Fifteensquared

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Guardian 24,066, Chifonie: My life as a dog

Posted by michod on May 2nd, 2007

michod.

‘The dog for me’ (6dn)… well, I don’t think Chifonie’s an Afghan, so it probably had to be setter, didn’t it!  That one was a bit obvious to seasoned hands, but there are some nice clues here and some toughies, with a good mix of types. One or two weak definitions, but good surfaces throughout. Sat at home, my blogging day for once coinciding with a day off, it took 21 minutes with one guess that had to be verified in the Atlas.

ACROSS:

7. CO(TOP)AX, I. If you’ve been to Ecuador, this may have come quickly. For me, it was the last clue, guessed on the basis that ‘entice’ (_OA_) had to be ‘coax.

10. C(L)UE. Def = ‘this is’, potter’s equipment = cue, as in pool, snooker etc. Nice.

11. AFTERTASTE. STAR AT FETE*. Excellent clue, just the kind I like – a cryptic definition supported by wordplay, so you don’t know it’s a CD till you get it.

12. STROKE. It looks at first as though ‘one having a’ is redundant, but I think it’s justifiable on the basis that a stroke can be a rower (see under ‘stroke-oar’).

14. REDS TART. Very topical after last night, though Liverpool’s victory owed more to their keeper than any winger (here meaning flier, i.e. bird).

15. EXCE(r)PT. Prett difficult clue, not the first synonyms that spring to mind for ‘ban’ or ‘citation.

17. (w)ANGLER. If you can call standing on the riverbank all day a sport. Mind you, you could get through a few crosswords while you wait for them to bite.

22. G RAP PA. Italian firewater.

23. AUCTIONEER. A NICE ROUTE*. A good one for an anagram, because the letters mislead you towards -ATION, -ATOR etc. In the end, a very precise definition.

24. FAR O. Not a game I’ve played, but comes into crosswords now and then.

26. DISH EVE L. Jumble as a verb.

DOWN.

1. ROU(LET)TE. Good surface, unlike some of the roads round my way.

4. SHE RID A N. Normally abbreviations in daily cryptics are ones you come across outside the dictionary, but I’m not sure that’s true of N for nationalist – it should be a party abbreviation, but it’s the SNP challenging at the polls in Scotland tomorrow. Then again, LD should really be the abbreviation for ‘liberal’, but we still use ‘L’ in crosswords.

5. TA RAN TELL A. Very nicely broken down.

6. (see preamble).

13. OCCUPATION. This is the kind of double definition that leaves me cold – it’s a neat phrase, but essentially relies on two variations on the same meaning of the word.

16. PRI(SON)ER.

18. REPARTEE. PEAR TREE*. Hmm… a sally may be a bit of repartee, but are they synonymous?

22. GA(RI)SH. Another exception to my spurious rule above (see 4dn). RI is a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, but it’s not one I’ve had occasion to use.

24. F(R)EE. For which I don’t think ‘libertarian’ is a great definition.

One Response to “Guardian 24,066, Chifonie: My life as a dog”

  1. says:

    24D: I had the same reservations about FREE and libertarian — in fact, the more I think about it, I don’t see how the one can define the other — unless in a sentence like: “the setter used FREE to mean liberatarian in a rather {free, libertarian} way”??

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