Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7304 by Hypnos

Posted by NealH on March 15th, 2010

NealH.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

I finished this fairly quickly, with only the NE corner giving me a few problems. There was an unusually high number of &lits, of which 15 across had the best surface reading, although it did use the name of someone most people probably won’t have heard of. 7 down was also very good and there was good deceptive use of names in clues like 27 across. Overall, the humorous, if rather grisly, 16 down was my favourite.
 

Across
1 Aegean: &lit. Initial letters (“prows”) of “almost every Greek expedition adventurously navigated”.
4 Iffiness: If (Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem) + finess[e].
9 Unison: Uni + son. Unison is a trade union.
10 Absinthe: Hidden in “Arabs in theory.
12 Hatchet job: Hom of “hatch it” + Job.
13 Drip: DD.
15 Barack Obama: &lit. Bob around A rack + a ma[n] (man getting no end of adulation = man without the n). I think that it refers to Bob Burden.
18 Ragged robin: Implied anagram of “in orb”.
21 Loot: DD.
22 Diplomatic: (I’d top claim)*.
24 Quaintly: Quail around NT + [sanctuar]y.
25 Entomb: CD (stiff = dead).
26 Escapade: Escape around a D.
27 Horror: DD (horror = what Vincent Price was paid for).
Down
1 Abu Dhabi: Bud in a habi[t].
2 Glittery: Litter in G[erman]y.
3 Apothecary: &lit. A he holding pot + cry around a[ncestors].
5 Fabio Capello: &lit. “A bio” + cap (what international footballers receive) in fello[w]. I struggled a bit with the surface reading of this one – “encapsulated by man in short” didn’t seem to make much sense. Perhaps “encapsulated by man – in short, me ?” would have been better.
6 Ibis: Hidden in hibiscus.
7 Eatery: &lit. “A te” + r in E[gon Rona]y.
8 Steppe: P (prince) + p (power) in stee[d].
11 Strong willed: (Dwelling sort)*.
14 Sacramento: Cram in (a stone)*.
16 Abattoir: CD (neat with its cattle meaning).
17 Snack bar: (Cab rank’s)*.
19 Clique: IQ in clue.
20 Mosaic: Mo + sc around AI.
23 Snap: DD.

10 Responses to “Independent 7304 by Hypnos”

  1. Derrick Knight says:

    I liked the two names in the news &lits. Never heard of Bob Burden, but that didn’t matter. 16Down also my favourite, closely followed by 7down

  2. nmsindy says:

    I enjoyed this which I found was not particularly hard. Breakthrough was getting the very well hidden ABSINTHE. Also esp liked IFFINESS, STEPPE, and ABATTOIR.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Neal. Not my cup of tea today, although I finished three-quarters of it and like you found the NE corner tricky. I just found the two &lits for Fabio and Barack a bit too convoluted. Since that has put me in a picky mood, I think Cram as ‘athlete’ is a bit dated, since he hasn’t competed for some time (but his football allegiance is spot on, obviously).

    However, ENTOMB and ABATTOIR were excellent and smile-provoking.

  4. Hypnos says:

    Thanks for your blog, Neal, and others for comments. I’m not sure who Bob Burden might be but he has nothing to do with 15ac. “Bob” is another term for a burden or refrain (qv Bob 2 in Collins). Re Kathryn’s Dad, if ABE and IKE can be used as staples for President, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to use CRAM for athlete (although maybe next time I’ll describe him as a Mackem!)

  5. Simon Harris says:

    Well, I really enjoyed this one. I certainly found it quite tough, but it was very pleasing to work them out and satisfying to get them all in the end. Lots of humour and invention too. One of my favourites so far this year.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Fair enough, Hypnos. And if you get MACKEM into a crossword any time soon, that’ll do for me. Where that term comes from, not really sure – I think it was one of the words that Victoria Coren tried to find a source for in a television series she made a while ago involving the OED, but I can’t remember the title or whether she came to a satisfactory conclusion about its origin.

  7. Merlyn says:

    Kathryn’s Dad] I think mackem comes from ship building (we mack’em, you sail’em). I liked 1A and 19D. Can someone explain “AI” as Road?

  8. NealH says:

    It comes up quite often. It’s the A1 road, although it might not mean much if you don’t live in the UK.

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Merlyn, yes I’d heard that theory too, but if I remember the programme well then there was no evidence to back that up, and I think it was left as one of the (many) mysteries of the English language.

    The other ‘road’ to look out for in CrypticLand is the M1 London to Leeds motorway, clueing MI in the answer.

  10. Merlyn says:

    Neal/KD – thanks for that, I must look out for them!

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