Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman 3153/Mar 4 – harder than usual

Posted by ilancaron on March 11th, 2007

ilancaron.

This Everyman was harder for me than the run of the mill. Me or the puzzle? Not sure why: no “dictionary words” per se. Only one reference that I needed to look up (GRIMALDI). Perhaps I was preoccupied. Upon rereading, I think it was due to the somewhat uncharacteristic number of weak surfaces. BAD showed up in two answers (1A, 4D) with the same meaning, which was kind of surprising.

Just reread my notes and I see that I mentioned quite a few good clues as well… so all in all a bit of a mix.

Across

1 BA(N)D – first BAD=”worthless”.
4 B(ALL),PARK – More of an Americanism I think (baseball, football) not where soccer is usually played in Britain. “Plonk”=PARK as in “I think I’m going to plonk myself down here for a bit and rest”.
8 CAREER (DIPLOMA,T)S – def is “long-serving envoys?”. I’m not sure why the question-mark is really needed since this seems like a pretty good definition. Not a great surface unfortunately: uncharacteristic for Everyman.
10 REBE,LLI,ON – beer* followed by rev(ill=poorly) and ON with the def being “rising”. Not bad wordplay but again not a strong surface.
11 IN[d]IGO – Lots of Joneses to choose from: this time it’s INIGO Jones (the architect). Weak surface.
12 UP,TIGHT – good surface, nice simple charade. “In the saddle” is often UP because that’s where you are relative to the ground I suppose.
17 H,ARLECH – H[orse] followed by Rachel*. My knowledge of Welsh geography includes HARLECH fortunately (which has the added benefit of being able to be pronounced by mere mortals).
19 I,DEAL – the ideal way to parse IDEAL indeed. “Piece of its” is just I.
22 NON COMPOS MENTIS – (in common, stepson)*. Again a weakfish surface – “stepson” is random (makes the anagram work).
23 GRIM,ALDI – GRIM for “gloomy” followed by laid*. Now I know that Joseph GRIMALDI was a 19C clown.
24 TACK[y] – ”Rubbishy things, mostly vulgar”. I think this clue is not really cryptic since TACK in the “rubbishy things” sense is a back-formation (according to Chambers) of TACKY (“vulgar”). Missing something?

Down

2 AC(ROB,A)T – nice shift of the noun “mug” to the verb meaning ROB. Likewise, nice shift of meaning of “tumbler” from its “mug” meaning to ACROBAT meaning. Good clue.
4 BAD,MINT,ON – our second BAD: this time “immoral”.
6 P(ROF,IT)EER – pretty nice semi-&lit: PEER (“fellow” as in colleague) contains rev(for) and IT
7 REALIST – (is alert)*: nice clue.
8 CIRCULA,T(I)ON – Remember that TON is “fashion”.
9 SHOW OF HANDS – nice cryptic def.
13 G(R,ILL) ROOM – Nice clue: some GRILL ROOMs serve “curry” (GROOM) that can make you ILL!
14 MAHARISHI – (has his hair)* – amusing surface!
16 CLEA([o]NE)R – I found the wordplay hard to decipher and also has a weak surface. Def is just “daily”.
20 PUP,IL – Another weak surface. IL is “Italian” for “the”.
21 ERE,CT – nice simple charade. Good clue.

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