Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,099 (Sat 9 June)/Paul – Cross purposes

Posted by rightback on June 18th, 2007

rightback.

Solving time: 19:10

This should have been a fast time, as I spotted half the theme straight away from 17ac (TIGON). Unfortunately I then displayed immense slowness in various places, especially 2dn and the theme word, CROSSWORD, leaving me very 12.

All of the answers referring to ’12’ were synomyms or examples of ‘cross’, such as IRATE, INTERSECT, KISS etc; the others are asterisked below. There are an impressive (and appropriate!) 12 such in total, and though the grid contains lots of short words, it is perfectly fair in terms of checking letters (i.e. all answers have half or more letters checked).

Sorry for the late posting (for the second week in row), though this time it really was beyond my control!

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

Across
1 OVERACTED; (DECORATIVE – I)*
11 DARED (hidden backwards) – very well hidden. I even thought of this from ‘had the bottle’ and still couldn’t see why.
12 C(RO(SS)W)ORD – ‘cross’ came quickly but even with -O-D this took a while. Hopeless.
*13 BEE + FALO (rev. of OLAF)
*17 TIGON; rev. of GIT, + ON – the offspring of a tiger and a lioness; 28ac is that of a lion and a tigress.
*19 RED (double definition) – I think this refers to the Red Cross, rather than ‘cross’ = ‘(seeing) red’. If I’d realised this when solving I might have wasted less time on 2d.
20 GU[inn]ESS
21 YEAR DOT; (ROAD)* in YET
*22 TANGELO; ANGEL in TO
24 MORSE CODE; SECO[n]D in MORE (= ‘extra’)
26 EX + TRA[in]
*28 LI + GER[many]
Down
*1 FOR + D
*2 G[E]ORGE – this was the first word that I saw to fit the letters here; curiously I dismissed it summarily without even considering the wordplay or the ‘cross’ connection, which is of course St George’s Cross. It took me about 5 minutes at the end, including a dalliance with ‘feorce’, to realise my stupidity.
3 HARD EARNED; (AND READ HER)* – I initially entered ‘hand reared’ which also fits the anagram.
4 STUCCO; rev. of CUTS, + TO
5 ADS + OR + BED
7 CANO(ODL)E
8 LEAD (double definition)
*15 LOGANBERRY; (BEGAN)* in LORRY
16 G(ISM)O – nice wordplay.
18 G(LAD + R)AGS
19 RETROFIT; R + rev. of FORTE, + IT
22 T(WENT)Y
23 ESTHER; (THREE’S)* – ‘3’s’ is typical Paul misdirection.
*24 MULE (double definition) – this is also a backless slipper or shoe. I didn’t know this, and spent a while looking for alternatives.
25 EARL, from LEAR
26 [w]ALTO[n] – William Walton wrote Crown Imperial for King Edward VIII’s coronation, but it was eventually played at that of King George VI instead.

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