Fifteensquared

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Guardian 24,385 (Sat 10 May)/Enigmatist – Balfour article

Posted by rightback on May 17th, 2008

rightback.

Solving time: 6:55

Easier than usual for this setter, I thought, but perhaps harder if you hadn’t heard of the book referenced at 1dn, which connected most of the other long phrases.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

Across
1 B(R)EECH
4 UP-BEAT (double definition)
9 FLOG; rev. of GOLF (= ‘a good walk spoiled’)
10 I(SOME + TRIC[k])S
11 BOO + T.E.S. – a constellation which contains the star Arcturus, the third brightest star (excluding the Sun) behind Sirius and Canopus.
12 BIT BY BIT – ‘by’ in the sense of ‘multiplied by’, hence ‘squared’. A ‘bit’ is short for ‘binary digit’ in computer-speak, hence can take one of the values 0 and 1.
13 PRESENT (= ‘now’) + [h]ER[e]
17/2/25 BEHIND THE EIGHT BALL; (HEIGHTENED BATH BILL)*
22/5 NONE-SO-PRETTY (double definition) – as well as a beer, London Pride is a perennial plant also known as none-so-pretty.
24 UNDERLINGS; E swapped for G in UNDERLINES
26 AL(PINERO)SE – the playwright is Miguel Piñero. [Edit: More likely is Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (see comments).]
27 P(RAY)ER
Down
1 BALFOUR – a reference to former PM Arthur Balfour, and to Sandy Balfour who wrote the crossword-themed book ‘Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose’ which materialises from the clue. See this article for more.
3 CRIMSON TIDE – fantastic anagram.
6 EARLY BIRD; (BARELY)* + I + RD – this just about works cryptically if you take the definition as ‘Up before most others, he’ with ‘barely’ being the first word of the wordplay.
7 T(ACT)ILE
8 DOUBLE MEANING; (BELGIUM AND ONE)*
14 SIS + AL(HEM)P
16 R(O + MAN)IA – ‘ria’ being crosswordese for ‘drowned valley’.
18 IONISER; I, + IS in ONER – last one to go in.
19 HUSTLER; (SLEUTH)* + R
20/21 GIRL IN A MILLION; MILL in (IN ORIGINAL)*
23 N(OB + B)Y

4 Responses to “Guardian 24,385 (Sat 10 May)/Enigmatist – Balfour article”

  1. Eileen says:

    I’ve been really looking forward to the blog of this excellent puzzle, a great tribute to the Divine [chocolate] Sandy. 1dn was the last clue I got [naturally, I suppose] and then it all fell into place. Brilliant! [You should also read Sandy's other crossword-themed book, 'I say nothing [3]‘ – superb clue!]

    18dn: I read this as ONEIS* inside IR, which seems to have something to do with continuous motion – but I couldn’t understand it! [clue: one is engaged in continuous motion, making air cleaner.]

  2. Eileen says:

    PS: should have said ‘Divine [FAIRTRADE] chocolate’!

  3. smutchin says:

    26ac – I assumed the setter meant Arthur Wing Pinero. Can’t say I’ve heard of Miguel of that ilk! Still, it works either way – and it definitely wasn’t Harold Pinter, which was my first guess.

  4. rightback says:

    Yes, I think you’re right – thanks.

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