Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6263/Nimrod – W O N T O N C U D

Posted by petebiddlecombe on November 18th, 2006

petebiddlecombe.

I got confused about who was writing what and wrote stuff on both of last Saturday’s puzzles.  So this one is a duplicate… another excuse for putting it up is that I referred to links in it in a comment yesterday.

Solving time 10:23

This little conundrum is a super example of the fun that can be had with a theme. It’s all about COUNTDOWN, whose name belongs in capital letters.  I don’t know whether solvers of the syndicated Indy xwd in overseas papers got a different puzzle – if not, they could have been very baffled indeed.

So, Monopoly a couple of weeks ago, now Countdown – what game will we get next?  Faites vos jeux …

Across
1 CO(LLI)NS – ref. Michael Collins, an Irish Revolutionary leader, but really it’s this Collins, as 15/2 says.  Keep that link if you don’t know it – it’s the most useful free British dictionary on the web.
5/2 DESMOND LYNAM – anag. the old smoothie “housewife’s favourite” who was a great pick to take over from the late 29/18.  STOP PRESS: The Wikipedia entry on Countdown linked above reveals that he gives way to Des O’Connor just after Christmas.  Sorry Des, but I think I prefer Des.
9 ANNULUS – Lat. for ring. Looks as if there could be a cheekier(!) clue about another kind of ring…
10 CHOCTAW – 2 meanings – nice to see skating terminoloy making a fairly rare appearance
12 E,PAULETTE – the mathematical constant e is the base of natural logs.
15/21 DICTIONARY CORNER – where Susie is indeed found, along with this week’s celeb guest. Never quite sure how much of the “we found an 8″ is down to the celeb – my guess is that Susie does about 99% of the work. One of those thematic clues that’s just a plain def once the penny has dropped
19 TH(REEP=peer rev.)ENCE
22 OPIUM WARS – opium often being consumed in dens (so they tell me)
25/8 COUNT=noble, DOWNER=depressant, and the clues referred to include a countdown – THREEpence, neTWOrk, balONEy
28 RORQUAL = type of whale – hidden word.
29/18 RICHARD WHITELEY – the original host, who died in June 2005.
28 B(ALONE)Y = times = (multiplied) “by”. Nice bit of cheek.
 
Down
1 CHAMBERS – cryptic def. and this, with one from the top row, makes our ‘dictionary corner’.  You can search a Chambers dictionary for free on their website, but it’s their “21st Century Dictionary”, not the one used by crossword setters – they have to make money at some point!  Web skinflints should probably stick to the Collins one – just trying a couple of odd words from yesterday’s Times, it had oud and restharrow, on which the Chambers site drew a blank.
6 SPOO=oops rev.,L=lecturer
7 OUT(STAR)ED
16 C(UP,MARK)ED – cup marks are seen on Stone Age stones. Slightly desperate entry to let the theme words fit, but that’s easily forgiven.
23 MOOL=loom rev.,A – ‘moola’ is yet another slang term for money. My favourite is OOF, because of the wacky derivation – see Chambers
24 SCRUB – I think – don’t actually understand this one!
25 C,AROL = oral with vowels swapped. Brilliant inclusion of the things she dishes up to the contestants. I wonder whether the setter spent any time trying to get VORDERMAN into the grid? – Carol Vorderman looks like interesting anagram territory.

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8 + = fourteen