A has a little error. I took it as “Tit” “o”, making the ‘s is superfluous to the clue ??

    PS: I have to agree about 19D – genius to mess with the usual structure (and an awesome anagram to boot!)

  11. panda – the ‘s equals “is”, in this case, a suitable linking word

  12. Yes, ‘s could equal “is”, but I think in this case it’s more elegant to think of it as indicating the possessive. After all, with a name like Tito, if he’d had a piercing, it’d just have to be a nipple ring! A brilliant clue.

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