Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24670 / Taupi

Posted by mhl on April 10th, 2009

mhl.

A very enjoyable puzzle, with lots of good clues.

Across
1. MIDDLE-DISTANCE (TEN MILES CAD DID)*
8. THIEF THE over I + F = “foot”; the definition is “one lifting”
9. BUMBLING “BUM BLING”
11. MENSISCI Hidden answer
12. VISITOR IT in VISOR; the nice definition is “popper in”
13. RHINO IN in RHO; apparently RHINO is archaic slang for “money”
15. FORESTALL FOREST + ALL
17. HIDEY-HOLE H = “hot” + HO = “house” in (EYELID)*
20. NONET TENON reversed
21. SACKBUT BUT = “save”, with SACK = “loot” in front (“in the van”)
23. BLISTER Double definition; B-LISTER
25. STIGMATA IT’S reversed + initial letters
26. ARENA AN ERA reversed
27. GRASP THE NETTLE (PLANT GETS THERE)*
Down
1. METAMORPHOSE MET = “faced” + PH = “pub” in MOROSE
2. DEIGN DESIGN = “plan” with S = “Sunday” removed
3. LIFE STORY (OF TYLER IS)*
4. DEBRIEF BRIE in FED up
5. SAMOVAR MA’S reversed + OAR = “blade” around V = “against”
6. ATLAS AT LAS[t]; there are a number of ATLAS mountain ranges
7. CONSTRAIN CONS = “prisoners” + TRAIN = “exercise”
10. PROLETARIATE PRO + LET + A RATE around I
14. INDICATOR IN + DICTATOR with the first T removed
16. SYNDICATE (INSECT DAY)*
18. OUTCAST Double definition
19. EMBRACE ‘EM + B[oating] + RACE
22. BOGUS GO reversed in BUS
24. TRENT TRENT[on]; Trenton is the capital of New Jersey

20 Responses to “Guardian 24670 / Taupi”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for a great blog, MHL.

    This was a real treat. It looked a bit daunting at first but once I got into it I enjoyed it immensely. Some really clever clues, with some lovely surfaces [near &lits?] eg 1ac [it's a pity it couldn't quite be Coe instead of Cad!] 27ac and 3dn.

    I loved BUMBLING!

  2. Monica M says:

    Thanks mhl,

    I really struggled to find the reasons for the answers for several clues, including B-LISTER … an absolute D’oh moment when I read the blog … and for the life of me I couldn’t work out SACKBUT.

    I’m also with Eileen, bumbling made me THEIF.

    I hope you’re all enjoying a hot-crossed bun with you cup of tea this morning.

  3. Mick Hodgkin says:

    I was a bit thrown by 10 down – I’ve never seen ‘proletariat’ with an E on the end. Chambers gives that as an old version, which I suppose must have been an early attempt to anglicise a German word that Marx imported direct. Obviously guessable, but still…

  4. Monica M says:

    I’m also with Eileen, bumbling made me [LOL and I really enjoyed] THIEF [too]

    Sorry, sometimes my cursor jumps around and I submit before I check.

  5. mhl says:

    Mick, indeed – I was surprised by that too… The -ATE version isn’t in Collins at all.

    The toughest wordplay to work out here (even if it wasn’t too difficult to guess the words) were SACKBUT and SAMOVAR, I thought.

    Strangely, perhaps, I had always thought that the expression was “grasp the mettle” rather than the painful image of “grasp the nettle”…

  6. Monica M says:

    There I was thinking I was a dumbo … thank goodness… I’ve never seen 10dn with an E … and I did lots of Marx in my first degree.

    And … Whilst I knew SAMOVAR was correct, couldn’t parse it for the life of me … I’d never have picked ‘oar’.

  7. Paul B says:

    Marx in the first degree, eh? Marginally more endurable than, say, hot soapy water in the first degree (F. Zappa, 1976).

    Weirdness with PROLETARIATE, but another very fine offering from The Mole. At least two very good puzzles in the Aarginud this week – bravo!

  8. Paul B says:

    ‘Almost rude again’ as well, for the dear old G. Save that for the next Gordius.

  9. Derek Lazenby says:

    OMG another Zappa fan! Are there enough to justify a clue?

    Minor typo in the blog – GRAPS!

    Struggled and gave up I’m afraid, but enjoyed the explanations. I got SACKBUT, but couldn’t see why. I’d forgotten about “all save…” and “all but..” because I usually say “all bar…” or simply “bar…”. I used to use the others, but it’s a long time ago.

    Didn’t get it, but I’m glad MENISCI turned out to be a hidden, otherwise there was a problem with removing the P and changing an E, if one was looking in the wrong place.

  10. mhl says:

    Derek: thanks, I fixed that and another couple of silly typos.

    Among programmers and mathematicians it’s fairly common use “mod” (modulo) to mean “bar”, but I’ve never seen it in a crossword.

  11. Derek Lazenby says:

    Being from Yorkshire, I’d use “all bar” in the similar sense to “all but”, i.e. “without”, as in the infamous “On Ilkley Moor bar t’At” (we do not write that phonetically, we are aware of our pronunciations).

    But another reason for adopting it’s usage is the world of horse racing. Ever spent a few seconds accidently watching a betting show on the TV? Longer odds horses are quoted as (for example) “and it’s 33/1 bar”.

    Hence the habit of using the phrase, and I can’t recall ever being misunderstood.

  12. MartinR says:

    Another fine puzzle … that’s two in two days. Hard work, this one, but after a few minutes they started to go in, if rather slowly.

    Sackbut and samovar: in common with others I could not see the wordplay.

    Makes a change to have to reach for Chambers for a Guardian weekday puzzle (OK, it’s a PH): PROLETARIATE and RHINO required confirmation.

    FORESTALL read as FOREST ALL I thought a nice conceit.

    BLISTER and BUMBLING were both delightfully funny.

  13. cholecyst says:

    I know I’m going to be in trouble here , correcting a Yorkshireman, especially Derek, but I always thought the awful dirge went “On Ilkley Moor baht ‘at”. Thought a bar was where you supped Tetleys Mild.

  14. ray says:

    really struggled to decode some of bottom left. Decided the old instrument was a serpent (from the first and last crossing)which led me to embus instead of bogus. Then gave up as nothing else would fit !!!

  15. Dave Ellison says:

    Mhl: liked your Mettle. My wife used to think it was “In one fowl swoop” (or maybe foul).

    There’s an idea for a crossword theme for some enterprising setter – near miss phrases.

  16. liz says:

    I loved BLISTER and BUMBLING. Thanks for explaining the ones I couldn’t parse. SAMOVAR was one of them and I didn’t see the ‘save’ sense of BUT either.

    I really liked ‘popper in’ for visitor and thought 15ac had a great surface.

  17. Derek Lazenby says:

    Very droll.

  18. Mr Beaver says:

    Agreed there were some nice clues, but over all found this hard going. Re 8a, since when is ‘foot’ F ? Always thought it was FT ….

  19. MartinR says:

    Mr Beaver, #18: Chambers gives f=foot and ft=foot. Whether the first refers to the measure or the body part is not clear.

  20. Sidey says:

    ‘F’ for foot seems to be in things like FPS, foot/pound/second.

    Excellent puzzle.

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