Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,044 by Math

Posted by Simon Harris on May 14th, 2009

Simon Harris.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

Math is another setter whose puzzles I’ve never happened to blog before. I found this one inventive, and quite challenging in places. There’s a couple where I can’t quite make the wordplay work, even though all the components are clearly there.

Having a deep disinterest in contemporary cinema, that there must be a theme only became apparent when I later Googled for “R. Langdon”, so readers may have to fill in some gaps on that front.

Across
8 NO ONE – dd. “Any person or thing of little value, a nonentity” being one of the several definitions of “cipher” which I tend never to be able to remember.
9 EMILE ZOLA – E + MILE + ZOLA (Budd).
11 ESTONIA – (A1 + NO TSE)<, I guess, but I can’t quite convince myself of “NO TSE” for “fly half”, as I don’t feel right about where the NO comes from.
12 MOLIERE – I guess this is hom. of “Molly Air”, being a song about Molly, of which Molly Malone is one. Again I can read this several ways and not quite click on any of them.
15 LITRE – LIT + RE. Very nicely done.
16 EARTH – ART “entering” EH.
17 AIR – [-f]AIR[-y]. I was briefly puzzled by “endlessly”, but of course it just means both ends.
18 WATER – cd.
20 PETAL – PEAL “around” ‘T.
22 CASTRATED – CAST + RATED. “No longer knackered” is quite an amusing def.
24 ANAGRAM – A NAG + RAM.
25 OFF FORM – O[-il] F[-irm] F[-ind] F[-irst] O[-il] R[-ig] M[-anager’s].
27 INKSTANDS – (AND + T[-exaco] + SINKS)*.
28 RESIN – RE SIN.
Down
1 ANGELS – AN GELS. As in “angel investor”.
2 FOOTWEAR – (ARE TWO OF)*.
3 CERN – CER[-ta]IN. Presumably “on electric current” is just to round out the surface reading?
4 RENAISSANCE MAN – RAN “to capture” (MANIACS SEEN)*.
5 BELLFLOWER – BELLOWER “about” FL.
6/13 ROBERT STEVENSON – (EVENT SO ROBS RENT)*. Robert Stevenson designed a lighthouse, so “main” here was as in “sea”.
7 CAPE FEAR – cd? CAPE is a head, as in “headland”, but is that all there is to this?
10 IMMUNE RESPONSE – (MENU ON PREMISES)*.
14 EXHILARATE – [-b]EXHIL[-l] + [-se]A + RATE.
16 EMPHASIS – E + MP + HAS + IS.
19 TITMOUSE – (TIT + OUSE[-l]) “crossing” M. I especially enjoyed the use of “booby” here.
21 THANKS – presumably a reference to T[-om] HANKS.
23 DEMONS – DEMOS “about” [-in]N.
26 FIRE – F + IRE.

3 Responses to “Independent 7,044 by Math”

  1. IanN14 says:

    I think the theme here is “Angels (1d) and Demons (23d)”
    It also contains the four elements.

    Robert (Loius) Stevenson (his son) wrote “Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde”, and I expect Zola and Moliere wrote similarly themed work?

    Also, “Renaissance Man” may be alluding to “The Da Vinci Code”?

  2. pat says:

    11ac. The ON is in the clue, so it’s AI-TSE reversed taking ON.

    3d. I is the symbol for electric current in physics, so it’s CER(TA+I)N

    Good blog for an interesting puzzle

  3. IanN14 says:

    Re: comment 1.

    Sorry, “son” should read “grandson”

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