Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6270/Tees – The Two Ronnies

Posted by rightback on November 20th, 2006

rightback.

Solving time: 7:45

I really liked this puzzle on the theme of 11s (coincidentally the first clue I solved), though I wonder if I have missed some of the thematic references. A very slow bottom left corner for me, but overall nothing too difficult.

Beginners’ tips of the day: ‘river’ = EXE (or AIRE, CAM, DEE, ODER, PO, R, TAY, TEST, URE…); ‘for all to see’ = U (= ‘Universal’ film rating)

Across
9 MO’ + USE + rev. of PART – refers to The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie, the longest-running West End show. Mo’ for ‘more’ is Scottish, but I can’t remember seeing this in a daily crossword before.
11 A + V + anag. of GREEN
13 John STEED – played by Patrick Macnee in the 1960s TV show. I haven’t seen the programme but knew this name; Emma Peel, Steed’s sidekick, crops up occasionally in the dailies.
19 EX(PERT + IS)E
22 S(URGE)ON – I don’t really like this clue as ‘summoned’ is rather superfluous to the cryptic reading
23 A brilliant &lit, which means that the whole clue is both the definition and the wordplay. Here ‘All of a gallop:’ is the anagram indicator, the remainder of the clue the anagram and the whole clue a description of the quartet in question. I regret that this clue was completely wasted on me, I wrote in the answer from the enumeration (possibly with a subliminal hint from ‘gallop’ or ‘hoof’?).
24 THE + ME – the last clue I solved. Using ‘the’ in the clue is surprisingly deceptive, I fell for a similar trick in The Guardian recently (“Lifting the foot” = THEFT)
25 Anag. of S[hamefu]L and ANOTHER – I think this refers to Jack, although I am familiar only with Jim and Ronnie, whose classic miss from 1992 rivals the other Ronnie’s howler on Saturday.
Down
1 IMPA(rev. of BASS)LE
2 MULETEER – cryptic definition with a nice rugby surface (or was it, thematically, American Football?). I think I’ve seen a very similar clue somewhere earlier this year (Guardian?), which took me forever to get, but (probably because of this) I got this one straight away.
4 B + R + R + R – I think this is one of the few words of four letters to contain no vowel or Y that are permissible in Scrabble. Is BZZZ another? Or CWMS? I’m sure a Scrabble aficionado will enlighten us!
6 O + P(U + L)ENCE – complex wordplay but simple definition. For some reason I needed the former to solve this clue.
7 In The New 11s, Mike GAMBIT was played by Gareth Hunt… (go to 20)
8 MERE – This answer may be wrong as I don’t understand the purpose of ‘what is said’ in the clue, it seems to be just a straight double definition (‘only’ and ‘pool’).
18 EU + TROPHY – from the Greek eu meaning ‘good’, as in euphoria or euphobia (fear of good news)
20 (from 7) … and PURDEY was played by Joanna Lumley. I didn’t know either name, but both were guessable from the other parts of the clues.
22 SET + H – the third son of Adam and Eve. My last but one solve, very slow on this and it took me a while after stopping the clock to work out why ‘went down’ = SET (as in the setting Sun – obvious when you realise).

6 Responses to “Independent 6270/Tees – The Two Ronnies”

  1. says:

    I really struggled with this one until I found the theme – after that, everything fell into place fairly quickly – solving time 25 mins. Like rightback, was perplexed by MERE. Not too familiar with the (New) Avengers but had heard of Steed and a quick Internet search at the end verified all. It was a good idea to give easy clues to those names. I usually dislike v long anagrams and got the answer without referring to it – but this one is v good especially the “He”

  2. says:

    I queried the clue for MERE with Tees and he pointed out that the first part of the clue comes directly from the first definition in Chambers. I also requested and received simpler clues for Gambit and Purdey for the benefit of people unfamiliar with the TV series.

  3. says:

    Thanks eimi. I think this, and ‘more’ = MO’, might have confused a few gentlemen on the proverbial Clapham omnibus (GCOs?) today; both feel more like Listener devices to me. Like NMS I was grateful for the easier clues to Gambit and Purdey.

  4. says:

    I enjoyed this but I did struggle here and there – not helped by filling in AVENGER at 12A instead of 11A by mistake (I hate it when that happens – it puts me right off). I got the long anagram – like rightback – just from the enumeration and the ref to STEED. 2D was new to me as was 18D but that was easy to get from the wordplay.

  5. says:

    Another really enjoyable Independent puzzle, with the long &Lit anagram quite outstanding. I thought the clue for Steed very clever too, with the ‘bit’ joke.

    The ‘mere’ definition some others mention I found in Chambers exactly as written in the clue, with ‘pool’ the other half of the definition. It got me, though!

    The ‘summoned’ addition to 22 across I don’t mind either, as the clue parts in a sense ‘summon’ the quack. Laughed aloud at BRRR. ‘Late’ for ‘no longer in circulation’ I admired too. Took me about half an hour.

    Pretty damn good stuff, Tees.

  6. says:

    I gather that Independent crosswords are not available online, so for the benefit of anyone who didn’t see this puzzle, the full clue to ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ was:

    All of a gallop: here espy malefactors He put on hoof (3, 4, 8, 2, 3, 10)

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