Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,263 by Virgilius

Posted by Simon Harris on January 26th, 2010

Simon Harris.

This was fun – a very thoroughly-themed and enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius. Whilst not unduly taxing on the whole, I imagine this one will be popular with readers. For my own part, I’ll admit to stumbling in the NE corner.

The theme is that every across clue has a reference to “across” and similarly every down clue has a reference to “down”. Just in case we didn’t spot what was going on, the helpful long entries at 4 and 16 should clear up any doubts!

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

Across
7 CAMELEER – MELÉE in CAR.
8 REASON – (ONE + A[c]R[o]S[s])*.
9 BICKER – C (the speed of light, as in E=MC2) in BIKER.
10 MIDPOINT – DIM< + POINT.
11 AGGRESSOR – (GROSS RAGE)*.
13 WAXY – X in WAY seems to be the wordplay, but I can’t yet find a definition in “…making one cross”.
16 FROM LEFT TO RIGHT – dd.
18 MOOD – MOO + D[isposition].
19 ABRIDGING – A + BRIDGING.
21 TRANSECT – NSE (North, South and East) in TRACT.
23 ASLANT – ASLAN + T.
25 OSCARS – ACROSS*.
26 OVERLAID – OVER + L + AID.
Down
1 MALINGER – MA + LINGER.
2 DECK – dd.
3 DEPRESSED – PRESS in DEED.
4 FROM TOP TO BOTTOM – dd.
5 KAYO – (O + YAK)<. A perhaps rather odd-seeming word formed from "K O", meaning "knockout".
6 COUNTY – COUNT + [da]Y.
8 REDO – [to]RE DO[wn].
12 ROMEO – ROME + 0 &lit.
14 AXING – [t]AX IN G[overnment].
15 DOMINATED – (MAN I)* in DOTED.
17 HANGNAIL – HANG + NAIL.
18 MOROSE – ROMEO’S*.
20 LESS – LESS[on].
22 NEAR – [dow]N EAR[ly].
24 LOLL – LOLL[y].

13 Responses to “Independent 7,263 by Virgilius”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Brilliant.
    I especially liked the use of across as an anagram in 25ac.
    Simon, waxy is in Chambers…

  2. Simon Harris says:

    That’s demonstrably true Ian :) But none of the definitions, at least in the online version, suggest “making one cross” to me. Which sense should I be looking at?

  3. IanN14 says:

    I think it’s just “irate”, Simon.
    The cryptic indication is “making one” the answer.

  4. IanN14 says:

    Sorry Simon, I’ve just checked the (non-subscribe) online version and “waxy” isn’t there as such.
    WAX is though (def:3), and waxy is in the print version, and my iPhone app.

  5. Simon Harris says:

    Aha, now I see it, thanks. Well, you live and learn – and it didn’t prevent the clue being solved so no complaints here.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Another incredible puzzle from the master, how does he do it? Across and down in every clue and the two 15-letter entries. As you say, not too difficult, great fun. BTW, WAXY is in Collins as ‘irritable, bad-tempered, angry’. Like Simon, I got it from the wordplay.

  7. walruss says:

    I agree, another very fine puzzle. I wonder if the gentleman has a lot of spare time?! Could he be a candidate for the New Araucaria! Anyway, very enjoyable.

  8. NealH says:

    I seem to remember something about him having to cut down the number of puzzles he produces because of work commitments, so possibly not !

  9. Wil Ransome says:

    walruss I don’t think there’s much doubt (not for me anyway) who’s the greater, Araucaria or Virgilius. As usual a masterpiece, but I was surprised that he didn’t use the zebu/mule/zebrinny etc sense of a cross. In 17dn I felt that things can hardly droop up, so that ‘down’ seemed superfluous, and in 24dn I was also unsure ā€” in this context ā€” of the difference between cutting down and simply cutting.

  10. Brian Harris says:

    Fabulous puzzle. Paul in the Grauniad, and Virgilius in the Indie. A great day for the crossword enthusiast. A beautifully crafted crossword of the very highest order.

  11. Allan_C says:

    KO’d by KAYO but otherwise great!

  12. nmsindy says:

    Wil, re 9, I think those z words might be more appropriate to barred grid puzzles rather than the daily cryptic and re ‘cutting down’ don’t forget the phrasal verbs EFL students spend hours looking at.

  13. NealH says:

    Also, I don’t think a zebu is technically a cross. It’s a separate animal not related to zebra.

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