Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7248 by Phi

Posted by NealH on January 8th, 2010

NealH.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

This seemed much more difficult than the usual Phi and some of the definitions were like the sort of left field thing you’d expect from Nimrod.
 

Across
5 Cork: C or K.
6 Shoelace: I’m probably not appreciating the full subtlety of this one, but it seems like a rather weak CD.
8 Amundsen: (Man dunes)*. Not sure about the definition: Roald Amundsen was an Antarctic explorer, so is it some reference to ice dunes or is it just that the desert is the opposite of the Antarctic ? Seems a slightly odd, unPhi-like definition.
10 Gstaad: G + TA in sad. This was a tough one unless you’re heavily into skiing.
11 Absolute zero: (Zeal booster)* around u[pturn].
13 Cohort: Co + ht around OR.
15 Tackle: Tack + le[ft]. I think the def must be “try to eat”, so I suppose it’s in the sense of “I’m going to tackle this dessert”.
16 Annihilation: An + nation around hil[t].
20 Bottom: (Motto + b)<.
21 Rashomon: Rash + moon*. This film.
22 Bulletin: Bull + ET + in.
23 Doss: Do + s[eem]s.
Down
1 Pronto: Proo[f] around NT (National Trust).
2 Change: CE around hang.
3 League Tables: (Get a ball use [to]e)*.
4 Part work: P + artwork. I’m not particularly familiar with the phrase, so I struggled to get this.
5 Comeback: Me + BA in cock.
7 Elan: I think this is lane with the E moved to the top.
9 Square number: Square (= suitable) + number (=anaesthetic). The def seems to be “suitably placed ?”, so I can only assume that it’s referring to the clue number 9, which is 3 squared.
12 Venomous: V + eno[r]mous.
14 Heartily: Earthily with the h moved.
17 Hermit: Don’t entirely follow this. Def is obviously religious fanatic, but not sure about “most of widow’s donation”.
18 Thoron: Thorn about O. Thoron is an isotope of radon and is produced as part of the radioactive decay of other elements.
19 Comb: Cob around m.

14 Responses to “Independent 7248 by Phi”

  1. sidey says:

    Hermit is her mit(e), ref the widow’s mite.

    Shoelace, boot = shoe, holes = lace (the fabric) making an &lit I think.

  2. IanN14 says:

    Hello Neal,
    Yes, I thought this was a strange one…
    I thought, because of the very strange grid, and so few clues, that there must be a hidden theme or nina, but I can’t spot one.
    6ac is an anagram of holes (“booted”?) + ace.
    17d. Sorry, can’t help here. Anyone?

  3. sidey says:

    Amundsen could be an oblique reference to Monty Python’s Scot of the Sahara, 10 mins if you’ve the time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVc0EZl3AfU

  4. anax says:

    AMUNDSEN
    I thought this was rather good. “Man involved with dunes” produces the anag/fodder and “Not exactly!” points to the answer being a man who was involved with anything but dunes. It gets my vote!

    SHOELACE
    Ian got there before me. “Boot” is the instruction to rearrange HOLES + ACE (one) – that’s just a bit brilliant.

  5. beermagnet says:

    17D “Most of Widow’s donation” is HER MIT[e] and refers to the New Testament story of the Widow who gave all she had, two “mites”. A mite is a tiny copper coin of the time.
    So, now a “Widow’s mite” is something very small.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Very tough puzzle, I too suspected a Nina from the shape of the grid and Phi has had very subtle ones in the past! Favourite clue SHOELACE, closely followed by AMUNDSEN (which I think is just the polar explorer contrasted with the hot desert as someone mentioned above) and HERMIT. I also think you are right about ELAN and TACKLE.

  7. jmac says:

    Re 15 across, I took “tack” to be military slang for food, as in “hard tack”, a dry biscuit.

  8. NealH says:

    Yes, that was what I thought, although I don’t think it can have a verb form, so the definition must be “try to eat” rather than just try.

  9. Mick H says:

    I’m going to be really pedantic now. Surely boots have bootlaces – shoelaces should be put on shoes. If you use shoelaces on boots, they’ll be too short.
    I think TACKLE’ fine for ‘try to eat’ though, and AMUNDSEN works for me too.

  10. Simon Harris says:

    I’ll also admit to finding this tough. I think the grid didn’t help, with a relatively high proportion of unchecked squares. Some great clues though.

    Still squinting at it, vainly looking a message to emerge…

  11. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Yes, an odd grid today indeed. I thought 6ac was clever and liked AMUNDSEN as well. But I failed on PART WORK; although it is indeed in Collins I had never come across the term before.

    I wasn’t head over heels in love with 9dn. Square = suitable? It could just be me, but how does that work?

  12. Simon Harris says:

    Hi KD – I think that 9dn is deemed a “suitable” place for SQUARE NUMBER, since 9 is itself a square number.

  13. IanN14 says:

    Simon,
    I think that’s understood, but suitable in the clue also has to define square, which, K’sD, it does in Chambers.
    (I know, I didn’t realise either…).

  14. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, both. I rest my case. Cupid’s arrow has still not hit the spot about that one.

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