Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23951/Shed

Posted by neildubya on December 23rd, 2006

neildubya.

Is it my imagination or do we not see Shed as often as we used to? He’s usually ranked at the harder end of the Guardian scale of difficulty but I never seem to struggle with his puzzles like I do with some of the other harder setters – maybe I’m just tuned in to his wavelength. There was a lot of good stuff in this, as there is in all of Shed’s puzzles.

Across
1 P,LIGHT
5 EG,G,S,LICE – “swamped” deceived me for a while as I thought it was indicating a container clue.
10 N in AGORA – an agora in ancient Greece was a public space used for markets.
11 (DIM BUT EROTIC)* – the fodder screamed “anagram” to me. The phrase is Latin for an “incidental remark” but is also used in law.
13 CHAD – a reference to the “hanging chad” scandal in the 2000 US Presidential election.
14 (e)RE(A)CTION – ever so slightly saucy.
17 ST,URGE,ON – I’m sure I’ve seen this before, on more than one occasion.
20 HUBBLE-BUBBLE – a reference to opening lines of “Macbeth” and Edwin Hubble  of telescope fame.
24 I DO LATER
25 B,RAN WEll – a reference to the lesser known member of the Bronte family.
26 DIES,EL – I didn’t know that “EL” meant an elevated railway but I had D?E?E? and with a fairly straightforward definition it’s not too tricky.
 
Down
3 (WRONG DUPE)* – nice &lit clue.
4 TALL,IS – a reference to Thomas Tallis.
5 (EAR REEL PUNTER IN)* – another clue whose surface shouts “Anagram!” but this is a pretty tough one to get.
6 RD in (IGUANA)* – nice to see this word defined as something other than “we” or “us” in this particular newspaper.
7 GI in COL< – some may frown at LOC for Passover (pass over) but with an easy definition and some help from checking letters it’s not a hard word to get so I think it’s fair enough.
8 CORN,U(C)OPIA – nice idea but I’m not sure that the surface really holds.
15 W in ELBA in ERAT(O)< – again, the surface reading doesn’t do much for me.
21 BLAIN – “blaine”. I guessed this as I’d never heard of, or had, this particular ailment. A reference to David Blaine.
22 GENE – another guess, although I had heard heard of Bishop Gene Robinson.

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9 + = twelve