Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,835 – Puck, the Magic Dragon

Posted by Uncle Yap on October 20th, 2009

Uncle Yap.

dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

Quite a challenging set of clues with some deft footwork and employing some elaborate and devious devices. On top of that, the surface readings are mostly cleverly crafted. Indeed, Puck, the magic dragon.

ACROSS
1 OLD STAGER *(A LEG + StRaTfOrD) For such an apt theatrical surface, I wonder how long it must have taken Puck to craft this. I must say this is excellent and probably an &lit
8 CATWOMAN Ins of TWO in AM -> ATWOM inserted in CAN (prison)
9 SWITCH Cha of S (school) WITCH (top speller)
10 BAILEY Ins of AIL (trouble) in BEY (governor)
11 STRIP OFF Ins of R + PO (rivers) in ST-I-FF (stiff or corpse)
12 MCADAM Ins of C (caught) in MADAM (precocious young girl) for John Loudon McAdam (1756 – 1836) a Scottish engineer and road-builder. Surprisingly, the new process he invented was called “macadamisation” which has an extra “a”
15 SCOURGED *(curse God)
16 LASHINGS Lovely dd
19 RESIDE Cha of RE (on) SIDE (edge)
21 STACCATO Ins of TAC (rev of cat or whip) + CAT in SO
22 BRANDT Cha of Russell BRAND (comedian) T (first letter of Thatcher)
24 ESTATE ha
25 DRIPPING D (first letter of duck) Ripping (fantastic or A1)
26,6 IDLEWILD One of those reverse anagram device where the answer is like an anagram clue; in this case lied is idle wild. Idlewild airport which became New York International Airport was renamed JFK airport in honour of the President who was assasinated in 1963
27 SANDHURST *(Thursday minus Y plus N)

DOWN
1 OSAKA OS (ordinary seaman or sailor) A Ka (sounds like a car)
2 DAWDLED Cha of DAW (rev of wad or a lot of money) D (diamonds) LED
3 TOMMY Acrostic clue for the Who pop opera … Pinball Wizard was a
favourite tune
4 GENESIS dd Beside the first book of the Holy Bible, a British pop group of which the most famous member must be Phil Collins
5 RESERVOIR Ins of E (east, point) + SERVO (brakes) + I (one) in RR
(Rolls Royce or auto). Another fantastic surface … I almost imagined I was in a Halford store (are they still around?)
6,20 WHIPPERSNAPPER Cha of Whipper (one who steals) Snapper (fish)
7 LICHFIELD *(I chilled f)
13 CHASTISED *(at chess I’d)
14 MANEATERS Ins of A TER (TERSE, short minus SE) in MANES (long hair)
17 HECTARE Ins of CTA *(cat) in HE-RE (middle of tHE REc)
18 SNOWDON *(downs + on) What a well-disguised definition
22 BLIGH BaLdInG tHe for William Bligh, a Vice-Admiral in the British
Royal Navy famous for being Captain of HMS Bounty during a mutiny
23 DONUT Cha of DO (the same) NUT (fruit)

23 Responses to “Guardian 24,835 – Puck, the Magic Dragon”

  1. ACP says:

    I enjoyed this Puck puzzle today. Interesting clues which were quite fair.

    1ac is not &lit as ‘veteran’ does nought for the wordplay.

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Uncle Yap

    A truly wonderful puzzle – even though I didn’t get 1d OSAKA.

    Yes, Halfords are still around.

  3. Bryan says:

    I’ve belatedly noticed the theme: photographers or SNAPPERS.

    Litchfield, Bailey, Brandt, Snowdon, McAdam …

    Are there any more?

  4. harry says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap.
    Some very clever mis-direction throughout.

    Like the new pic, by the way. Still the apple of his Grandpa’s eye?

  5. Dawn says:

    Thanks for the explanations – I ground to a halt about 2/3 of the way through today. Ref 1 down – the Ford Ka is a small car.

  6. liz says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. And well done Bryan for spotting the theme. I found the variety in the puzzle very enjoyable, along with the clever surfaces. Needed the check button a few times and didn’t see all the wordplay at the time.

