Machines are so clever today and even the simplest seem to have computers inside them. Of course computers can do all the thinking for you, but occasionally it’s good to insist on human independence. That’s when we have to tell the machine that we’re in charge – just a little bit – and dial our options for a change …
As usual answers to the clues can be guessed individually but are much easier once you have worked out the group to which they all belong.
1. The two real first experts of this fictional harsh mistress departed in 2012.
2. Both first and best – unless you count the modern propensity to add stars.
3. Ban the sight of the third of four gods.
4. A web paragraph of a green fruit*, essential for early explosions. *technically
5. Even though it is right in front of you, seeing the nearest can be quite difficult.
6. Confused with both e and f this sums to a simple shape whose model is available to all excepting the Irish and Kiwis.
7. To Charles Darwin they were an abominable mystery whilst his grandfather described them in verse. A close view is often favoured by the best photographers.
8. Whilst the seventh realised that a printer’s measure would suffice, the naval officer insisted that his single letter designation be represented by a macho word.
9. Like a Bolt from the gods?
10. It’s a time for shepherds and low frequency light.
11. Modern examples could be blamed on Italy and India – but note that this ‘modern’ may go back as far as T. rex.
12. Despite all the above, more or less, and ignoring those who have an average television replacing two of them, those machines, probably hiding an ARM computer or two, are usually entirely in charge.