Fifteensquared

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Guardian 24354/Rover

Posted by Colin Blackburn on April 4th, 2008

Colin Blackburn.

A straightforward puzzle with, and I apoligise for becoming boring on this, too many cryptic definitions. Most of the omitted answers were, for me, common words with good word play but please do comment if you are stuck or baffled.
* = anagram
< = reversal
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition

Across
1 ENGAGEMENT RING cd the best cryptic definition here and an excellent example of one. An old university mate was in what would be called a ‘show band’, he played the working men’s clubs of the north east playing covers and earning a decent second income.
10 MONKISH MON+SIKH*
12 THROW-DOWN THROW+DOWN apparently this is a home-made firework. The clue needs to be read as whole for the definition to work which I don’t find very satisfying.
13 ISOMETRIC EROTICISM* ISOMETRIC exercises are where muscles are held in fixed positions for periods of time.
15 PUTTS cd ‘course’ = golf course.
17 ANCESTRAL (CLEAR ANTS)* house as in the House of Windsor for example.
20 ACROPOLIS cd this is simply a definition to me, ‘made up’ is meant to mislead but it doesn’t.
22 ERVEN NEVER* ERVEN is the plural or erf, a SA garden or plot of ground, a word I have only come across before in Listener-style puzzles. However, the anagram was straightforward and with the checking letters in there could be only one sensible answer.
25 JOB DESCRIPTION cd this, is also a decent cryptic definition…
Down
1 ELECTRIC PIANOS cd …this one though isn’t, I wrote in ELECTRIC ORGANS an equally justifiable answer until you get to the bottom left corner.
2 GESTAPO POSTAGE* a couple of…
5 NUMERIC (MICE RUN)* …nice anagrams.
7 NOISOME OM in NOISE NOISE = rumour, O.M.= Order of Merit, a rare honour since it there can only be 25 holders of the Order at any one time, and the current monarch is one of those. It is also the highest civilian honour, Sir Tim Berners-Lee became a member of the order in 2007.
8 CHINESE LANTERN cd they are made out of paper.
16 TORNADO TO+RN+ADO
18 CASHIER (HIS CARE)* CASHIER means to sack from a military post, I’d not come across this definition before.
19 RAVIOLI cd this is pretty much a straight definition.
21 PAGED dd this nicely counterpoints 1a and is quite a neat double definition. Some brides have pages (or page boys) on their wedding day. Pagers are now less common due to mobile phones.

11 Responses to “Guardian 24354/Rover”

  1. Matthew says:

    I think that LANCASTER would also be a good answer for 17 across, if it weren’t for the checking letters.

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    Matthew, I didn’t see that one as I had the initial A in before I got to the clue. The link between LANCASTER = house ~= ANCESTRAL must have been exploited by someone before though.

  3. Puggers says:

    Re: 20a being a straight definition. Could it not be argued that ‘made up’ refers to the literal def of acropolis (high place)? Admittedly it’s a pretty weak defence, but…

  4. Barbara says:

    No comment was made about 17. I have water rat, but I can’t figure out the wordplay.

  5. Barbara says:

    Never mind about 17. That’s from a different puzzle.

  6. Paul B says:

    Ancestral is as bad as carthorse, believe me.

  7. Comfy Settee says:

    ANCESTRAL/LANCASTER* was used in a puzzle by Quantum, very recently in fact….
    http://fifteensquared.net/2008/03/20/guardian-24341-quantum/

  8. Andrew says:

    I thought the “made up” part for 20ac maybe referred to the fact that the Acropolis is on top of a hill overlooking Athens.

  9. muck says:

    20ac (Acropolis) was obvious as it is in Athens. But ‘This defence was made up’? It was built on a hill, but as a temple complex, not a defensive one.

  10. muck says:

    Mea culpa: according to Wiki, the Acropolis did start life as a fort in prehistoric times and became a temple site only later.

  11. Paul B says:

    Agree with Colin though – lo, prosaic …

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