Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24765 / Rover

Posted by mhl on July 30th, 2009

mhl.

I made very heavy weather of this, although I’m not sure why, apart from picking the wrong letters as anagram fodder over and over again :)

Across
1. SCHOOLMASTER Cryptic definition
8. NEWPORT NEW PORT = “fresh wine”; refers to the town of Newport News in Virginia
9. DRIVING (V = “See” + INGRID)*
11. EMULATE EM = “Space” + U = “acceptable” + LATE = “behind”
12. SIGNORA (SOARING)*
13. LOTUS Double definition
14. GODDESSES Double definition; refers to the Green Goddess fire engine
16. GATEPOSTS GATES = “Bill” around POST = “mail”; refers to the expression between you, me and the gateposts
19. DROVE Hidden answer; the definition is the whole clue
21. NUMERAL NUM = “Short book” (the standard abbreviation for the book of Numbers) + (REAL)*
23. RECITAL (IT CLEAR)
24. EXECUTE EX = “River” in (CUTE)* Sorry, a silly error – it’s (CUTE)* in EXE, of course. (Thanks, IanN14)
25. ITALIAN Double definition; Mendelssohn’s 4th symphony is known as the Italian
26. PAPERHANGERS (RANGE, PERHAPS)* – maybe the definition (workers) could have been more generous, since the answer’s fairly obscure
Down
1. SAWDUST Double definition
2. HOOKAHS HOOK = “Captain” + (HAS)*
3. OUTWEIGHS OUT = “old-fashioned” + WEIGHS = “studies”
4. MEDES A nice cryptic definition: Medes are people from Media, in Iran
5. SHINGLE Double definition: “Wooden tile” and “dashed with pebbles?”
6. EDITORS (TRIED SO)*
7. INTELLIGENCE I’m not sure I get this apart from “News?” as a definition Update: thanks to IanN14 and NeilW for pointing out that “nous” is “almost no use”
10. GLASS CEILING Cryptic definition
15. DESERTION (REEDS INTO)*; the definition is “Course taken by rats”
17. TEMPERA TEMP = “Casual worker” + ERA = “time”
18. PERFUME PER = “A” (as in “miles an hour”, etc.) + FUME = “storm”
19. DICTATE CID = “detectives” reversed + TATE = “gallery”
20. OUTFITS Double definition; OUTFITS can mean “gangs” as well as “clothes”
22. LEECH Double definition

22 Responses to “Guardian 24765 / Rover”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Thanks mhl,
    Rather you than me on this one…
    Mind you, have you done today’s Bannsider?

    7d. I think you’re meant to read “no use” as “nearly NOUS” (I’ve seen better clues…).
    24ac. (Which isn’t one of them) is CUTE* inside Exe, but is just as easily read as Exe +Cute.

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, mhl. heavy going for me too for the same reasons… clever distractions.

    I was hoping you’d explain “intelligence”! Since you’ve forced me to work at it: “almost no use” is “nous” = slang for “know how”. Confusingly, I just discovered it can also be spelt “nouse”!

    By the way, the river’s the Exe…

  3. NeilW says:

    Sorry, IanN14. Beaten to the button by you!

  4. don says:

    Off topic, but has Araucaria’s prize crossword 24,761 been discussed anywhere on 15 x 15?

  5. Gaufrid says:

    don
    The post for 24,761 will be published on Saturday.

  6. NeilW says:

    Don, you’ll have to wait until Saturday as it’s the Prize… although you may have seen the discussion the other day about leaks of answers to Paul’s from the week before all over the Internet…

  7. mhl says:

    don: It’s still possible to enter that prize competition, and such puzzles don’t get discussed on 15² until it’s past the deadline – expect to see it on Saturday.

    IanN14, NeilW: thanks for those corrections – I’ll update the post. I probably won’t have time to get around to the Independent or FT until later this evening, but I look forward to trying the Bannsider puzzle :)

  8. Bryan says:

    I really enjoyed it because it made me struggle.

    I guessed 3d (OUTWEIGHS) and 25a (ITALIAN) correctly – without knowing why – and I now consider 14a (GODDESSES) brilliant after finally figuring it (or them?) out.

    Many thanks Rover and mhl as yet another day has gone by without a misprint. Are they saving them for Saturday?

