Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,069 (Sat 5 May)/Araucaria – China, see

Posted by rightback on May 12th, 2007

rightback.

Solving time: About 20 mins for all but 19dn and 23ac. One other mistake (16dn).

A porcellanous theme this week, featuring Crown Derby, Royal Worcester, Wedgwood, Spode and Minton. Not exactly my specialist subject, though I knew all but the last. I can’t explain 10ac.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

Across
1 WE + BERN – the English spelling is ‘Berne’ which confused me a little.
10 CO(RN + FIE)LD – but why does ‘say so?’ give FIE?
11 W(HE + ELBA’S)E
12/9 CROWN + DERBY (= ‘race’)
13 OVERWINTERED; (DOWN RIVER TEE[s])* – nice definition (‘Got to spring’), less keen on the bracket arrangement in the clue.
17 [a]GREE + NB + OTT + LES
20 SP + ODE
21 CH(IN + ASH)OP
23 CIC (“SICK”) + A TRICE – I didn’t know this word for a scar and had to use a dictionary to get it.
25 [t]ENTH + R + ONE
26 MINT + ON – the thematic answer I was least sure of, but it was correct (Thomas Minton founded Minton & Sons, now Mintons Ltd).
Down
1 WEDGWOOD; “WEDGE WOOD” – ‘dropped by Tony’ refers to the former Labour MP Tony Benn, whose surname was originally ‘Wedgwood-Benn’.
2 BAR + GE(ME)N
3/14 ROYAL WORCESTER; rev. of (E + CROW + LAY) in ROSTER – I wrote in ‘Porcelain’ for ‘Worcester’ (it fit with 2 checking letters), which held me up somewhat.
5 BARTERED BRIDE; (RED DEER RABBIT)*
6 EFFICIENT; (NICE IF)* in EFT – ‘eft’ is a useful newt; ‘ask’ is another.
7 TRE(M for V)OR – obvious wordplay but it still took a while.
8 RI(DIN)G – this reads like a semi-&lit which may refer to Rotten Row, but I don’t really understand the definition reading (“Clothes etc around the Row when doing this?”).
10 C(HAIN)REA(C)TION
15 A + LP + HABET (= ‘[he] HAS’ in Latin)
16 I(SO)POD + AN – I put ‘asipodan’ (as iPod + an) which also fits the wordplay. This is an adjective which makes the definition ‘Woodlouse’s’.
19 BO(BC)AT – couldn’t get this until I’d found ‘cicatrice’ at 23ac. It looked as though ‘of former years’ had to be ‘once’, but no.

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