Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Indendent on Sunday 908 by Quixote – harder than normal

Posted by nmsindy on July 12th, 2007

nmsindy.

I think Quixote commented on this site some time ago that the aim was to keep the puzzle fairly easy, but that he would put a more difficult one in from time to time. I wonder if this was one, with more tricky wordplay, but, as always, everything stacking up in the end for a very enjoyable solve.

Solving time: 32 mins

* = anagram

ACROSS

1 MON (ARCH) ICA L (beginning to look) Monica was mother of St Augustine

8 PA (R TI P)RIS From French, starting with a preconceived idea. R = take (recipe). Interestingly, Roger Phillips, who comments on the monthly clue-writing competition on the Times website, revealed recently that the Times no longer allows this. It used to be much more common.

10 MO (UN) T Nicely misleading Arab = horse here and the false capital in the clue is allowed by convention.

11 N (I NET) Y A very tricky one with a cunning divide of the two parts of the clue at Number/One. The metropolis is New York (NY)

12 AC (ANT) HUS (such a)*

14 D (RUM) ROLL

19 CASTLE Another very good one, with “building with farm animals” making you think of stable or sty. but it’s another seamless join between the two parts. It’s s (sun) replacing one of the ts in cattle, this being indicated by “a t”. Good surface, too.

22 COME DO

26 DENTAL NURSE Cryptic definition.

DOWN

2 N ARK

3 REST CURE A very well concealed anagram of “creatures” less a

4 HOMONYM Sometimes you look at a clue many times and get nowhere and then suddenly light dawns and say “Of course!” Very good. Where the same word means different things – cf synonym where different words mean the same thing.

7 SPANDREL DR in (Naples)*

8 FRANKIE VAUGHAN (having fun a rake)* Pop singer who first came to prominence in the 1950s.

21 TREED Pun on elder. An animal would take refuge in a tree.

23 SP(e)AR

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