Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 876 by Quixote – Longer at the last two clues than all the others

Posted by nmsindy on December 1st, 2006

nmsindy.

All but two solved in 11 mins, 14 mins for those two making 25 mins in all.   7 across and 2 down which intersected – covered in notes below.   As always with Quixote, all fair, well-constructed and fully understood.     Practising what is preached in the Manual.

* = anagram
ACROSS
7 RIBOFLAVIN   One of my troublesome two, because I did not know the word   Rib of la(mb) “half cut” + vin (French wine – familiar and found in English dicts)
9  OBOE    OB = Old Boy  + one less n = note
11 ASTUTE  Needs a close cryptic look.  as = like + te = t(h)e “heartlessly”  “grasping”
i.e. holding TU leaders of trade union (first letters).  Would he have submitted this one
to the New Statesman?
14 TWITCH   Excellent surface.   The witch less the male (he)
15 LORD PRIVY SEAL  (lovers rapidly)*  Amusing surface.
18 DOPANT  Do + Pant
22 UNITES   E = English S = society  U = upper-class    nit = twit “initially” i.e. goes before es.  “Joins” is the definition

DOWN
2 ROGERS   The other of my troublesome two, in fact the more troublesome.  It’s (Ginger) Rogers, of musical and film fame, who I had heard of, but the difficult bit was “I understand” i.e. Roger which is what’s said when a radio message is received (and
understood).  I did know it, but took a while to work it out – a very satisfying final
solving moment.  s = son
5 TORTOISE  Another amusing surface    (Tories to)*
6 BOTTICELLI     Very famous artist  Beginning to booze = b    OTT = excessively    I repeatedly      Two Is holding cell i.e. exclusive party.   Another excellent surface.
16 REAL TIME  Hidden      “more than adequate” means you need just some of the letters (in order of course)
17 PUT ASIDE  (a dispute)*
20 ARABLE “fit for cultivation”  Arab = horse on lea = meadow less a “not a”
24 RIOT    Threesome, first to last = trio (move the first letter to the end)

Time to ask Santa – I find the Franklin (pocket-sized) Crossword Solver very useful, take it with me all the time, trains, planes etc.  Main feature – key in ?s and known letters and it cycles through all the options e.g. ?l?e gives blue, glee, etc.  I use it, when away from dicts for verification (is there such a word? Are there alternatives?) or if stuck.    Vocab is v wide.  It has other features also e.g. anagram solver and synonym lists for common words, but it’s the ? I use most of all.

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