Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,253 by Scorpion

Posted by Simon Harris on January 14th, 2010

Simon Harris.

I got a little bit psyched out last time I blogged a Scorpion, but thankfully this one was a bit more manageable. It was still a challenge though, and there are perhaps one or two liberties taken in the cluing, so it’ll be interesting to hear how other solvers got on.

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

Across
1 CAVALRYMEN – (LAV< + RY + M) in CAEN.
9/7 PLAYS FOR TIME – PLAY’S FOR TIM + [ric]E.
10 OBTUSE – (B[urn]+ T) in OUSE.
11 TSETSE – T. S. E[liot], “doubled up”.
13 UTILISED – (IDLE + SUIT)*.
14 BOBBY FISCHER – BOBBY + hom. of “Fisher”.
17 SKIPJACK TUNA – SKIP + JACK + (A NUT)<.
20 CUT A DASH – C[hosen] + U + TAD + ASH.
21 KNIGHT – NIGH in (K + T).
22 INDIGO – [car]D[iff] in INIGO.
23 SEDATIVE – T[h]I[s] in EVADES<.
25 WREN – WE interlinked with RN. Haven’t seen this done before.
26 NINA SIMONE – ((Brian) ENO + MAINS* + IN)<.
Down
2 ALLUSION – (U + S) in [st]ALLION.
3/18 AMY JOHNSON – MAY* + JOHN + hom. of (The) “Sun”. I’m not convinced that’s really a homophone, however.
4 RIFLE – FLIER*.
5 MURMURS – (U in MR) + (U in MRS).
6 NEOLITHIC – (I + HOTEL)* in NIC.
7 TUTTI FRUTTI – TUT + (IT + TURF + IT)<.
8 MUSSEL – (LESS + UM)<.
12 TUBE STATION – TUB + (TEA IT’S)* + ON.
15 FLIP A COIN – F[ootballers] + LIP + A COIN.
16 UNSHAVEN – SUN “top (S) to bottom” + HAVEN.
19 TURNER – URN in TER[m].
21 KUDOS – (SOD UK)<.
24 TUM – “turn” looks a bit like “tum” if the “r” and the “n” are indeed tightly packed together. Again, haven’t seen this done before.

9 Responses to “Independent 7,253 by Scorpion”

  1. Mick H says:

    Excellent puzzle. TUM was the last one I got, and I didn’t understand it, so thanks for the explanation, Simon – that’s a beaut. Other favourites 10ac, 5dn, 21dn.
    I initially shared your scepticism about the son in Johnson, which is a neutral schwa sound. But then, as a part of the word, SON is a reasonable homonym for SUN, so I say it’s OK.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Extremely tough and extremely inventive. Favourites BOBBY FISCHER, KNIGHT, and the brilliant MURMURS.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Much too hard for me today. Got a few in the SW corner to start, but then found the rest pretty impenetrable. But I can see there were some nice bits of invention.

  4. NealH says:

    Did this in two parts. I managed about a third of it then got hopelessly stuck for ages and was close to giving up when Amy Johnson flew to my rescue. After that, I managed to finish fairly quickly. Didn’t follow 2 down at all: I think the “section” bit put me off – I was expecting something a bit longer than just an S. Very tough, but ultimately satisfying puzzle and it’s nice to see something new like 24 down.

  5. DorothyS says:

    I enjoyed this so much that I feel compelled to stop lurking, for today anyway, and thank the setter for his/her efforts. What a challenge this was! Especially for a non-Brit who isn’t familiar with Green Park tube station, shipping forecast areas, National Insurance Contributions, or, I’m ashamed to say, Amy Johnson.

    It took me hours to finish this, leaving it and coming back to it 3 or 4 times, but I can’t remember when I last felt so strong a sense of accomplishment (and relief!) as I did when the website’s little ‘Congratulations! You have completed the puzzle’ pop-up finally popped up. I had just typed in the N of ALLUSION, without understanding the horse and the stone, but (st)allion eventually occurred to. Still had no explanation for TUM, though — many thanks to Simon Harris for putting me out of my misery. There’s another bit of inventive clueing.

    The whole set is outstanding, but I especially appreciated the surface readings of CAVALRYMEN, MUSSEL, and KUDOS. Also, don’t know if this was intentional, but I like the placement of INDIGO, with its reference to Inigo Jones, above WREN (as in Christopher). And thanks for including NINA SIMONE — first time I’ve seen her in a crossword.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Good that Scorpion got a Nina in as well as everything else… Think it’s not Nina S’s first appearance in the Indy tho.

  7. Paul B says:

    Some extremely devious compilers have included the names of Ninas they personally know, rather than ones we all may know: this apparently constitutes a ‘comment’ on the practice of anyone including a Nina of any sort at all. Others have simply entered the fora and ranted (against). And what is the point of this remark? To be honest, I have forgotten. Great puzzle by a talented compiler all the same.

  8. Mike Laws says:

    When I was using a scanner and its OCR facility to deal with typescripts, rn frequently became m.

  9. Jake says:

    TURN or TUM. I actually thought TUM was hidden in there. I got lucky with that, may-be the way the apple safari browser renders the java applet fonts on the Independent xwd to make it look like TUM (and I wasn’t paying enough attention) now I look back at it.

    Clever clue though.

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