Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6303/Phi – 15dn + 9ac – 10ac = 8dn?

Posted by rightback on December 29th, 2006

rightback.

Solving time: 5:12

The quickest of the week so far for me. A couple of excellent cryptic definitions (12dn/13dn). No theme that I can see, but then I usually can’t.

Beginners’ tips of the day: ‘alien’ = E.T.,’meadow’ = LEA, ‘the main’ = the sea.

* = anagram.

Across
9 B + I’M + BO (= US chap)
10 UNDER WEAR – for overseas solvers, the River Wear (pronounced like we’re) is in North East England.
11 SIN + GIN + I + N + (THEN AIR)* – the greatest musical film ever, according to this list drawn up by the American Film Institute.
14 BUD + (HAD)*
16 PLA(C)ID
18 rev. of NOB + HOM(I)E – my penultimate solve.
21 THE SKY’S THE LIMIT – cryptic definition that should have gone in straight away, but thanks to the apostrophe took me three or four looks.
23 EXCHEQUER – originally I thought this was a pun on ‘chequer’, as in a counter in the American name for draughts, but then I realised that it would be spelt ‘checker’. Apparently ‘exchequer’ comes from the Old French ‘eschequier’, from Latin ‘scaccarium’ (‘chessboard’), but I can’t quite explain the clue.
25 (I + R) inside LEA, all reversed – the sprite in The Tempest.
26 TO[o] + WEL[l]
27 rev. of ME + (TILL ONE)*
Down
1 [we]RE BUS[y] (hidden)
3 [b]LOOMING
5 (T[op] + D[irectors] + ATE) all around O (= nothing)
6 PAR + VENU[s]
8 P[A + RENT]AGE – not sure about the apostrophe after the definition in the clue: is this (“The old folks’…”) allowed?
12 AIDE-MEMOIRE – I loved this cryptic definition (“Jogger on the Champs-Elysées?”)…
13 INPATIENT – …and this one (“Someone possibly rewarded in the course of treatment?”) when I finally understood it (re-warded!), long after stopping the clock.
15 (HARLOT + I + O)* – apparently this word derives from a character in The Fair Penitent (1703) by Nicholas Rowe.
17 (KEW)* in (IN + L + L)
19 H(OLD)ALL – my last solve, by a long way. I didn’t know the word ‘capacious’, meaning ‘roomy’ (from the Latin ‘capax’ meaning ‘capable’), and ‘used’ for OLD is very subtle, but even so I was extremely slow with this, even with all four checking letters.
20 AS + SU(M)E
22 TO[i]LET
24 COW[l] – unusual but fair wording (“Covering more than enough for this animal”), a change from ‘most of’, ‘almost’ etc.

6 Responses to “Independent 6303/Phi – 15dn + 9ac – 10ac = 8dn?”

  1. says:

    19D had me going for a while too. I didn’t understand 13D but INPATIENT looked less wrong than IMPATIENT so in it went.

  2. says:

    Chequer (in 23 Across) can refer to a piece used either in Chinese chequers or draughts.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all bloggers, readers and setters a happy and prosperous new year.

    2007 will begin with a rare foray into the paper by Eimi (who has finally sneaked a crossword past the crossword editor) and Punk will make his second appearance on January 11, with more regular appearances throughout the year promised. I can also announce the Indy debut of another top setter on January 15.

  3. says:

    but you left out the announcment about the launch of the new online Indy cryptic service!? (I’ve really enjoyed doing this week’s batch btw)

  4. says:

    If only! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the puzzles. I think they deserve a wider audience (but I would say that, wouldn’t I?). I will make it one of my resolutions to do my best to get the crosswords back online, but it would certainly help if potential subscribers made their own representations to the newspaper.

  5. says:

    Perhaps you can let us know who we should contact via email?

  6. says:

    It would be great if the online service could be restored, though happily I did not miss a single of the print issues (so far) in 2006. When the service was removed the message was extremely negative about it and, if the sums do not add up, any business concern is entitled to pull the plug. But it was a very limited service (Mon to Fri crosswords only). If the Times and Guardian can do it, why not the Indy? Maybe it is because of smaller circulation, but recent reports suggest that ‘going compact’ has turned this around a bit for the Indy.

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