Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,176/Scorpion

Posted by Ali on October 15th, 2009

Ali.

I found this one a pretty tough challenge, but was very pleased to get there in the end after a slow start. There are some really nice clueing devices here, though a few may need some clarification.

Across
1 RUTHLESS – Got this from the checking letters, but don’t understand it beyond H for Henry – “Henry’s imprisoned in half of castle in Conway – it’s brutal
9 POLY – This was the last answer I wrote in, and I got it wrong (guessing POLO). The wordplay is O in PLY I think, though not sure why ‘some of sandwich’ would be PLY if that’s the case
9 UNWRAP – [-men]U + (PRAWN)* – Loved the ‘prawn crackers’ idea here
10 NON-IRON – I think this is just NI in NORON, where NORON is ‘something’ reversible, i.e. a palindrome.
11 GREY SEAL – GEYSER with R coming back + AL[-l]
12 EXUDED – “Eggs you did” – Very nice
13 DESENSITISED – (ED, ED, IS, IS, SENT)*
16 ARCTIC CIRCLE – [-b]AR][-s] + C + TIC + CIRCLE – ‘Parallel’ is a very neat definition here
19 LET OFF – L[-ov]E + TOFF
20 GREAT APE – EAT in GRAPE
22 TRADE UP – DEU[-x] in TRAP
24 TYRE – Hidden reversal in mysERY Trip
25 PAY-DESKS – D in (KEYPASS)*
Down
2 UNNERVED – [-r]UN + R V in NEED
3/23 HARDY ANNUAL – Cryptic def.
4 ESPRESSO COFFEE – (SPREES)* + COS rev. + OF + FEE – Took me a while to write this in even though I suspected it as soon as I saw the clue!
5 SINGLET – SINGLE T, removal of which makes MATTERS into MATER’s
6 PRESUADER – RED,AUS,REP rev. – Great clue
7/18 LANDED GENTRY – LANDED + (ENG.)* + TRY, where ‘it’ refers back to the touchdown
8 UNDERSECRETARY – UN + (CREATES)* in DERRY
14 ELABORATE – BORAT in (A[ng] LEE)* – Another fantastic clue
15 FLAPJACK – I get the F L and JACK parts here, but not sure how ‘a meal’ is A P
17 IGGY POP – PIGGY with P ‘degrading’ + OP
21 TENSE – TENS + [valentin]E

11 Responses to “Independent 7,176/Scorpion”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Ali
    1a is H (Henry) in [cas]TLE in RUSS (Conway) – Russ Conway was a popular pianist in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

    In 6a, PLY means a layer or thickness (think plywood) and a layer would be one part of a sandwich.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    15d AP is the abbreviation for ante prandium, before a meal (on prescriptions).

  3. nmsindy says:

    I think I’m getting used to Scorpion’s clueing style which is tortuous in the best sense of the word. So not exceptionally hard today. In UNNERVED, I thought it was (r)UNNER VED(vehicle tax).

    And DERRY used for the second time this week!

  4. IanN14 says:

    Some nice clues here, but 10ac. wasn’t one of them.
    “Noron” = “something reversible”?…

  5. Ali says:

    Cheers for the pointers all. And Niall’s explanation of 2D makes more sense than mine, so let’s go with that.

    10A might actually refer to this….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noron_theory

    …but my head hurts when I read Wikipedia articles like that, so I’m not sure!

  6. IanN14 says:

    Wow, well spotted Ali.
    I hope you’re right, but how on earth are we expected to know that?

  7. Mick H says:

    Amazing. Looks a bit like this theory being put about yesterday re the Hadron collider.
    http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/science_technology/back+to+the+future+for+the+hadron+collider/3387497

  8. eimi says:

    My brain hurts too, after that. But Scorpion’s intention was to have Northern Ireland treated as two words, so it’s N Ir in noon.

  9. IanN14 says:

    I had thought of that too, eimi, but I couldn’t justify “noon” either, (even though I have heard of noon)…
    (I think he should have lied, and gone along with Ali’s suggestion).

  10. NealH says:

    I only fell down on exuded, which I was convinced had to be something like eguméd. I can’t quite accept exuded for “eggs u did” – the eggs part is OK provided you don’t pronounce it with a hard X sound but I can’t really see how “ded” can sound like “did”. Perhaps it’s just my lack of Received Pronunciation.

  11. Mike Laws says:

    Far too covoluted for a daily puzzle.

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