Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6425/Mordred

Posted by Colin Blackburn on May 21st, 2007

Colin Blackburn.

A fairly straightforward puzzle with generally good word play and some nice surface readings. I made a couple of silly errors in writing in answers which held me up on the last two which crossed with those errors. There were also a few puzzling clues which I hope commentators might help explain.

Across
1 FLATFISH — FT< in (IS HALF)* — good surface using sole well.
5 AMPERE — P in A MERE — I stupidly wrote in AMPAGE here despite following the wordplay. This held me up with 7dn.
10 INKPOT — (s)INK POT? — I think this is right, being a snooker reference, but is Mordred implying the “to pocket a ball” = “sink pot”? I’m not sure a POT is a ball unless it is a sunk one, if you see what I mean. If it can be used to mean a ball then shouldn’t it be “sink a pot”?
12 HALLOWEEN — (ELENA HOWL)* — this is either a partial &lit or an augmented definition depending on the reader.
13 BLAIR — B+LAIR — I havn’t checked here whether LAIR is a Scottish word for mire or whether the setter is refering to Blair’s Scottish roots.
21 TRUCE — E+CURT <
24 READER — RE for V in VADER — Darth Vader is the screen villain.
26 CREATE — RE in CATE — Cate Blanchett is an actress.
27 KEYSTONE — double def? — I’m not certain about my reading of this. The Isle of Man parliament is the Tynwald part of which is the House of Keys. I’m not certain how that bit leads to KEYSTONE since it is Keys not Key.
Down
2 ALLELE — ((k)ELL(y))* in ALE — very good hiding of “gene”.
6 MONT BLANC — (spli)T in MON BLANC — a little bit of rudimentary French needed here.
7 EMPHASIS — E + MPH + AS IS — e is a number base, mph is a rate, both combine to give a good surface reading.
11 INDEPENDENCE — cryptic def. — I thought this clue very weak.
15 OVEREXERT — OVER + E + (T REX)< — T Rex was a 70s band fronted by Marc Bolan.
19 GAUCHO — “ouch” in GO — I’m not sure that the definition works here.

3 Responses to “Independent 6425/Mordred”

  1. says:

    BLAIR lair is Scottish for mire – you see this more in advanced puzzles where Mordred is an expert setter. Was unsure about KEYSTONE but settled for the one = t one (again this is advanced crossword usage), with the definition starting with “on which”.
    In INKPOT Sink Pot sounded OK to me. I thought it was a good puzzle, and quite a bit easier than some of his in the Indy.

  2. says:

    9:51 for me which is probably as fast as I’ve managed for one of Mordred’s Indie puzzles. Some inventive clueing but a few definitions stuck out, so several of the more complex wordplays went over my head when solving.

    I agree with nmsindy’s analysis of ‘keystone’, but maybe ‘the’ = T is a bit tough for a daily puzzle.

  3. says:

    Thanks for the encouraging comments. I am working on eradicating the ‘advanced cryptic’ usages.

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