Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,200 by Punk

Posted by Simon Harris on November 12th, 2009

Simon Harris.

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

I don't recall blogging a Punk for some time, though maybe that's for the best as I can rarely get to grips with them! This one, however, whilst characteristically inventive, seemed quite manageable once the interplay between 2dn and 6dn fell into place. I don't imagine there are a great many Madonna fans in the Fifteensquared audience, but the hits in question will be familiar to all, I would expect.

Across
1 BEHEST – HE in BEST.
4 FRUMPISH – RUMP in FISH.
10 UPTURNING – (INPUT + RUN)* + G[arden].
11 DRAIN – D + RAIN &lit.
12 COHERECO + HERE.
13 SENSORY – NOSES + R + Y.
15 ERSATZ – TEARS* + Z.
16 CREAM TEA – (AM in CRETE) + A.
19 MIXED BAG – (MADE + BIG + [bo]X)*.
21 DAMASK – DAM + ASK.
23 TILLAGE – TILL + AGE.
25 GEIGER – G + EIGER.
27 ELGAR – LAGER*. Edward Elgar was famously associated with Malvern.
28 IRREGULAR – 1 + R + (A LUGER)< + R.
29 SCRAMBLE – dd.
30 ENTREE – E[specially] + N[ice] + TREE.
Down
2 HIT FOR SIX – dd.
3 SERPENT – dd. A serpent is a rather uncommon woodwind instrument.
5 REGISTRY – RE + GIST + RY.
6 MADONNA – MAD ON Na. Nice – I’m surprised not to have seen this done before.
7 IMAGO – I’M A GO.
8 HANKY-PANKY – A hit for Madonna.
9/22 LIKE A VIRGIN – L + IKEA VIRGIN.
14 SEAMSTRESS – TERMS* “aboard” (SEA + SS).
17 TRAVELLER – (RAVEL + L) in [ams]TER[dam].
18/25 MATERIAL GIRL – dd. Seamstress, hit for Madonna.
20 DIAGRAM – (DIG “snaring” A) + RAM.
24 LAGER – ELGAR*.
26/1 TRUE BLUE – another Madonna hit. “Right” being “blue” in the Tory sense.

20 Responses to “Independent 7,200 by Punk”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Thank you Simon,
    Very clever idea, nicely done.
    I loved 9/22 especially.
    I think we’re being spoilt this week…

  2. IanN14 says:

    …at least I thought so until today’s Guardian…

  3. Mick H says:

    Bucks Fizz and Madonna in one week – we should be so lucky (oops sorry – have I given away tomorrow’s themed artist?)
    Excellent stuff – flatpack novice=IKEA virgin was inspired, and HIT FOR SIX a very nice way to construct the theme.

  4. Ali says:

    A very interesting solve for me. I got HIT FOR SIX early on, but couldn’t get 6D. Once I’d got TRUE BLUE and HANKY PANKY, I guessed that the 2 reference was possibly something to do with rhyming couplets. It was only when I got MATERIAL GIRL from the checking letters that I realised what was going on and went hunting for Madge! I still didn’t understand the wordplay for LIKE A VIRGIN until I came here, but that’s now the cherry on top. It has indeed been a rather good week.

    Is today’s Guardian a beaut then too?

  5. IanN14 says:

    No Ali. I don’t think it is.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Clever theme, but took me a while to finish because I didn’t twig the connection between 2dn and 6dn till late on. Thanks for the blog, Simon.

    Could someone explain why 12ac is COHERE? I got it, but don’t understand where it comes from.

  7. Conrad Cork says:

    CO (carbon monoxide) is something poisonous, and ‘here’ is for ‘in the Independent’. HTH.

  8. Mick H says:

    CO = Carbon monoxide, which is poisonous; HERE = in the Independent.

  9. IanN14 says:

    Sorry Simon,
    Just noticed.
    24d. is Regal “upturning”.

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you both. It was the CO bit I didn’t understand, but having got the Na for Madonna, I should have kept my chemist’s hat on. One to log away for future use, thanks again – this blog is really helpful.

  11. nmsindy says:

    Another great puzzle from this talented setter. nmsindy’s detailed familiarity with the works of Madonna is slight so the penny-dropping moment took a while to arrive coming when I saw how 2 dn, 6 dn and 8 dn were linked. Some great clueing eg FRUMPISH, COHERE, SCRAMBLE with LIKE A VIRGIN as mentioned by others being the best of all (great fun). Thanks, Punk.

  12. Eileen says:

    I just can’t stop laughing over the IKEA VIRGIN! I enjoyed this puzzle no end.

    7dn is very like Paul’s MAYORAL clue in The Guardian on Tuesday, which some found ‘outrageous’ – but people tend to be less picky over on this side. [I liked them both.]

    [I can't see the significance of 'on this earth' in 23 ac. The clue makes sense without it but I'm obviously missing something.]

  13. IanN14 says:

    Hi Eileen.
    Re 23ac.
    I don’t think the three extra words are that necessary for the clue, but I just think “years on this earth” is a slightly nicer definition of “age” than simply “years”, and actually adds to the surface reading.

  14. jetdoc says:

    Nothing to add but my compliments — I had a working day during which I needed to fill a few otherwise idle gaps, and this was ideal. The clue for LIKE A VIRGIN is wonderful.

  15. eimi says:

    Great puzzle which perfectly embodies the Indy ethos of crosswords being fun. 9/22 (an instant classic clue) was released 25 years ago today. I remember it well.

  16. pennes says:

    I don’t quite see 13 ac (sensory); does why = y in crosswordese: I can’t see an indicator to use the last letter of “y”.

  17. Eileen says:

    Hi Pennes

    It’s Y as a homophone of ‘Why’. We sometimes also get IC from ‘I see’.

  18. Mick H says:

    I’m all in favour of Y=why, U=you and C=see, all instantly comprehensible to all via textspeak. The dictionaries will eventually catch up on these usages. But then, what do people think about R=are? B=be?

  19. IanN14 says:

    It’s funny, Mick,
    But, having teenage kids who text all the time, I agree about Y, U and C (especially as that one’s in Chambers), but would object to R and B (as I assume you R suggesting yourself?)
    Y would that B, do U think?
    A strange one…

  20. nmsindy says:

    I think C = see and U = you are pretty standard as exact homophones. Y = why is a little more borderline, but I’ve seen it often esp towards the libertarian end of the spectrum. Not sure about the textspeak tho – maybe some such indication would have to be given to avoid ambiguity – also then ‘are’ could be either a or r.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


× 1 = four