Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6560/Scorpion – Thursday 25 October 2007

Posted by John on October 25th, 2007

John.

Solving time : well over an hour. Lots of difficult clues, as one would expect with Scorpion, but some lovely ones and most of them could eventually be explained. I think.

Across
1 RE(S/D)OLE. Loafer (the shoe) might need this.
4 (SQUARE)* round FF. I am never very happy with “above” to mean “round”.
9 Def. “Scientist is one”, B OF F(I/U)N.
10 J(HERWAS)*P. Can’t quite justify “lying through the teeth”: something about the weird way in which the jew’s harp is played, I suppose.
12 A (SHOP)* in SET rev. Nice &lit.
13 First letters of the first six words. You need to have watched a bit of television to know this one (Fred Dibnah).
15 CARBON(D)ATING. Making fizzy = carbonating, drinks the containment indicator. Ageing in the sense of discovering the age. Brilliant.
18 I suppose this is saying that Norway (who were once the recipients of nul points in the Eurovision Song Contest), although cold, is at least a bit warmer than absolute zero. If this is it, not absolutely convincing.
21 S TAN Z(AMBI)A. Def. “[Robert] Burns produced such”. Either “vacation in Zambia” is a clever way of omitting the central letters or it’s not quite good enough. I’m not sure.
22 LIVED rev. I [me] SH.
25 IN [= batting], first letters.
26 O V ER DREW [Barrymore].
 
Down
1 (BIROSTO)* nursing (i.e. containing) C. I spent ages trying to justify INFOTECH here, thinking that the last four letters were the college. Very good clue.
2 (FT OP rev. R(EAD)) in SON.
3 (THELINGO)* BUZZARD [high-flier). Rather an odd definition, but I suppose it’s pretty hard not to say boring things like “Beds town”.
6 (FINISHEDASONG)* ER. Refers to Stella.
7 Hidden rev.
8 SAPPHO I think. She was a poetess and her sexual proclivities are apparently referred to, but “Only half”??
11 Probably FEEDLOT, since it looks as if it begins FE ED [Iron man], and feedlot is the only word that I can find to fit. Perhaps there is a meaning of the word that is not given in Chambers. And I can’t understand “short on TV”.
14 ST RUDE L I think, but I can’t see why “revealing underwear” = “rude”. Why is it that the incomprehensible ones are the only Ximeneanly-unsatisfactory ones in the grid (fewer than 50% of letters checked)?
17 LOT (HAIR)* O. Lot in the sense of plot of ground.
19 “Si Coe”.
20 S ARNIE (ref. the Terminator, which yesterday’s crossword helped me with).
23 JOKE I think. A card is someone who makes a joke, and in one meaning, well-hidden in the dictionary, it refers to the joke itself.

6 Responses to “Independent 6560/Scorpion – Thursday 25 October 2007”

  1. nmsindy says:

    11 I think it’s FEEDBOX, which makes a pangram (every letter used).
    Very tough and satisfying. CARBON DATING was absolutely brilliant.

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    Another way of reading 23dn is as card = JOKEr making JOKE. I’m not so sure it’s a good parsing though.

  3. neildubya says:

    11A I had FEEDBOX too. 13A was the last to go in for me – couldn’t believe I didn’t spot what was going on earlier! Fantastic puzzle.

  4. nmsindy says:

    4 across QUAFFERS I think “above one boozer” = more than one drinker ie quaffers. 21 across, I took as emptying Zambia as you suggest, leaving ZA. 8 down SAPPHO thought only half was as AC/DC is bisexual she was just lesbian ie half. STRUDEL – had doubts at first but think it means revealing underwear is rude (it used to be anyway). That was where I noticed checking was less than 50% in places which made me think there was more to it all ie the pangram.

  5. rightback says:

    I thought this was brilliant in places and unsatisfactory in others. JOKE, SAPPHO and DIBNAH were the best I could come up with for the respective answers but I was surprised to find that any, much less all, were right when I looked here.

  6. jetdoc says:

    Sappho featured in a recent Azed which I blogged, when I pointed out that: ‘the lyric poet Sappho was a Lesbian (i.e. she came from the island of Lesbos); her sexual proclivities are not known for certain, but because she wrote love poems addressed to both women and men, she has long been considered bisexual’. I haven’t read the full clue, but I think she may well have been more than half of AC/DC.

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