Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6879/Bannsider (01-11-08 Prize puzzle)

Posted by neildubya on November 7th, 2008

neildubya. Bannsider’s puzzles are consistently excellent and this was no exception. Funny grid though, with that blob of white squares in the middle. I’ve never read anything by Arnold Bennett so I have to confess that I used his Wikipedia page to “solve” the thematic clues, although I think I had already worked out 2 and 21 by that point.

 

Across
1 D(I’S,H,ONO)URABLE
9 FEE,LONE’S,WAY
10 hidden in “foR IPswich”
11 HA(N)LEY – Bill HALEY (and his Comets) were among the first of the rock n’ rollers. Handbridge was the fictional equivalent in the novel.
12 alternate letters reversed in “SkUlL bOnEs CaRpUs” – URCEOLUS. Chambers defines this as “a pitcher-shaped structure, with contracted mouth, such as the sheath of some rotifers” – does that count as a “tiny marine creature”.
13 FENTON – I needed Arnold Bennett’s Wikipedia entry to work this one out. It seems that there are actually six towns in the Potteries but Bennett thought “five towns” sounded better so he left out FENTON. I can’t detect any wordplay in the clue though: “Place best omitted by novel of Bennett’s”.
15 I’LL TIME,D – I really liked this clue, especially the tantalising surface reading.
16 PA[-c]Y
17 VOLITION – fits the definition of “will” but I can’t work out the wordplay: “Will one in charge back himself”.
19 GRATER – sounds like “greater” or “speechmaker’s superior”.
21 TUN’S,TALL – which was Turnhill in Bennett’s novel.
22 HOB,NOB
25 WIT[-h]
26 E,ATING(A,P,P)LE – great clue, with a well-hidden definition in “pressure cooker? No!”
27 SINGLE-SPACING
 
Down
1 DIE,S,N,ON – DIES NON is legal term meaning “not lawful day” or a day in which no law court business takes place.
2 STOKE – Knype in 24/8
3 O,PEN
4 ON(WARD)LY – another very fine clue. I especially liked “room for improvement, hopefully” for WARD.
5 R(HYM[-n])ESTER
6 (RUMBLES)* – BURSLEM or Bursley in 24/8.
7 (DO PLEASE)*,RO[-u]BLES – EL PASO DE ROBLES. Never heard of the place but the wordplay is very helpful indeed so I managed to work this out and then confirm online.
14 TA,THEE in (LOU)* – OUT AT HEEL.
15 IAN – nice definition – “Force Blair”, a reference to the now-outgoing Commissioner of the Met – but the wordplay eludes me: “Force Blair not to cross Brown initially”.
16 PO(LL)UT,E,S – not really sure how “face” can mean “pout”. E and S are opponents on the bridge table.
18 LONG,T,ON – Longshaw in 24/8.
20 TENT PEG – Excellent clue. “Tent” is a Spanish red wine.
23 hidden in “boOK A PIctorial”
24/8 (AN OFFENSIVE HAT WONT)* – ANNA OF THE FIVE TOWNS. The novel by Arnold Bennett and the mini-theme for this puzzle.

8 Responses to “Independent 6879/Bannsider (01-11-08 Prize puzzle)”

  1. nmsindy says:

    VOLITION I think it’s I in VOLT with NO 1 reversed.

  2. Fletch says:

    I’d been hanging on to this puzzle for the blog as I didn’t understand 15d or 19a – but I’d put ORATOR, d’oh!

  3. Fletch says:

    On further consideration, might 15d work as I ban, cross (remove) Brown initially?

  4. Renno says:

    I’m still feeling my way in all this, but 13 was about one of the few I managed to get. Bennett’s with best omitted gives FENTON

  5. neildubya says:

    13 – OK, got it now: (OF BENNETT’S)* with BEST removed. And &lit I guess.

  6. Bannsider says:

    Hello: I probably shouldn’t butt in this early in the proceedings. Howver, critical bloggers should not feel intimidated: I don’t mind harsh comments – just remember to include the accompanying fee … :-)

    12ac: The “some” in the def indicates “part of” but I should really have been more explicit for a difficult word (not that it would probably have helped on reflection!)
    The idea of 15d is that TAN (=BROWN) doesn’t have the initial T
    crossed.
    A bit of a beast of a clue but fully checked answer at least.
    16d: POUT can be a noun.

    The centre “blob” Neil Dubya refers to was because I thought the grid would be too disjointed without it. Not something I normally approve of I must say …

  7. Duggie says:

    Fletch: I too had the same two clues ringed from the weekend, awaiting wisdom from you lot. And I had ORATOR too! Not often you see an inverted compound anagram (13A) in the Indy (if that’s what the technical term is). How nice to see Bannsider back, even if his choice of reading is unusual. (Definitely a more educational theme than football, that’s for sure!)

  8. beermagnet says:

    Put me down as another who slapped in ORATOR.
    This is particularly galling as I tackled this puzzle last weekend after participating in the regular autumn half-time family ritual round at Granny’s of making the Christmas pudding – and guess whose knuckles take the risk on nutmeg duty.

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