Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6643 by Tees

Posted by nmsindy on January 31st, 2008

nmsindy.

I found this a very tough puzzle, esp the lower half but also the long 20-letter phrase in the top half which was new to me.    But I got there in the end and there were some excellent clues.   Solving time, 61 mins.

* = anagram   < = reversed

ACROSS

1 DOG LATIN   (an old git)*    There’s nothing more to indicate the anagram than ‘from’ as far as I can see, which is unusual.

5 A DON IS (lives)     From Greek mythology

12 GA (SO H) OL    can = gaol

18/10 THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND     New to me, it means very drunk.   (he who detests thirteen)*     I noticed from the start that ‘thirteen’ was spelt out rather than shown as 13 which is usual practice when referring to another clue.   So I was not sure if it referred to 13 ac (BEVERAGE) or the number.    In the end it referred to the answer of course and the ‘thirteen’ was used as it was part of the anagram.    I was very slow getting it because (1) I’d one mistake in a crossing word at first (2) did not spot the anagram and (3) had never heard the phrase, which I verified after.

23 A RIA DNE   a (end air)<   More Greek mythology.

25 C (ONCE R) T   R = king   ct = court   once = when

26 MAJORITY VERDICT   A tip-top cryptic definition that I tumbled to only when I’d quite a few crossing letters.

27 NA (N) TES    nates is a technical work for the buttocks (can’t say I’ve ever heard used, but it’s in Collins).

28 CROSS MAN   “Diaries of Mister X!”       This was the last I got, and I did wonder if the younger generation might struggle with the reference.   It’s to Richard (Dick) Crossman, Minister in the Labour Government of 1964-70 who later wrote extensive diaries about the experience.    I know Eimi’s said the Indy’s not always strictly Ximenean – it’s a stretch to define Crossman as ‘diaries’, I’d say.

DOWN

1 DES RES    Desires less I

2 GREAT BEAR    bear = stock market when share prices are falling.

4 INTER    Inter Milan (football club) play at San Siro.    Inter = Bury and Bury is a Football League team that  readers may be surprised to know never appeared below the top two divisions from their election to the League in 1894  till 1957.

14 A (are – metric measure) N C( l)IENTS    l = money (£)

16 CARPE DIEM   (from Latin – enjoy the present – literally seize the day) (made price)*

17 Ralph S (TE) AD MAN   TE Lawrence, writer.

19 ENDOR S(af)E   Definition = second.    The rest from Star Wars.

21 CONTRAS    Amusing reference to Oliver North so nothing to do with the point of the compass.

22 STAT IN    Stat = photostat

24 INJUN   “Honest Injun” contrasted with those using ‘forked tongue’ i.e. lying.

25 C (see) OVER   A fielder (cricket)

12 Responses to “Independent 6643 by Tees”

  1. Jon says:

    A crossword of two halves for me – the top half I completed fairly quickly (apart from the long phrase, which despite knowing I didn’t get, probably because I couldn’t find the definition), the rest I really struggled with. Can somebody explain 20ac, which has still got me stumped?

  2. neildubya says:

    Oddly enough I found this quite easy – certainly easier than the last couple of Tees puzzles. I knew the long phrase (which was a great clue I thought) but didn’t get it until near the end, despite having all the checking letters in place in 10a. I was surprised to see the Ewoks ref in 19d as I thought that was a bit obscure – maybe not. 26a was a cracker though.

  3. neildubya says:

    20a – it’s a cryptic def – CASH CARD.

  4. Jon says:

    Thanks!

  5. eimi says:

    I was uncertain about the Endor reference. I was tempted to suggest a change to the Biblical witch of Endor, but then wondered whether Star Wars wasn’t more widely known than the Bible these days. I’ve recently taken advantage of the amazing prices for the first three Star Wars films on DVD at Amazon, so it was certainly fresh in my memory.

  6. Ali says:

    I had the same issues with the bottom half. Fouind it really hard and had to rely on the above for help.

    Much to the disbelief of everybody I have ever met, I have never seen Star Wars, but did know that the Ewoks lived on Endor on account of the classic ‘Chewbaccca Defence’ speech from South Park! Well done for leaving it in, Eimi. It’s touches like this that make the Indy crossword stand out for me.

  7. PaulB says:

    28A was an attempt to define the diaries rather than their author, using logic along the lines of ‘diaries attributable to Mr X can only be CROSS MAN diaries’.

  8. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for that, and 28 ac had that frisson i.e. when you see the answer you know it’s right. Very tough puzzle and, for that reason and also having some excellent clues, very satisfying to finish.

  9. Fletch says:

    I note the reviewer’s comment that ‘from’ as an anagram indicator is unusual. Is this a subtle and polite way of saying inadequate?

  10. nmsindy says:

    No, it was more raising the question. I’ve seen wording like abcd ‘could become’ so ‘from’ could just about say – take those letters and do something with them.
    There was also a ‘spurious’ (a more classic anagram indicator) in the clue “Spurious language from an old git!”, but its position and the definition of ‘dog Latin’ in dicts suggested this did not have a role in indicating the anagram.

  11. eimi says:

    Thanks to Ali for the encouraging comment. It won’t please everybody, but I believe that the crossword has to embrace popular culture if it is to survive and prosper.

  12. Fletch says:

    Star Wars vs The Bible – I can just see that as the next hot topic on the Crossword Centre threads.

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