Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7208 by Scorpion (Sat 21-Nov 2009)

Posted by beermagnet on November 27th, 2009

beermagnet.

I found this very hard, as we come to expect from Scorpion.
After I had about 10 answers I came to a complete halt, totally stuck. Restarting the next day I made a significant breakthrough with a few long answers (e.g. 12A, 13D and 18A) that allowed the rest to gradually follow.

There were several truly innovative and devious clues using never previously encountered wordplay.
I was glad I made the time this needed, the various penny-drop moments were very satisfying. I would not have had that time on a weekday. I’m very happy have got as much as I did even if I have got any wrong.

Certainly help needed with 2 Down, and please let me know if I have anything else wrong.

Across
7 AIREDALE AIR (whiff) (LEAD)* AInd: untied [colli]E
9 RELISH First two letters (couples discovered in) RE[hab] LI[berally] SH[ooting]
10/22 GEORG SOLTI [lea]G[ue] (fourth in league), (TO GLORIES)* AInd: abroad.
11 TIGHTWAD (HWITTGAD)* AInd: curiously. The anagram fodder is provided by the first letters of: Hide When Its Time To Give Any Donations. So I guess the whole clue is an &Lit/Anagram
12 MATTHEW PINSENT SENT (dispatched) after (to track) MAT (gym equipment) THEW (cut) PIN (leg)
15 EMBOSS O[peration]S (operations peripherally) inside E[nglish], MBS (doctors)
16 STRATI (ARTIST)* AInd: interpreted. One of the few I got on the first pass.
18 FREDDIE TRUEMAN &Lit/Charade: E[nglish] MAN (player) after RED (cherry) DIET (fast) inside F[ine] and RU (sport)
Surely he was more usually called FRED. Is this a Flintoff effect?
20 JOE LOUIS JOEL (pianist, Ref. Billy Joel) OUI (definitely French) S[session]
24 TIPTOE PT (training) O[ld] inside TIE (match)
25 GASOLENE Def. Fuel in Lincoln. This Lincoln must be the car marque thus the American spelling of Gasoline. SOLE (only) inside (E,NAG)< (Electronic bug)
Down
1 HIS GRACE (GRISHA[m])* AInd: novel, CE (Anglican) Brilliant clue that had me convinced the first word was “The” from the various John Grisham thrillers beginning “The” such as The Client. Last of the first few I got before getting stuck.
2 PESO This answer is a guess. Wordplay unclear here:
Reportedly cough up such bread overseas (4)
It’s going to be a homophone isn’t it (reportedly). If it’s bread=money then PESO is possible, but how is this “cough up”?
3 BELT UP (LET)* AInd: vagrant, inside (PUB)<
4/21 DRUG USER DER (The German) around RUG (floor mat) US (American)
5 ALL THE RAGE AG (silver) inside ALL THERE (not stupid)
6 ASLANT AS[sai]LANT What a clue:
Attacker sidesteps South American International diagonally (6)
Fantastic use of “sidesteps” to indicate removal. I did not understand the wordplay till writing up the blog, but had ASLANT from the crossing letters and definition and confirmed from the cross-reference at 17D.
8 AGGRESSED SS (boat) inside GREED (great desire) after [pr]AG[ue]
13 TABLECLOTH (BET LOCAL)* AInd: split, T[riump]H
14 NATURISTS &Lit/charade N[orth] A[merican] T[o]URISTS
17 ITALIANS (I ASLANT I)* AInd: having a flutter. Beside 2D, this was the last to go in. I was wondering how to decide between Italians and Iranians (having lost Ivorians after getting Freddie Trueman), and how the wordplay worked, until I understood the ref. to 6D.
18 FLORID FLORID[a] More innovative wordplay. How to indicate losing the last letter: “bed transported from”. Also misled me into considering Persian Gulf states at first.
19 ENSIGN Reverse hidden in “waviNG IS NEeded”. That a reverse hidden is one of the easier clues shows the level of this puzzle.
23 LILY CD Ref. Lily Allen famous product of the loins of roustabout Keith Allen. The clue uses the implication that lilies are most often found in woods, and misleads us into thinking about Woody Allen. While being native to woods I suspect nowadays they are easier to spot in gardens. Or is there more to this clue than I’m seeing?
Woody might describe the background to this Allen in the UK (4)

4 Responses to “Independent 7208 by Scorpion (Sat 21-Nov 2009)”

  1. shuchi says:

    Hi beermagnet

    2d: PESO a homophone of ‘pay so’. cough up = pay, such = so.

  2. beermagnet says:

    Blimey. Is “pay so” the correct way to said Peso?
    Good job I’ve never been to Mexico. The way I pronounce it it probably very rude.
    Ta, Shuchi

  3. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the great blog, beermagnet, which has explained a few things I did not quite see. I too found this v hard in the complex Scorpion style but got there in the end. Some excellent clues. I think that in MATTHEW PINSENT it’s MATT then HEW. Puzzle solved in number of sessions before and after Arsenal’s defeat which made a nice double for Eimi with the 9-1 for Spurs…

  4. Simon Harris says:

    A really tough one, well blogged. I have the same questions as you about LILY – the def. seems unsatisfying.

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