Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7048/Virgilius

Posted by John on May 19th, 2009

John.

My delight in finding that I have to blog a Virgilius crossword is never total, for although there are bound to be some lovely clues I know that there will be some clever Nina and that I will look a fool for being unable to see it. But today I think I can see something of it: the theme is impossibility, hence 10ac, 11/16/18, 12ac (grandmother sucking eggs…), 28ac, 29ac/23ac, 27dn/23ac.

Across
1 BR(E)AKING
6 C(L)UE
10 DO THE IMPOSSIBLE — if you find an answer without there being a clue for it, you are doing the inpossible; I think
11/16/18 TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS — 10 (do the impossible) is the definition
12 EnGaGeS
14 LUNCHING — ref ‘no such thing as a free lunch’
20 MARATHON — it seems that the battle of Marathon was an improbable victory
23 LOCK — gridlock/deadlock both mean impasse
24 BOXING RING — 2 defs
28 SQUARE THE CIRCLE — referring to the fact that a boxing ring, despite the word ‘ring’, is a square, although it all seems a bit vague and probably I haven’t understood it all
29 DEAD — 2 defs, the second one referring to the fact that when a (typically rugby) ball is out of play it is said to be dead
30 troublesOME LETTEr; 1,12: breaking eggs
 
Down
2 RE TRAIN
3 A L EPH
4 IMMINENT — (min{u}te min)*
5 GO OGLE
6 musiC AS Heard
7 UN(BEG)UN
8 E{nhance}D I{ndependen}T
9 GERSHWIN — (wh{o})rev. in (singer)*
13 workS OF Art
14 LIT T(L)EST
15 HIKE — 2 defs
17 BA(LINE)SE
19 IN CLU({crosswor}D)E
21 HAIR CUT
22 TOO-TOO — “tutu”
25 G(U)IDE
26 GREY — “Gray” as in Gray’s Anatomy
27 G RID

7 Responses to “Independent 7048/Virgilius”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    John
    28a is another ‘impossibility’. ‘Squaring the circle’ is defined in Chambers as ‘any impossible task’ which is derived from ‘finding a square of the same area as a circle, which for hundreds of years was attempted by Euclidean means (ie with straight-edge and compass) until in 1882 it was proved impossible’

  2. Mick h says:

    While it may be true that you can’t teach your old grandmother to suck new eggs, I think 12ac had more to do with the impossibility of making a 30ac without breaking them.

  3. Richard says:

    A nice puzzle, as always from Virgilius, but I wonder if I was the only one who was held up for a while on account of having entered “step” for 15D?

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Richard
    You were not alone. I had to rub out step when tricks wouldn’t fit. I think hike is a better answer to the clue but step does comply as well.

  5. Mick h says:

    No, but I had BEAT at 29ac briefly.

  6. Simon Harris says:

    I really enjoyed this puzzle. I completely missed the theme, but then I rarely think to look for those. My pen also hovered over “step” but fortunately I managed to resist the temptation until HIKE made itself apparent.

  7. Shirley says:

    Me too, though the ‘impossibilities’ did eventually shine through the cloud in which I always seem to find myself when solving these ‘layered’ or themed puzzles. Thank you, John.

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