  9. Andrew says:

    I liked the cleverly misleading use of “perhaps” as part of the anagram fodder in 26ac, and like wise “into” in 15dn, but like others I found this hard going, and not particularly enjoyable. Some of my nitpicks:
    1ac – pretty vague
    24ac – a pity the word also breaks down as EXE + CUTE, which in fact could almost be justified as the wordplay
    1dn – a finicky cleaner would surely do more than just see the dust
    10dn – another vague and inaccurate definition

  10. Tom Hutton says:

    I must be getting more cantankerous by the day (if that is possible). The clues seem to me to be getting more lackadaisical and obscure day by day. 10ac is a good idea for a clue but not well worked out. Some women meet it but it doesn’t affect all women and why do they look through it?. Num as short book is pretty thin. I know it appears after quotations from the book of Numbers but I still don’t like it. Newport News is not a town with which I am familiar and why should I be? I had to guess that Mendelssohn 4th is known as the Italian. Should I be expected to know that? …and so on and on. Has there been a change in the setting standards or am I just going through a lacklustre period in my intellectual life?

  11. Radchenko says:

    Haven’t been on here except to lurk after making a t*t of myself over a Pasquale crossword I could not get a handle on, but I can’t help having some of the same feelings as Tom.

    Either I’m getting thicker (which is quite possible, even if we’re not exactly starting at the top of the IQ scale), or is the standard getting higher, the puzzles harder, or what?

    Although I got all but 2 of Tuesday’s Paul, I got 12 yesterday clues in an hour before being driven to dictionary or computer, today it was just 6 (or 9 including the clues I got but did not know why (I knew Medes were a people for example, I did not know they came from Media).

    I’m nowhere near the standard of many of you who on here, but I used to do much better than this (the occasional Pasquale notwithstanding :-) It’s been like this for what feels like a long time, though: longer to do less, and now much less.

  12. brr says:

    Easily the hardest puzzle of the week for me too. Lots of empty squares.

  13. Jake says:

    I didn’t have to much hassle with this puzzle, in fact I thought this was rather straight forward. Most the answers jumped out at me as they’re all common daily words. I did however start from the SE corner and worked my way anti-clockwise.

    I have no bad comments about this puzzle, it was structurally sound from my point of view.

    Good stuff Rover.

  14. Brian Harris says:

    I thought some of this today was pretty poor stuff. Some OK clues, but also some very clunky ones, with vague and clunky definitions. So have to agree with the nay-sayers for the most part.

  15. Dave Ellison says:

    Yes, I found this very tough. I managed to get about 18 of them with a struggle and some help from my wife (I couldn’t spell GODDESS). I apparently had 3d, 4d and 7d but didn’t put them in because I wasn’t convinced, as I couldn’t explain them.

    I agree some of the anagrams were cleverly concealed.

    I still don’t understand 21a; “lively” indicates the anagram of “real”??, but why is NUMERAL “character”?

  16. Calum Proctor says:

    I liked 15dn. 14ac is lovely, too.
    Apart from that, this was rather irksome.

    Dave Ellison:

    A numeral is a character in the same way that a letter (or anything else on your keyboard) is.

  17. stiofain says:

    Difficult for all the wrong reasons I thought.
    Stiofain

  18. Chubfuddler says:

    Several cultural difficulties for Yanks — no problem with 8ac “Newport News,” but although I got 14ac “Goddesses,” I had no idea about the reference to green (Are all U.K. fire trucks green? They’re red here), and in 16ac, the U.S. version is “between you, me and the lamppost.” Ah, well, learn something new every day.

  19. Dave Ellison says:

    Calum Proctor: Thanks, of course it is!

    Chubfuddler: British fire engines are red (all of them I think). Green goddesses are ancient ones that are brought out when for example the regular service is on strike.

  20. mike says:

    probably being dim, but just how is ” V = see” ? Got “driving but still unsure why. Found it the hardest of the week despite knowing Newport News – doesn’t sailing happen there?

  21. mhl says:

    mike: It’s the abbreviation of the Latin “vide”, I think mostly used in cross-references…

  22. maarvarq says:

    I gave up on this one in disgust, as I had done with the Enigmatist yesterday (yesterday in my local paper anyway) – I’ve never heard of Newport News for example. Even some of the clues I got (e.g. 10dn, 14ac, 26ac) went in because they fit, not because the reference was compelling, or indeed I’d even heard of it (Green Goddess fire-engines?). On the other hand, being of a musical bent, I got 25ac first – th immediately makes me think of symphony, and I just had to check whether no. 4 was the Scottish or Italian.

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