Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,789 / Paul

Posted by Andrew on August 27th, 2009

Andrew.

After yesterday’s struggles with Enigmatist, I found this one mostly quite easy, except that 7dn stumped me for ages, and caused some problems with its crossing words too. Some tricky wordplay here, and a fine Paul-ism in 1ac.

Key:
* = anagram
cd = cryptic definition
dd = double definition
< = reverse

 
Across
1. ARTHUR’S SEAT THURS in ARSE (hole!) + AT. A prominent hill in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. Suppose “bottom of Auld Reekie” is a cheeky (!) cryptic definition too – “bottom” = “seat”.
9. ICICLED C + (qu)IC(he) in DELI<
10. LACTATE “Lacked eight”
11. ANTISERUM RUMINATES*
12. POSIT IS< in POT
13. EVIL LIVE<. Nice one
14. HORSESHOER HORSE + HORSE* – almost an &lit
16. DEDICATION A in EDICT I, all in DON
19. HELP HE + LP
20. ORRIS OR (yellow) + RIS(e)
21. FETTUCINI (CUT IT FINE)* This spelling may be a bit dubious – the (I hesitate to say it after yesterday’s “focussed” controversy) “correct” version seems to be FETTUCCINE
23. ADIPOSE I POSE on AD
24. IN UTERO ROUTINE*
25. GUSTAV HOLST STAV(e) + HOL(iday) in GUST
Down
1. ALISTAIR DARLING I’S in ALTAIR (star) + DARLING (treasure)
2. TALUS Hidden in hospiTAL USeful. The Talus is a bone in the ankle.
3. UNDERGO UNDER (unconscious) + GO (energy)
4. SALAMIS (M ALAS)< + IS
5. ESCAPISM E + P IS in SCAM
6. THAT’S MORE LIKE IT (TRIES TEA + HOT MILK)*
7. ZIP-A-DEE-DOO-DAH ZIP (speed) + A DEE (river=”runner”?) + DOO-DAH (“whatever it is”). My last answer in this puzzle, after which everything was satisfactual.
8. DEBTORS’ PRISON cd
15. SCISSORS dd – the scissors jump preceded the Fosbury Flop in high-jumping.
17. TAFFETA TAFF + ATE<
18. OSTRICH (m)OST RICH
22. USUAL US + (LA U)<. LA is the standard code for Louisiana

17 Responses to “Guardian 24,789 / Paul”

  1. Bryan says:

    Fabulous!

    Many thanks Paul and Andrew: you are a couple of saints.

    I enjoyed this tremendously, particularly 1d ALISTAIR DARLING.

    However, when I checked my efforts in Cheat Mode, I discovered that the Grauniad’s answer to 23a was ADIPOTE!

    Nuff said.

  2. harry says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    As a native of Edinburgh I should have got 1ac far quicker than I did. Sigh.

  3. Andrew says:

    23ac reminds me of a wonderful poem by A A Milne (I think from “Now We Are Six”) containing the lines “That handsome King – could this be he,/This man of adiposity?”. Full text here.

  4. liz says:

    Thanks, Andrew. I found this harder than you did! Had to check ORRIS and SCISSORS because I couldn’t see the wordplay. I also missed the cheeky Paul-ism in 1ac — to get SEAT, BOTTOM, HOLE and ARSE all in one clue/answer is quite a feat!

    My favourite and the last one I got was HORSESHOER.

  5. Handa says:

    Thanks Andrew, enjoyable blog and puzzle.

    ‘Zipped’ through this after getting 7dn first thing, stuggled with POSIT and had FETTUCINE as a bit lax on the anagram checking which slowed up 8dn. Fastest Paul ever!

  6. cholecyst says:

    21 ac. Always difficult in Italian to remember which consonants are doubled. But in this case, dear old Paul has the wrong plural too.

    And 4d. is a double plural – like the oft-seen paninis

  7. anax says:

    Just checked Chambers (admittedly, the only one I have readily to hand). It has FETTUCCINE, FETTUCINE and FETTUCINI as apparently equally valid spellings, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a native Italian highlighted one of these as the only truly correct version.

    Chambers also lists SALAMIS as the plural form, which I must say is a bit unexpected as I too would have gone for SALAMI.

  8. muck says:

    Fettucini/e: Neither Wiki nor my Collins Italian dictionary has the -i spelling.
    However, there are many links to the -i spelling in Google, and Chambers has both spellings.
    Salamis and paninis: my pet hates too, but both are in the latest Chambers.

  9. cholecyst says:

    The only correct italian pasta word is FETTUCCINE (plural). But I guess it’s now been anglicised so we have to accept all the variants listed above. Don’t get me started on tagliatelli, spaghettis,pastas, antipasta, gelatos etc etc

  10. Tom Hutton says:

    Cutting (technique perhaps used twice?) seems a bit weak as a definition for scissors and the whole clue for 16 across is very involved to the extent that having got the answer I couldn’t see the workings for it at all. I was not helped, of course, by not thinking of a lecturer as a don having gone to an ancient but non Oxbridge university.

    I didn’t get 7dn at all, perhaps because Song of the South is not a film I have ever seen.

  11. Brian Harris says:

    I’ve been doing cryptics for many years and there are still abbreviations I don’t know. Why is bill AD, and why is yellow OR ? Some nice clues today, though. I enjoyed 14ac for example, once I’d figured out the two parts of the answer were anagrams of each other. Surely, though, one doesn’t really “pay back” one’s debts in a debtors prison. I know, it’s a minor quibble!

  12. Chunter says:

    The OED has only FETTUCCINE.

    Gaufrid (or whoever) – never hold an FS get-together in an Italian restaurant!

  13. cholecyst says:

    Brian: OR = yellow. Sounds heraldic to me, meaning yellow like gold

  14. mhl says:

    Brian Harris: a “bill” is an AD as in “BILL POSTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED” (Bill Posters is innocent! as the old joke goes…)

    Thanks for the post, Andrew. Very enjoyable today, I thought. Our only problem was that I put in HEEP instead of HELP, thinking of Uriah Heep…

  15. gerardus says:

    I’m not convinced that icicled 9a is properly defined. Presumably an adjective formed from the noun, but in that case it doesn’t mean frozen, it means decorated with icicles.

  16. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks for the explanations. Failed to get 7d, though kicking myself now. I had _I_ at the start of it, and went through every letter of the alphabet for the starting letter, except for Y and Z – doh!

    Some excellent clues: liked 1a, 10a, 14a especially.

  17. Brian Harris says:

    Thanks for explaining those two abbreviations. I’m so used to “bill” being AC in crosswords, and “promotion” or “publicity” being AD. Not sure I’ve ever seen bill for AD before. Ah, of course, OR is heraldic. Thanks, cholecyst.

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