Fifteensquared

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Independent 7,150 by Monk

Posted by Simon Harris on September 15th, 2009

Simon Harris.

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

A challenging one, as can be expected from Monk, and Tuesday Independents in general. I’m not quite sure about 17ac, but I think I’m close. There’s an anticlockwise Nina in the unchecked squares around the edge of the grid, which I am sure would have helped, had I spotted it before finishing!

Across
7 CORUNDUM – from CONUNDRUM.
9 ABACUS – [aq]ABA CUS[tom].
10 ICER – I think this is C[ak]E in (1 + [a]R[t]) &lit.
11 LAUNDRYMEN – dd.
12 RAJPUT – JAR< + PUT.
14 TRECENTO – RECENT in TO[p].
15 EXTERMINATORS – (MONSTER + EXTRA + 1)*.
17 CRINKLES – C[oiffeur] + [w]RINKLES, I think – not 100% sure of the wordplay there.
19 EM DASH – MASHED*.
21 UP-AND-UNDER – U + PAN + DUN + (RED-[hot])<
22 PORT – quadruple def.
23 SUBTLE – SUBT[it]LE.
24 SYNONYMY – of which the wordplay is an example.
Down
1 GOTCHA – GOT CHA. This particular headline.
2 NURR – RUN< + [windso]R.
3 IDOLATER – I DO LATER.
4 YARDIE – (Scotland) YARD + IE.
5 LADY BE GOOD – dd.
6 FUMETTES – (MUST FEET)*.
8 MOUNTAINSIDES – (MOUNT INSIDES) “bagging” A[lpine].
13 PUT AN END TO – (UP TO DATE + N + N)*.
15 EUROPIUM – RUE< + OPIUM.
16 ABERRANT – RAN in (A BERT[h]).
18 LAUREN – UNREAL*.
20 SHRIMP – dd.
22 PONY – dd.

4 Responses to “Independent 7,150 by Monk”

  1. Mick H says:

    Well done, Simon – this was one of the hardest daily puzzles I’ve done for a while. I was sure 11ac should be launderers or laundresses (too long) but didn’t think of ‘laundrymen’. Didn’t know ‘Lady be Good’, and knew just enough Italian to know ‘trecento’ means 300, but not enough art history to connect. I was thoroughly stuck with about eight to go when it occurred to me to look for a Nina, and without that I think I’d have stayed stuck. 1ac about sums it up!

  2. nmsindy says:

    Great blog, Simon. Yes, this was extremely hard. I spotted the Nina about half-way thro, not sure if I would have been able to finish without it. Ninas force harder words into the grid – as always with Monk, v difficult clues with rigorous precision.

  3. rightback says:

    Thanks for the blog – I didn’t fully get 17ac until I looked up ‘wrinkle’ which is apparently slang for a tip. Good puzzle & agreed on the difficulty, though less so on the precision:

    10ac – cryptic reading is ‘One’s [One has] R is on CE’ which unfortunately doesn’t make sense.

    17ac – ‘Via’ superfluous to cryptic reading.

    19ac – not convinced ‘As a rule’ is really fair, although I liked ‘mashed twice?’ (= MASHED mashed) when I finally got it.

    21ac – ‘half back’ needs to be hyphenated, or one word, to fit the surface reading.

    15dn – like ‘As a rule’ at 19ac, I’m not convinced by ‘In one’s element’ here.

    16dn – does ‘for’ fit the cryptic reading?

    But all but the first of these are minor nitpicks.

    Please could someone explain 24ac fully? I can see the words are related but don’t really see the synonymy.

  4. Al Streatfield says:

    Particularly challenging puzzles are only worth doing (in the context of the dailies) in my opinion if they satisfy the criteria of the other dailies- i.e. have good clues and words that don’t require resort to reference books, computers etc.

    This one, to me, doesn’t fall into that category.

    RAJPUT CORUNDUM NURR FUMETTES EUROPIUM ?

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