Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Christmas Crossword by Cinephile

Posted by Pete Maclean on January 3rd, 2008

Pete Maclean.

This whopper proved rather easy. That is often true of Cinephile’s themed puzzles but is especially so of this one because, once one has spotted the theme, one knows not simply what kind of answers to look for but, with a certain easily tested assumption, all the themed answers. They are, of course, all surnames of US Presidents for the past 146 years.

Across
11. RADII – RA (one who paints) + DI (princess) + I (one)
12. PROVISO – PRO (for) + VI (six) + SO (like this)
13. O CANADA – AD presumably comes from poster but I am unsure how the rest works
14. HAYES – homophone (mist)
15. REPRIEVED – anagram of DRIVE PEER
16. DEFER – double definition
17. RIPEN – RI (some ritual) + PEN (writer)
19. CHARGER – double definition
20. GUNNERS -N (new) + ER (queen) in SNUG (pub room)
21. ROOSEVELT – EVE (woman) + L (left) in ROOST (sleeping place)
23. REAGAN – anagram of A RANGE
25. EDEN – EDEN[tate] (sloth). Do enough crosswords and you learn that sloths are edentates!
27. JOHNSON – !!!
28. SOPHISTICATED – SO (so) + PHISTIC (truncated homophone) + anagram of DATE
31. HOTHEADEDNESS – double definition
34. KENNEDY – KENNED (known) + Y (unknown). What a perfectly concise and beautiful clue — well, semi-clue!
35. MOVE – double definition
37. EGRESS – [n]EGRESS
38. CLEVELAND – CAND[our] (frankness with our loss) with LEVEL (even) inserted
40. KREMLIN – KR (king) + L (student) in EMIN (Tracey)
41. LINCOLN – double definition. (Lincoln’s Inn is one of four Inns of Court in London.)
42. TELIC – hidden word
44. NIXON – NIX (nothing) + ON (doing). Another little gem!
45. BARDOLINO – BARD (Shakespeare) + O (love) + NIL (love) backwards + O (love). Don’t you love it?
46. UTTER – double definition
48. ELEVONS – ELEVENS (numbers) with O (oxygen) replacing E (energy)
49. SLEIGHT – SLEIGH (dogcart perhaps) + T (model)
50. ALFIE – anagram of A LIFE. I like this clue a lot.

Down
1. ARTHUR – [ye]AR + THUR (a day)
2. EDDY – double definition
3. WILSON – anagram of IN SLOW
4. POT PLANT – POTT[er] (Harry unhesitatingly) with PLAN (scheme) inserted
5. RIDING CROP – RIDING (Yorkshire) + CROP (harvest)
6. HOOVER – HOVER (stay where you are) around O (circle)
7. FORD – double definition
8. HARDING – hidden word
9. GARFIELD – RAG (paper) backwards + FIELD (area). Some people object to having both fodder and indicator in the same word, as in paperback here. I like it.
10. HARRISON – NO SIRRAH backwards
12. PERICLEAN – PERI (fairy) + CLEAN (free of contamination)
18. PROPHET – PROP (support) + anagram of THE
20. GRANT – GRAN (relative) + T (time)
21. RAJAH – AJAR (partly open) backwards + H (hospital)
22. EASTER – E (end of the) + ASTER (flower)
24. ALIAS – ALI (caliph) + AS (when)
26. SCONCE – SC (wit?) + ONCE (formerly)
28. SIDLE – S (briefly it’s) + IDLE (not working)
29. TOENAIL – anagram of ELATION
30. DRYAD – DRY (teetotal) + AD
32. DAGON – homophone (“day gone”). Dagon was the chief god of the ancient Philistines.
33. EISENHOWER – anagram of WHERE ONE IS
34. KLEINWORT – play on the company name Kleinwort Benson. A name you will surely know if you read the FT. (What do you mean, you only buy it for the crossword puzzle?)
35. MCKINLEY – anagram of NICKEL in MY (setter’s)
36. VIEUX JEU – VIE (compete) + UX[bridge] + JEU (game in Paris). “Vieux jeu” means old-fashioned which, I guess, “out of the ark” does too. This was, perhaps, the most difficult clue for me but I worked it out.
38. COOLIDGE – COOL (not enthusing) + anagram of GIDE
39. CLINTON – I am unsure how this works but Linton is the surname of the man that Catherine (C), Heathcliff’s love in Wuthering Heights, marries.
41. LYRIST – YR (your limits) in LIST (desire)
42. TRUMAN – RUM (hard liquor) in TAN (whip)
43. CARTER – R (right) in CATER (do food)
45. BUSH – go beat some bushes
47. TAFT – TA (acknowledgment) to FT (measure)

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