Fifteensquared

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Guardian 24,515 – Gordius

Posted by Ciaran McNulty on October 9th, 2008

Ciaran McNulty.

Not too much of a challenge today, but a few words that were new to me.

* = anagram
< = reversed
(x) = removal
(X) = insertion
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition

Across

9. HYDRA. HARDY*
10. OPERATION. OPEN* around RATIO.
11. FUNGOIDAL. FUN + GO + LAID*.
12. MINUS. INSUM*.
13. CEILIDH. I.E.CHILD*.
15. NONPLUS. Nice cryptic dd.
17. ROYAL. ROY+AL.
18. TAP. PAT< The most famous postman of all.
20. GUANA. GU(y)ANA. A type of reptile, as in iguana.
22. SINUSES. SIN + USES. ‘Cavities’ is a bit of a vague definition.
25. YARDARM. YARD + ARM. Presumably ref. to Scotland Yard.
26. TUBER. dd. Potato reference.
27. PLOUGHMEN. PL + ENOUGH* around M.
30. OLD STAGER. SOLDGREAT*.
31. GENUS. GEN(i)US.

Down

1. CHEF. quiCHEFor.
2,13. IDENTITY CARDS. cd.
3. SAGO. SA(pe)GO.
4. GOOD SHOT. GOODS HOT.
5. CEYLON. CE + ONLY. Now Sri Lanka. ‘CE’ as establishment seems weak.
6. BAD MANAGER. BAD(MAN A)GER.  Not convinced where the A comes from.
7. SIMNEL. MILNES*.  What happens to the Lambert?
8. ONES. NOSE*
14. ILLUSTRATE. IL + LUST RATE.
16. SHAWM. SHAW + M.  An early woodwind instrument.
19. PAY COURT. Two types of ‘make advances’?
21. ALARMING. ARM is gun, presumably A LING is a Hood?
23. NOBODY. Diary of a Nobody, a novel by George Grossmith.
24. SAPEGO. SAP + EGO.
26. THOR. half of THOROUGH,
28. GAGS. dd.
29. NOSE. N.E. around O.S.

16 Responses to “Guardian 24,515 – Gordius”

  1. SteveM says:

    Thanks Ciaran – re 21d, I think AL is our hood once again and taking a gun = arming.

  2. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, Ciaran. I normally have a lot of trouble with Gordius, but this one wasn’t too difficult.

    I think in BAD MANAGER the “one” is doing double duty, but maybe I’ve missed something too.

    My partner explained SIMNEL to me: it’s a triple definition, with “Lambert” referring to Lambert Simnel – he was one of the two children presented as being the Princes in the Tower after their disappearance.

    The second definition of PAY COURT is just a c.d. of “industrial tribunal”

    I’m not sure about the hood either…

  3. liz says:

    Lambert Simnel was a pretender to the throne of England

  4. C G Rishikesh says:

    Re ALARMING. I even got to AL-ARMING before getting stuck.

    Comment 1 is unhelpful.

    Does AL for ‘hood’ still remain unexplained?

  5. John says:

    Al (Capone) + “arming” = taking a gun = alarming.
    In 6 dn, the “a” is covered by “one”.
    And Lambert’s unnecessary IMHO.

  6. mhl says:

    John: while the SIMNEL clue would work without the extra definition, it’s much better with it, I think. Constructing triple definitions that aren’t too easy (and have a good surface reading) is rather impressive, and in this case it nicely offers an additional way to guess one of the more obscure words in the crossword. (It also adds some ambiguity to how one might break down the clue, since “Lambert” might be L as a unit of luminance.)

    C G Rishikesh: Comment number 1 from SteveM was perfectly helpful, I think! (I hadn’t read it before posting comment number 2.)

  7. C G Rishikesh says:

    Just before I came here and read John’s comment, I worked it out like this:

    Al = Al Capone = hoodlum = hood.

    The abbr. ‘hood’ for ‘hoodlum’ is in Chambers.

  8. C G Rishikesh says:

    Sorry. From “AL is our hood once again” I could not understand how we get AL from ‘hood’ (maybe there were some discussions on this board that I had missed) but eventually I got to it after some thinking and dictionary lookup.

  9. Andrew says:

    I found this a bit of a strange puzzle – mostly very easy, but SAPEGO and GUANA are a bit obscure, I think, though they fairly easy to guess: SAPEGO from 3dn, which I got early on, and GUANA as a plausible variant of IGUANA (and with easy wordplay).

    I had no trouble with Lambert Simnel: he features memorably in 1066 And All That, which is where a lot of my historical knowledge comes from.

    6dn – I agree that “one” is doing double duty, and surely BAD MANAGER isn’t really enough of a standard phrase to be acceptable as an entry.

  10. liz says:

    Excuse my ignorance, but can anyone explain why 7dn is a triple def, not a double def?

  11. Paul G says:

    I thought 19d was “Pay Board” rather than “Pay Court”, the industrial tribunal being a “pay board” i.e. setting rates of pay, and the making advances being to pay one’s board, i.e. rent etc ?

  12. mhl says:

    Liz, I might have the terminology wrong (maybe it’s really “double definition + anagram”) but I was counting them as: (a) Lambert, (b) (MILNE’S)* and (c) cake

  13. SteveM says:

    C G Rishikesh: Sorry if comment 1 was unclear – by ‘once again’ I was referring to the quite common device of using gangster, hood(lum), etc to indicate AL (Capone), something I assumed many of us would be familiar with. Of course, that’s only any use if you’ve come across it before so I should have explained it more fully.
    I’ll take more care next time!

  14. liz says:

    Thanks Mhl. After I posted I did think that triple does help to make a clearer distinction between this type of clue and a more standard double.

  15. Tom Hutton says:

    I, like Paul G, had “pay board” for 19 down. It was one of those annoying clue solutions that looks fairly possible when you put it in but not so good when you see a better answer. However, I don’t regard a court as a tribunal in the area of industrial relations. There is a distinction, I think.

  16. muck says:

    I had two wrong, and am pleased to have the correct answers –
    20ac GUANA: I had GHANA without being sure why.
    19dn PAY COURT: I had PAY BOARD as did others.

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