  7. Andrew says:

    Bryan, there’s lots of whipping going on too – SCOURGED, CHASTISED, LASHINGS, SWITCH, WHIPPER, and also CATS in the wordplay of 21ac, and Captain BLIGH (maligned in the Mutiny on the Bounty films as excessively fond of prescribing the lash).

  8. medici says:

    I read 21 across as STAC (whips round) CAT-O (whip-round)

  9. Eileen says:

    Well-spotted, Andrew – I’d noticed SCOURGED and CHASTISED but thought no more of it – but then I didn’t get the SNAPPERS theme, either. Thank goodness there are astute people around to ensure that setters’ witty devices don’t get totally missed!

    It’s only a little thing but I took 14dn as MANE [long hair] + A +TERS[e]. And I had the same interpretation as Medici for 21ac.

  10. IanN14 says:

    I’ve only just done this one.
    I imagine the two themes are represented by 6/20?

  11. IanN14 says:

    Sorry, Andrew, I’ve just realised that you’ve already made that point…

  12. Bryan says:

    Well spotted, Andrew

    I doubt if there have ever been two themes before.

  13. MartinR says:

    An enjoyable puzzle, with two themes, both of which I overlooked! Thank you 15^2.

    One quibble. 5dn implies SERVO is a type of brake, but it isn’t. Brakes may have servos, but SERVO in itself is either a feedback mechanism or an amplifier. Hence “… sort of brake …” cannot indicate SERVO in the wordplay. A case of surface reading taking precedence over strict meaning?

  14. IanN14 says:

    Bryan,
    Did you not do the one earlier this year with the Darwin/Lincoln double theme?
    (They were born on the same day).
    It may have been an Indy…

  15. Eileen says:

    I remember that one, Ian, because I blogged it: Araucaria [24,621] February 12th.

  16. IanN14 says:

    Thanks Eileen…
    Good one, wasn’t it?

  17. IanN14 says:

    Also, Bryan,
    Check out today’s Indy…

  18. Ian says:

    Ingenious puzzling in the extreme by Puck today.

    The domination/Dominatrix theme top stuff!

    1 hour 53′ to complete.

  19. JimboNWUK says:

    Re Dawn’s remark about the Ka (#5) — I noticed that too and it makes “reportedly” redundant in 1D…

    Also Uncle Yap, I think you may have been denying yourself the delights of comedienne Jo Brand re 22A…arguably much more well known for comedy in the UK than Russell who I would class more as an acerbic raconteur who spends most of his on-air time railing against the Brit red-tops’ reporting of his personal life.

  20. Uncle Yap says:

    Also Uncle Yap, I think you may have been denying yourself the delights of comedienne Jo Brand re 22A…arguably much more well known for comedy in the UK than Russell
    ++++++++++++++++++++++
    During my time in the UK (70’s), my favourites were Monty Python atfc, Fawlty Tower, The Two Ronnies, Morecombe & Wise, Dave Allen, Benny Hill, Dad’s Army,and “you’re awful but I like you”

    I had to google Brand and whichever Google gave first, I took … Honestly I know them not.

    Apart from Fawlty Tower, I don’t think there has been any British comedy show on Malaysian TV. The only exception being that classroom series Mind Your Language which was a huge hit here many years ago.

  21. ray says:

    Couldn’t understand where the RIPPING bit of 25a came from (in what was a clearly intended answer). Spent ages with a road atlas searching near the A1, so thanks for the real explanation Uncle Yap.
    I also asumed it was areference to Jo Brand in 22a. but did go with the TAC and CAT in SO for 21a.

  22. Dave Ellison says:

    I only managed 18 clues in 50 minutes today. I am a little chagrined I didn’t spot either of the themes, mostly because I coudn’t get 6d. I can see it was a classic crossword, now. I, as Eileen, had registered scourged, cats and whips but no penny dropped.

  23. Brendan says:

    Not sure about McAdam as a snapper, was it not Ansell Adams?

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