Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,596/Quantum

Posted by Andrew on January 14th, 2009

Andrew.

A straightforward puzzle with nothing particularly exciting and a few very easy clues.

Key:
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
* = anagram
< = reverse

Across
1. TACTFUL (FACT ULT)* This almost qualifies as an indirect anagram, but as ULT is just an abbreviation of “ultimately” I’ll let it off
5. BOLLARD L L in BOARD
9. INNER (d)INNER, and an INNER is next to (“by”) the Bull’s-eye in archery.
10. BIG DIPPER Just a long-winded cd, I think
11. CAPITULATE (A TITLE + A CUP)*
12. PANS SNAP<
14. LEGAL TENDER cd. The definition of legal tender includes how much of particular denominations of currency must be accepted in settlement of a debt. E.g. in the UK 5p and 10p coins are only legal tender up to £5.
18. TRANSLUCENT (NEWCASTLE – WE + TURN)*. I was going to quibble about the definition TRANSLUCENT=”clear”, but Chambers gives it as one of the meanings.
21. MAIN I in MAN. I originally tried to make this work the other way round, so I was googling for islands call MEID or MEIR..
22. OBLITERATE LOB* + ITERATE
25. SCIENTIST cd – i.e. one who studies nature
26. ANNUL ANNUAL less A
27. ROAD HOG dd
28. SLEEPER dd – “supporter” refers to sleepers on railway lines

Down
1. TWITCH TWIT CH
2. CANAPE (A PECAN)*
3. FIRST CLASS dd – very easy to get from the “mail” definition
4. LABEL L + ABLE* Another very simple one.
5. BAGATELLE dd – the forerunner of pinball machines.
6. LAID DIAL<
7. APPLAUDS APP + LADS around U
8. DERISORY (RORY’S IDE(a))*
13. SET THE PACE SET (=fix) + (HEAP ETC)*
15. GRUMBLING G + RUMBLING – the clue seems to have a misprint: “It good finding out..” should be “It’s good…”
16. ATOMISER (ARE MOIST)* &lit – A nice try at an &lit, but I don’t like “mostly” as a anagram indicator. I suppose it could be an anagram of IT ARE MO(i)S(t), but that’s even worse.
17. BASILICA (CIA LAB IS)*
19. CATNAP Chambers defines this as “a brief sleep, esp. without lying down”. I don’t know where “at work” comes into it, unless that’s where people are most likely to have catnaps.
20. CELLAR ELLA in CR
23. ICTUS (IS CUT)*
24. INCH (f)INCH. I originally had IONA here, from the “bird” FIONA, until ROAD HOG convinced me otherwise.

16 Responses to “Guardian 24,596/Quantum”

  1. TwoPies says:

    Thanks Andrew. It would have been straightforward for me too had I not written transparent in for 18a. After getting nowhere with 15d I took the trouble to actually work out what it should have been.

    13d I thought was an anagram of fix heap etc but when I came up with fix the pace I realised it wasn’t.

    Other than that gentle but not unenjoyable.

  2. brisbanegirl says:

    Hi Andrew,

    My new word for the day … ictus … a sorry reflection on my lack of classical education … if I hadn’t had some of the other answers I would have tried iambs, but would have had no idea as to how it fit the clue.

    I also tried meir… glad to know I’m alone.

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Andrew. As you say, nothing too demanding – in fact one of the easiest for a while, although I, too, started off with ‘transparent’ and looked for an anagram of ‘fix heap etc’ and also thought of ‘bolster’ for 28ac at first.]

    16dn I got by instinct, then had the job of explaining it. I took ‘sprayed’ as the anagram indicator to begin with but that didn’t work. Your explanation seems most plausible but I don’t like it, either.

  4. Andrew says:

    I’d forgotten that Quantum – aka Eric Burge – died last May. Don Manley’s obituary of him is at http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2008/jun/06/pressandpublishing.crosswords

  5. smutchin says:

    Got 16d ATOMISER without checking the letters and assumed “mostly” meant it didn’t use all the letters, but that’s clearly not the case. It does seem a little strange but gets bonus marks for attempting the &lit trick.

    Worked out 23d ICTUS from the clue (not difficult), though it’s a new word for me too.

    Got 19d CATNAP but also puzzled over “at work”.

    Didn’t get 25a SCIENTIST – I’m not good with cryptic definitions when they’re as vague as this.

    Racked my brains for ages trying to recall memory of the infamous island of MEID for 21a.

    Favourite clue today was 6d LAID – very neat and clever.

  6. Richard says:

    No, not particularly difficult but a definite pat on the back for 18a I thought. The “we returning” was quite deceptive and – something I always admire – the overall clue read well. Also a nice change for Newcastle not to equal NE.

  7. don says:

    As with Two Pies, ‘trasparent’ and ‘fix the pace’ held me up a bit, but this seemed a fairly simple crossword.

  8. Ian Stark says:

    All previously expressed niggles and compliments agreed with. Another quick ‘n’ easy one. Should we expect a real blinder later in the week?

    Enjoyed 9a, but not being a darts player (or an archer) I had to work hard to get the word UPPER out of my head.

    Is that common, a lead time of (at least, presumably) eight months from puzzle submission to publishing?

  9. Testy says:

    I wondered that too. Every time I see Quantum/Quark I think, surely this must be his last, but they seem to keep coming. I was beginning to wonder if he was somehow submitting them from beyond the grave or whether someone else had assumed his mantle.

  10. smutchin says:

    What I suspect often happens is that a puzzle that’s pencilled in for a particular day has to be pulled for some reason (maybe because a clue fortuitously refers to a topical event in a way that could appear insensitive), so Prof Stephenson replaces it with one from his reserve stock of unused puzzles.

  11. TwoPies says:

    Yes, the original for today had Poodle made model offer corruptly (5,2,7)

  12. PBE says:

    Good to be seeing more of Steve Bell again isn’t it, TwoPies?

  13. jimbod says:

    Niggles aplenty for me today. Cursed translucent! But still, it’s nice to be able to solve the majority of clues for once.

    Nice work TwoPies :-)

  14. smutchin says:

    TwoPies – arf! (as they used to say in the Beano)

  15. John says:

    As an ex dartist I always thought an inner WAS a bullseye, an outer being the 25 score.

  16. noel says:

    TwoPies: yes, very good, but that took almost as long to solve as this morning’s crossword – I must have missed the announcement.

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