Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,120 by Virgilius

Posted by Simon Harris on August 11th, 2009

Simon Harris.

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

For once I’ve actually picked up on a theme and spotted a Nina, although the penny dropped much later in the game than I should really admit. The significance of the date is that this week marks the 40th anniversary of the Abbey Road album cover photograph being taken.

Across
1 PEPPERS – PEERS “over” PP.
5 REPACK – RE PACK (of cards).
10 SEEDY – differently-stressed hom. of “CD”.
11 CLUB – dd.
12 SERGEANT – SERGE + ANT.
13 LONELY – ON in LELY. Sir Peter Lely was indeed a “Dutch artist in England”, I have just this moment learned.
14 HELP – L in HELP.
16 SMALLISH – ILL< in SMASH.
19 SARDINES – dd.
20 MAGI – MA + GI.
22/9 RUBBER BAND – dd.
24 REVOLVER – LOVER< + VER[y].
26 STAY – dd. “Last in race” is a nice bit of misdirection, this is “last” in the sense of “endure”.
27 MILER – I’ve no idea why “fourty-two ponies”. “Pony” as in £25?
28 SOUL – hom. of “sole”.
29 HEARTS – dd.
30 READING – dd., with an extra hint that the two terms are not homophones.
Down
2 ERASER – AS in (E[leven] + R + E[leven] + R).
3 PEDIGREED – cd. “Boxer” as in dog, that is.
4 RASTA – [orchest]RA STA[lls].
5 ROYAL PALM – dd? I guess this is just tree/literary award, but I haven’t worked out what to do with the “by the way”.
6 PECAN – AC< in PEN.
7 CLUELESS – CLUE LESS. This one raised a smile.
8 DENTISTS DRILL – cd.
15 PANORAMAS – OR in PANAMAS.
17 LEGALISED – 1S in ALLEGED*.
18 BAGUETTE – (EG + BUTTE[r] + A)*.
21 RETURN – dd.
23 BOYAR – BOY + A + R.
25 VERNE – [go]VERNE[d]. “Divine protection” is great here. This is Jules Verne, of course.

6 Responses to “Independent 7,120 by Virgilius”

  1. Ali says:

    The first 3 answers I got were PEPPERS, SERGEANT and HEARTS, so I twigged almost immediately. Just as well really as I was struggling a bit on my first pass.

    I was unsure on the ROYAL PALM clue as well and only guessed at it once I’d seen BEATLES running across the middle of the grid.

    24A is LOVER rev. + VER[-y] I think

  2. Simon Harris says:

    Fixed – thanks Ali. I think that’s how I read it, but this was quite hastily typed, I’m afraid.

  3. Richard Palmer says:

    In 27A, 42 ponies = 42 x £25 = 1000 guineas which is a horse race, presumably run over a mile.

  4. Richard Heald says:

    There was me thinking only 10 thematic answers was a bit light for a Virgilius puzzle! I completely failed to spot the BEATLES running across the central row – thanks Ali. And thanks to Richard for explaining 27Ac, a lovely clue which, along with 5Ac and 29Ac, typifies the seemingly effortless brilliance we’ve come to expect from Virgilius.

  5. RayFolwell says:

    The 1000 Guineas is indeed run over the Rowley Mile at Newmarket. It is also one of the two Classics limited to fillies (The Oaks is the other one). So I put FILLY in for 27A which was a bit of a blind alley.

  6. IanN14 says:

    Another brilliant Virgilius.
    Don’t know quite why, but I loved 20ac.
    Great surface, lovely wordplay.
    Got the theme as soon as I got Pepper, Revolver & Soul.
    And the central nina helped with 5d.

    Thanks again, Mr Greer.

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