Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6885/Merlin (Prize puzzle 08-11-08)

Posted by neildubya on November 14th, 2008

neildubya.

There’s a Nina here which I spotted during solving but only just worked out what it’s about. From the top left-hand corner we have GABRIELLE, BREE, SUSAN, LYNETTE and EDIE (the first E is also the last E in LYNETTE), who are all 22/26. Maybe Merlin’s a fan of the show!

Across
8 GILL – double def. A GILL is a quarter of a pint.
9 (DUKE EARL)*,IE – AULD REEKIE. The Scots (affectionate) nickname for Edinburgh. New to me but got it from the wordplay.
10 DIME in (ENTOMB)* – EMBODIMENT. Spent some time thinking the wordplay was (ENTOMB COIN)*.
11 A,BAR (reversed) – ARAB.
12 (ASININ[-e],GIS)* – INSIGNIAS.
13 STEER – a cox is someone who steers a boat and an ox is a steer.
15 DRA[GG for BB]LE – Margaret DRABBLE (sister of AS Byatt I believe) is the author.
17 TAT in DICE
20 [-d]EARTH
22/26 (WHERE SPOUSES DEVIATE)* – DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. I’ve never watched it myself but, if watch TV at all, you’ve probably seen a trailer for it at the very least.
25 A in TSR – TSAR, excellent &lit.
27 T,(MORE TO EAT)* – TREE TOMATO, rather than “tomato tree” as I hurriedly filled in at first.
28 LIE,U
 
Down
1 IRMA in AN – not sure IRMA is a “sweet” girl…
2 B,LOOMING
3 RATION,ALE
4 LEG,A in ILL – ILLEGAL
5 OT,ARE (going up) – ERATO. “Religious books” are usually NT or OT, for New and Old testament. ERATO was one of the Greek muses.
6 LE(V)ANT
7 GAME in LINT – LIGAMENT.
14 S,IMP,LET ON
16 S in [-t]REASURE – REASSURE
18 TORT,ILL,A
19 PERU,SAL
21 TUR,E,E,N
23 THE,BES[-t]
24 initial letters of “Yes, One Old Buddy Holly) arranged into OH BOY – which was a Buddy Holly song so this is practically an &lit.

7 Responses to “Independent 6885/Merlin (Prize puzzle 08-11-08)”

  1. Barbara says:

    Re: 1. aIRMAn
    This might be a reference to
    Irma La Douce

  2. Danny Collins says:

    1ac – could Irma refer to Irma Thomas, r & b singer in the 1960s known as the Soul Queen of New Orleans, with an album “Sweet Soul Queen of New Orleans”? Or is that a bit too obscure?

  3. neildubya says:

    I think Barbara must be right – Irma La Douce (which was a film and a musical) means “Irma the Sweet”.

  4. nmsindy says:

    MARGARET DRABBLE and AS BYATT – they are sisters, as you say, tho, like the Charlton brothers in football, there’s a rift there.

  5. neildubya says:

    I knew the writers didn’t get on but the footballers? Really? That I did not know.

  6. nmsindy says:

    It’s pretty well-documented and goes back quite a while.

  7. Richard Heald says:

    I thought the DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES anag. & lit. was an absolute cracker. And maybe Merlin’s not such a fan of the show at all? I read the Nina as DIE GABRIELLE, BREE, SUSAN and LYNETTE!

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