Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,236 by Phi

Posted by Simon Harris on December 24th, 2009

Simon Harris.

Something of a seasonal treat for us today – a special, thematic Thursday Phi.

Wordplay in many of the clues leaves us a letter short. The collected missing letters can be rearranged to form A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Two characters from that work form the two unclued answers. I’ve noted the missing letters in bold.

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

Across
1 AIRCRAFTIR + C + RAFT. A.
6 MARLEY – thematic, see preamble.
9 DEHISCENCE – (DICE SCENE)*. H.
10 FOGY – ([part]Y GO F[or])<.
11 TURN IN – (N + N + RUT)<. I.
12/17 EBENEZER SCROOGE – thematic, see preamble.
13 SENORITA – (ONE AIRS)*. T.
15 COTTON – COT + TON.
16 ASTERN – S[hips] in (ATE + RN).
18 PANORAMA – (NORA + M) in PA. A.
20 PRETENCE – [sec]RET in PENCE.
22 OCHRES – H in ORES. C.
24 PONY – P[h]ONY.
25 KOOKABURRA – (AUK + ROOK + A B)*. R.
27 GERUND – GER[man] + UND.
28 DOTTEREL – DOT + TREE*. L.
Down
2 ICE CUBE – (E + CUB) in IE. C.
3 CAIRN – I in CAN. R.
4 ASCENSION – (IN CANOES)*. S.
5 TAN – I think this must be [g]NAT< but I can't see anything in the clue to specify dropping the G.
6 MAEVE – AM< + EVE.
7 REFLECTOR – F in (R + ELECTOR). Not sure about the wordplay here, especially the prince/elector bit.
8 EL GRECO – ELG[a]R + E + CO.
12 EXAMPLE – AXE< + PLE[a]. M.
14 OVER TO YOU – OVER + TOY + OU.
15 CONSONANT – (ON + ON) in CANT. S.
19 MCENROE – M + CEN[t]ER*. O.
21 NAKED – NA[r]KED.
23 HAUTE – HUT + [pist]E. A.
26 OLD – [f]OLD.

11 Responses to “Independent 7,236 by Phi”

  1. nmsindy says:

    I think 5 down refers to ANT. I think ELECTOR = PRINCE from Germany way back.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Some German princes were called electors but according to Chambers the term goes back earlier than that – “the title formerly belonging to those princes and archbishops of the Holy Roman Empire who had the right to elect the Emperor”.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Yes, that’s right, was in a bit of a rush when posting comment 1 so wrote from memory. Looking in Collins now, it says “(in the Holy Roman Empire) any of the German princes entitled to take part in the election of a new emperor”

    Very enjoyable puzzle, as the letters appeared they seemed to mean very little – I was expecting them to be in order, so that was a nice twist.

  4. Pandean says:

    The letters of A Christmas Carol are in a definite order, as you’ll see if you look down the diagonal from top left to bottom right. I only noticed this when I already had worked out what the book title was, and had most of the puzzle solved. A really well constructed puzzle and something a bit different. Thanks Phi.

  5. nmsindy says:

    They do indeed! I missed that completely – I had wondered when solving why the unusual HAUTE appeared (feminine of the French adj haut = high tho it’s familiar from its use in phrases).

  6. eimi says:

    Welcome, Pandean, to the comments (don’t think I’ve seen your name here before) and a very merry Christmas to all Indy solvers.

  7. Ali says:

    Well spotted Pandean. I just assumed the letters were random, but it all fits together perfectly. A nice puzzle, and good to have an extra gimmick in a daily cryptic

  8. Twencelas says:

    A lovely puzzle, there should be more like this – festive and very tidy.
    I think 5dn is as simple as ANT tail first i.e TAN.

    A merry Christmas to all compilers, editors and solvers.

  9. John McDonald says:

    I think 19 down is M = Male + Cen[t]re (Court finally = last letter of Court “knocked out”). This still leaves the O as the book title letter.

  10. Simon Harris says:

    Well spotted John – I think that’s how I read it too, and then blogged in a bit too much of a hurry. I’ll amend the post.

  11. Allan_C says:

    I guessed the theme and 12/17 and 6 from the preamble, but it was still a satisfying puzzle working out which clues were incomplete.

    For anyone in the dark about 2dn, Ice Cube is the stage name of O’Shea Jackson – try googling ‘Ice Cube’.

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