Fifteensquared

Guardian 24335/Brendan

Posted by linxit on March 13th, 2008

Solving time about 16 minutes either side of a phone call.

First thing I thought was “What’s going on there with 9 down?” I got 3 and 25 quite quickly, but wasn’t thinking clearly enough to figure it out from them. In the end the other clues mentioned were some of the last to go in, as was 9D itself.

 Across 1 ECSTASY – (sect,say)* 5 OBESITY – SIT inside OBEY. The boxer is, as usual, a dog, not a pugilist. 11 MILLIMETRE – MM is the centre of common. 12 UPBEAT – “attend” = BE AT, “at university” = UP, “initially” indicates this should go first. 13 EUPHORIA – UP inside E HO, then AIR rev. 14 NOMINATES – IN inside NO MATES. Anagram of MINNESOTA (see 9D). 16 TAXES – T + AXES. Anag. of TEXAS 17 AMINE – A MINE. Anag. of MAINE 23 CRITERIA – C + RITE + AIR rev. That’s two clues ending in RIA, with it indicated the same way in each. I won’t criticise though, as “strain receding” and “publicise backing” are quite different and fit the surface readings of their respective clues. 26 HARBINGERS – HAR(d), BINGERS 29 CARACAS – A CA(r) inside CARS. Capital of Venezuela.
 Down 2 CALYPSO – (C play so)*. As usual in cryptics, number means song. 3 TASTE – treble definition, and anagram of STATE for 9D. 4 SUMATRA – MA in SUTRA. 6 BLIMPS – ref. the cartoon character Colonel Blimp. 8 TERMITE – M + IT in tree*, M being James Bond’s boss. Clever &lit clue, took me a long time to see how the M was indicated. 9 ALTERED STATES – the “theme” clue of this puzzle. 14, 16 & 17 are anagrams of US states, 3 & 25 are anagrams of the word STATE and 1, 13 & 22 are actual types of altered state. 20 TUNISIA – IS I inside TUNA 21 CORDOBA – CO + board*. City in southern Spain. 22 TRANCE – N in TRACE 25 TESTA – TEST + A(ce). A hard seed case, and anagram of STATE in 9D.

12 Responses to “Guardian 24335/Brendan”

1. Comfy Settee says:

I liked this puzzle – the ALTERED STATES theme was fun, and gave a real sense of achievement when I (finally!) figured it out.

One question – why does “suspicion” give “trace” in 22d?

2. linxit says:

One of the meanings of suspicion (in Chambers) is “a slight quantity, minute trace, eg of spirits”.

3. Comfy Settee says:

Ah, that makes sense – thanks. (I always try not to use a dictionary when solving, but it does sometimes lead to bafflement!)

4. muck says:

Brendan brilliant as usual: the alternative meanings of 9dn (altered states) especially. Thanks linxit for the explanation of 8dn (termite): I didn’t get the M either.

5. Kate Wild says:

What’s 27 across? Just can’t see what it is. I know it’s probably obvious to everyone else!

6. Comfy Settee says:

Kate – I think its STOW. (Means “Pack”, S & W are South and West – opponents in bridge – with “TO” in between)
Glad its not just me who gets mental blocks!

7. muck says:

Going back to 8dn. A termite is a wood-worm, very damaging to houses in the tropics, but does it damage trees? This clue has no definition.

8. Mary says:

What is 24 across?

9. Fletch says:

Nature. Excellent puzzle.

10. owenjonesuk says:

Muck: you’re right that termites don’t damage living trees, but they often make their nests in fallen trees, so they could well be spied in a damaged tree. Also, the clue has no separate definition but the whole thing is the definition – I believe this is called &lit and is considered very good form. It certainly made this clue more interesting for me.

11. hillclimber says:

Very enjoyable puzzle-the 9d theme was a great kingpin, & it’s definitions were very cleverly used in the subsets of answers it defined, I struggled with the connection between 14,16,17 until Taxes became Texas before my eyes……………..

12. Jill and Tamzin says:

Loved this one too, very clever, and good thene.

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