Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Beelzebub 925/Phi (04-11-07)

Posted by neildubya on November 16th, 2007

neildubya.
Across
1 RUM,GUM,(IN TOP)* – RUMGUMPTION can mean common sense or native wit. I’d heard of plain old “gumption” (which can mean the same thing) but thought it only meant nerve or courage.
11 (SURE LIUM)* – I assumed that “half of mycelium” would be MYCE so I didn’t get very far with this until I had a few letters in place.
12 R in (SELECT BRAI[-n]S)* – CEREBRALISTS.
19 [-d]INNER BAR – I think this is right but I don’t understand all of the wordplay. The full clue is “Lawyers missing start to meal: amusing incident”. The INNER BAR is the Queen’s (or King’s) counsel.
27 FLAM in A,E – FLAM can mean lie (“fancy”) or deception.
28 WED in SEN – SEN is State Enrolled Nurse.
29 JOE-MILLER,IS,M – which is apparently the practice of re-telling old jokes. Nice &lit clue too, with a pun on corn: “One beloved handler of corn is beginning to manifest this”.
30 LIES< in ORLE – ORSEILLE. An ORLE is (in Webster’s comma-heavy definition) “A bearing, in the form of a fillet, round the shield, within, but at some distance from, the border”. One of the tougher clues in the puzzle for me, given that I didn’t know ORLE or the answer word.
32 MARROW,BONES – an informal term for the knees. MARROW can mean a variety of things: spouse, helpmate, co-worker, companion or close friend, all of which were new to me. Not sure about BONES for “pinches” though. Is this is in Chambers (which I don’t have to hand right now)?
 
Down
2 URENA – I liked this; the full clue is “Mallow plant encountered in Nature repeatedly.” So URENA is hidden “NatURE NAture”
6 T in RAF in PALLS – another good clue with a nice surface reading.
8 GEM,TUN< – for non-footie fans, a NUTMEG is when you play the ball through an opponent’s legs.
9 OS,SE[-t]TERS – an OSSETER is a species of sturgeon.
13 SOL,IF,I,DIAN – DIAN was the only bit I wasn’t sure of her. Is it another spelling of Diana (the Roman goddess of hunting)?
15 BARE,L in ALL,O – an ALBARELLO is “a majolica jar of the 15th and 16th centuries, cylindrical with a waist slightly narrower than the ends, used in Spain and Italy for keeping dry drugs”
17 I in JOCK in JIG – JICKAJOG. I found this tough to parse and really needed the four consecutive checked letters at KAJO.
25 WE in BED< – very nearly filled in TWERP as I had the W filled in.

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