Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6,821/Virgilius – Numbers game

Posted by Ali on August 26th, 2008

Ali.

This was a belter of a puzzle, with every clue containing the word ‘number’. The fact that this word can be interepreted in, ahem, a number of different ways (quantity, music, anaesthetic, etc.), coupled with the fact that this is the first day after a long weekend (drinking, lack of sleep, etc.), made for a pretty tough solve for me. Some grey areas along the way, but very entertaining, very clever stuff from Virgilius. 23D is as good a clue as you’ll see anywhere.

Across
1 HIT LIST – Nice DD. ‘Numbers’ in the musical sense here
5 AT ODDS – AT,ODDS
9 SHEAF – Hidden in numberS HE AFterwards
10 TWENTY SIX – 26 being the numbers of letters in the alphabet, and also 2 x a baker’s dozen, but not sure how that relates to ’11 minimally’
11 BAKERS DOZEN – 13 being ‘unlucky’ (for some!)
15 TWENTIES – WENT in TIES
16 STRAIN – R in STAIN
20 RIGADOON - RIGA,DO,ON
22 ANAESTHETIST – (IN THE STATE AS)* – One who numbs patients!
26 EXISTENCE – SIX rev. + TEN in E,CE
28 MELODY – DOLE rev. in MY
25 STEVENS – I checked this online and it is right. I’m assuming it’s T in SEVENS and refers to ‘even stevens’
 
Down
2 TRES – 3 in Spanish, ‘very’ in French (and English if you like)
3 INFRACTIONS – IN,FRACTIONS
4 TETHERED – This feel like it should be THREE in TED, but isn’t, so I’m a bit puzzled
5 AVERSE – A,VERSE
6 TWO – OWT rev.
7 DESPERADOS – (SPEARED)* in DOS
8 AXIS – A,SIX rev.
12 ON THAT SCORE – (NOT)*,HAT,SCORE
13 OTTO – 8 in Italian, male name to Germans
17 NINE – Not sure on this one. Does it relate to 10A?
18 FIFTEENS – F in (SEEN FIT)*
22 AXES – A,SEX rev.
23 FIVE – F,IV,E – An outstanding clue. Has it been done before? Probably, yes, but I don’t think I’ve seen it
24 XMAS – Had to check this online too, and presume it’s X,MAS, but unsure on the MAS part
26 TWO – As represented by the ii in Pompeii. Very nice indeed

10 Responses to “Independent 6,821/Virgilius – Numbers game”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Great puzzle – I think the minimally is 2 13s i.e, 26 i.e. the fewest possible. X M AS (coin in Rome), I think NINE last two letters IX of 10 ac. You’re right about ‘even steven’

  2. nmsindy says:

    3 ETHER in TED!

  3. Mick h says:

    A mind-numbing little number indeed… lots of nice touches like TWO and OWT symmetrically opposite. Nice 1 6rgilius!

  4. Ali says:

    Ah of course, ether = number. No real excuse for not seeing that one!

  5. Barbara says:

    21. Shanty??
    If this is the answer, what’s the wordplay?

  6. Fletch says:

    Shanty, number of sailors as in sailors’ song and it’s a crude dwelling.

  7. davey b says:

    24d. Numbers of Romans taking a bit of their money for festival.Can someone please explain why it is XMAS?

  8. Geoff Moss says:

    This was explained in comment #1.

    X M (Roman numbers, 10 and 1000) AS (a Roman copper coin)

  9. androcles says:

    what about 1 down?

  10. androcles says:

    host – bit slow there

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four + = 5