Fifteensquared

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Guardian 24297/Brendan

Posted by Colin Blackburn on January 29th, 2008

Colin Blackburn.

An absolutely superb Brendan. Many of the clues were outstanding, in fact the weaker ones were the thematic clues. The theme was a rambling one connecting John DONNE (10) and Ernest HEMINGWAY (14) starting from the ISLE OF MAN (9).

Across
9 ISLE OF MAN — F in (IS NO MALE)* — this clue could best be described as an &lit
11,22,24 FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS — straight definition — a disappointing clue given the quality of the other clues.
13 DRIFT — D+RIFT — “powerless” misled me here as I tried to find a “movement” to remove a P from.
16 NO MAN IS AN ISLAND — double def, one cryptic
19 ENDPAPERS — END+PAPERS — the definition here, “they are bound to take extreme positions,” is excellent.
21 VERDI — VERDI(ct)
25 RANCOROUS — “ranker us”
Down
1 DIFFIDENCE — D+IF + (I’D in FENCE)
2 ALARMISM — ALAR + (IS in MM) — superb definition of “tendency to flap” works well with “like wings” = ALAR
3 TOP HAT — OP in THAT — THAT is in the clue itself.
5 INCREMENTS — R in IN+CEMENTS
8 RELY — R+ELY — everyone must know ELY by now.
14 HOSTELLERS — L in (SHELTER SO)* — hostellers may hike from one hostel to another.
15 YIDDISHISM — pantrY ‘ID DISH I SMashed — this is an excellent hidden clue, the surface is then enhanced by the Yiddish word chosen to define by example.
20 DEEPLY — DEE+PLY — there are at least two River Dees in the UK.
22 TATE — TATE(r) — tater = potato = King Edward (a variety).
23 AUNT — double def. — Uncle Sam’s wife would be an AUNT. AUNT Sally is an outdoor pub game played in Oxfordshire and some of the surrounding counties. It’s great fun to have a go at but very difficult to get it right.

7 Responses to “Guardian 24297/Brendan”

  1. Shirley says:

    I agree – a great crossword. Loved the tie up with Donne and IOM.
    Sorry to be picky but I think that 25 Ac RANCOUROUS is spelt with a “C” not a “K”. The clue is SOUNDING.

  2. radchenko says:

    Mildly pedantic, but isn’t it rancorous?

    Otherwise agreed, an excellent puzzle. The themed clues were easier to get but the linkage through the clues had a real wit about it (Isle of Man disproves “no man is an island” — really very good).

  3. radchenko says:

    Oh no, not the dreaded gazumping by a minute again!

  4. Ciaran McNulty says:

    I got it from the quotation but can someone explain how 10A is DONNE? I’m sure it’s really obvious when you see it but I just can’t make the connection.

  5. linxit says:

    10A: I’d always pronounced the name as “don”, but it must be pronounced as “dun”, as if you said it twice you’d then get “done” for agreed and “dun” for to press for payment.

  6. diagacht says:

    10a may have something to do with Donne’s poem ‘A Hymn to God the Father’ in which he plays on his own name with the lines: ‘when thou hast done, thou hast not done, for I have more’. This could be the repeated request for payment.

  7. Colin Blackburn says:

    Thanks for the correction, it was a typo from typing out the homophone! Though it is RANCOROUS, Shirley.

    Yes, I think it’s “done” and “dun”, though it did wonder if there was some allusion to his poetry in the “repeatedly agreed”.

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