Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman 3136/Gently bestial

Posted by ilancaron on November 12th, 2006

ilancaron.

Solving time: probably 35’ total with lots of interruptions

Everyman grew up in the post-war Observer as Ximenes’s relatively easy puzzle. His guidelines (as I just learned in his “Art of the Crossword”) included straightforward vocabulary and as per usual fairness. This puzzle is a good example: only two answers (6D, 7D) forced me to use 16D in order to check their meaning. Suppose you could say has a bestial theme given: HOODIE, PALM CIVET, COLLARED DOVE, AIREDALE.

Across

1 R+WANDA – There’s a girl called Wanda – not just a fish.
4 SLIPS+HO(l)D – Cricket-saturated clue: SLIPS are cricket fielders and then subtract “l” from a word meaning keep.
9 PARIS – Matthew Paris is a 13th century chronicler. [Thanks to PeterB for this tidbit] [Fixed link: Mon Nov 13, 2006]
12 OLIGARCHIES – anag(“oil charge is”). Nice and topical given the extraordinary wealth being generated, probably criminally, in Russia.
13 COLLARED DOVE(r) – Another subtraction clue: take “r” away from a well-known port. I had to check 16D to reinforce my suspicion that there was such a fowl.
23 ARIS(TOT+L)E – the “close” of “cardinal” gives us the L – “cardinal and philosopher” is nice and misleading (I’m sure there have been those who’ve been both).

Down

2 AIRED+ALE – Couple of idioms here: AIREDALE given its v. common letters crops up frequently in cryptics as a dog or Yorkshire-related. I’ve never ordered porter frankly and I wonder how many bartenders would recognize it as ale.
6 PALM C+I+VET – Had to check 16D for this beast: but the wordplay was eminently fair and led to the answer given P?L? C????T.
7 HOOD + IE – 16D reports that HOODIE is a kind of crow.
16 CHAMBERS – inevitable double meaning and v. familiar to regular cryptic solvers.
19 HOSIER – anag(“or is he”): a bit weak since “shopkeeper” is such a big set. The question mark: “or is he?” is thus necessary.

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