Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,438 – Brendan

Posted by Uncle Yap on July 11th, 2008

Uncle Yap.

Common abbreviations used
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

What a stroke of luck that my assignment today landed Brendan whose puzzles usually have a theme or gimmick (revealed at the foot of this blog). I found the gimmick after a few clues, including the centre parts and after that, it was quite easy-going.

Bravo ! Brendan, you created quite a awesome grid.

Across
1 OLD SCHOOL dd
9 LETTER dd
10 BLOODROOT Blood (dashing youth) Root (search out all the rebels)
I am no botanist but according to Wikipedia, bloodroot is a plant with white flower and scarlet roots.
11 ESSENE Essen (German city) E (east)
12 LOCOMOTOR Ins of T (temperature) in *(cool room)
13 STEELE homophone for steal (plagiarise)
17 POP dd
19 ALABAMA A + ins of AB (a bishop) in LAMA (priest)
20 EYELESS sounds like aye-less
21 PIP dd
23 TRAJAN &lit cha of T (leader of totally) RAJ (imperial rule in India) A N (a name) Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus, commonly known as Trajan (53 – 117), was a Roman Emperor who reigned from 98 until his death in 117.
27 INSISTING In (popular) ins of IS in Sting (rock musician)
28 TARTAN Cha of TAR (sailer) TAN (beat) with eastward as harmless extraneous word. A Mediterranean vessel with a lateen sail
29 DIVI-DIVIS Divi (share) Divis (shares) are the curved pods of a small tropical American tree
30 ALPACA Alp (mountain) ins of C (caught) in AA (areas)
31 KNIGHTING Ins of NIGHT*(thing) in KING (monarch)

Down
2 LOLLOP Loll (take it easy) OP (work)
3 SPOT ON Rev of No tops (a biniki without the top bit is called a monokini)
4 HORROR Ho (house) ins of O in RRR (reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic)
5 OLOROSO Removal of D from doloroso (in a soft and sorrowful manner)
6 JET-SETTER Jet (semi-precious stone) setter (person mounting)
7 STEEPENED Ins of E PEN (European writer) in STEED (mount)
8 FREE VERSE Excellent cd alluding to Ezra Pound who was a proponent of free verse. ‘Pound’ at the start of the clue is disguised as money, leading to the ironic ending, oddly enough.
14 LAST STRAW *(stalwarts)
15 PARAGRAPH P (pressure) A RAG (newspaper) RAP (hit) H (hard)
16 SALAMANCA S (south point) A La Mancha (remember Don Quixote?) minus H for a city in Western Spain
17 PAP Ins of A in PP
18 PEP
22 INN SIGN I wonder whether you consider this *(sinning) an &lit:-)
24 VIKING V (versus or opposed) I KING (one man on chess board)
25 STRICT Ins of TRIC(k) in ST (saint or revered person)
26 INDIGN ha

The gimmick (if you haven’t spotted it yet)

The pivotal core of the grid are four three-lettered words, pop, pap, pep and pip. Each provided the only vowel in its sector. Thus, all the words in the north-east sector has the letter, O as vowels; north-east, E and so on.

12 Responses to “Guardian 24,438 – Brendan”

  1. Octofem says:

    Must congratulate you on spotting the gimmick – what an eagle eye you have. You are already one ahead with getting the puzzles so many hours before the UK. Do agree about the erratic timing of the publication of FT puzzle. It always seems to be late on the days when I am time-tabled!

  2. Duggie says:

    28A: A small niggle: is an ‘extraneous’ word like “eastward” really ‘harmless’? It must be there for some reason. I struggled for some time with a R-to-L sequence, then looked for an E somewhere. In the end I didn’t know the word, so it didn’t matter, one way or t’other.

  3. Uncle Yap says:

    ‘eastward’ here is like left to right, which is the way we write, so no harm; but it is extraneous (ie we can do without it)
    I suppose we must forgive compilers for those innocuous words so necessary to make the surface reading smooth

  4. muck says:

    28ac TARTAN. I agree with Duggie that ‘eastward’ isn’t extraneous – it suggests you have to reverse something. The only explanation I have is that Chambers gives ‘tartan(2), tartane’ as ‘a Mediterranean vessel’, so the E is optional. Not really an explanation, but another beautiful, brilliant Brendan puzzle. I completed the puzzle before looking for his signature theme, which probably explains his need to use some obscure words, eg BLOODROOT, DIVI-DIVIS.

  5. muck says:

    28ac would work if the answer was ‘tartane’, but that wouldn’t fit the grid or the theme!

  6. Mick H says:

    No, surely ‘westward’ indicates reversal, as we normally write from west to east. ‘Eastward’ suggests reversal by association, like that old gag where you get someone to say lots of words rhyming with yolk, then ask what the white of an egg is called (they’re meant to say ‘yolk’). It’s extraneous, but it’s not wrong.
    Anyway, another cracking theme, though I started with the three-letter words so saw what was going on pretty quickly. Didn’t get DIVI-DIVIS though.

  7. muck says:

    Thanks to Uncle Yap and Mick H, for explaining that ‘eastwards’ is a clever, misleading insertion, maening that you do NOT have to reverse ‘tan’. May attempted explanation didn’t make sense – even to me.

  8. George Foot says:

    28ac. The simplest explanation to me seems to be TAR with TAN to eastward, i.e to the east.

  9. radchenko says:

    Another very clever Brendan puzzle, even if I got piri-piris for divi-divis. Never mind. I saw the themebut still took some time to do. On which theme (and slightly off topic, apologies in advance), it seemed to me that thid week’s puzzles were harder than average. They all seemed to take longer, I was at the reference books earlier, and left more unfinished. At least it felt like that.

  10. KB Pike says:

    Re 28c, no extraneous word is harmless – it’s misleading and lazy. But, excepting perhaps Azed, no current setter is free from this recurring sin. Whilst I recognise it is unfashionable to quote Ximenes these days, many setters would do well to remember his rule: You may not mean what you say, but you must say what you mean.

  11. ilancaron says:

    20A is a nice touch as it’s a homophone so EYELESS also describes a corner having no I’s.

  12. mark says:

    I’m with Duggie, Muck and KBPike.
    Such ‘extraneous’ words are out of order; if the puzzle isn’t strictly logical then my confidence in it and the setter is lost before I start. It’s great when the surface of the clue works and flows too but not at the expense of the cryptic part.
    Shame on Brendan.

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