Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Beelzebub 917/Phi (09-09-07)

Posted by neildubya on September 21st, 2007

neildubya.

I thought this was pretty tricky but I struggled with all but one of the long answers that form the perimeter of the grid, so that will have prevented me from really getting going. Most unlikely word of the puzzle: 9D, by a country mile.

Across
1 A,CAR,O,L,O,GISTS – ACAROLOGY is a branch of zoology dealing with mites and ticks. O is a short form of “on”.
14 P,ON in LASS< – SPONSAL. I think this is just another word (or maybe a variant spelling of) spousal.
16 V,ALL in TILL,Y,Y – tough clue to parse. I figured that it must be something ending -ALLY but it took me ages to get V for “see” and then TILL for “work” as I could shake off the idea that “work” was OP[us]. Loved the surface reading.
21 L,ARC,HEN – quite literally, “of or pertaining to the larch”. Must remember to use that, next time I have a conversation about larches.
23 PROP,ONE,N[-i]TS
26 STICKIT – without access to Chambers, I originally filled in “knockit” but it soon became apparent this wasn’t right.
31 (PART)* in (SONS NAME)*
 
Down
1 (SPOIL A SITCOM)* – APOSTOLICISM.
2 CIPPI – not sure if this is right but can’t explain it if it is. Full clue is “Chap escaping denunciation turning up in the stocks”.
6 LION in GANG,IC – the surface reading misleads nicely here. GANGLION is a mass of nerve tissue existing outside the central nervous system.
8 A,NET< in TUG – TUTENAG. NET is (I think) an archaic word for “clean,pure” or bright.
9 HAIR,IS,T in SPIKE – SPHAIRISTIKE. Bizarre word, with an amusing history as it was to be name of the sport we now call “tennis”. When Major Walter Clopton Wingfield defined the rules of the modern game he wanted to call it SPHAIRISTIKE (Greek for “playing ball”) but the name was dropped when too many people found it difficult to pronounce. Funny, that.
12 PSYCHO,POMP – which is “a person who conducts spirits or souls to another world”.
18 ROB,A in ACT
20 A,NOT,HER
24 I in TAR,S

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