Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24383: Paul — Rainbow Nation

Posted by jetdoc on May 8th, 2008

jetdoc.

When it’s a blogging day, I’m always happy to see that Paul is the setter, and this did not disappoint. As ever, some clever and potentially deceptive clues.

Having solved 10a and 12a, I spotted 8d, ORANGE FREE STATE, and saw that the theme is South Africa.

Now that I have blogged this, I realise I forgot to leave out any clues, as we’re supposed to with dailies. But I can’t decide which ones to delete, so apologies for the omission of omission.

Across
9 HOT POTATO ATO = alternate letters of ‘action’; on HOTPOT = a dish of chopped mutton, beef, etc, seasoned and stewed together with sliced potatoes.
10 AMOUR O = love; in ‘a rum’ backwards. Nice clue.
11 PILLAGE LAG = criminal; in PILE = large building.
12 DISCERN E = English; RN = Royal Navy, an armed service; on DISC = record.
13, 5 EAST LONDON A city on the south-east coast of South Africa (with a cricket ground called Buffalo Park). *(last one); over [the river] DON.
14 DOWNSTROKE [Irish County] DOWN; R in STOKE, an English city, with a football team also called Stoke City.
17 SLEEPER Double definition. As well as someone who’s asleep, a sleeper is a small gold hoop worn in a pierced ear to prevent the hole from closing up.
19 DESCENDANT END = target; DESCANT = range (presumably, though Chambers doesn’t define it as such). Two meanings of ‘succeed’.
22 HERE Hidden in ‘further education’, with a deceptive line break, in the online version at least.
23 EQUATOR *(a route Q). Clever &lit clue, although Quito is actually 25 km south of the equator. I suppose ‘roughly’, as well as being the anagram indicator, could refer to the geographic inexactitude.
24 EXPLOIT I in EX-PLOT.
26, 15 SOUTH AFRICAN OUT = away; H = Hungarian capital; A FRI[day]; in SCAN.
27 ARCHIVIST IST = first; after ARCH = top, IV = four.
Down
1 CHAPTER AND VERSE ‘authority’ is the definition. CHAP = man; *(raved about n); in TERSE = short.
2 UTILISER *(result I I).
3 IOWA IOW = Isle of Wight; on A.
4 CAPE TOWN I’m not sure about the wordplay for this one. I am assuming: COW = objectionable woman (‘vixen’ is given as ‘bad-tempered woman’); A PET = ‘a personal’ (uh?); N = ‘loan, finally’. Chambers does define PET as ‘potentially exempt transfer’, but that’s a gift rather than a loan.
6 CASSETTE SET = put; in CASTE = order of rank. For you young people out there, recorded sound used to be purchased in the form of cassettes.
7 SOWETO SO WET; O = duck (no runs).
8 ORANGE FREE STATE Lovely double definition — fruitlessness is an orange-free state (though oranges are not the only fruit, of course).
16 CHEETAHS Sounds like ‘cheaters’.
17 SENTENCE Double definition, referring to the legal term ‘passing sentence’.
18 PRETORIA *(to repair).
20 SPUTUM PUT = write; in SUM. As always, Paul manages to include something a bit unsavoury.
21 DURBAN D = daughter; URBAN describes a city, which Durban is.
25 PAIR ‘2’ is the definition. ‘Pair’ sounds like ‘pare’.

13 Responses to “Guardian 24383: Paul — Rainbow Nation”

  1. Eileen says:

    Oh dear! I missed the Isle of Wight completely. I could only think of ‘Iona’ and justified it because it comes before ['superior to'] ‘Iowa’ in the dictionary! I wasted time trying to find something to put inside FE for 22ac, too. Stupid to be flummoxed by four-letter words!

    I was mystified by the wordplay of 4dn, too. Your explanation works – just! – but not entirely satisfactory.

    I’m not entirely convinced by ‘descant’ as’range’ either.

    Only minor niggles: this was a very enjoyable and clever puzzle.

  2. Barbara says:

    2. Utiliser
    Is it fair to expect the solver to read 1-1 as I-I?
    In my world, the numeral one (1) is not the same as the letter i.
    Or am I nit-picking?

  3. jetdoc says:

    It’s commonly used, Barbara. And the Roman numeral I represents 1.

  4. Eileen says:

    It’s commonplace to use ‘one’ for ‘a’ or ‘i’, and so I don’t think that it’s unfair to use the numeral.

  5. Andrew says:

    In 4dn, maybe PET (adj) = “personal”, as in expressions such as “pet name” or “pet project”.

  6. Geoff says:

    4dn: I agree with Andrew – PET used adjectivally = ‘personal’, and the rest as jetdoc suggests.

    After staring blankly at this crossword for a few minutes, I suddenly spotted SPUTUM (good old Paul), from which I saw SOUTH for 25ac, and then the linked clues fell out pretty easily. Nice one.

  7. muck says:

    23ac: EQUATOR. I couldn’t see a defn.

    4dn: CAPE TOWN. Vixen could have been ‘cat’ or ‘cow’ at least for misogynists. Chambers has ‘personal’ as “one’s own: of private concern” etc, which I suppose you could interpret as PET in the sense of ‘pet name’. Not a nice clue.

  8. jetdoc says:

    23ac: EQUATOR. I couldn’t see a defn.

    It’s an &lit clue, with the definition and wordplay all in one. I always feel wary of declaring a clue to be &lit, in case I have got it wrong, but I’m reasonable confident about this one.

  9. jetdoc says:

    Sorry, meant ‘reasonably confident’.

  10. muck says:

    Thanks Jetdoc. I was never sure exactly what was meant by &lit.

    I enjoyed the puzzle: the theme wasn’t to hard to find. Only 4dn and 23ac didn’t work for me. 3dn IOWA was great.

  11. Fletch says:

    Muck: I would suggest you haven’t been reading the responses when you’ve queried this type of ‘lacking definition’ clue before, others have explained.

  12. muck says:

    23ac EQUATOR: the original explanation by Jetdoc was put very clearly, as was her further explanation of &lit. I still don’t like the clue, but did say I enjoyed the puzzle.

  13. smutchin says:

    I enjoyed the EQUATOR clue (guess it’s a matter of taste) and I’m sure it’s &lit. Like Geoff, I got SPUTUM first and SOUTH AFRICAN from that, then the rest fell into place. A nice puzzle and easy enough for me to complete about 3/4 of it.

    (Btw, I’ve only recently discovered fifteensquared and this is my first comment on a blog post here, but I’m sure won’t be my last… love the site)

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