Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24813 / Brummie

Posted by mhl on September 24th, 2009

mhl.

We enjoyed this and just missed out 8 down, so it’s probably a good difficulty level for a daily puzzle. I particularly liked the surface readings of 9a, 10a, 3d and 12a. Update: thanks to Bryan for pointing out the theme, which I stupidly missed: WEST SIDE STORY is in the answers, along with the gangs (the JETS the SHARKS) and several songs (TONIGHT, MARIA, AMERICA, SOMEWHERE)

Across
9. OVERPITCH OVER = “ended” + PITCH = “asphalt”
10. NORSE (RE[a]SON)*
11. AMERICA ERIC = “Maybe Morecambe” in A MA = “a mother”
12. TONIGHT TIGHT = “Mean” around ON
13. STORY The U.S. spelling of “storey” is STORY
14. SOMEWHERE SOME = “Certain amount of” + WHERE = sounds like “wear”
16. ANTIDEPRESSANTS A + N = “name” + TIDE = “current” + PRESS = “crowd” + ANTS = “social beings”; I like the definition: “spirit raisers”
19. DESERT RATS DESERT = “Leave” + TAR = “salt” reversed
21. MARIA MA (Massachusetts) = “state” + AIR = “look” reversed
22. JEALOUS J = “Jack” + (EA = “each” + SOUL)*
23. SPINACH Cryptic definition, referring to Popeye eating cans of spinach
24. TOKEN A toast to Ken (“Barbie’s friend”) might be “TO KEN!”
25. EIDER DOWN EIDER = “seabird” + DOWN = “blue”
Down
1. NO-MAN’S-LAND N = “And, shortly” (as in Fish ‘n’ Chips) followed by (L MADONNA’S)*
2. TELEPORT (TREETOP)* around L = “lake”; the definition of TELEPORT in Chambers is “to move by telekinesis” which matches the definition here “practise thought transference?” (as in “transferring by thoughts”). I think the non-telekinesis sense of TELEPORT to mean “matter transference”, e.g. in Star Trek is much more common now – I’m surprised it’s not in Chambers.
3. UPPITY UP = “Happy?” + PITY = “Shame”
4. STOA STOA[t] = “Small carnivore”
5. THE TEMPEST HE TEMP = “non-permanent male employee” in TEST
6. UNKNOWNS Double definition
7. BROGUE B ROUGUE = “Not the feature film villain” (B as in B-movie)
8. WEST One sense of “to go west” is to die or be destroyed, i.e. “be lost”
14. SUPPRESSED SUP = “Drink” + PRESS = “jam” + ED = “journalist”
15. ENSWATHING (WHAT ENSIGN)*
17. DORDOGNE DONE = “Finished” around R = “river” + DOG = “track”
18. NARRATOR N = “bank’s No 3″ + (ART ROAR)*
20. SHARKS SH = “quiet” + ARKS = “craft”
21. MAIGRE MAIGRET = “Fictional detective” without T = “temperature”; Chambers gives this as “relating to a fast-day or to a fast”, presumably from its other adjectival meaning, describing non-meat food suitable for a fast day
22. JETS JET = “Sooty” + ‘S
23. SIDE [re]SIDE[nt] (split lease = RE NT); I hadn’t heard this meaning of “side” before – apparently it can mean (as a noun) “a pretentious air, arrogance (informal)” (Chambers). At least this was easy from the cryptic part.

12 Responses to “Guardian 24813 / Brummie”

  1. ACP says:

    I thought 8dn could be BEAT.
    If it went before ‘it’, ‘beat it’ could be mean ‘be lost’, ‘go away’.
    It’s not a watertight solution but given that many clues are less than watertight, I think it’s acceptable.

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, mhl, I enjoyed this although I came unstuck with Maigret/Maigre. One I’d forgotten; the other I’d never heard of.

    Consequently, I had wondered if MARIA (21a) was correct.

    Later, I recognised the theme which confirmed Maria as correct

    Musix of the day? Anything from West Side Story.

  3. Bryan says:

    Sorry, ACP, but alas there’s no musical called ‘Beat Side Story’.

  4. The trafites says:

    Hmmph, I never saw the West Side Story theme!

    This reminds me of one of my favourite clues from Enigmatic Variations many years ago – took me ages to twig it:

    Jaws 1 (Spielburg film) sharks enemy (3)

    Nick

  5. mhl says:

    Bryan: aaargh, I love West Side Story, but completely missed the theme! I’ll add a note at the top of the post.

  6. Orange says:

    Actually glad I didn’t notice the theme – much prefer solving the clues in their own right. Could have done with the help on West, though!

  7. ACP says:

    Bryan, I understand that it doesn’t fit with the theme, which admittedly, didn’t occur to me.
    However, I stand by my original post because there’s nothing that says the answer HAD to be in a theme. Taken by itself, the clue could go either way.

  8. Dave Ellison says:

    Started out well, nice and steady, but then I struggled with, and failed to get, the last few: 1d 13a and 8d. I had UPPISH for 3d which didn’t help. (I thought PISH, to express disdain, might just do)

    1d – didn’t Madonna have a footpath dispute recently, just before she was 50 (in 2004); so this is almost an &lit.

  9. cholecyst says:

    re #8. Yes, Dave you’re right. That makes 1d a really clever clue.

  10. Phil says:

    Is not the feature film in 7 quite clever too? That is nothing to do with West Side Story?

  11. mhl says:

    Phil: yes, I really liked B-ROGUE as well :)

  12. maarvarq says:

    I had the same experience as Dave Ellison, down to having Uppish for 3d. I thought 2d was rather dodgy.

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