The solution to my September puzzle can be found in this image, or with full explanations in the following video. Scroll down for further comments.
This crossword was published on the same day that The Chase started broadcasting new episodes on British TV, after their summer break of repeats. The regular cast members (minus a spattering of “the”s) can be found in the grid. 24d was the absolute giveaway of the theme (unless you’ve never watched it – in which case, fair enough!)
The first comment I got pointed out that I’d made a mistake… in 1a. Not a great start. Yes, strictly speaking “lisping” is wrong, and it should be “de-rhotacising”. Although there is a backup dictionary definition of “pronouncing incorrectly”, I have to hold my hand up and say oops there. I also have to thank Rhea for correcting my schoolboy French on 26a. (The video still features the original version of the clue.) Is it fair to have a French clue in an English puzzle? Perhaps that’s up for debate, but maybe it’s not fair that (as the clue ended up) you have to translate one part of the clue to get the wordplay required. That wasn’t true in the original clue, but then the original clue had incorrect French! *sigh* Okay, lesson learned… quadruple check any future French clues!
I improved 22d on the day before publication. Which is why I failed to spot that in the wordplay it duplicates an element of the answer to one of the other answers. Not a disaster, but a touch unsatisfying. Oh well, if any of you are deeply put out, please feel free to apply for a full refund. 😉
Meanwhile, my favourite clue was 27a, ‘cos it seems like I’m being horribly snarky, whereas I’m merely commenting on word origin. Honest. I also quite liked 14, merely for the extremely dated comedy reference. (See video for further explanation.) See also 25d. Near-obligatory cricket reference dedicated to Matt & Rachel.
The puzzle is also a pangram (contains each letter of the alphabet at least once in the solution). If you enjoyed it… gimme a RT, go on! 🙂
See you in October, folks. I’m on Twitter if you want to say hi.