Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6447/Phi

Posted by Colin Blackburn on June 15th, 2007

Colin Blackburn.

Good fare from Phi with some excellent clues but with a couple of gaps in the word play and one clue not solved until I check in TEA just before submitting this!

Across
5 ALWAYS — W(in) in A+LAYS — “on every occasion” stood out as a definition of ALWAYS here before I even read the clue fully. There are some words that aren’t that easy to define without making it obvious.
11 ATLANTIS — ATLA(s) + (ISNT)* — atlas = maps plural. The surface reading augments the definition here very well.
18 IN STITCHES — cryptic def. — a good cryptic definition, think operating theatres.
22 OMERTA — A TREMO(r) < — omerta is, I believe, the mafia’s code of silence.
23 IRANGATE — (REAGAN+IT)* — this is a superb anagram (as good as yesterday’s LIFE ON MARS). Irangate was a weapons scandal during Reagan’s presidency involving Oliver North.
25 SENTENCE — double def. — life = prison sentence.
26 TANKER — N in TAKER
Down
1 PROZAC — PR+OZ+AC — however, I’m not certain how team fits into the word play.
2 SEEMLY — (gir)L in SEE+MY — nice reading providing an augmented definition.
6 LA MANCHA — LA+MAN+CH+A — the man from…
7 ABU DHABI — A+BUD+HABI(t) — I didn’t see the word play here until I was typing this, then China = mate = bud dawned on me.
13 WAGE FREEZE — cryptic def. — I had to look this up in TEA. I had no idea WAGE = screw and was consequently flummoxed. This is, of course, the one big problem with cryptic definitions, just one route to the answer.
16 ISLESMAN — S(cottish)M in IS+LEAN — Hebrides (inner and outer) are Scottish islands.
19 ONE-TWO — double def. — a boxing move and the opening line from a nursery rhyme, “One, two, buckle my shoe,…”
20 DAINTY — I+NT in DAY — DAY=24 hours, and think nursery rhymes again, “…a dainty dish to put before a king.”

7 Responses to “Independent 6447/Phi”

  1. says:

    An excellent puzzle, as I’ve learned to expect from Phi. Re PROZAC, I think PR can mean the people involved in publicity (Collins seems to confirm) hence team and I got it OK, no probs.

    I struggled with WAGE FREEZE too (something only older readers may remember) but Concise OED says screw is dated slang for wages or salary (other meanings may have occurred…) 4 of the 5 unches being vowels made it tough too. If it was W.G. F.E.Z. there’d have been no 2nd thoughts or probs, I guess.

  2. says:

    A picky point: 20D: IN,T (in time) rather than I+NT I think.

  3. says:

    Thanks for the correction Peter. It was, I think, a typo.

    I didn’t check PR in the dictionary at the time but having checked in Chambers it certainly doesn’t justify PR = publicity team, for me.

  4. says:

    PR: definition (3) for “public relations” in my Collins says “the professional staff employed to create, promote, or maintain a favourable relationship between an organisation and the public. Abbreviation: PR”

  5. says:

    You’ve mentioned it before I think for cross-referencing etc…what is TEA?

  6. says:

    = The Electronic Alvery. A nifty piece of software that can do quite complex word look-ups.

  7. says:

    I finished the rest of the puzzle in less than half an hour, then it took me another half hour to work out WAGE FREEZE!

    Screw “Dated slang”- certainly is…

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