Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,497 – Pasquale

Posted by Ciaran McNulty on September 18th, 2008

Ciaran McNulty.

A very well-designed grid today, with all of the two-word clues ‘lining up’ either horizontally or vertically.

It seemed fairly hard, and I didn’t finish a couple of the clues, marked with a ?.  Hopefully a helpful commenter will provide the solution. (EDIT: Eileen has filled them in, in the comments. Thanks Eileen!)

(CAPS) = insertion
(lowercase) = removal
* = anagram

Across

7. WOMANISH. W(OMAN)ISH
9. ANTRAL. A + N + TRA(i)L.  Not sure if the adjective as the definition works.
10. ? (EDIT: HEEL, double def)
11. MERCANTILE. MERC + ANT + ILE.
12. BEYOND REPROACH. PREACHERNOBODY*
15. SWOOSH. S(WOOS)H.
17. AEGEAN. Every other letter of ‘an eagle has’
20. INTERIOR DESIGN. Nice ‘reverse clue’, design being hidden in “blondesignorance”
22. PROFLIGATE. PROF + L + I + GATE
24. HUTS. SHUT with the first letter moved to the end
25. MANEGE. MAN(E.G.)E
26. SHELL OUT

Down

1. ? (EDIT: LOVELESS. MOAN minus O is MAN)
2. LAND FALL ON ONE’S FEET.  (EDIT: FALLON + ‘ONES(FEE)T)
3. DIMMED. D(I’M ME)D.
4. BAD APPLE. B + A + DAPPLE.  A dapple is a colouration of hourse.
5. STATIONERS HALL. ANILSTARHOTELS*. An ancient livery hall near St Paul’s
6. GARLIC. suGARLICker.  Not sure the def ‘which tastes different’ works
8. HARARE. HAR(A + R)E.
16. SPINIFEX. S(PIN + 1 + F)EX. Luckily the only type of grass I could remember.
18. NIGHT OUT. Another reverse clue, THING could be an anag of night.
19. BROADS. B-ROADS.
21. NORMAL. NORMA + L.
22. ? (EDIT: DIETER (DI + E(a)TER)

16 Responses to “Guardian 24,497 – Pasquale”

  1. Eileen says:

    10ac: heel: dd. I was expecting Cassius!

    1dn; yes, LOVELESS: MOAN without love {O} is MAN

  2. Eileen says:

    2dn is FALL ON ONE’S FEET: [Kieren] FALLON [jockey

  3. Andrew says:

    22dn is DIETER – DI + (EATER less A)

  4. Eileen says:

    23ac: sorry, missed this one – PROF L I GATE

    Never heard of MANEGE or SPINIFLEX!

  5. Eileen says:

    Sorry, Ciaran: I misread the 22’s!

  6. mhl says:

    Ciaran, I’d agree this was a difficult one today. I tend to miss the “reverse clues”, since they come up so much less frequently than the more standard types. MANEGE and SPINIFEX were new to me too.

    Marvellous clues throughout, though – most of the surface readings made me smile…

  7. Tom Hutton says:

    Does “shell out” mean to distribute a message? I use it to refer to spending money.

  8. Andrew says:

    Tom – I parsed 26ac as “Distribute” + “message announcing unavailability of petrol?”

  9. Trench Adviser says:

    What’s the definition for DIETER?

  10. Andrew says:

    DIETER = “Big guzzler? No”. The wordplay is “Girl”=DI, “apple not a” = EATER (as opposed to cooker)less the A.

  11. radchenko says:

    I did not think that this was a good crossword. In fact I thought it was utter

  12. Pasquale says:

    Thanks for the feedback ( though I didn’t fully understand No. 11!).

  13. Fletch says:

    Rather uncalled for Radchenko. You seem to be a bit of a

  14. radchenko says:

    grumpy s*d at times?

    Which is the least uncharitable completion I can think of. Quite right Fletch to call me on it, and Pasquale, I apologise unreservedly.

    If I might (try to) explain, I was about 2 hours and ten clues in before I had to resort to the computer, and there’s not so much fun in that. A combination of rare words (manege, spinifex, antral), obscure references (I live in London, but never came across Stationer’s Hall) and some difficult definitions (I don’t deny distribute (payment) is a synonym of shell out, but it’s not one I connected), meant that I just could not get anywhere with the puzzle. I’m accustomed to coming up a few clues short, but over half? I’m in azed territory…

    I did guess 20ac, but it was not until I read the blog that I got the reason, so did not even get the pleasure of the ah-ha moment that comes with solving a really brilliant clue like this one. So ‘grrrr’ all round, it had been a bad day anyway, the cat had the foresight to be out and it’s easy to let rip on a keyboard without thinking. Even though I should have kept it to myself I hope Pasquale you’ll forgive the midnight venting. It’s not as if it was even helpful.

    To all I ask your indulgence for putting noise on the channel rather than comments on the clues.

  15. Pasquale says:

    No problem and thanks for your observations. I may be not as familiar as you think with the words I put in but it’s nice to clue spinifex with something accessible rather than try to produce another clue for sprited or recycle an old one. I have been to a publishing function at Stationers Hall, as it happens – a very fine building near St Paul’s. I agree that disguise in clues can be wonderful if you see it, and irritating if you don’t — that’s all part of the game, I guess!

  16. ACP says:

    Radchenko,
    if it’s difficult while in London, imagine what international solvers think . . . Norfolk isn’t my strong suit, but crossing letters made it available.

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