Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24146/Arachne

Posted by linxit on August 3rd, 2007

linxit.

Solving time – 15:41

This started off very easy and I had most of the top half finished in a couple of minutes, but my momentum slipped away and I eventually ground to a halt with 15 down left. All I could think of at first was FLANDERS, which I know is in Belgium and couldn’t be the answer. That one clue makes up about a third of the total solving time.

Across
1 STAND,S – one of those illogical English words which baffle learners of the language.
4 SMART SET – if you “exchange points” you get SMARTEST
10 A,DAM(SAL)E – SAL is Latin for salt.
11 BRIEF,EN,COUNT,ER – classic film by David Lean starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard, and it’s back in the cinema from next Tuesday as part of a season of British films.
14 ANKH (Khan*) – ankh – one of these.
16 ARCH – double def.
18 BATH OLIVER – Jamie Oliver, the TV chef. Maybe not so famous outside the UK?
21 DOUBLE ENTENDRE – bit of a tame one for the Guardian lately though!
23 A(vant-garde),U(nderstand),T(hat),AR,CH,(tr)Y – AR = state, short for Arizona I think, or maybe Arkansas?
25 SARACENS – A,C inside NASSER*
26 AS,SAIL – A royal is a small sail flown immediately above the topgallant (straight out of Wikipedia).

Down
2 ALBERTA (ratable*) – I got this before I got 5, so knew I was looking for a Canadian city.
3 DI’S,TENDS – princess is only ever DI or IDA in cryptics, which narrows it down a bit.
5 MEDIC,IN,E,HAT – E = Spain (IVR)
6 RUMP,US – the Rump Parliament sat in the 17th century.
7 SPARTAN – hidden in “He’S PART ANatolian”
8 THE ARCHER(s) – a.k.a. Sagittarius. The Archers is a long-running (over 15,000 episodes since 1951) British radio soap opera.
12 E(LIZABETHA)N – (Ba’thi zeal)*, inside EN. Corrected explanation following Mick’s comment below.
15 G(LAND)ERS – Gers is a department of SW France. Last one I put in about 5 minutes after the rest. I eventually got it by going through the alphabet one letter at a time, and thought it might be a nickname for glandular fever. Turns out it’s a disease of horses.
17 C(L)USTER
19 V(ER)ANDA – museum is the V&A, or Victoria and Albert museum in London.
20 ALARIC (racial*) – Visigoth king who sacked Rome in 410AD.
22 FELL – double def.

5 Responses to “Guardian 24146/Arachne”

  1. Mick Hodgkin says:

    Bath’i zeal actually gives LIZABETHA which is in the letter EN. An odd phrase – isn’t it usually Ba’athist?
    I liked the clue for Medicine Hat.

  2. linxit says:

    So it is! I didn’t even check. Oops, I’ll edit that. I thought Ba’athi should have two A’s as well, but I’ve just Googled for it and the second A is missing as often as it’s there.

  3. mark says:

    Could you explain MEDICINE HAT a bit more please. I get the cryptic construction but not the whole thing.

    Oh and for 12D – I got it but still not sure why EN = letter, is it the phonetic version of ‘N’?

    Thanks

  4. muck says:

    5dn: MEDIC(has patients)+IN+E(Spain)+HAT(perhaps Panama) = MEDICINE HAT (a city in Alberta, Canada).

    2dn: Where 5(Medicine Hat) is = ALBERTA (anagram of ‘rateable’).

  5. Mick Hodgkin says:

    And ‘en’ is indeed the name of the letter. It’s also the measure of the width of a standard letter in printing, so can be clued as ‘space’.

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