Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Beelzebub/Phi 912 (05-08-07)

Posted by neildubya on August 17th, 2007

neildubya.

I thought this was a cracking puzzle. It looked like it was going to be a lot harder than it turned out to be as my first pass over the across clues yielded nothing; but I got going with 2D and then it all fell into place fairly quickly. A lot of the words were unfamiliar to me but the wordplay was nothing less than bullet-proof; so much so that I’d filled in a two-thirds of the grid before feeling compelled to check Chambers (11D was the first word I looked up, even though there was at least half a dozen words before that that were new to me).

NB: the IoS printed the wrong grid the magazine so thanks to Eimi for sending me the correct version.

Across
1 (SPOOR MAY)* – PYROSOMA, which literally means (in Greek), “fire bodies”.
9 EQUIP,O,I,SING
13 FAIR,MY<,ONE,Y – excellent clue. Said to be left by a fairy at the place where it was found.
14 Y in FLASH – FLY ASH.
15 AM in ARE(a) – an edible type of seaweed.
16 I,ANO(n) in LID – another good clue. I knew that this had to be something to do with LIANA but it took a while to see the ANO(n) bit of the wordplay to get LIANOID.
20 ASK,LENT
21 hidden in “clasSY RENdition” – alternate spelling of “siren”.
24 LI in IR,REGION – I’m not sure that “Atheism” is a direct synonym of IRRELIGION but the latter means “lack of religion” which implies (I suppose) a lack of belief in a god.
26 IN,I in MATE
27 (MINI CUTLASS)* – MASCULINIST. I didn’t know that “masculine” had this form but it was a reasonably easy anagram to spot.
29 ESC,ARGOT – I filled this in quite quickly and then wondered why as I couldn’t see why “A key” = ESC. Had a “do’h” moment when I realised it was the ESC(ape) key.
 
Down
1 P,ELF – I had to check this in Chambers as PELF looked too silly to be a word.
2 I in (A FURY*),A – the RUFIYAA is the currency of the Maldives. I thought it was spelt differently to this (I would have sworn there was a “h” in there somewhere).
4 OR in MILDS
5 ASANAS – are positions in yoga but I can’t work out the wordplay. Any offers?
6 (ALONE GRIMY)* – excellent clue, which I think would count as an &lit.
7 (GIN)*,I in OMINOUS – another corker with a great surface reading. “Threatening to belt one” for the last part of the wordplay is really good.
8 GREE in (REST)* – GREE is an archaic word (indicated by “former”) for “favour”.
10 (MY TEQUILA IT)* – QUALITY TIME. Interestingly, the Chambers online dictionary gives the definition for this as a period of time where “someone’s attention is devoted entirely to someone else” (my italics) (the Concise OED has a similar definition); whereas the definition in the clue – “when I can really appreciate it” (setter’s italics) – implies a period of time where your attention is devoted to only yourself (a bit like the newer “me time”).
11 (GAMER RINGS)* – GRANGERISM. Haven’t the faintest idea how I managed to come up with this as it seems such an unlikely sort of word. Turns out, it’s the practise of illustrating particular books with engravings torn from other books.
14 ASH,M in FLAN – another great clue, loved the surface reading.
17 (IT PAUSE)* – IAPETUS is the third-largest moon of Saturn.
18 PERI(l),W,GI (going up) – the wordplay leads to PERIWIG but I can’t see how that relates to “Major”, the only bit left in the clue that could be the definition.
23 AID,I,O (all going up)

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