Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7088 by Anax (Sat 4 July)

Posted by beermagnet on July 9th, 2009

beermagnet.

Has Anax set for the Indy before? I don’t think so (waits to be proved wrong).
He sets for various publications, is a regular commenter here and has popped up at Sloggers’n’Betters events.  He is one the least secretive setters on the web: http://www.ukpuzzle.com/anax.htm.

I found this hard but with a deceptively easy start.

I got off to a flying start quickly getting most of the topmost and leftmost lights and all four 15-letter answers, then I ground to a halt and struggled.  After half an hour that solving period had to end as I had to go and help set up a stall at the village fête and I still had a gruesome 16 answers to get.  Nothing else could be done that Saturday as there was not only the fête in the village but also a beer festival (run by the scouts – amazingly well) with inevitable consequences.  Anyway, the next day I eventually put letters in the remaining squares after a lot of brain straining and research, though a few fall into the “shouldagotitearlier” :x category, and there are still a few bits I can’t fully explain:  :?

[ I'm just experimenting with smiley usage here - I might not be so profuse in the future.]

Across
1 BOFFIN [jo]B OFF (away) IN (home)
4 FLAGRANT GRAN (old lady) inside FLAT (pedestrian) :x
9 GRIST S[pades] inside GRIT GRIST is grain ready for milling. The word is best known in the phrase “all grist for the mill”, meaning ‘everything can be used’, from the practice of millers taking as payment a portion of the grain brought to them for milling, regardless of quality.
10 DISHONOUR I don’t understand this. One of the last I reluctantly put in. I guessed this from the crossing letters assuming the definition is ‘Wrong’ but cannot decode the wordplay. :? Clue:
Wrong sort of leg? Determined to bandage it (9)
11 TOW TRUCK T[raffic] OWT (anything) RUCK (bend?) How is Ruck=Bend? :?
12 ONAGER ON (advanced) AGE (years) R[ight] I only knew of ONAGER as a donkey but it turns out the roman seige engine’s name is derived from the donkey from its kicking action! Onager_(siege_weapon)
14 LOAVES AND FISHES (AS ONE’S FED LAVISH)* AInd: ingredients?  Ingredients as an Anagram Indicator? That’s why the question mark.
16 DO AS THE ROMANS DO CD This phrase is probably best known in the form starting “When in Rome …”
17 ENDIVE END (finish as a starter) I’VE
19 STICKLER L[iberal] inside STICKER (label)
22 BEEF CURRY BEE (people gathered) CUR (dog) inside FRY (cook) :x
23 BANDY B and Y = BY. 8O That is, you need “B” and “Y” to write BY.  Last to go in. Definition: Trade, as in to trade words. This really fooled me and I suspect I would not have got this if it had alternate checking letters, i.e. -N-D-.  Clue:
Needs to write by trade (5)
24 ENROBING Possibly. From the crossing letters and assuming the definition is “clothing”. Not a clue how this clue decodes :? :
Taken aback, wearing good clothing (8)
25 WEASEL W[ith] EASEL (stand) Misled by the elision of the wordplay elements into “withstand” which some would complain about.
Down
1 BIGOT BIG (well known) (TO)<
2 FAIR WEAR AND TEAR Cute cryptic clue part where the three words all rhyme with “hair”.
3 INTERCEPT (CENTRE TIP)* AInd: changing. Definition: TAP in the sense of intercepting phone calls etc.
5 LUSH DD
6 GROWN G[i]R[l] OWN (private)
7 ALONG THOSE LINES (NOTHING ELSE ALSO)* AInd: different.  Definition: Like
8 TORO ROSSO OR OR (yellow twice) inside (lines) TOSS (throw) O (round) I know nothing about F1 find it ghastly and actively avoid it. It is astonishing people spend so much money on such a pointless and wasteful activity. Surely it would be far better spent on, say, beer. Anyway I had to check this team.
10 DICTATED I (one) CT (court) inside DATED (square – man) So SET is the definition. Hmm. I expect one of the hundreds of meanings of SET fits Dictated, probably in the sense of being set work – being told what to do. :?
13 ADROITLY (ROAD)* AInd: designed, IT[a]LY (area abandoned by Italy) Definition: Cleverly
14 LODGEABLE (BODEGA)* AInd: derelict insides (walls) (ELL)< (measure up) Definition: “Good to stay in” I wouldn’t have cold-solved this one but had L-D-E—- by this time
15 IRASCIBLE L[eft] inside (ICE BRA IS)* AInd: crushed
18 VOCAB V[ery] O[ld] CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) (Organision helping) :x
20 ROYAL (LAYOR)< (i.e. everything “climbing”) LAY (plant as in set something down) O[verrun] R[oses]
21 IRON I (one – again) R[ailroad] O[nly] [sa]N[ta] Definition: Fe Chemical symbol for iron

