Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24266 Pasquale – “We need a common enemy to unite us.”

Posted by neildubya on December 21st, 2007

neildubya.

Condoleeza Rice (15d.) once made the quote in the title. Not her finest hour. Struck me that Pasquale’s puzzle is uniting quite a few people this morning – hope you’re all finding it as challenging as I am.

The puzzle was a beast on the scale of the Boojum (a dangerous Snark). It would have beat me were it not for inspired contributions in the “Comments” section below.

Made me wonder if I’m up to this job actually … although we did get there in the end, and there may have been some entertainment value in watching me struggle.

Across

5 P-LACE-R – was badly stuck on the top half until took a leap of faith with this – turns out Placer Mining is a thing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placer_mining

12 O-USE-L – A bird of some sort

18 PULL DOWN MENU – (DULLMENOWNUP)* Thanks David : makes the rest of the crossword much harder when you use DROP instead of PULL.

 21 ME-NO-MOSS-O : Kate Moss is the supermodel – it’s a musical instruction to slow down (obeyed rigorously if the musician is being paid by the hour rather than by the note)

23 IXTLE : Had to look it up, but it was fairly clear from the wordplay – anagram of (t)EXTIL(e) 

24 (S)IBERIA : related to sunny Spain. Why did this take me so long - this has come up a few times. (S) is for S(un)?

25 ASCENDER : a printing term you really should look up if you want to use it in a sentence.

27 HE-A-TRASH : H.E is crosswordese for High Explosive

Down

1 BECK-ON

6 LEASE -  think it’s EASEL with the L round the front – a “let” is a sort of lease

7 COM(e)-PLAIN – not convinced, but becoming increasingly less choosy as time goes on

11 After Araucaria’s 39 letter anagram at the weekend, this looks like a 24 letter one and so should be a breeze – haven’t nailed it yet

15 CONDI-MEN-T – “Condi” Rice is the US Secretary of State.  Chaps =Men. T = modicum of “taste”. Clue is a little unorthodox but I think totally fair. Let the whining commence !  

16 SPAM-MING – (MAPS)< with Ming Campbell (recently-ex LibDem leader – I wonders whether the new guy will linger long enough to make it into the crossword lexicon)

17 FLANDERS – As in the double-act “Flanders & Swan” and one of the old bits of Belgium that may be on the verge of becoming a new country. 

19 ST(AD)IA – “aits” are islands in a river (good Scrabble word)

20 HEA(R)TH – Edward Heath was a British Prime Minister and sailor. Responsible for one of my favourite quotations

“A diplomat is a man who thinks twice before he says nothing.”

22 MA(I)ZE

25 Responses to “Guardian 24266 Pasquale – “We need a common enemy to unite us.””

  1. David says:

    Stan, shouldn’t 18ac be PULL down menu?

  2. Chris says:

    “Y” is only an ascender in the way that all capital letters are – so, in your example, “E” would be too. It really refers to the likes of l, t or h – as opposed to descenders like y, j or p.

  3. Fletch says:

    Couldn’t make much headway with this one at all and popped in here for a few cheats – not helped by the fact I entered beacon instead of beckon at 1d, remembering EA = running water but not entirely understanding the rest!

  4. ducklofty says:

    10 AC: TARMAC – creature (RAT)

  5. Michod says:

    4,11: (for…) THE SNARK WAS A BOOJUM, YOU SEE. The closing words of The Hunting of the Snark. I had a moment of inspiration with about half of the checked letters in, when I tried to see how the B and J would fit in. Clever anagram, but very hard – as was the puzzle in general.

  6. ducklofty says:

    I think that 8 DN is RECREANT – means cowardly and has (T CAREER)* with N

  7. ducklofty says:

    4/11 : “THE SNARK WAS A BOOJUM YOU SEE” Lewis Carroll, actually quite witty now I see the answer having joke beast in the anagrind

    14 : INT(RO)JECTION

    13 : NO ON(E ELS)E

  8. ducklofty says:

    Ooops – missed Michod solving the big one

  9. stan says:

    3d HEADLINED ?

  10. stan says:

    Glad I wasn’t the only one stumped by these – figured my mind had gone and I was finally fit only for Sodoku.

  11. stan says:

    9a CRUSADER – Crew’s Aider … D’oh !

  12. stan says:

    2d BLU(I)SH – Conservative colour is Blue – it’s Blush with a 1 innit

    Home stretch …

  13. stan says:

    1a BOBWHITE – Type of quail – Bob is to move jerkily and the editor of the Guardian was … Michael White (?)

  14. stan says:

    I did say HEADLINED before for 3d with no confidence – can only think it’s an &Lit

    26a still outstanding – thanks for all who contributed today.

  15. Michod says:

    Re BOBWHITE – nice idea, but I think Guardian is WE, with HIT in it.
    Re CRUSADER – to me the homonym gives CRUZADER. Is that an alternative pronunciation or just a wee bit of poetic licence?

  16. radchenko says:

    success (HIT) in Guardian (WE) = WHITE.

    Just impossipuzzle. Such a relief to know that others found it as hard.

  17. radchenko says:

    And now I’m a minute late with my comment. Put me in with Ducklofty.

  18. Fletch says:

    26 Gospel- go spel(l)

  19. beermagnet says:

    26A GOSPEL Go Spel(l)

  20. Stan says:

    Tempted to go back to edit my posting now as follows :-

    “Solving time : 9 mins 30 – quite tricky this morning, but shouldn’t present problems to anyone with an intimate knowledge of aviculture, mining and Lewis Carroll. After ‘dada’ and ‘mama’ my first words were ‘ixtle’ and ‘recreant’, so it was particularly pleasing to me.”

    Thanks for giving my ego a good kicking, Pasquale.

  21. beermagnet says:

    Hello Ducky. Hello Rads.
    We can call ourselves the “Minute late mob”

  22. Dave Ellison says:

    Pasquale measures fourth hardest on my list of Guardian setters, in terms of percentage of his/her puzzles I have completed (10%). Enigmatist is hardest (0%!); Janus easiest (64%).

    In terms of number of clues completed on my third attempt, he still ranks fourth (13 clues completed / ~26, on average). When I do a crossword, I go through all clues in order, and then through them all again till stuck (the second attempt). Later in the day, when the old brian has subconsciously had a chance to work, I have another go (3rd attempt). On this measure Enigmatist is still hardest (8.44 clues completed) and Janus first (23.27).

  23. Fletch says:

    Well we’re all different I guess Dave, I find Enigmatist nowhere near as hard as Pasquale and much more fun.

  24. Pasquale says:

    Thank you for an interesting set of responses. Those inadequately punished by me may like to try Duck’s Times Listener puzzle today.

  25. ilancaron says:

    Hard weekday puzzle made easier having done it on Sat morning with the holidays looming. Had to use a certain search engine for the Carroll quote. But there were some good clues: e.g. MA(I)ZE with grass and prison combining for a smooth surface, BLU(I)SH with another good surface linking conservatism with embarrassment, even O,USE,L was good given that Pasquale masquarades as Duck elsewhere which had thinking it was self-referential at first!

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