Fifteensquared

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Independent 6327/Phi – Three times a lady

Posted by rightback on January 26th, 2007

rightback.

Solving time: 6:37

Welcome relief after a half-hour struggle with Scorpion yesterday: I much preferred this to the last Phi puzzle I blogged (6288). The antipodean flavour to the top left (OTAGO and HAKA) was rather less welcome, given England’s latest humiliation this morning.

Beginners’ tips of the day: ‘city’ = EC (or NY, LA, Ur), ‘ready’ = money of some kind, ‘pawn’ = HOCK.

Across
7 OT + AGO – New Zealand’s second largest region, behind Canterbury, and home to Dunedin.
8 EMOTIONAL; (I’M NOT ALONE – N[ame])*
10 FR + AUGHT – the abbreviation fr. for ‘frequently’ is in Chambers but rarely seen in daily crosswords (I’m pretty sure it’s not allowed in The Times) so this clue may have proven trickier for those without (e.g.) Listener experience.
11 T + RIG + AMY – my last entry but it should have come much faster. Reminds me of a splendid limerick which goes something like this:
   There once was an old man of Lyme
   Who lived with three wives at a time
   When asked “Why a third?”
   He replied, “One’s absurd!
   And bigamy, Sir, is a crime.”
12 TECHNICAL HITCH – ‘marriage of convenience’ arguably merits a question mark. See also 14dn.
17 AIR(TIM)E
19 ACROSS THE BOARD – a justified question mark, which I think is an acknowledgement that chessmen can also move down the board etc.
23 CO(MIC)AL – according to Collins here (sense 14), a nut can mean a small piece of coal. Good clue, ‘prop for standup’ is subtle.
24 CA(LIB)RE
26 BARRICADE; (A CIDER)* by BAR (= pub)
Down
2 DOUGH (= money = ready) + NUT – see 14dn.
3 HECTIC; HE (= man) + rev. of IT inside CC (= ‘about’ repeated)
5 BIKIN[g] + I – ‘well-known’ is slightly superfluous but I suppose might give reasurrance to a solver that he probably does know the name. According to Wikipedia, Bikini Island is famous both for the nuclear tests carried out there and for having given the name to the bikini swimsuit, which was introduced in 1946 at a time when the island was in the news.
6 AN(TAR + C)TIC + A
7 OFF(STAG)E[r]
9 [p]LAYS
13 CINE-CAMERA – EC (= City) in (AMERICAN)* – I initially thought this was an anagram of ‘in American’ and wrote in ‘mini-camera’ before spotting that it didn’t quite work.
14 DEAD (= not excited) + HEAT (= intense activity) – watch out for Phi clues like this, several double word phrases in his recent puzzles have had wordplay consisting of the two individual parts. This is a perfectly sound clue, because both parts are clued by the wordplay in a different sense of the word to that in the definition. Other examples today include 2dn and 12ac.
16 CASELOAD – (A SOLE)* in CAD
17 RABELAIS; IS after (ARABLE)* – François Rabelais was a 16th Century French writer whose name it seems I have finally learnt to spell.
20 ORC + HID – an orc is one of these.
21 HOCKEY; HOCK (= to pawn, as in pawnbroking) + rev. of YE – ‘promoted’ doesn’t work for me as a reversal indicator, even in a down clue. What’s been promoted is the ‘E’ of ‘YE’, not the whole word. You could argue that ‘promote’ means ‘raised up’ which is a valid reversal indicator, but that seems too indirect for me.
22 S (= is) + CAB – ‘is’ for ‘S’ is another Listenerism rarely seen in the dailies.
25 B (= British) + [c]REW – tricky wordplay to fathom, as ‘British’ could also be ‘BR’.

One Response to “Independent 6327/Phi – Three times a lady”

  1. says:

    I know some solvers and setters like to see link words avoided, but 25 D was a good example of how they can add to the fun. I was looking for a beer with “to produce” as a link, but the definition was “to produce beer” i.e. BREW.

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nine + = 18