May 2013 Monthly Crossword
Around The Outside

The thematic entries, appropriately around the outside of the grid, are only tangentially clued and must be deduced. A couple of hints to the theme appear elsewhere.


Across:
1.1: liquid solid (9)
6. Sustenance provided by ally, mostly (3)
8. Chap is on the rebound with first romance (3)
10. A Parisian's vulgar piece of text was in error (7)
11. Civilization is preserved? (5)
12. Boy bounds boys better (5)
13. Alternate squares caught man with two queens (7)
14. Language current, right? That's his problem (5)
16. Ball play missing, left to youth with skill (4)
17. Energy, girl heard, is obtained from cake (6)
19. Right after laugh I get back to the ladies (5)
22. It grows from unusual cotton seeds in Yankee state (5)
24. Caused to cackle at Clio caught in commercial? (6)
25. Hot fumes at first generating tear (4)
26. Bite head of Nosferatu, in case (5)
29. Copper's nearly completely positioned by electricity charge (7)
30. Twig from rose entwined about tip of iris (5)
31. Mostly X right after space key (5)
32. Very excited in place with hearth (7)
33. Lapse from the straight and narrow's present (3)
34.Magazine headline missing from House and Garden (3)
35.3: child (9)
Down:
2. Bum guess incorporates answer (6)
3. Chewing over exercise in arithmetic? (6,9)
4. Urged to get natural gas re-installed - that's sweet (10,5)
5. On time railway learned (8)
6.4: end (8)
7. Way to interpret characters while caught in introspection, primarily (5)
8. Chap calls around about coat (7)
9.Action of 2 (4)
15. Summon, urge, entreat - primary definitions (3)
18.2: selector (8)
20. Adjust again the proper gin usage (7)
21. Indian lady (mother) greeting, embracing a shot (8)
23. Nestling in your nest, it could keep your loved ones? (3)
26. A crucial element of Fairisle eveningwear? (6)
27.A need for this to be omitted by Cockney? (5)
28.4: group (4)

Explanations

The theme of the puzzle was Richard Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung to mark to 200th anniversary of his birth in 1813. The four parts of the Cycle were referred to in a ring around the outside of the grid.

With regards to the additional hints, the initial letters of clues 13a to 25a gave ALBERICH, the central character of the Ring Cycle. A similar device was intended to be in place for clues 20d to 26d to give RING, but the setter apologises that a couple of careless last minute clue changes somewhat broke the pattern. Hopefully this did not spoil your enjoyment of the puzzle.

Across
  1. Part 1 of The Ring Cycle: RHINE (liquid) + GOLD (solid) => RHINEGOLD
  2. TEAM (ally) mostly => TEA (sustenance)
  3. SI (is on the rebound) + R (first Romance) => SIR (chap)
  4. UN (a Parisian) + MEAN (vulgar) + T (piece of Text) => UNMEANT (was in error)
  5. IN CAN (is preserved?) => INCAN (civilization)
  6. ED (boy) containing (bounds) MEN (boys) => EMEND (better)
  7. C (caught) + HE (man) + QU and ER (two queens) => CHEQUER (alternate squares)
  8. I (current) + R (right) + ISH (his problem) => IRISH (language)
  9. ABLL (ball play) minus L (missing left) + Y (youth) => ABLY (with skill)
  10. E (energy) + CLAIR (girl = Clare heard) => ECLAIR (cake)
  11. R (right) following HA (laugh) + ME (I) backwards (get back) => HAREM (the ladies)
  12. UC (Unusual Cotton seeds) contained in Y (yankee) + CA (state) => YUCCA (it grows)
  13. MUSE (Clio) contained (caught) in AD (commercial) => AMUSED (caused to cackle at)
  14. H (hot) following GAS (fumes at first) => GASH (tear)
  15. N (head of Nosferatu) contained in SACK (case) => SNACK (bite)
  16. CUS (copper's) + AL (nearly completely=all) following (positioned by) AC (electricity) => ACCUSAL (charge)
  17. OSER (rose entwined) containing I (tip of Iris) => OSIER (twig)
  18. TE (mostly X=ten) + R (right) after EN (space) => ENTER (key)
  19. AT (in place) + INGLE (hearth) => ATINGLE (very excited)
  20. S ('s) + IN (present) => SIN (lapse from the straight and narrow)
  21. HOME (house) minus M (Magazine headline missing) => HOE (garden)
  22. Part 3 of The Ring Cycle: (Mime's foster) child => SIEGFRIED
Down
  1. HUNCH (guess) containing A (answer) => HAUNCH (bum)
  2. NUMBER (arithmetic) + CRUNCHING (chewing) => NUMBER CRUNCHING (cryptic reference, &lit)
  3. Anagram (re-installed) urged + natural gas => GRANULATED SUGAR (that's sweet)
  4. LIT (on) + ERA (time) + RY (railway) => LITERARY (learned)
  5. Part 4 of The Ring Cycle: end => TWILIGHT
  6. AS (while) + initials (primarily) Caught In Introspection => ASCII (way to interpret characters)
  7. HE (chap) contained in SLLAC (around about) => SHELLAC (coat)
  8. Part 2 of The Ring Cycle: action => RIDE
  9. Initials (primary) Summon, Urge, Entreat => SUE (&lit)
  10. Part 2 of The Ring Cycle: selector => VALKYRIE
  11. REAL (proper) + IGN (gin usage) => REALIGN (adjust again)
  12. MA (mother) + HI (greeting) containing (embracing) A + RAN (shot) => MAHARANI (Indian lady)
  13. Contained (nestling) in yoUR Nest => URN (it could keep your loved ones)
  14. Contained (crucial element) of FairiSLE EVEningwear => SLEEVE (&lit)
  15. A + ITCH (need) => AITCH (omitted by Cockney)
  16. Part 4 of The Ring Cycle: group => GODS

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