A thematic cryptic by Biddle

This puzzle first appeared in the Christmas 1991 issue of Old England, a small-circulation magazine published for some regular attenders of the Proms. There are therefore plenty of musical and UK-specific references.

The answer to each across clue is one member of a partnership, and the other member should be entered in the grid; thus if an across clue led to MORECAMBE, you would enter WISE. The number in brackets after each across clue indicates the length of the answer to the clue, not the length of its partner. One partnership appears in full in the diagram, so there are 15 in all. These can be classified as: 2 pub names, 3 pairs of theatrical characters, 4 pairs of mythical characters, 5 titles of musical or theatrical works, 2 food and drink flavours, 1 phrase, 1 game, 1 sporting club, and 2 London locations. You've probably worked out by now that some partnerships fall into more than one category. Down clues are normal.

I've tried to ensure that given the answer to a clue and the length of the grid entry, there's only one possible partnership. Chambers will help with a few unusual words, and many of the partnerships can be found in Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.



1 Horny man or animal (4)
6 Sicilian shepherd is following trimmed laurel (7)
9 Sailor's wit (4)
10 Giant gives steed new tail (5)
11 Approximate or partially thorough (5)
12 Tramp's stupid in hiding place after 5 (8)
15 Home for a sponsor on the Monopoly board (9)
17 Knot found at one end of inverted tree-trunk (4)
20 Old African political organisation that's a conservation organisation (7)
21 Priam's son mixes rust and oil (7)
23 Type of iron the French found in stronghold (6)
25 Abridged history includes English giant (7)
27 Irish princess I betrayed to English (6)
29 Flower Donne laid carelessly (9)
30 The man eats fish for the virgin (3,6)
31 Maeterlinck character includes Frenchwoman in ballet dance (7)


1 Jump for scrap of food after Pag's partner (6)
2 Fix a settlement - I'm 7 (9)
3 King George, in any case, is furious (5)
4 Agile agent - that's about right (4)
5 Square old Henry is dominant (3)
6 Scan trots radically for differences in tone (9)
7 Prone to deception (5)
8 Ensnare perverted angel, 10 (8)
13 Fashions writing instruments (6)
14 Italian fell into barrel (6)
16 Simple knot has low frequency H in H after H (4-5)
18 Wired node wrongly for nocturnal insulator (9)
19 Arranged nothing in Arabic and French in front of 50s lout (8)
22 Block partner or rugby follower (6)
24 Elocution pupil returns street atlas to priest (5)
25 Egyptian god confuses 5 with old city (5)
26 A noise measurement for the fourth person (4)
28 Steal game (3)

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© Peter Biddlecombe 1998
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