Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6991/Phi

Posted by John on March 13th, 2009

John.

I found this unusually difficult — the two-word clues were a problem and one or two short answers are even now not totally clear. But apart from one or two quibbles, a typically pleasant crossword from Phi

Across
1/8 BACKGROUND RADIATION — (Radiocarbon-dating UK)*, not an anagram that came quickly, partly because I couldn’t believe that ‘radi’ would be in both clue and answer
9 SURF{ace}
10 FL(I’M S)Y
11 CRESSIDA — (is scared)*
13 ICE BAG — reserve in two senses — I had to look this up, it not being a familiar term
14 ANTS EGGS — (gag nests)*
17/19 JOHANNES BRAHMS — (manners hash job)*
21 MARS HG AS
23 E(PONY)M
25 STUN{t}
26/27 COALITION GOVERNMENT — CD
 
Down
1 B(O)AT SWAIN — this took a while and it seemed to me that the ‘with a’ was misleading and only there for the surface, but possibly I have it wrong: perhaps (just) the ‘with’ refers back to the two previous words and attaches them to the end. But in neither case does this seem very good.
2 C {s}HIP I think — although whether this refers to chips used in board games, or chipboard, or even computer chips on a motherboard, I’m not sure
3 GANG RENE{w}
4 O AS IS
5 NURSING — (run)rev. sing
6 TRAFFIC JAM — a play on the two senses of ‘jam’
7 A D(M)IRE
12 ASSES S(MEN)T
15 SORE POINT — (prose)* (into)*
16 BE(SAN)CON
18 H ORATIO{n}
20 HANK I.E.
22 HEN G{ranit}E
24 {fruit}CAKE

6 Responses to “Independent 6991/Phi”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Good puzzle, if a little difficult to get 26/27 as they were so close together. In 1 down I read the definition as “one with a mate?”. I read 2 as a casino.

  2. rayfolwell says:

    Although I found this fairly straightforward, I thought some of the clues were a bit iffy.
    24d – LUMP is not really a definition of CAKE
    21a – MARSH GAS is METHANE which is not poisonous.
    What is the definition in 6d ? It cannot be FOOD, which would define STRAWBERRY JAM, but not TRAFFIC JAM. If the definition is ‘the preserve of motorists’, what part does ‘food’ play in the clue ?

  3. nmsindy says:

    I think 6 is just a cryptic definition, playing on ‘jam’ as John says.

  4. petero says:

    Rayfolwell: LUMP (verb) is to clump together, or CAKE

  5. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    26/7 took me an absurd amount of time too – but just managed to get them before 16D. Nice to see Brahms without Liszt for once!

  6. Allan_C says:

    I must have been just lucky in seeing the association between ‘house’ and ‘parties’ at once to guess 26/27. 1/8 took a little longer to figure out but after that it was all plain sailing and I finished the puzzle quite quickly, thinking it was a nice easy one.

    Rayfolwell, methane may not be poisonous in the sense of acutely toxic, but it doesn’t do you any good!

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