Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 880 by Quixote – pleasing puzzle with Christmas theme

Posted by nmsindy on December 29th, 2006

nmsindy.

Lots of traditional Christmas references which forced some of the other words to be a little less familiar, I guess, but Quixote gave accessible clues for them. Reminded me of when I first began to tackle crosswords – at Christmastime, and, just like this, they had that seasonal feel.

Solving time: 25 mins

ACROSS

11 HO(L)LY Was tricked by “religious decoration” – in fact the definition/wordplay split is between those two words. Good

13 A + PP + END + IX (nine in Roman numerals). Got this first time round.

20 NO WELL Favourite clue in puzzle. Excellent. Spring meaning well and also “not winter”.

24 PINNER (in Middlesex) in SET

28 AL (Capone) + LEG = on + RO (run out) – the last two are cricket references. Allegro is quickly (musical instruction). No indication of this in definition such as e.g. “scored”. I think this is quite OK.

DOWN

1 DISH (Something like CHRISTMAS PUDDING) + EATEN (consumed) around R last letter (end) of December. Tricky and among the last I solved. “Consumed” is often used as a containing indicator, though not of course here which was part of the trickery of the clue.

3 BINYON – Poet whose works appear often on war memorials . YON = that. “writer originally held up” means, before YON, put NIB (reversed) “held up” in a down clue.

6 P(ASS)IONS little things = small particles (physics). Last clue I solved, though had ASS pencilled in from early on.

7 CUMMIN “Comin’ ”

8 INNS Regularly – take every other letter of Winnings

17 ILL + IN + O (duck – more cricket, i.e. scored no runs) + IS. “State” appearing in a clue always screams to me US state (of which there are only 50, some more suitable to crosswords than others) so I solved this first time round.

19 A P (PAN) AGE Friendly wordplay for the unfamiliar word which means, among other things, a perquisite.

21 WE (Our group) “dominating” (link in a down clue) IR (Irish) DO (party)

25 RAGS Hidden (reversed) Indicator (for a down clue) is “turned over”

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