Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6515/Mordred

Posted by Colin Blackburn on September 3rd, 2007

Colin Blackburn.

I found 90% of this crossword a doddle and then struggled filling in the last few answers. There was the odd word in the wordplay that I’d have expected more in a Morded Listener puzzle.

However, there were some superb clues and I wish I’d had time to comment on more.

1 SLANG — ‘S + LANG.— very simple, initially giving the impression of a badly done hidden word, then it dawned.
4 EMBOSOMS — (kat)E+MB+O+(MOSS)* — this was great, partly because one of my colleagues is Dr Love. Really.
11 THIEF — HIE in T(ea-lea)F — this one confused me for a while because tea-leaf is rhyming slang for thief which is clearly use din the surface but I worked into the definition. I think, however, that Mordred is using the obscure word HIE, which means hasten, for run.
12 TIGHTNESS — TIGHT+NESS— semi &lit.
22 DEFEATISM — FEAT in DEISM — this is a great &lit clue and the best clue in the puzzle for me.
26 CHATEAU — CHA+TEA+U — CHAT+EAU confused me for a while but a U rated film can be seen by anyone.
27 RAIMENT — AIM in RENT— mark = AIM.
29 ARSON — (p)ARSON(s) — NIcholas Parsons, presenter of Just A Minute, among other things.
1 SHUTTER — HUTT in SER. — Jabba the Hutt is, I belive, a character from Star Wars.
3 GRAFFITO — FIT in GRAF+O — Steffi Graf. Graffito is the singular of graffiti.
6 SMOOTH — T for C in SMOOCH — lovely surface.
7 MINCEMEAT — M+INCE+(TEAM)* — Paul Ince was an England midfielder.
8 EDISON — NO SIDE<— I don’t follow this but I suspect the reversal of a term I’ve not checked in Chambers.
14 CLIFF FACE — CLIFF + FACE — Cliff Richard is probably the last person who’d produce sheer rock!
17 SWASTIKA — (SAW in A KITS)< — I think I’ve got the parts right here but I’m not sure if the A comes from ‘about’ or ‘at first’.
23 MERIT — RI in MET ? — I initially assumed that I was an abbreviation for emporer but now I’m not so sure. MERIT isn’t the most obvious meaning for ‘desert’ though it is listed before the other meaning in Chambers.

10 Responses to “Independent 6515/Mordred”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Very good puzzle. Hope LOUISA liked it. MERIT, I think is desert with RI, King and Emperor, in MET as you say. In SWASTIKA, I read A as about at first.

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    Ha, just checked an RI is in Chambers. I’m sure I checked it earlier in the day in an older edition and it wasn’t. Thanks Niall.

    I missed LOUISA altogether, it didn’t help that I’d misspelt TURPITUDE as TERPITUDE and so that square is a bit of a mess.

  3. Richard Palmer says:

    8D NO SIDE is the end of a Rugby game.
    I didn’t understand 18D, presumably it’s REDUCE but I can’t see the wordplay

  4. Colin Blackburn says:

    Thanks for 8d. 18d is REDUCER – R. I didn’t think this one was very good as REDUCE and REDUCER (a chemical agent) are from the same root.

  5. Richard Palmer says:

    I agree with your point about reduce and reducer being from the same root. Also there seems to be a word missing in the clue. REDUCER = ‘chemical solution photographer used’ would be OK. I think photographer has to be a person, not a chemical.

  6. Colin Blackburn says:

    Richard, I no longer have the clue with me but I think 18d was sound. The R removed from REDUCER was the final letter of photographer. REDUCER = ‘chemical solution.

  7. nmsindy says:

    REDUCE(r) did worry me a bit and dicts did not seem to help too much. So I’d a quick look in Bradford and there it was under solution so I probed no more. My reading of the wordplay was as Colin says.

  8. Colin Blackburn says:

    Just checked Collins (last edition) and it has REDUCER defined as a photographic term and begins, ‘Chemical solution used to…’ I noticed in wasn’t in Chambers but when Richard queried the clue last night I used TEA and it had the Collins definition.

  9. Derrick Knight says:

    Many thanks for the comments. Had to check Paul Ince’s position in the field with my son who knows much more about football. He was in fact Manchester United’s prime midfielder as well as England’s. LOUISA loved it. She’s buying today’s copy for the solution.

  10. Derrick Knight says:

    PS. ‘A’ for ‘about at first’ was an effort to reduce Listener-type wordplay. In a Listener puzzle I would have used ‘about’ on its own as an abbreviation

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