Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman 3145/Jan 7 – Polchard and neroli

Posted by ilancaron on January 14th, 2007

ilancaron.

A leftover xmas clue (7D) and two new words. The nice thing about Everyman is that Chambers isn’t strictly necessary usually if you have the courage of your wordplay convictions: e.g. POCHARD and NEROLI. By and large, an everyday puzzle though with one refreshingly clever clue at 2D.

Across

1 A+M+ELIA – AMELIA is a (lesser-known) novel by Henry Fielding. ELIA the alias of Charles Lamb making another cryptic appearance.
5 S([t]UB[e])WAY – Not a bad clue that uses three terms for the metro: SUBWAY, “tube” and “underground” and as a bonus throws in a reference to the Central Line.
8 DOWN-TO-EARTH – double def with the second half a cryptic definition of where the “skydiver” ends up (dead or alive!).
13 DA(HOME)Y – DAHOMEY is the former name of what is now Benin.
14 DOR(O.T.)HY – hydro* contains abbrev(“Occupational Therapy”).
16 CLEA(N.E.)R – The Tyneside is in NE England and a CLEAR day there is no doubt considered “fine”. Nice misleading surface: the definition had me thinking about points of view: from mine, I have a weekly cleaning person, but from his, it’s “daily”.
18 PO+CHAR+[wil]D – I kind of liked this: mainly because it’s an unfamiliar word that I could work out directly from the wordplay. I wasn’t even misled by “wild” as an anagrind. POCHARD is a kind of duck: really, the kind that quacks and flies – it’s not a cricket term! PO is the only 2-letter European river that I know of.
22 EX+CE+L[ocal] – Nice surface with a couple of red-herrings (“extremely”, “church leader”, “in local”). “Leader in local” produces L. Church is almost always CE or CH in the UK.
23 EVENING STAR – I’ll let you read about Venus to understand why she’s “usually” the EVENING STAR and not the morning star: arts* following EVENING for “smoothing”.
25 NEROLI – hidden in “…greeNER OLIves”. NEROLI is a kind of oil extract from the orange tree. I didn’t know this but with N?R?L? it was obvious. I like the way “extracted” supports the wordplay and the definition.

Down

2 MIDNIGHT EXPRESS – A clever misleading clue with a well-hidden definition: MIDNIGHT is shade of “blue”, the “film” in question is MIDNIGHT EXPRESS (don’t get caught in Turkey with drugs) and to EXPRESS your feelings is a way to “show” them.
3 LOW GERMAN[e] – A LOW whisper is “quiet and soft” and it’s relevant (“closely related”) if it’s germane. Only worked out the wordplay once I had the definition.
4 AUTOPSY – An amusing cryptic definition: “stiff examination”. See www.crossword.org.uk message board for discussion about etymology of this clue.
7 A CHRISTMAS CAROL – (miss a chart)* followed by CAROL (just a “girl”). Not a great surface and probably a leftover Xmas clue.
10 IF+F[a]Y– “whether” is IF and heartless “Fay” yields FY.
15 R.O.+CHESTER – ROCHESTER was a port in Roman times in Kent. Note that it’s “round”, not around, so O rather than containment is indicated.
16 C+HAT – Surprisingly subtle wordplay: C for “about” (circa) and HAT for “role”: as in, “I’m wearing my cryptic solver HAT today instead of cleaning the gutters”.
18 PA+organ*– My old dad is certainly a PARAGON.
19 D+ILL– Didn’t know that DILL had medicinal qualities.
21 THE+T.A. – Territorial Army is part of the UK military consisting largely of volunteers. I think. Or it did once upon a time.

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