Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6492 / Virgilius – Delightful stuff

Posted by tilsit on August 7th, 2007

tilsit.

Solving Time: 18 mins 

Due to my odd sleeping patterns with my illness, I get to solve most of the daily puzzles, and I came to Virgilius after tackling The Guardian, Times and FT and I have to say I was feeling pretty deflated.  I thought the Times was OK, but the other two were dull.  My mood didn’t lift when I saw the grid.  I hate grids with “double unches” (adjacent unchecked spaces) as it means it’s tougher  to solve.  This particular grid comprises 24 eight letter words (Eeach one with a double unch)and two fifteen-letter words, that’s all.  However, when I saw it was a Virgilius I perked up.   Good witty clues that are entertaining to solve.

 ACROSS  *= Anagram (CD) =  Cryptic definition  (r) = Reversal

1 CHOP CHOP    Double definition

9 RELATIVE     Double definition

10 ATROPINE   A + PROTEIN*

11 SATANICAL   Great clue which works on so many levels.  nice & lit anag of AIN’T MASS

12 DAMOCLES   Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damocles for the story if you haven’t heard of this chap.

13 CHILDREN   DR inside CHILE +N

14 BROAD MINDEDNESS  (CD) Tolerant travellers would exhibit B Road Mindedness.

20 ADELAIDE   LAID inside A DEE

21 RECKONED  Virgilius Loves to hide the most unlikely words, and this held me up for a couple of minutes looking how this worked!

22  SURPLICE  SURE holding CLIP*

23 NOBLEMEN  NO (Small number) + L inside B + EM + EN (Printing Measures)

24 ATLANTIC    ATTIC with LAN (a lot of land) inside

25 ETERNITY   Another clever clue  ENTIRE* + T + Y

 DOWN

2 HOT WATER  (CD)

3  PROFORMA  PROF + OR + MA

4 HEIRLOOM  HE + I + L in ROOM

5 PRESS CONFERENCE   Another nice clue.  A conference is a type of Pear.

6 MANACLED  A NaCl (Salt!) inside MED

7 FILIGREE  GIRLIE* inside FE (Iron)

8 TERMINUS  If you studied at Yale, you’d have spent a TERM IN (the) U.S.  Pause for groan!! 

14 BRASS HAT    BRASS (Players as in orchestra) + HAT (Bowler)

16 DRAWLING  DRAW + LING

17 EDUCABLE  BAD CLUE +E*

18 NAPOLEON  N+ A POLE + ON

19 SEVEREST   S + EVEREST

9 Responses to “Independent 6492 / Virgilius – Delightful stuff”

  1. bracoman says:

    Re 14 Across is there an allusion to the phrase – Travel broadens the mind?

  2. petebiddlecombe says:

    14A: Yes. 11A is SATANISM – just a slip of Dave’s pen, as the analysis is right.

    I’ll have to agree to differ with Dave about double unches – I like them for a change, as long as you still get good checking, and no double unches as the first two letters of a word. But they were actually only half of the 24 8-letter words, and the 15s had all but two letters checked, which must help.

  3. Paul B says:

    Agreed, other PB. The checking in a double-lunch grid can be just as fair as in a normal one, and the opportunities for good-looking grid construction are legion.

  4. Wil Ransome says:

    15D

    Presumably this is OVERRULE. But why? Apparently “without extras” has to give “rule”…

  5. petebiddlecombe says:

    My best guess on 15D (which puzzles me too) is that some phrase like “to rule” or “by rule” = “without extras”, and the answer is “over to/by rule”. But this does seem opaque for Virgilius.

  6. Richard Palmer says:

    Actually 1 ac is not a double definition but a charade with two indications of CHOP plus a definition.
    I agree with the two PBs that double unches are OK in a blocked puzzle so long as half the letters are checked.
    Virgilius nearly always treats us top a theme or a Nina. I guess this time it was the unusual grid construction with all those 8-letter words.
    I couldn’t understand the clue to OVERRULE either.

  7. fgbp says:

    I missed this puzzle but it sounds as though Virgilius has used an old Times grid. Sounds familiar, anyway.

  8. eimi says:

    Virgilius wrote in notes accompanying this puzzle “no theme, just liked the grid”. Re; Over rule, this is just a reference to the fact that the rule is that an over is six deliveries unless there are no-balls, wides, etc.

  9. Al Streatfield says:

    Great clues, as ever from Virgilius.

    I agree with all that has been said about the grid. Crosswords should be difficult to solve because of the ingenuity of the clues, not because the letters are awkwardly checked/unchecked.

    Still don’t understand the clue to OVERRULE despite Eimi’s explanation. “Extras” includes byes and legbyes which don’t have the effect of lengthening the over.

    It confirms my longheld view that cricket clues shouldn’t be written by compilers whose understanding of the complexities of cricket is apparently shaky.

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