13 Responses to “Independent 7088 by Anax (Sat 4 July)”

  1. nmsindy says:

    DISHONOUR Sort of = ISH LEG = on DOUR = determined. Extremely tough. An Indy début, I think.

  2. nmsindy says:

    ENROBING Borne< IN G. Great first blog beermagnet if that’s a début too. Won’t comment on the emoticons…

  3. nmsindy says:

    Ruck in TOW TRUCK, sorry, missed this reading down ruck is a fold or crease in clothing so it’s bend or pretty close to it, I’d say.

  4. Gaufrid says:

    nmsindy has already supplied the explanations I was going to provide. I would just like to add that this was an excellent puzzle which gave much enjoyment. It was a refreshing change from some of the usual fare.

    Thank you Anax for some really good cluing, please keep up the good work.

  5. Wil Ransome says:

    I also thought this was excellent. Some really good clues, especially 3dn, 20dn, 21dn. The elision that ‘some would complain about’ in 25 where ‘withstand’ has to be seen as ‘with stand’ is quite justified because he takes the trouble to say ‘Withstand, apparently, …’

  6. AndyW says:

    I’d already been tipped off (on Times for the Times) that Anax was making his Indy debut last Saturday, so I made a point of buying the paper, and I wasn’t disappointed. As Beermagnet says, there was plenty of easy stuff to get started on, but the finish was agonisingly slow. I got there in the end without aids, but I was sorely tempted. Took about 50 mins in the end, with BANDY the last to go in.

  7. nmsindy says:

    BANDY was my last too.

  8. Quixote says:

    Welcome to the team, Anax! I solved all but BANDY sitting on a friend’s punt watching the Henley Royal Regatta. When I revisited the puzzle at home BANDY came instantly. With time to spare waiting for my friend to row ashore, this was an ideal way to while away an hour, but I wouldn’t want a Saturday Indy this hard every week, so I hope Anax will extend his range to take in the vast solving community that is a million miles form the Bloggers and Setters!

  9. Eileen says:

    Thanks very much for the blog, beermagnet, and particularly for the link to Anax. What an interesting man!

    I really enjoyed this puzzle – but, as Quixote says, I wouldn’t want one like this every week! The only one I didn’t get was 8dn. I share your views on motor racing!

  10. Anax says:

    Before this thread vanishes into the background (how quickly the front page fills up!) many thanks for your kind comments.

    I was extremely nervous about my debut. Having been on the Times team for a couple of years many of their house rules have become embedded into my approach to clue-writing and, sadly, I’m not like one of those experienced actors/impersonators (or, for that matter, setters) who can easily change character. So I feared there might be a few “Very nice, but it’s a bit Timesy isn’t it?” comments.

    Anyway, it looks like I haven’t excessively bamboozled anyone, so that’s a good thing, and I’m delighted that most of you appear to have enjoyed the puzzle.

    Beermagnet – that’s a marvellous bit of blogging. Huge thanks for the effort you’ve put into it.

  11. beermagnet says:

    And thanks from me for the above comments.

    Thanks to NMSIndy for explaining all the bits I couldn’t decode,
    and especially Anax for his puzzle, first of many I hope, and his comments,
    and everyone else for agreeing it was a great puzzle.
    Seems everyone ended BANDY.

  12. Fletch says:

    As far as I’m concerned they could all be like this. I expect a Saturday prize to be challenging and I’m just someone in the ‘vast solving community’, neither a blogger or setter.

  13. Alberich says:

    I’ve only just got hold of this puzzle, so belated congratulations to Anax on an excellent debut. A very challenging puzzle; scrupulously fair and inventive at the same time. That’s not easy to achieve. I found 3d and 7d especially clever. Nice one!

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