Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,397/Shed (Sat 24 May) – In the pink

Posted by rightback on May 31st, 2008

rightback.

Solving time: 28:00, over half of which on 1dn, 10ac and 15ac.

I had a good start on this, stalled a little in the middle until I untangled BODICE RIPPER at 22/21dn, and then came to a complete halt on the three starred clues. Got there in the end, although PINK at 10ac was only a semi-educated guess.

I generally like Shed’s clues, although some of the surface readings are a bit strange and there are a few too many superfluous words and other inaccuracies in this puzzle for my liking.

* = anagram.

Across
7 NEMATODE; (ATOM)* in rev. of EDEN
9 OUT SET
*10 PINK (double definition) – I probably spent 6 or 7 minutes on this clue, looking at all the possibilities for the third letter (C, L, N, R, S etc) and postulating an ‘I’ from 1dn. ‘Pink’ as a noun meaning a pink flower rang a small bell, and as I knew that ‘pink had several other meanings (eight separate entries in Chambers!) I went with it – and it turns out that one of those meanings is ‘to stab or pierce’.
11 INTESTINAL; IN, + rev. of NITS in TEAL
12 ME(R.M.)AN
14 TEMPLATE; (PALETTE)* around M
*15 TINT + IN – I don’t know why this took me so long. I thought ‘in’ might give the last two letters but even with a possible ‘T’ from 1dn, all I could see was ‘tannin’. (And I now learn from Chambers that although tannin is used in tanning and occurs in wines, especially red wines, it is actually a colourless substance.) A very good clue though.
17 BRIGHT[on] – ‘on departure’ seems clumsy. Why not ‘on departing’?
20 T(R)OPICAL
22 BITTE + R – ‘bitte’ is German for ‘please’ but not ‘to please’ (which I believe is ‘bitten’) so the ‘to’ in this clue is awkwardly superfluous. I suppose you could argue that it means ‘next to’.
23 SPELLBOUND; (ELL in PB) in SOUND – tough wordplay.
24 PUP + A
25 SEX + TET – the Tet Offensive was part of the Vietnam War.
26 TICKLISH (double definition)
Down
*1 PE(DIME)NT – not a word I knew and this took me a long time to get.
2 MARK (double definition)
3 LOTION; rev. of TO in LION – for this clue to make cryptic sense, you have to read ‘to’ as a plural (i.e. a group of letters) so that ‘to turn up’ makes sense, but this doesn’t feel quite right to me.
4 GOSSAMER; rev. of MASS in GOER
5 S(TRIP)LIGHT
6 RE PAST – I liked this one.
8 ENTITY; N.T. in [d]EITY
13 MANIPULATE; rev. of A LUPIN in MATE
16 INCUBATE; CUBA in (TEN I)* – a premonition of England’s forthcoming match against Trinidad & Tobago, perhaps?
18 TRES(SPA)S
19 FL + AUNT – ‘was active’ for FL (standing for ‘floruit’, meaning ‘he flourished’) is pretty difficult.
22/21 BO(DICER + I)PPER – I had to dissect the wordplay here as I didn’t know the phrase ‘bodice ripper’.
24 PELT (double definition) – another superfluous ‘to’ here. The ALF is the Animal Liberation Front.

2 Responses to “Guardian 24,397/Shed (Sat 24 May) – In the pink”

  1. Andrew says:

    In 24dn I suppose the “to” is to give a kind of &lit meaning; especially as “What the ALF might do” is not much of a definition on its own.

    I guessed that PINK meant “perforate” from knowing about “pinking shears”, which are scissors with a wavy edge, used by dressmakers. And I got TINTIN easily – there had been a Tintin-themed puzzle earlier in the week so the name must have been still in my mind.

  2. rightback says:

    Ah, pinking shears – I have heard of those but didn’t think of them. Thanks. And you’re right about 24ac, which I guess is really a straight definition with a pun on ‘fur’ = ‘pelt’.

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