Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7143 by Merlin

Posted by NealH on September 7th, 2009

NealH.

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

There were some extremely difficult clues in this and I’m not sure that I’ve got all the answers correctly. The Indy website no longer seems to be displaying the latest puzzle, so I can’t check any of them.
 

Across
1 Picket: Picket[t]. This was the last one I got and it took quite a lot of research. Wilson is Wilson Pickett and picket can be used to mean a detachment of troops.
4 Squaddie: I’m not completely sure on this one. “Square bashing did for a rule for him”. It looks like it might be something to do with die = “did for”. It’s did* replacing r in square.
9 Agreed: A greed.
10 Caryatid: Cary + aid around t.
11 Sweet spot: (Two steps + E)*.
13 Ulcer: Hidden, reversed in “obscure clue”.
14 First Degree: DD.
18 Philatelist: Excellent &lit. Phi + late + list.
21 Liege: DD.
22 Rusticate: Rust + IE around cat.
24 Demarche: Dee around march.
25 Palate: Plate around a. Relish for palate doesn’t seem like an obvious synonym, but I suppose they’re both to do with taste.
26 Start-ups: Star + tups. I think the usage of tup meant here is “A heavy metal body, especially the head of a power hammer.”
27 Coleus: Cole + US.
Down
1 Play Safe: Plays + a FE.
2 Corsetry: Corse (which is French for Corsica, so a French island resort in both senses) + try.
3 Exert: (T-Rex + e)<.
5 Quarter days: DD.
6 As you were: (See our way)*.
7 Detect: Defect with T replacing F.
8 Endure: End + Ure.
12 Premiership: Premier + shi[rt] p.
15 Top secret: To + spectre*.
16 Vicarage: a rag in vice.
17 St Helens: &lit. S[omewhere] + the + lens. Checking wikipedia shows that St Helens is indeed associated with glassmaking.
19 Gladys ?: “Emmanuel perhaps denied homeless woman’s 14″. I think the Emmanuel refers to Gladys Emmanuel from the sitcom “Open All Hours”, but I don’t follow the wordplay in the rest.
20 Hermia ?: “Shakespearean girl having really hot body – not half”.
23 Idaho: I DA + ho.

11 Responses to “Independent 7143 by Merlin”

  1. RayFolwell says:

    I got stuck on quite a few of these.
    Might 19D be [Ba]g lady’s – Bag lady being a homeless woman and BA a first degree ?

  2. Gaufrid says:

    4a is *(DID) replacing R (rule) in SQUARE

  3. NealH says:

    I’d just worked that out and was about to update the blog !

  4. IanN14 says:

    Does anyone know what’s going on with the website? Eimi? Anyone?
    Is it a way of forcing us to go out and buy the paper?

  5. nmsindy says:

    Quite a tough puzzle, but very satisfying. Really liked PHILATELIST – Agree with RayFolwell re GLADYS.

  6. Mick H says:

    Nmsindy, doncha know philately will get you nowhere?
    I think HERMIA is half of hypertHERMIA, which I presume must be the opposite of hypothermia.
    Very tough indeed for a Monday, but good.

  7. eimi says:

    It’s taken a while since Gaufrid tipped me off about the online problem this morning, but Merlin seems to be available online at last.

  8. Quixote says:

    A long-overdue airing for my old chum Merlin, and I greatly enjoyed this one (as I expected to). Many clever clues. That said, I feel that asking a lot of people (not me!) to remember the buxom friend of the stuttering storeman on TV several years ago may be going a step too far in terms of popular culture! Where (if anywhere) is a line to be drawn?

  9. Richard Heald says:

    I see Open All Hours was voted No. 8 in the BBC’s 2004 poll of Britain’s greatest sitcoms, so presumably lots of people still remember it.

    Nice puzzle with some lovely & lits. Oh and Mick, I think the expression is: Flatulence will get you nowhere, unless you use it as a fuel.

  10. NealH says:

    I was all right with Gladys Emmanuel, but I’m afraid Wilson Pickett was completely lost on me. The only Wilsons I could think of were Harold and Woodrow.

  11. Mike Laws says:

    I bought Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour” when it first came out in 1965, so no problem there understanding the clue, at least for a baby boomer.

    Thought “(hypert)Hermia” was a bit OTT, though, for a daily (or any other) crossword.
    You’re right – I didn’t understand it, even though the solution was obvious.

    Otherwise, a superb non-Nina cryptic.

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