Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6715/Eimi – Earning my Spurs

Posted by Ali on April 24th, 2008

Ali.

Blog Number 1 from me, so first things first, hello!

A puzzle of two halves for me. The bottom half went in fairly easily, but I came a bit unstuck on the NW corner, so decided to start looking around for a theme to help out. At which point I spotted Tottenham’s very own (Jonathan) WOODGATE across the bottom and (Dimitar) BERBATOV across the top. Would Eimi by any chance be a Spurs fan?

All the missing answers fell into place after that and I was done and dusted before I got off the bus. Good stuff, I enjoyed this one.

Unsure on some wordplay though, so any pointers would be appreciated.

Across
9 REPROVE – REP,ROVE. I usually think of ‘reproof’, so didn’t get this straight away. A lovely surface reading though
11 CENTESIMO – (SET INCOME)* – Old currency of Uruguay (and Italy)
12 RALES – R,ALES – A new word for me. ‘A rattling sound from a diseased lung’, so says Chambers
13 IAMBI – I,AM,BI(sexual)! My fave clue this one. Very cheeky
14 ELONGATED – A good surface here with ‘as coverage for’ as the container indicator for O(pe)N in ELATED, but is ‘golf’ G? Have never come across that before if so
16 HEALTH INSURANCE – (CHELSEA HURT IN AN)* Not sure about the ‘fringe players’ bit here as the rest of the clue seems to work OK without it
20 FREEZABLE – ‘May get solid’ is the defintion here. F[-i]RE + [evidenc]E +(BLAZE)* is how we get there.
22 ORANG – ORANG[-e]. As in Orang-outang
24 RURAL – RU(RA)L[-e] ‘The Gunners’ here being the Royal Artillery, rather than Tottenham’s bitter North London rivals, who surely never break the rules!
27 ANGULAR – Can’t quite work this one out, other than the definition being ‘bony’
28 NULLIFY – (FILLY[-R]UN)*
 
Down
1 BRACKISH – RACK (e.g. of lamb) in BISH (a mistake or blunder)
2 EPONYM – E(PONY)M Until Berbatov revealed himself, I spent far too long assuming ‘space’ must be SP, rather than the old printer’s favourite EM
3 ROSE TINTED – There were a few options with this one I thought, so it took a while to spot SET in ROTE + D(ead)
4 BERIBERI – The last answer I got, and I think it’s right, though I must admit I can’t work out the wordplay!
5 ARROYO – Hidden in GuitAR ROY Orbison. Again, a new word for me. It’s ‘a dry watercourse’ apparently
6 TSAR – Subtract AM(erican) R(eligous) I(nstruction) from Amritsar (where you’d go to see the Golden Temple), and there you have it.
8 VERSED – VERSE,D. Comes right after Verse C!
15 GORGONZOLA – NO GROG rev. on top of (Emile) ZOLA, our writer
18 SINGEING – A nice surface, and I’ve done enough of these things now to know what I’m looking for when I see ‘Mahler’s fifth’, ‘Beethoven’s Second’, etc.
19 EAGLE EYE – I liked the definition here (‘One’s very keen’) but am not sure where the A comes from. I make this to be GLEE in E YE
20 WARSAW – WAS,RAW rev.
23 ALBEIT – A,LB + TIE rev.
25 LALO – French music type person Édouard-Victoire-Antoine, hidden in VilLA-LObos. Thanks Wikipedia!

10 Responses to “Independent 6715/Eimi – Earning my Spurs”

  1. nmsindy says:

    HEALTH INSURANCE I think the fringe players are Berbatov and Woodgate. EAGLE EYE I think the A is from AYE. BERI BERI, I think may be RIB in BEER I. Enjoyed the puzzle, which I found on the easy side.

  2. Paul B says:

    GOLF = G in Old Bill’s alphabet. I’m about to Foxtrot (Oscar) for a spot of lunch …

  3. Testy says:

    27 I’m not sure about this one either but it might be “A”=AN, “short piece of the throat”=(ju)GULAR.

  4. Mick H says:

    Yes, Ali, I’m afraid eimi is a Spurs fan – and being the editor entitles him to inflict this fringe obsession on the rest of the right-thinking (i.e. Arsenal-supporting) solvership! (“Gunners break half the laws in the country” indeed!)
    ;-).

  5. Bannsider says:

    So I make that at least 3 Arsenal-supporting Indy setters then.
    Eimi beware the backlash :-)

  6. eimi says:

    Congratulations on your first blog, Ali, and I’m glad you enjoyed the puzzle.

    The break-up of ‘angular’ was A-N-GULAR, n being chess notation for knight (piece) and ‘gular’ meaning ‘of the throat’ (it’s in all three of the main dictionaries).

    I had intended Berbatov and Woodgate to be unheralded NINAs, but when I discovered CHELSEA amongst the letters of HEALTH INSURANCE, running parallel to the (fringe) players I couldn’t resist the reference. For those unfamiliar with the beautiful game, Berbatov and Woodgate scored the goals that beat Chelsea (in an upset) in the Carling Cup Final. This knowledge wasn’t crucial to solving the puzzle, but it obviously helped a few solvers who were in the know.

    As for a backlash from several Indy setters, there are some advantages of being crossword editor. Should they enquire about the non-appearance of any puzzle containing propaganda for the Woolwich Wanderers, I can simply reply (in an Alsatian accent, of course) “I didn’t see it”.

  7. nmsindy says:

    I guess you’ll be hoping they don’t become ‘fringe players’ in some Champions League side next season…

  8. Ali says:

    Thanks all for the clarification on the bits I missed, some of which were admittedly fairly obvious. In my day-to-day solving, if the answer clearly fits, I often don’t stop to worry too much about all the constituent parts, which for somebody who’s trying to put some of his own puzzles together is a bit daft really. Still, it’s good to have a refresher of some of the basics every now and again.

    I don’t avidly follow any one team, but I’m liking the idea of the Gooner contingent trying to sneak some NINAs in!

  9. Testy says:

    Is “piece” a fair indicator for “N”? It seems a bit once-removed to me.

  10. eimi says:

    I put ‘short piece’ to try to indicate that it was an abbreviated form, but obviously it wasn’t an easy one to parse.

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