Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24072/Paul

Posted by linxit on May 9th, 2007

linxit.

Solving time: approx. 20 mins

Paul’s normally pretty tricky, but this one was quite easy and I should have finished much faster. A good percentage of the acrosses went in straight away, as did the two multi-word answers after a little thought. I got stuck on a few at the end though and was kicking myself when I worked them out.

Across
1 NUMB,AT – not the most well-known of Australian marsupials, but I had heard of it.
4 WAR,SAW (“was raw” rev) – I spent far too long thinking of words beginning with H (“Hitler’s first…”)
9,25 S(TOW,A)WAY
11 RU(GRA(n))T – remembered this from the cartoon series.
12 KEE(n),LOVER
17 BOX CLEVER – cryptic definition. This was one of those that caused me trouble, although I did know the phrase.
21 F(E)ATHERS – last one I got. I don’t see how “needed with” can indicate insertion, but my real problem was in working out that the definition was just “down”, not “worn down”. [But see comment from Xtian for a more convincing explanation.]
24 MINI,STRA(N)T (N = unspecified number, inside “tarts” rev.)
26 GAS,PER – this came straight away…
27 FA(GEN)D – …whereas this was the second last one I put in. Duh!

Down
1,3,16ac NOT JUST/A PRETTY/FACE – I got this thinking it was a pretty lame cryptic definition, but then realised it’s just a standard definition + wordplay clue, and a pretty clever one at that.
2 MOWER (“moa”) – one of those dodgy homophones, but I’m sure we’re all used to them by now…
6 SUFFOCATE (“Suffolk eight”) – much better homophone, even if the stress is on the wrong syllable. For non-Brits, Ipswich Town are a football team from Suffolk.
7 WITHERS – nice double definition
8 PARKI(N)SON’S LAW – (pla)N inside (“As work plan is”)* – Nicely phrased &lit. I didn’t see how the last letter of plan was added to the anagram fodder at first, but then realised that it’s “maintained”, i.e. put inside the anagram. The Law states that the amount of work expands to fill the time allocated to it, something like that…
18,13 COME TO A/STICKY END – nice cryptic def. but an instant solution for me.
19 (w)E(MER)ALD – Any clue with “Nice” in it makes me start looking for French words, in this case MER = sea. Others to look out for are “Nice boy” = (usually) RENE, “Nice one” = UN or UNE etc.

7 Responses to “Guardian 24072/Paul”

  1. says:

    Clue 21a – if you take the insertion word as ‘worn’ rather than ‘needed’, so that E ‘wears’ the FATHERS, then I think it works better. Although that does make ‘needed’ redundant.

  2. says:

    Good point – there’s often some confusion as to what “wearing” or “worn” means in crossword clues. Sometimes it’s used as an insertion indicator, other times as describing what should go around the indicated component. In any case, I prefer your explanation to mine!

  3. says:

    Anagram indicator as well.

  4. says:

    I don’t think ‘worn’ or ‘wearing’ carry enough sense of movement to be acceptable as anagram indicators, so not in the Indy please.

  5. says:

    I’d believe it was done in 20 mins if the poster put all the solutions!

    22 across? 23 down?

    I thought a better (but yes I accept ‘wrong’) answer to 14 down was “nightcaps”

  6. says:

    Well, the solution’s available today, Mark, so I probably still won’t convince you – but 22ac is MOPPET (MOP=unruly hair + PET=dear gives MOPPET=dear) and 23dn is PLANE (double definition). The idea of the wordplay of 14dn is that “cock tails” might be the opposite of “raise heads”, hence the No! at the end. I didn’t explain any of these answers in the blog because I thought they were some of the easier answers that wouldn’t need explaining.
    Sorry.

  7. says:

    belated thanks

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