Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6705/Morph

Posted by neildubya on April 18th, 2008

neildubya.

Excellent puzzle from Morph with a theme that must be close to the heart of many a crossword solver: 10A. The ones I recognised were 4a,9a,27a,3d,4d,6d and 17d. I think I noticed what was going on around halfway through but it didn’t really help with the rest of the puzzle. The top-left hand corner in particular was proving very stubborn until I got 1a.

Across
4 MOB<,BAR,(DIRE)* – not completely convinced by “tackle” as an anagram indicator but, apart from adding to the football-related surface reading, I think I see what Morph is getting at here as tackle can mean “deal with” or “solve a problem”.
9 L,AND LORD – nicely disguised definition: “he lets out”.
10 BIT,TER[-m] – I think this is right as a BIT is something that drills or bores a hole.
12 LIT,TOR,AL[-l] – I knew the word LITTORAL but was a bit hazy as to it’s meaning so this went in fairly late.
13 MERE – definitely not sure about this one. A MERE is a pond so “pool of water” fits as the definition but I don’t understand what “going down below sofa” is about.
14 I SOLD E – of “Tristan and…” fame. Nice clue that could almost be a headline for a number of tabloids.
19 LP in AS – “Holding record as” needs to be read as “as holding record”.
24 COUNTY – “Beds” is of course short for Bedfordshire and being an aristocrat could be being count-like or count-y.
25 [a]R[e] H[e] Y[ou] T[o] H[u]M – I thought this was very cleverly done: “Are you and he to hum without vocals? Need a sense of beat”.
26 ELECT,RIC[-hards] – “Richards stops after first note” had me confused for a while but I think it refers to C being the first musical note in RICHARDS.
27 BLACKS,HEEP – any reference to a “humble character” in a clue is practically a dead cert for Uriah HEEP, a character from David Copperfield who went around telling everyone how ‘umble he was.
 
Down
2 UNA,MUSED – one of the last couple to go in and I thought for a while I was going to have to admit defeat. It was only when I got 1a that I was able to make headway as it occurred to me that “A Spanish female” could be UNA (the feminine form of “one” in Spanish).
3 GIDE (going up) in (PEER)* – PEDIGREE. Another one that gave me trouble (the top left-hand of the grid was a bit of nightmare all round for me really) but this one shouldn’t have as I spotted GIDE for “French author” quite quickly. But for some reason, it took much longer to see that “Eccentric peer” was (PEER)*. D’oh.
4 BROADS,I,DE – nice tennis-related surface reading.
5 (I DEFEND WORMHOLE)* – MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.
6 AB[-s],BOT[-tom]
8 EVEN AS – there isn’t a 7A in the puzzle so something else is going on here: write 7A as SEVENA and move the first letter so that it’s the last.
15 (HAD T[-o] PRICE)* – another very good clue with some clever wording: “had to cut price” is so natural sounding that it’s easy to miss what it’s telling you to do.
16 BAGUETTE – a small bag (“petit sac”) could be a bag-ette.

7 Responses to “Independent 6705/Morph”

  1. Trevlac says:

    MERE – definitely not sure about this one. A MERE is a pond so “pool of water” fits as the definition but I don’t understand what “going down below sofa” is about.

    I thought it was (Do) Re Me Fa So in reverse- a nice clue

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    24a COUNTY refers to, at least, Ruddles County.

  3. neildubya says:

    Yes, you’re right. Very sly.

  4. neildubya says:

    Sorry – my comment was in response to Trevlac’s not Colin’s.

  5. nmsindy says:

    I did not get the theme, as explained above. I thought the ISOLDE clue was brilliant – worth doing the puzzle just for that “Tragic heroine’s drug-dealing confession?”. Thanks, Trevlac, for MERE – I did not understand that till now, though I guessed correctly from the definition.

  6. DUNCE says:

    Could you possibly explain how 21d was parsed? “Poisonous unbeliever rejecting first principle of Christianity” comes out as SEPTIC. (Sorry this is so late, but this puzzle appeared online on Saturday.)

  7. DUNCE says:

    Oh, yeah…S(C)EPTIC. Just got it Lol.

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