Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,237 (Sat 17 Nov)/Pasquale – Disorientated

Posted by rightback on November 24th, 2007

rightback.

Solving time: 17:58

About the last 10 minutes were spent on two pairs: 16ac/18dn and 19ac/20dn. The first I sorted out once I accepted that 16ac was an &lit (and realised that 24ac was LENTIGO and not ‘lentego’), but the second pair was harder: I couldn’t explain 19ac while solving and still couldn’t when blogging. Needless to say, I got it about 30 seconds after originally posting. Some very good clues in this puzzle.

Music (24ac): Vertigo by U2.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

Across
1 HALF-MARA (= ‘hare-like creature? Or is it’) + T(H)ON – perhaps there’s a better explanation for this; ‘half-mara’ seems a bit stretched. A ‘mara’ is a Patagonian hare.
8 USUR(P)ER; &lit – the words ‘usury’ and ‘usurp’ and both (probably) derived from the Latin uti, usus, meaning ‘to use’, but nonetheless this is a very good &lit.
11 SHAVIAN; “SHAVE IAN” – G.B. standing for ‘George Bernard’ (Shaw).
12 TOPS OIL
13 OBE + A + H – very easy if you know the word, which is fairly common in crosswords. But why is there a question mark at the end of the clue?
14 DEMITASSE; (IDEAS STEM)*
16 PAR(KIN)SON; &lit – refers to Cecil Parkinson, who was forced to resign over a relationship with his former secretary. Excellent clue (“Minister admitting relationship”).
19 CRONE – which has to be read as ‘CR 1′, i.e. Charles the First, to give ‘beheaded king’. If only I’d tried to get from ‘beheaded king’ to CRONE instead of the other way around I’d surely have twigged, as I can think of few other kings who were beheaded.
21 TE(TRAD)S
24 LENT + I + GO – freckles. I originally had ‘lent + ego’, but eventually got 18dn and realised it must be lenti?o and picked ‘go’ over ‘do’ (for ‘get’) by analogy with ‘vertigo’.
26 WEATHER GLASS; (RE GALES WHAT’S)* – a flower, the scarlet pimpernel, the flowers of which close when the weather is cloudy.
Down
1 H(A + U + LAG)E
2 LAP + PISH
3 MA + R(IN + AD)ES
4 REP + OT – I would say that OT for ‘hospital department’ made a nice change from ENT if I could work out what it meant. ‘Occupational therapy’ is in a couple of dictionaries but I don’t think could class as a hospital department, so ‘operating theatre’ maybe?
5 TALIPOT; rev. of (I + LAT) + POT (= ‘grass’, as in cannabis) – tricky, requiring the solver to know either ‘pillar’ = LAT (I did, luckily) or TALIPOT, an Asian palm tree (I didn’t).
6 O + MIN(O)US
7 GUY’S HOPSITAL; (TYPHUS IN GOAL)* – I think ‘beating’ has to be read as an intransitive verb (as in ‘the bird’s wings were beating’) for this clue to make sense. Another good anagram.
10 GOLDEN EAGLES; (ANGELS DO + GLEE)*
15 MAN-EATING; RO(MAN)Y – wordplay in the answer, sort of.
17 RETINUE; rev. of NITE in RUE
18 I’M AGIST – should have got this much faster but was held up by an incorrect crossing letter from 24ac.
19 CROATIA; rev. of (AIT + A + ORC) – was it really necessary to include this after the débâcle on Wednesday?
20 ORIENTS; (IN STORE)* – one of my rules if I can’t solve a clue is to make absolutely sure it’s not an anagram. I ignored this advice on this clue for a good 10 minutes, though I think I’d have still got it much faster if I’d been sure about CRONE at 19ac.
22 SPOKE (double definition)

7 Responses to “Guardian 24,237 (Sat 17 Nov)/Pasquale – Disorientated”

  1. roland says:

    Can you remind me of the clue for 15 down please?

  2. rightback says:

    15dn: Dangerous to humans? Roy is so brutal to chap as a gypsy (3-6)

    I omitted the actual answer (MAN-EATING) from the original posting – sorry. As well as wordplay in the answer, there’s a definition (‘Dangerous to humans?’) and a second set of wordplay (‘brutal to chap’).

  3. beermagnet says:

    13A I suspect the question mark is there as an indication of the near homophone obey/obeah.

    15D MAN-EATING: I know that this had me and, judging by the chat on the Guardian Talk Crossword pages, many others completely perplexed.

    It has been mentioned that the blog doesn’t attract very many comments on the weekends, but I suspect that it is because for the prize puzzles like this the bloggers produce a solid blog such as RB’s here.

  4. Pasquale says:

    Many thanks for the feedback. In answer to the query about 15D man-eating Roy= Romany, and in 1A half-marathon is either ‘mara’ (that hare-like creature )OR h in ton

  5. rightback says:

    1ac – I knew I hadn’t understood this properly; thanks, that makes far more sense.

  6. ilancaron says:

    minor comment: you meant ORIENTS=(in store)* for 20D.

  7. rightback says:

    Thanks Ilan, corrected.

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