Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7257/Mordred

Posted by John on January 19th, 2010


Mordred’s crosswords are for some reason unfamiliar to me, but this one contains plenty of very nice clues, one or two of which I found difficult.  There must be some sort of a Nina here, with the rather odd grid, five of whose entries have insufficient checking. But I can’t see anything.

1 B{ecome} UMBLE — Uriah Heep was very ‘umble
4 upstART FULl-on
9 CLOSE-UP — (couples)*
11 BATH OLIVER — (h olive) in (Bart)*
12 iNtO bAtH — Australian rhyming slang for a shark (Noah’s ark)
13 CARLA — c{onsorts} a{ttractive} l{ady} a{lbeit} with Sa{r}kozy included — a marginally strained but very clever &lit., referring to Carla Bruni, Sarkozy’s third wife
16 BULL SE YE — South and East are the bridge opponents
18 NAN C{rust}Y
20 BILL — 2 defs and then wordplay (b{ehaving} ill)
21 TWI(‘S)T DRILL— the only way this seems to work is for it not to be is but to be ‘s, which is perhaps a bit of a stretch for a daily cryptic
23 ClamP IT PROPerly
24 ARRAN GE{t}
25 DODGE printe{R} —  dodging is a photographic darkroom technique where bits of the paper have limited exposure, and a dodger is a screen on a ship’s bridge for shelter in rough weather (according to Chambers)
1 B(W)ANA — had never heard of Eric Bana
2 M{aggie} ARCHER — is this the dreaded definition by example? I’m not sure, because I often get this wrong and in 3dn and 5dn Mordred is careful to say ‘Perhaps’ so he obviously doesn’t think it’s necessary here; but surely not all protestors are marchers?
3 LENDL EASE — lend-lease was the US help given to us after the Second World War
5 RULER — (u{psetting} le) in R{eichskanzle}r
6 FISHNET — h in (finest)*
7 LAUDATORY — (dual)rev. a Tory
10 E V(ANGEL)IC{ar}
15 TINCTURES — this took a while to understand: ‘or perhaps’ is ‘tincture’, where or is the colour gold (another meaning of tincture), followed by {placebo}s
17 LILY PAD — (play)* in lid{o}
19 NARRATE — I was about to ask for help here, but I think I see it now: it’s (ran)rev. on rate, where ‘ran’ is ‘bled’ and to carpet someone is to rate them
21 TH(OS)E — cartographers are always the Ordnance Survey
22 LEG IT — cricket side and sex appeal

8 Responses to “Independent 7257/Mordred”

  1. jmac says:

    Thank you John for your helpful explanations. I found several of the clues hard to parse but was helped by spotting the theme of Oliver Twist characters in the across solutions early on, which gave me enough crossing letters to help complete the puzzle.

  2. NealH says:

    I don’t see why 5 down is definition by example. As you say, a marcher is an example of a protester, so since protester is the definition and marcher the answer, that would surely be allowed.

    I found this fairly easy with the exception of bwana, which I was convinced was going to be something like b_ama.

  3. NealH says:

    I’m not sure tincture is another word for gold. It’s more that tinctures are heraldic colours and Or is an example of a heraldic colour (hence the perhaps).

  4. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, John. Very enjoyable puzzle, quite difficult in places, should have seen the possibility of the symmetrically placed ARTFUL DODGER earlier, as I struggled with DODGER. Favourite clues, NANCY and NARRATE.

  5. Colin Blackburn says:

    Hmm, ARTFUL DODGER, NANCY, BILL, NOAH, BUMBLE are all characters from (bath) OLIVER TWIST (drill), . There may be more?

  6. Colin Blackburn says:

    Sorry jmac, for some reason I completely missed you comment. I’ll get me coat.

  7. IanN14 says:

    Bulls-eye, of course, Colin…

  8. Bill says:

    Never heard of 3d or 23a having said that did ok but as usual didn’t finish!

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