Fifteensquared

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Independent 7101 by Eimi

Posted by NealH on July 20th, 2009

NealH.

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

A neat, cricket-themed puzzle that was fairly enjoyable. There was some clever cricket misdirection, 2 down being a good example. There ware one or two things I was slightly dubious about like the use of bowl as an anagram indicator and redroot for madder.

Across
9 Overs: Hidden in controversially. A reference to limited overs cricket.
10 Acorn tube: (Bouncer at)*. Bowled as an anagram indicator was new to me, so it took me a while to spot this. I’m not entirely sure what the justification would be.
11 Run: DD.
12 Hoist: (Hits o)*.
13 Owlet: [b]owle[r] + [bat]t[ting].
14 Strauss: DD, referring to Andrew Strauss and Johann Strauss II who composed Die Fledermaus.
15 Laser TV: (Slater)* + v.
16 Cook: DD referring to England opening batsman.
17 Broad: DD referring to Chris Broad (the “not Harmison” is presumably a humorous reference to Harmison’s famous extra-wide delivery).
19 Bell: DD referring to Ian Bell.
22 Indrawn: In + draw + [Edgbasto]n.
25 To order: Redroot<. Redroot and madder are completely different plants, but madder can give rise to a red dye, so that must be the sense that is meant here.
27 Prior: DD referring to the England wicketkeeper.
28 Thick: “Sort of edge that would divert the ball to former England cricketer”. Sort of edge that would divert the ball = thick must be the definition and former England cricketer would be Graham Hick, but I’m not sure about the t. Possibly it’s just a shortened version of “to”.
29 Ret: Hidden, reversed in Pietersen.
30 Whereunto: &lit. ([Mano]u threw one)*.
31 Hedge: H[ussey] + edge.
Down
1 Forres: [Bowle]r + r in foes. The castle of Duncan in MacBeth was supposed to have been located here.
2 Leonardo: (a one)* in lord*.
3 Isthmus: (hits)* + sum<.
4 Navies: (a vi) in [Pa]nes[ar].
5 Tortilla: (Allott + [Gowe]r)* around i.
6 Onions: DD referring to Graham Onions.
7 Fuller: DD. I’m not entirely clear on the technical details of why a fuller, who seems to be someone who puts pleats in cloth, would use an earth.
8 Festival: (Live fast)*.
16 Chippewa: Chip + P[onting] + awe<. Refers to Native American people and language.
18 Ringtone: Nitrogen*. I’m not entirely sure I fully follow this one. Is it referring to some specific ringtone that the test match sponsors have produced ?
20 Eldorado: Loader* + do.
21 Hookahs: Hom of “hookers”, batsmen who like to hook an elevated delivery.
23 Driven: DD.
24 Agreed: Odd letters of “Langer defend”.
25 Tailor: Tail + OR.
26 Rotten: (Net + to r)<.

18 Responses to “Independent 7101 by Eimi”

  1. IanN14 says:

    I liked this one.
    A very thorough theme.

    28ac. I thing “ball diverted” means “to” without the O
    I spent a while trying to justify “tresco” for ball, here…
    18d. Sponsors are Vodaphone.

    England’s current first choice bowling attack appears as a nina, top and bottom…

  2. IanN14 says:

    Oh, and 7d. Fuller’s earth is a type of soil; a fuller delivery can mean a better length.

  3. NealH says:

    Ah, I thought the sponsors will still NPower. I’ve slightly lost touch with cricket since it moved over to Sky.

  4. IanN14 says:

    Neal,
    You’re right about nPower sponsoring the Tests, but the England team are sponsored by Vodaphone.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Look at the top and bottom rows of the grid. Great fun puzzle, really liked RINGTONE.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Sorry, Ian N14, I missed your comment at 1.

  7. Chunter says:

    17ac: more likely to be his son, Stuart.

    (Why does the Indie not provide a printable version of its puzzles? What is the purpose of the scroll bars?)

  8. RayFolwell says:

    Really enjoyed this. The root of the madder produces a red dye, so I think that’s OK.

    A pity Eimi could not fit Swann in – he’s just got a wicket.

  9. Chunter says:

    And another, to win the match! Fred got 5.

  10. Anax says:

    I thought this was awesome and I can’t even claim to be much of a cricket fan. Getting so much thematic material into the grid/clues was impressive enough – and I hadn’t even noticed the top and bottom rows Nina. They really capped it.

    When trying to keep the theme going in clues it’s too easy to resort to contrived wordplay, but I didn’t find anything strained in this set. Here and there I thought there were instances of the sort of rule-bending that might raise eyebrows in a standard puzzle, but I was so absorbed by the theme it really didn’t matter.

    Great stuff Eimi!

  11. Richard Palmer says:

    I really enjoyed this. Solving it after we had stuffed the Aussies rounded off a pretty perfect morning.

  12. eimi says:

    Thanks for all the nice comments. Thanks too to England and Freddie in particular for making it a topical celebratory puzzle. I set this before the team was announced and Flintoff’s appearance appeared in doubt until the last minute. Then yesterday I was worried that the match would be over before this appeared.

    The England cricketers’ names are all those that could have been clued as something else if I had chosen to leave it as a ghost theme and a pair of Ninas. Once I started the clueing I realised that I could get cricketing references in most clues, so the challenge was to get cricket references in ALL clues. Apologies for occasionally picking at the seam of Ximenean rectitude, but most umpires seem to have concluded that the end justified the means.

    Re: Chunter’s comment, there’s little point in asking here as I doubt that the people who make such decisions read this blog, but I will make a few observations. There will be no Independent crossword if there is no Independent newspaper and all newspapers rely on paper sales to survive. The Independent made its puzzles available free of charge before The Guardian, and the Times and Telegraph, which have many more resources than the Indy, still charge for access to their crosswords. And I’ll leave you with part of today’s (still free) Media section of the Indy:

    Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, has predicted that “almost all” news organisations will be charging for online content within a year. Rupert Murdoch suggested in May that his British newspapers will start charging within 12 months. It is thought that the New York Times may do so in a few weeks. I hope Mr Barber is right. It is obviously crazy to give away newspapers free on the net while charging someone who bothers to pop down to the corner shop.

  13. Wil Ransome says:

    Quite outstanding. There I was at Lord’s, watching Flintoff and Anderson bowling magnificently, and they appear before my eyes in the crossword I’m doing between balls. It was brilliant to get so many names in as well as having each clue related in some way to cricket (a device that often leads to strained clues, but so well done that one hardly noticed).

    If I’d been blogging this I’d have found something a bit stronger to say than “fairly enjoyable”.

  14. Allan_C says:

    Hoping this doesn’t get deleted as off-topic, just to add to Eimi’s comment, I prefer a newspaper that I can handle, put down, come back to, etc. And it’s much more satisfying to write in the answers to the crossword rather than putting them in on screen. On the reare occasions when the paper doesn’t arrive I can always get a reasonable printed version using the print screen key and a bit of cut and paste.

  15. pat says:

    Congratulations and thanks, Eimi. A wonderfully enjoyable puzzle, and its serendipitous timing was the perfect complement

  16. rightback says:

    One of the best themed daily puzzles I’ve seen – thanks Eimi.

  17. Ali says:

    This was fantastic. It’s one thing to get so many references in the clues, but quite something else to get them in the grid and have a Nina too. Awesome stuff.

  18. John H says:

    I’ve texted Eimi to say so, but that was one hell of a gamble! What could possibly have gone wrong?!! Having spent most of yesterday celebrating, I did the puzzle this morning.

    Brilliant.

    (Mind you, I took much, much longer on today’s.)

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