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.

15 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!

  15. Moose says:

    Did quite well but not understanding 12a didn’t get 21 but had opera for 26 so eventually did.24 meant nothing sadly.Liked Roobarb and Custard clue! Had baggage car at first but realised the “b” was wrong.Other letters fitted though.I will now enjoy the rest of my 58th birthday!

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