Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian, 24317 (Gordius)

Posted by diagacht on February 21st, 2008

diagacht.
Across
1 JETSAM: SAM (American) after JET
8 ITCHIER: anagram of RICH TEa + I; you need to replace the “a” with an “i” (one for a)
9 HACKSAW: HACK (reporter) + SAW (has a point)
11 SWEEPING REFORMS: &Lit
13 SUPERSONIC: SIC (so) around U (classy) and PERSON
17 IDLE GOSSIP: anagram of PIGS SOILED
18 ESAU: USE (reversed) around A
20 CARBON FOOTPRINT: FOOT in CARBON PRINT
23 PINTADO: PINT (beer) + ADO (trouble); a pintado is a kind of sea bird
24 IN FANCY: a kind of double definition; to dream is to hold in fancy
25 BETTER: double definition
26 LAYMEN: anagram of MEANLY
Down
2 ECCLESIAL: I don’t get this one. I think it is ECCLESIAL; it fits and is connected to church.
3 STIRPS: STRIPS with the “I” and “R” swapped to follow the change of heart
4 MERINGUES: anagram of MINERS + GUESs (without the final “S”)
5 EPHOR: EP (record) + H (hard) + OR (other ranks?). An ephor was a magistrate in ancient Greece.
6 PACIFIST: CAP (reversed) + I FIST
8 ITS A FAIR COP: &Lit
10 WEST COUNTRY: anagram of COWS YET TURN
14 EDITORIAL: sounds like EDDY and TORY and AL (does it?)
15 NESCIENCE: anagram of NICE SCENE, meaning ignorant
16 IGNORANT: I GRANT around NO
19 SPIFFY: SP (childless, sine prole) + IFFY (dubious)
21 RONTE: presumably referring to Bramwell Bronte, a brother of Anne, Emily, and Charlotte. The initial “B” needs to be dropped. Ronte is another word for runt, although it’s a new one on me.
   

16 Responses to “Guardian, 24317 (Gordius)”

  1. hillclimber says:

    9a I read as HACK’S has A W (point of compass) same result

    2d I got ECCLESIAL as well: Eccles was a character in The Goon show, wasn’t he?? but I couldn’t figure the rest……….

    19d I got but didn’t know sp= sine prole

    21d I didn’t get, a tough one, & I’d never heard of ront/ronte for runt, I tried runte without success :-(

    I would appreciate some help with 12a- can’t see for looking!!

  2. Jeanette says:

    Eccles is the name of a comedy character, created and performed by Spike Milligan, from the 1950s United Kingdom radio comedy series The Goon Show. Very occasionally he was referred to as ‘Mad Dan’ Eccles.

    Eccles was one of the show’s secondary characters, but like his counterpart Bluebottle (portrayed by Peter Sellers), Eccles became extremely popular and he is regarded as epitomising the show’s humour.

    Milligan visualised Eccles as a tall, lanky, amiable, well-meaning, but incredibly stupid teenager who often found himself involved — usually alongside Bluebottle — in one of the nefarious schemes created by arch-villain Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

  3. owenjonesuk says:

    My friends and I couldn’t get 12A either. I just looked it up on the online answers and it’s FRIT. A quick google brings up this page

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3505707.stm

    which shows it’s a dialect word for frightened which she used in some speeches (see the section ‘Frit’)

    We got but didn’t understand ECCLESIAL. It is right, according to the online answers.

  4. Tom Hutton says:

    12a Margaret Thatcher used the word “frit” for frightened on one occasion (though whether on purpose or by accident, I am not sure)

    I had Pintail instead of Pintado which left me reaching for the obvious answer to bloomer which I didn’t get.

  5. hillclimber says:

    Thanks Owenjonesuk for the answer to 12a. I can see the first half of the clue (Thatcher’s frightened) though I would never ever have guessed it from that: anyone care to shed some light on “of German detail” ?? something to do with the glass/pottery glaze meaning, perhaps?

  6. hillclimber says:

    Aha, maybe detail (part of) Fritz, for German??

  7. diagacht says:

    Thank you Hillclimber for Eccles. Some members of church must be LAIty. Still, I think an ECCLESIAL is a church governor of some kind; an assembly (church or otherwise) is surely an ECCLESIA? Not sure.

  8. hillclimber says:

    Yes I think LAIty is correct, ECCLESIA is an assembly, and ECCLESIAL is the adjective pertaining to that; hence the definition “of church assembly” which neatly overlaps with “upset some members of church” for IAL.

    Ecclesiast or Ecclesiarch would be a preacher or governor I suspect, just in case we get Goon/Church references in the future :-)

  9. tuck says:

    Laic also means lay “upset some members of the church”

  10. Shirley says:

    What confused us about 21D – apart from the fact we’d never heard of a ronte- was that the Bronte’s brother was called BraNwell not BraMwell!
    We spent ages trying to find out who Bramwell was.
    Is this a typo in the online version or has the editor let it slip through?

  11. muck says:

    8ac is ITCHIER, so 3dn (Family undresses with change of heart) is S-I-P-. How do you fit in STRIPS, and where does family come into it?

  12. hillclimber says:

    Should be STIRPS, by exchanging the I & R (change of heart)in strips (undresses)

    STIRPS= family, race, pedigree

    hope this helps :-)

  13. muck says:

    3dn: STIRPS is an new word for me. Well, it’s a bad day when you don’t learn something new.

  14. owenjonesuk says:

    Shirley: the online version has “Bramwell” and wikipedia confirms that he was called Branwell.

  15. beermagnet says:

    The paper version had BraMwell too.

  16. Shed says:

    I also got stuck for a long time by putting PINTAIL instead of PINTADO for 23ac. – as far as I can see it’s an equally valid answer. And I had to give up on 21dn, though I’m pretty sure I’d have got it if Branwell had been spelled right.

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