Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6886 by Morph

Posted by NealH on November 10th, 2008

NealH.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone

After my abject failure with last Monday’s puzzle, I got up half an hour earlier to give myself extra time to complete this one. I needn’t have worried, since it was much more straightforward. There was a slight Sarah Palin theme, with 12 down being particularly neat, although I couldn’t spot any obvious ninas.

Across
1 Brussels sprouts: double/cryptic definition.
9 Tower: Double definition. Computer equipment is sometimes housed in cabinets referred to as towers.
10 No trouble: Not rouble.
11 Riding for a fall: I wasn’t totally sure about the “for” in this one. The clue is “A third of county councils, with slump, facing disaster”. A third of county councils refers to the three ridings of Yorkshire and slump is obviously fall, so does that mean “with” = “for” ?
13 Solvency: solve + c in NY.
15 Glenda: dangle*.
17 Elysee: Ely + see.
19 Jalfrezi: J Alfre[d] + [sta]zi[one]. It refers to the poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T S Eliot.
22 Four letter word: (fort we’re told)* around Ur (crossword setter’s favourite ancient city).
25 Executive: Ex + Eve around cut + i.
26 Otago: Tag in 00.
27 In the nick of time: In the nick + oft + I’m + [fre]e.
Down
1 Buttresses: Butt (= behind) + [d]resses.
2 Unwed: [r]un we’d.
3 Strange: St + range (interpreting street’s as “street has”).
4 Long face: f in (long ac) + e.
5 Suture: [g]ut in sure.
6 Roomful: (fool rum)*.
7 Unbalance: (nuclea[r] ban)*.
8 Shed: Double definition. I’m not sure why the nativity play would be performed in a shed, apart from the fact that a shed is a bit like a stable.
12 Palindrome: Palin + drome and “refer” as an example of a palindrome.
14 Lay to rest: (stale tory)*
16 Last Week: [A]lask[a] around twee. The answer does literally mean last week, which might not work very well if the puzzle is ever reprinted in a compendium.
18 En route: I’m not completely sure about this. It looks like it might be “EN tour* E”, where EN must be a London postcode and Essex must be E.
20 Fire off: Fire + off (definition as in “fire off an email”).
21 Gemini: Hidden
23 Omani: O + man + i.
24 Semi: Hidden.

12 Responses to “Independent 6886 by Morph”

  1. beermagnet says:

    18D I reckon “Travelling from central London to Essex” takes you ENE (East-North-East)

  2. Ali says:

    In 11A, I think that ‘councils’ = FORA (i.e the plural of forum). ‘With’ is just used as a linking word, much in the same way ‘and’ can be

  3. Eileen says:

    11ac: Thanks for that, Ali: I’m sure you’re right. I wasn’t happy with ‘slump’ being ‘A fall’ but your explanation takes care of that. It’s a much better clue than I thought it was!

  4. Eileen says:

    “I wasn’t happy with ’slump’ being ‘A fall’ but your explanation takes care of that.”
    Please ignore this nonsensical remark above. It doesn’t!

  5. mhl says:

    Lots of fun clues here: I particularly liked FOUR-LETTER WORD, JALFREZI, PALINDROME and DANGLE (for the Michael Jackson allusion) although I failed to get the first of those, partly because of the nice misdirection of “we’re told” being in the anagram. I wonder also if it was deliberate that the “Former first lady …” answer began E.E., which made me convinced it would be something do with Eleanor Roosevelt…

    Thanks for the post, NealH, which cleared up several questions I had.

  6. Duggie says:

    Smashing puzzle. I was sailing through confidently, then got completely bamboozled by some clever clueing in SE corner. Quite brave of Morph to set himself four words ending in ‘i’ and make the clues original. My eating habits must be so old-fashioned; never heard of jalfrezi. Is it good?
    Anyone know if it’s worth watching BBC4 tonight at 9?

  7. Paul B says:

    Jalfrezi is yummy. So was this puzzle!

  8. Al Streatfield says:

    Good puzzle.

    Since it’s ages since I read the Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, can’t remember much about it.

    Does anyone know whether Stazione Centrale features in the poem or whether it is just a convenient way for the compiler to get ZI? …. (in JALFREZI)

  9. Wil Ransome says:

    Agreed, good crossword. But please can someone explain how 13ac works: ‘Having funds to clear up clubs in New York’ (SOLVENCY): the answer is a noun, but how can ‘Having funds’ lead to this?

  10. Richard Heald says:

    A good, fun puzzle with some sly topical references – PALINDROME and GLENDA made me smile.

    To answer Wil’s query, it’s common practice in crosswords to use a gerundial word or phrase (such as ‘having funds’) to define a noun.

  11. Mick h says:

    Thanks for all the comments – in response to Al’s question, sadly Prufrock doesn’t eat curry or even pasta outside the stazione centrale, but it just felt like a TS Eliot-ish image after I’d hit on JALFRE(d) and was left with ZI.

  12. eimi says:

    Great fun, I thought – and topical, but we don’t have to compile for posterity. There are plenty of excellent puzzles available for future books, but it’s also good to have topical and date-specific puzzles.

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