Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,164 by Tees

Posted by Simon Harris on October 1st, 2009

Simon Harris.

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

I don't remember seeing a Tees for a little while, and this was characteristically challenging. I thought the surface readings were particularly strong, though unfortunately I struggled to make sense of the down clues even with the answers in front of me. A few continue to elude explanation.

Across
9 DAY RETURN – READY* + TURN.
10 VILLA – V + ILL + A.
11 ENTHUSE – [dresd]EN THUS E[xtinguished].
12 IONESCO – (IS “keeping” ONE) + CO. The author Eugène Ionesco, about whom I know very little other than he wrote about some French people becoming Rhinoceroses.
13 TACIT – TIT “catching” (A + C).
14 UNHEARD-OF – U + FOREHAND*.
16 SELF-SUFFICIENCY – cd.
19 DESERT RAT – RESTARTED*.
21 CUBBY – C[h]UBBY. Nicely done.
22 LEANDER – AND “piercing” LEER.
23 CORELLI – COLLI[e] “circling” RE.
24 URBAN – [d]URBAN.
25 BIG CRUNCHCGI< in BRUNCH.
Down
1 ADVERTISED – (VERT IS) in DEAD*. I’m not entirely sure why this is “on Madison”, as that seems to imply a US spelling, which this is not.
2 MYSTICAL – presumably (T[hackera]Y + CLAIMS)*, but I don’t follow how “on vacation” makes that work.
3 RESULT – (U + L) in REST.
4 DUNE – a book concernig a chap named Atreides, but the Sartre reference?
5 ANTICHRIST – ANTIC + (R[ehearsing] in HIS) + T[he]? I’m not sure ANTIC is really an actor though.
6 SVENGALI – [tear]S + LEAVING*.
7 CLOSED – dd.
8 IAGO – I + AGO.
14 UP FOR GRABS – P in (GARBO FURS)*.
15 FLY BY NIGHT – dd.
17 STRIDENT – S + TRIDENT.
18 NIBELUNG – NI[o]BE + LUNG.
20 SHABBY – no idea.
21 CURARE – cd.
22 LOUD – cd. f being forte.
23 CAGE – CA[n] GE[t].

19 Responses to “Independent 7,164 by Tees”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Simon,
    I, too thought this was hard.
    Re: 1d. I think it helps if you know about the real Mad Men and the origin of the title.
    2d. Thackery “vacated”.
    Never even heard of Atreides…

  2. Conrad Cork says:

    Re Dune. Sartre would say d’une for ‘of an’.

  3. Conrad Cork says:

    Re shabby. A shay (more usually chaise) is a carriage. The King is BB King.

  4. Richard Palmer says:

    I also found this very hard, especially the downs.
    1D Madison Avenue is center of advertising ‘industry’
    3D Not sure of ‘grade’ as definition of ‘result’
    4D French d’une means of one. I had to google ‘Atreides’ though I’ve heard of Dune
    5D I didn’t understand this, thanks for the explanation. ‘Antic’ can mean clown but I don’t see how it can be stretched to actor.
    20D Shay is a carriage and BB King is a great bluesman

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Under ‘antic’ Collins gives “an actor in a ludicrous or grotesque part”.

  6. anax says:

    Marvellous – I do like Tees’ puzzles.

    Tougher than his others I’ve solved, I took ages over the right-hand side but mostly because I failed to spot the blindingly obvious VILLA. There were quite a few “Oh yes!” highlights; great use of “shot” as the anagrind in UNHEARD-OF, CUBBY is just brilliant, and the “on vacation” element in MYSTICAL is new to me and very impressive.

    Even when surface readings weren’t particularly smooth the uses of wordplay in them more than made up for it.

    Nice one Tees!

    PS: Enjoyable a crossword is this was, the online solving wasn’t – the Java applet was hideously slow and clunky for me. Did anyone else experience the same?

  7. NealH says:

    A bit too general-knowledge heavy for my liking, although I managed to complete all but the top-right corner before I had seek assistance from the web. The wordplay in the clues was mostly annoyingly easy if you’d heard of the things. Villa was particuarly irritating and I think was probably mislead by the “grand”: most modern villas aren’t particularly grand but the original Roman ones were. Svengali is one of those words you hear all the time, but I didn’t that it came from a novel or that the character used hypnosis.

    Educational as ever, the Tees puzzles.

  8. Ali says:

    Very tough. I only got about half before resorting to help.

    UNHEARD OF was a lovely clue though and extra props for CUBBY

    In 24A, how does URBAN equate to ‘Pope’?

  9. NealH says:

    Lots of popes were called Urban.

  10. Richard says:

    I managed to solve this after quite a time, but, like some of those who have contributed above, I didn’t fully understand all the clues. Nevertheless, this was both fair and challenging, so more please, Tees!

  11. Ali says:

    Ah, so they were. 8 of ‘em in fact. Cheers Neal

  12. rawlinson says:

    A very well-crafted puzzle. I was drawn to the last three, two CDs and the nice invention chopping feet orf can get.

  13. Tees says:

    Thanks to Simon for the blog, and to all who posted in response.

  14. Mike Laws says:

    Any offers for the UK first edition of The Dune Trilogy” (the original three books in the series – hardback, mint, except for the author’s signature, inscribed in front of me in Forbidden Planet in Denmark Street?

    I suppose we have to accept “d’une” as a homonym for “Dune” – at least not as outrageous a “a pair o’ teef” for aperitif!

  15. uncle yap says:

    Most challenging and entertaining.
    I thought 22A would have stood simply as Heroic lover (7)
    I put in SHABBY without understanding why until I read this blog. BB King !?!?
    Thank you Simon and Tess for an excellent puzzle and blog (not necessarily in that order)

  16. uncle yap says:

    not Tess, oops Tees
    sorry for the mistake

  17. Allan_C says:

    Had to give up on it last night, but my subconscious must have been working on it because it all came together quite quickly this morning, with only a little help from the net. Very satisfying.

  18. Tees says:

    That one wasn’t intended as a homonym (about which I’d have accepted Lawsie’s point, at least for this UK submission): said by Sartre (or Proust, or anyone speaking French) ‘of an’ would or could be D’UNE.

  19. Roger Powell says:

    PS Crossword lovers might enjoy the Gil Evans album Svengali.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/svengali-album

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