Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman 3149/Feb 4 – don’t panic

Posted by ilancaron on February 11th, 2007

ilancaron.

All the long clues refer to something a bit intense: OVERBOARD, INTENSIVE CARE, PANIC STATIONS, GREAT SCOT (sic), SHOUTING MATCH, NAIL-BITER. Well, except for UPRIGHT PIANOS (uptight?). One unknown composer at 19D (COATES – of which there are at least two). As usual, if I wasn’t familiar with the definition, the wordplay led me to a reasonable guess, which is the sign of a fair and well-constructed puzzle.

Across

9 D,I,SPENSER – Nice to see Edmund SPENSER himself in a puzzle rather than his vocabulary.
11 GAL,OP – with G???P, the wordplay clearly indicated the GALOP dance.
14 PAN,I.C. STATIONS – rev(Nap.). STATIONS shifts from noun to verb in the cryptic reading.
18 INTENSIVE CARE – “concentrated” (INTENSIVE) followed by (“on”) “Prudence” (CARE) with the definition being “special treatment”. Clean wordplay and good surface. Can’t remember the Ximenean rule about capitalization – but I think this is OK.
20 O(M,BUDS)MAN – cryptic “sultanate” is frequently OMAN.
21 ANT BEAR – Kind of an aardvark that isn’t a bear at all but does like eating ants.
22 BESOM – kind of broom like the one witches use. Unfamiliar to me but once I had B???? I started hunting for the hidden: “wardroBE, SOMetimes”.
25 TES(TA,MEN)T – Sometimes the little words are hard to make note of: in this case, “Will” is the definition. Familiar idiom is T.A. for Territorial Army (UK voluntary force) – not to be confused with MEN (“soldiers”).
26 STRAIGHT – double definition &lit. “respectable”, “poker hand” and if you play poker you’ll know that a STRAIGHT is a pretty good hand!

Down

1 MUD PUPPY – Unfamiliar but the wordplay was explicit. A MUD PUPPY is a kind of salamander indeed.
3 GREAT SCOT – GREAT=”grate” (“jar”) and it’s Perth, Scotland not Australia but I think the exclamation is actually GREAT SCOTT… so seems like a mistake unless it’s a pun hinting that everyone from Perth is in fact GREAT.
5 UP,RIGHT PIANOS – UP at university followed by (harps go in it)*.
6 V(E.G.)AN – VAN often crops up cryptically meaning “in the vanguard”.
7 YELLOW SEA[l] – “Stretch of water” is a bit of a stretch for a SEA. YELLOW for “sensational” (as in YELLOW press) and SEAL’s our “marine creature”.
8 REPUTE – (Peter, U)*. I doubt whether Peter Ustinov really was bothered at all by it.
10 SH(OUTING, MAT)CH – clear wordplay and it’s what we do with words when we argue.
15 NAIL-BITER – (at Berlin I)*. At first I assumed a cryptic definition related to Germany somehow. Then I saw the slightly ungrammatical “at” instead of “in” and realized anagram.
16 OVERBOARD – nice double/cryptic definition (two meanings, one of which is cryptic: in this case, “like company chairman?” indicated by the question-mark.
19 COATES=”coats” – last clue. Had to check that there is a COATES composer: in fact there are two: Albert and Eric.
23 STE,IN – set* followed by IN (“home”). Presumably it’s Gertrude STEIN.

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