Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6413/Mass

Posted by bensand on May 7th, 2007

bensand.

I felt slightly short-changed by this puzzle but that’s probably just because of the grid! Hardly seemed worth going for the full 15×15 with only 3 white squares in the left and right columns and 4 in the top and bottom rows.

Having said that it still took me over my average amount of time so perhaps I should be glad that there wasn’t more of it to take distract me from family duties on a rainy bank holiday Monday.

Across
10 SUMACH – SU(MA)CH, new word for me
11 BIRD WATCHERS – a cryptic definition, stonechats and whinchats rather than gossips
13 RUBATO – I never know the musical terms but I’ve got used to looking out for them, producing something plausible and looking it up
15 EFFETE – my penultimate answer (really the last answer but 4d could only be decided by getting 15a). E for Spain. Homophone for feet. I scratched my head a while about why feet were metric but it’s a reference to the metrical as in lines of poetry rather than litres, kilometres etc…
19 ARCHITECTURE – (THRICE CURATE)* Wren is Sir Christopher rather than a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service or a bird
23 PITH – PIT(C)H
 
Down
1 INROAD – I (N)ROAD
2 COGNAC – COG + CAN <=
4 PROMISEE – Surface indicates a teetotaller but the solution is the receiver of a promise. I didn’t much like this and wasn’t sure whether it couldn’t also be promiser or promised without the final check
5 PREMIERE – Cryptic definition, surface suggesting cricket but the run is a run of a play
7 DOCK – (HAD)DOCK – nearly wrote in DACE for the fish as I was getting a little impatient with the north-east corner
12 RETRENCH – hadn’t come across retrench as cut down on expenses before so this had to wait until I had the letters
18 TAMSIN – M in (SATIN)* This made me laugh more than any other but this is because I was looking at my daughter while I thought about it

2 Responses to “Independent 6413/Mass”

  1. says:

    Very tough, and very good – Mass is a master of the cryptic definition. Liked PREMIERE a lot. Struggled to get RETRENCH which I’ve not heard used for years, usually in those bygone days as retrenchment, but dicts suggest it may be a current Australian usage.

  2. says:

    V. difficult, with some excellent clues. One I didn’t like was SUMACH which I got eventually. People who had never come across the word and didn’t know that the abbreviation for Morocco was MA rather than MO could have easily put in SUMOCH. (I had come across SUMAC spelt without the H)

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