Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,147 (Sat 4 Aug)/Taupi – Lowlights

Posted by rightback on August 11th, 2007

rightback.

Solving time: 10:16

A really good puzzle this week and much more accurate than normal for the Guardian, with some very elegant clues and clever definitions. Should have been faster but for ‘phenomenal’ slowness on 1ac which proved a 1dn.

Most interesting for me was the realisation that ‘lie low’ and ‘lay low’ are two different phrases with different meanings, with the second also being the past tense of the first; I have a feeling that occasionally I may have solecistically used ‘lay low’ to mean ‘lie low’ in the present tense.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

Across
1 SOUTHERN LIGHTS; (THE GIRLS ON THUS)* – my first thought, on reading ‘phenomenal sight’, was ‘aurora borealis’, then ‘northern lights’ when I read the enumeration more carefully. Unbelievably it took me another look, and a full minute’s struggle with the anagram, to see the answer.
9 UN(A + NIM)ITY – ‘game’ for NIM is fairly common, though probably behind R.U. and GO.
10 MAN OR [mouse]
11 [top] BRASS
12 VIOLA + TION (= INTO*) – nice use of the verb ‘fragments’.
13 I(C)E + BOUND (= ‘spring’) – ‘in’ is not a link word here but patr of the definition ‘Frozen in’.
14 FERRIC (hidden) – again ‘of’ is part of the definition, but I’m not sure about ‘vein’ as a hidden indicator.
17 GIMLET (double definition) – a small handheld boring tool, and a gin/vodka and lime cocktail. I wasn’t sure about the first but knew the second.
19 MOCCASIN (cryptic definiton) – punning on ‘slippery’ meaning ‘like a slipper’.
22 L + U.D.I. + CRO[c]US – I didn’t understand this wordplay when solving. Apparently UDI can stand for ‘Unilateral Declaration of Independence’, while ‘caught out (not the first)’ means ‘remove the second ‘C’ but not the first’.
24 LA + THE
25 C(R)ANE
26 GINGER + NUT – probably the best biscuits for dunking in the known universe.
27 P(HARM + ACE(U)TIC)AL – another very accurate clue, with ‘highest class’ indicating U and ‘of drugs’ being the definition.
Down
1 S[elect] + TUMBLING + BLOCK (= ‘die’) – ‘let’ can mean an obstruction. Great clue, provided you accept ‘X leader’ for ‘first letter of X’.
2 UNAWARE; rev. of (A WAN) in URE
3 HAILSTONE (cryptic definition)
4 REIN + VENT – another good definition (‘make over’, i.e. make again).
5 LAY LOW (double definition) – when I read ‘fell’ I tried to make Mam Tor work for a while, but it’s actually in the sense of ‘knock down’.
6 G[r]AMMA[r] – ‘not one of the R’s’ here means ‘not any of the R’s': devious but fair.
7 TANGIER (double definition) – the port in Morocco on the African side of the Strait of Gibraltar.
8 TRANSCENDENTAL; (AND LANTERNS ETC)*
15 EX + CELL + ENT (= TEN*)
16 N(O)NSENSE – with ‘directions’ indicating, perhaps a little unfairly, seven of the eight letters.
18 MUD + BATH
20 SATANIC (hidden)
21 LOGGIA; (GIGOL[o])* + A
23 CLEAR [as mud]

3 Responses to “Guardian 24,147 (Sat 4 Aug)/Taupi – Lowlights”

  1. Michod says:

    UDI (22 ac) normally refers to Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965 under Ian Smith, which allowed white majority rule to continue until the creation of Zimbabwe in 1979.

  2. neildubya says:

    26A – Absolutely. Although Chocolate Hob Nobs run them a close second.

  3. xyuwcr says:

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