Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,290 by Tees

Posted by Simon Harris on February 26th, 2010

Simon Harris.

A very enjoyable one here. I had expected to say that I found this a bit easier than usual for a Tees, but then I started to struggle towards the end. Still, here we are, though a couple of my explanations might need a second opinion.

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

Across
1 MATISSE – (IS S[ee]) in MATE.
5 BOROUGH – BO + ROUGH.
9 THORA – [wor]TH OR A[phrodite].
10 GUANGZHOU – (U in GANG) + Z + HOU[r]. HOU[r] here is “three quarters of an hour”, hence “45 minutes”.
11 LUGGAGE VAN – cd? I can’t see any further wordplay here.
12 NAME – AM in [o]NE.
14 SWEET POTATO – SWEET + P + (A in OTTO).
18 HMS PINAFORE – (NAME FOR SHIP)*. It’s also a name, for a ship! Great clue.
21 SHIP – H in SIP.
25 NEAR THING – [electricia]N EARTHING.
26 OPERA – [pr]OPER A[gency].
27 TREASON – T + REASON.
28 CUSTARD – dd. A reference to the animated cat in Roobarb & Custard.
Down
1 METTLE – hom. of “metal”.
2 THOUGH – H in TOUGH.
3 SEAMANSHIP – (AN EMPHASIS)*. If anyone can explain who “Rackstraw” is, that would be helpful. Neither the voice actor nor the painter seem relevant.
4 EAGLE – EA + LEG*.
5 BRABANTIO – (RABBI ON AT)*.
6 RAGE – R + AGE.
7 UPHEAVAL – (HAVE PAUL)*.
8/22 HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT – (FOR US A PILE ON THAMES)*.
13 MODERATORS – TRADE* in MOORS.
15 EMANATION – [th]E + MA + NATION.
16 CHESTNUT – dd.
17 ESTIMATE – I’M in ESTATE.
19 OEDEMAOE + DE MA[n].
20 STRAND – dd.
23 LOGIC – GI in LOC[k].
24 OTIS – TO< + IS. A reference to the song "Miss Otis Regrets", written by Cole Porter.

14 Responses to “Independent 7,290 by Tees”

  1. Eileen says:

    Hi Simon

    I didn’t do this puzzle but Ralph Rackstraw is a sailor in …HMS Pinafore!

  2. sidey says:

    Curses, beaten to it. Harrumph! At least I did the puzzle. ;)

  3. UncleAda says:

    10ac. The alternative spelling of the Chinese port is GUANGSHOU – ‘u’ in gangs. Can’t see where the letter ‘z’ comes in…

  4. UncleAda says:

    10ac. Oh, z=last. Mmmm.

  5. Simon Harris says:

    Interesting – I read that Z as representing “…last…”, but didn’t feel entirely confident. Still, the applet seems to confirm it as the required spelling here.

    [Edit] Sorry, I’m clearly too slow :)

  6. Simon Harris says:

    And many thanks Eileen, G&S is a huge gap in my general knowledge…though not entirely unintentionally so ;)

  7. Eileen says:

    sidey, I’m sorry!

    I often do do the Indy crossword but didn’t have time today, so just dropped by to see if I’d missed anything – and was annoyed to find I’d missed a Tees! [At least you had the enjoyment of the puzzle!]

    [And, Simon, some of us would think that you're mssing something, too - but so long as it's from choice ...!] :-)

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you for blogging, Simon. Had the same experience as you: got going, then got stuck, mainly in the NW corner. But finally managed it when I realised that 3dn was an anagram. Loved NEAR THING, and thank you for explaining CUSTARD – should have known, I’m pretty certain Kathryn watched it when she was younger. Trust that clue won’t provoke the debate that ensued on the Grauniad blog a few days ago when Sponge Bob Square Pants was the theme.

    I’m not sure exactly how 11ac works either. But a very enjoyable crossword from a setter I don’t think we’ve seen for a while in the Indy.

    And Eileen, I’m afraid G&S is not on my cultural radar either. (However, panto is – first performance tonight – panic time in about four hours!)

  9. Mick H says:

    Good fun puzzle. I had LUGGAGE CAR rather than VAN, and I think the clue works for either. There are moving cases in it of course, and I took ‘gone loco’ to indicate that trains don’t have them any more. Is that true?

  10. Tees says:

    Many thanks for blog and comments, splendid in equal measure.

    11ac is a CD intended to evoke pathetic scenes of madness, and namore: I realised before submission that BAGGAGE CAR would also fit, but to be precise it is the American rather than the Brit usage and so I left off any SI. FYI I don’t think you can (officially) have a baggage van or a luggage car – neither is listed in Ye Booke, for which reason and I would seek to evade accusations e.g. ‘your clue leads to at least two answers’. Mind you, Schrodinger’s Cat eh? Put that one aside for later.

    In the prev clue I used ‘last’ for Z only because it is one of those crosswording conventions that everyone seems to know. I’m not so sure everyone approves of it – I hate it, but it liked my surface.

    Cheers all.

  11. Wil Ransome says:

    Excellent crossword. I’m glad to see that Tees hates Z=last because I’m not that keen on it myself. Pity the answer to 26ac wasn’t OPERETTA, since so far as I’m aware the G&S products are seldom called operas, but I suppose that an operetta is an opera so it isn’t actually unsound, and it’s a brilliant clue. As is 24dn (OTIS).

  12. Wil Ransome says:

    I should have said, instead of ‘it’s a brilliant clue’, ’18ac is a brilliant clue’.

  13. Allan_C says:

    Opera or Operetta? The G&S oeuvre is frequently referred to as ‘The Savoy Operas’ after the Savoy theatre. To digress, opera is sometimes defined as having no spoken dialogue, and operetta as that which does; in which case Beethoven’s Fidelio is an operetta!

  14. Merlyn says:

    I liked 18A as well – I wondered whether G&S were aware of the apt anagram. I think Opera is permitted (rather than operetta) as they are frequently referred to as ‘light opera’.
    Thanks for the explanation of 28A – I got the answer, but was racking my brains about cats covered in custard!

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