Fifteensquared

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Independent 7005 by Radian

Posted by NealH on March 30th, 2009

NealH.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def

My initial thought on seeing this puzzle was that the theme would be something like the Taming of the Shrew, so I set off with a mental groan expecting it to be full of the names of Shakespearean characters. However, to my relief, it turned out to be something much more in my realm of experience – sitcoms featuring the late, great Ronnie Barker (with a couple of non-Barker sitcom references thrown in).

Across
1 Emmanuel: Me< + Manuel. It took me a couple of visits to Spanish dictionaries to look up the word for waiter before I finally realized the waiter in question is Manuel from Fawlty Towers (“He’s from Barcelona”).
5 Revamp: Rev + amp.
9 Fletcher: Double def. A fletcher makes arrows and Norman Stanley Fletcher was the Barker character in Porridge.
10 Barker: Barer around [wee]k. I think the definition (stripper) refers to someone who strips the bark from trees.
12 Rasp: Double def.
13 Patisserie: Pastis* + (Lake) Erie.
15 Plays hard to get: (a ghastly red top)*.
20 Ornithologists: OR + (oohing stilts)*. A stilt is a type of bird, so this is a very good &lit.
24 Racehorses: (searches [f]or)*.
26/17/25 Open All Hours: (shop no allure)* + &lit.
29 Devour: anagram of hors d’oeuvres with the letters from horses removed.
30 Rag Trade: Trad[itional] in rage. The Rag Trade was another sitcom from the sixties and seventies.
31 Egress: Hidden, reversed in “dresser gets.
32 Clarence: C[himney] + cleaner*. Clarence was Ronnie Barker’s final sitcom role (a series he wrote himself under a pseudonym). The “movingly” doesn’t refer to any emotional content – the character was a removals man.
Down
1 Effort: Even letters of Beirut around off<.
2 Meets: (S teem)<. This was the only one I had doubts about. I’m not entirely sure in what context teem equates to bucket. Bucket can apparently be used as a verb meaning to move fast, which is similar to teem. I suppose the mention of Bucket could also be construed as another sitcom reference, since Hyacinth Bucket was the lead character in Keeping Up Appearances.
3 Nick: double definition.
4 Eyewash: E + yew + ash.
6 Evans: Ave< + NS. Evans is a well know clothing retailer. Although the clue doesn’t make use of it, this was another Barker series – The Magnificent Evans about a Welsh photographer.
7 Arkwright: Wark with the W moved to the end + right. Arkwright was the mean, stuttering shopkeeper in Open All Hours.
8 Permeate: Hidden in cheaper meat eventually.
11 Bier: Barker with ark replaced by I.
14 Cyst: C[ount]y + St.
16 Lens cover: Len’s cover – cover (point) is a fielding position in cricket.
18 Toil: T[rade] + oil.
19 Porridge: Double definition (porridge being a word for time in prison and, of course, also Ronnie Barker’s greatest sitcom).
21 Ogre: Even letters of “conger eel”.
22 Overall: Over (a set of deliveries in cricket) + all.
23 Sneeze: S[tiff] + hom of knees.
27 Prawn: (N warp)*.
28 Stir: Double def – “to do” is fuss, stir etc and stir is yet another word for prison.

3 Responses to “Independent 7005 by Radian”

  1. rayfolwell says:

    2D – I took this to be a reference to “bucket” meaning “rain heavily”.

    I wondered if today was a Ronnie Barker anniversary of some sort.
    It may just be a coincidence, but the first episode of “The Navy Lark” was broadcast on 29th March 1959. This was the show where Ronnie Barker first became established as a comic. However there are no Navy Lark references in the puzzle.

  2. John McDonald says:

    In 28D, I think the clue reads “what to do with porridge” (= stir it) plus definition “nick” (= stir also).

    John M

  3. Allan_C says:

    I was a bit put off at first by all the cross-references in the clues but seeing “shopkeeper” I immediately thought of “open all hours” and was well on my way!
    Like Rayfolwell I wondered if it was a Ronnie Barker anniversary, but couldn’t find anything appropriate on Google.
    I thought “movingly” in 32 was just the anagram indicator.

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