Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,430/Orlando

Posted by Andrew on July 2nd, 2008

Andrew.

Mostly fairly straightforward, with a lot of anagrams, but the top left-hand corner had me stumped for a while. I particularly liked 2dn for its brilliant misdirection.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Across
1 HAIFA First letters One of the last answers I got, though in fact it’s easy when you see it – clever misdirection.
4 CREAM TEA M in CREATE + A Thanks to Amnesiac for pointing out careless errors in my original explanation.
8 A SHOT IN THE DARK “Guess” + cryptic def I guessed this early on from the enumeration, but discounted it as it didn’t seem to fit.. But ‘Guess’ is the straight definition, and someone getting a shot (of drink) in the dark would be de-lighted. Groan.
10 TIRESIAS TIRES I AS A blind prophet of Thebes who had a seven-year sex-change. Also the pseudonym under which the late Tom Driberg set crosswords in Private Eye.
11 ORWELL OR WELL George Orwell’s real name was Eric Blair.
12 ABOUNDING BOUND in GAIN*
15 ASSAI First letters Sometimes used in musical directions such as ‘Allegro assai’ to mean ‘very’, though the literal meaning of the Italian word is ‘enough’ (cf French ‘assez’).
17 MIDAS MI + SAD< MI as in Do-re-mi
18 EMBRYONIC (BY INCOMER)*
19 NOD OFF NO + D+OFF D is 500 (large number) and OFF = start, as in the expression ‘from the off’, which I think comes from horse-racing.
21 ATLETICO A(partmen)T LET I(berian) CO
24 ESTUARY ENGLISH (GUYS IN LEATHERS)*
25 COME UPON ME in COUPON
Down
1 HEART-WARMING WATER* in HARMING
2 ISHERWOOD I + SHERWOOD A real ‘a-ha!’ moment when I got this – nothing to do with Winnie-the-Pooh’s friend: ISHERWOOD is a ‘writer named Christopher’, and Robin (Hood)’s home is SHERWOOD. For extra confusion, Christopher Robin & Co lived in a forest.
4 CANTABILE CAN TAB + L in IE Another musical term, meaning ‘in a singing style’. I suppose a CAN TAB is a ‘tin-opener’
6 MADE READY MAD ERE DAY*
9 PLAIN CLOTHES (PHONE CALL IT’S)*
13 NOSE FLUTE (SNOUT FEEL)* &lit
14 GO-BETWEEN G(OB)ET WEEN “Fancy” is a verb in the wordplay -WEEN can mean “think” or “believe”
16 SENSITIVE (STEVE IS IN)*
20 DISCO DISCO(very) A reference to the ship that took Captain Scott’s party to the Antarctic
22 ELGAR L(ookin)G in EAR

14 Responses to “Guardian 24,430/Orlando”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Andrew, for the explanation of 22dn. I got it but couldn’t see why.

    I loved 2dn, too, and also 1dn. That was the corner that held me up, too. Unusual to have two ‘first letter’ clues in the same puzzle.

    i thought some of the anagrams were really clever and well-hidden. I particularly liked 24ac.

  2. smutchin says:

    2dn is brilliant. But I also particularly enjoyed the &lit-ish 11ac and 13dn. “De-lighted” in 8ac also made me groan when I eventually got it.

  3. Dave Ellison says:

    Took me a while to get 1d, as I though it began HEAVY, something to do with HEAVY WEATHER, though this did not look a promising start for 10ac. I thought the definition (MOVING) was well camouflaged.

  4. Mart says:

    Excuse my beginners ignorance, but is 5d echt as in Li(echt)enstein?

  5. Eileen says:

    Yes, Mart, it is. I had to look it up. It means ‘genuine’.

  6. smutchin says:

    Echt is a German word with Proustian associations for me, as it always conjures up a mental image of the bluey-green and gold label on a bottle of 4711 Echt K├Âlnisch Wasser.

  7. Andrew says:

    Echt is also (I’ve just discovered) a village near Aberdeen.

  8. Mart says:

    Thanks folks. I’m getting the hang of this a bit now, and increasingly enjoying it. I was initially horrified though, at getting cryptics definitions as part of the clue, such as ‘word processor’ for ‘ear’, and at the obscurity of some of the words and phrases in the answers. Another few years and I may become quite good, who knows, and I’m sure it goes some way to slowing down brain mushing! Looking forward to Rufus on Monday.

  9. Shirley says:

    24Ac Am I the only one to think what a fantastic anagram “Guys in Leathers” is?

  10. Eileen says:

    No, Shirley – see post 1!

  11. Amnesiac says:

    A query about the explanation for 4a: MT in CREATE doesn’t make CREAM TEA. What was the intended explanation? I assumed M in CREATE A, with “fuss” being a bit superfluous, since there isn’t any anagramming.

  12. Andrew says:

    Oops, yes, you’re right, I accidentally missed off the final “A”. “Create” is a slangy way of saying “make a fuss”, so it’s not just “create”=”make”.

  13. Andrew says:

    Oops again: the “centre of Dartmouth” is of course M, not MT. Blog entry corrected.

  14. dingo says:

    Re 15 across: Sorry for being pedantic, Andrew, but you have fallen into the trap of false cognates (also known as ‘faux amis’). The most common meaning of ASSAI in Italian is, indeed, ‘very’, or ‘much’ (since Dante’s time!), so your reference to ASSEZ is unwarranted. Perhaps a little learning IS a dangerous thing?

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