Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Genius 67 / Shed

Posted by mhl on February 2nd, 2009

mhl.

The hidden theme of this excellent crossword is “Composers”: most uses of the letter C in the clues should be read as “composer” for the clue to make sense. This perhaps wasn’t as tricky as the last couple of Genius puzzles, but a good challenge nonetheless. (To give credit where it’s due, solving this was a joint effort between me and my partner.)

Across
8. BORODINO BORODIN (= Alexander Borodin) + O; the “historical engagement” is the Battle of Borodino
9. APART A + PART (= Arvo Pärt)
10. IVES (L)IVES; the “C[omposer]” is Charles Ives
11. TRAVEL CARD RAVEL (= Maurice Ravel) + C in DRAT reversed
12. GLASSY GLASS (= Philip Glass) + Y = “unknown”
14. BERGAMOT BERG (= Alban Berg) + A + MOT; the fruit is the Bergamot orange, apparently reponsible for the distinctive smell of Earl Grey tea
15. VERDICT VERDI (= Giuseppe Verdi) + CT = “court”
17. ADVANCE V = 5 in A DANCE = “a C[omposer]‘s work”
20. REPROACH R = “recipe” in REPOACH = “Once again, cook”; the definition is “opprobrium”, with “incurring” as a link word
22. CASTOR CA = “about” and then T in SOR (= Fernando Sor); the definition is “twin” as in Castor and Pollux
23. FALLACIOUS FALLA (= Manuel de Falla) and then OU = “educators” in SIC = “so” reversed (“on reflection”)
24. KEPI Hidden answer; a kepi is a hat, so “Top Gear”
26. BRAHMANS This should be read as “AN, C[omposer] put out[side]” to give AN in BRAHMS (= Johannes Brahms). Chambers gives Brahman as an alternative spelling for Brahmin.
Down
1. CONVULSE (LV OUNCES)*
2. LOOS Double definition; the author is Anita Loos
3. WINTRY TRY = “bid” after WIN = “success”
4. COPAIBA COP + A1 + BA; the definition is resin
5. CAREERED CARE + E + RED
6. BACCHANALS C in BACH (= Johann Sebastian Bach, or one of the other composers in his family) + ANAL = “obsessive” + S = “s[mack] head”; “wild parties” is the definition
7. STEREO (SIDEROLITE – LIDI)*; a stereo might be a “transmitter of C[omposer]‘s work”
13. SIDEROLITE SIDE = “page” and then LO = “look” reversed in RITE; according to Chambers this is “a meteorite made up partly of stone and partly of iron”, so it’s something that travels in space
16. CHARCOAL “C[omposer]‘s bow” is ARCO, which is written in scores to mean “use the bow” – it’s literally “bow” (the weapon) in Italian. This is in CHAL[ice] (“defrosted cup?”)
18. CHOPPING P and G in CHOPIN (= Frédéric Chopin)
19. THEORBO THE ORB O = “Pluto’s last”; the theorbo might also transmit a composer’s work to the audience
21. ELAPSE (PLEASE)*
22. CASUAL USA = “federation” reversed in CAL = California (“one of its components”)
24, 25. KAMA SUTRA (A MUSKRAT A)*

2 Responses to “Guardian Genius 67 / Shed”

  1. Andrew says:

    Thanks mhl. I found this one hard going, but worth the effort, and it reminds me that it’s been a while since we’ve seen Shed in the daily puzzle – in fact it seems not since 2nd October 2008.

  2. mhl says:

    Yes, it’s a shame. The most Guardian crosswords he’s done in a year (not including the Biggles ones) was 24 in 2003, but in 2007 and 2008 it was only 8 and 9…

    I think I was lucky with this one to guess the theme early on, from IVES.

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