Fifteensquared

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Independent 6575 by Morph

Posted by nmsindy on November 12th, 2007

nmsindy.

This puzzle typified the new direction the Indy puzzle is taking since Eimi became crossword editor. Themed, with a Nina (in case anyone wants to look again at the grid, I’ll give this at the end of the blog after the clue explanations). I suspected as much when I saw the unusual grid and when one of the first clues I solved was the obscure 15 across UNSENSE from a friendly anagram.

Though I discovered the theme in less than 20 mins on solving 31 across, it took a long time to solve the puzzle. It also drove a coach-and-four through the ‘drawing-room’ conventions of DFM’s book.

Solving time: 64 mins.

* = anagram < = reversed

ACROSS

6 UP TOWN Very good, this. ‘trail’ means ‘follow’ up = at university non-academic types = town as in ‘town and gown’ if I’ve understood it.

10 (Ann)OUNCE

11 A(X) E X (times as in multiplication tables – remember them?) in A & E. Liked this a lot, with a superb surface reading.

12 IFFY Every other letter in Six Fifty

14 H(er)O T MEAL God = hero less (save) ER = Queen Very good, based on the theme group’s song in the surface reading. (metal)*

16 SET My biggest doubt. “Jam should do live show” See that jam would set, but not sure about the live show – the other possibility is SIT.

17 NU DI(t)TY “New” Another good music surface.

19 PISTIL i for o in pistol

21 VD U

23 (t)EMERIT(y) I I = Institute

25 PIST OL S 13 is SEXLESSLY so SEX PISTOLS less SEX ol’ = old, I think.

27 CAR B Short for carbohydrate – great clue

28 I DO Nothing to do with the Alf Garnett late 60s sitcom, later filmed, but words of a wedding service.

29 NADAL Hidden court = tennis court

30 B UR EAU Beau Bridges (actor) Centre of chURch

31 Johnny R (OTT) EN(t) Torn = Rent

DOWN

1 NONE LEFT (fennel to)* for the anagram spare in the sense go spare = rage

2 END-ALLS (and sell)* Cunningly hidden anagram I did not see for quite a while

3 VOTE OUT A perhaps not so cryptic definition that had me chasing false trails for quite a while till light dawned.

5 REEF KNOT (free)* a ‘knot’ is a bird

7 PIN (O) T Slight niggle here with the comma after old. Was looking for a glass in the form wine + O for quite a while

9 MO (B-HANDE)D (band he)* This was a key word for the puzzle as the only word in the first column of the grid – it’s what finally revealed the full puzzle to me. Again a misleading musical surface. The word (new to me and verified after) means a great number (adj).

13 S (EXLESS) LY Ex-less = not enjoying former partner

18 DA E DAL US lad<

21 Sid V ICI OUS ici = here in French vous = you in French (except for intimates when it’s tu) hence ‘politely’

22 UP Y OURS (Sour)* after first letters if I’ve read it right – the wording seems a little loose.

24 INBRED “In bread” Setter well entitled to the “!”

Nina: Read the across rows 1, 3 and 5. Topical, as I believe the group is reforming 30 years after they started.

6 Responses to “Independent 6575 by Morph”

  1. Jos says:

    Re 16A I think, a band perform a set, which is what jam should do.

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    Well, they’ve reformed several times whenever they’ve needed the money. A 30th anniversary is as good a reason as any to cash in.

    22dn is U PY (SOUR)* Pretty Vacant giving PY and like 14ac managing to use one of the band’s song title as a cryptic element. Cook was in the band so I think the wording here is excellent.

  3. Richard Heald says:

    A good, fun puzzle which wasn’t afraid to break the rules – appropriately enough, under the circumstances! Not one to please the pop-culturephobes, but I have no complaints. It’s just a shame no room could be found for Steve Jones or the much-maligned Glen Matlock.

  4. jetdoc says:

    I too enjoyed this one a lot — great theme to cheer a cold Monday. 22D is really impressive, and I like 21D too, given that Sid V wasn’t known for speaking politely to anyone.

  5. DFM says:

    Such a nice young man when he submitted his puzzle to The Church Times …

  6. Michod says:

    Sorry Don! Thanks for all the feedback – I did try to get some other band members in, but the top half of the puzzle was somewhat constrained by the top three rows of unches.

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