Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,315 by Bannsider (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 27/03/10)

Posted by Simon Harris on April 1st, 2010

Simon Harris.

Another solve of two halves for me, racing away to start with, then grinding to a halt on the last few. The SE gave me the most grief, with 22 and 24 defeating my attempts at explanation.

I did wonder if a Marx Brothers theme was in the offing after HARPO showed up, accompanied by a suspicious number of words ending in O. CHICO would have fitted at 2dn and I wonder if I was the only one to pencil it in before understanding the wordplay. Otherwise, no theme that I can see, unless perhaps NATASHA and NATHANIEL are NEWLYWEDS and are honeymooning DOWN UNDER.

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

Across
1 SECRETS AND LIES – ISLAND* in SECRETES. A Mike Leigh film from 1996.
9 EKING – E[xotic] K[irsch] I[s] N[eat] G[ets].
10 DOWN UNDER – (RED + NUN + OD)<.
11 HOOTNANNY – HOOT + NANNY. “Nanny” and “Billy” being goat references here.
12 HARPO – HARP O[n]. Harpo was indeed the Marx Brother who was speechless.
13 NATASHA – SATAN< + H + A.
16 EMULATE – EMU + LATE.
17 AT A LOSS – AL[arm] in A TOSS .
18 SPONDEE – (DEEP SNO[w])*. A foot of the metrical kind.
19 KNOWN – ([jackli]N WON K[udos])<.
20 REPECHAGE – CHEAPER* + EG<.
23 NATHANIEL – [i]N [p]A[r]T [t]H[r]A[w]N [m]I[s]E[r]L[y].
24 UREDO – a type of nettle rash, but I don’t see the wordplay.
25 COVENTRY STREET – TREE in (COVEN + TRYST).
Down
1 STEPHEN HAWKING – STEP + HEN HAWKING.
2 CHINO – CHI + NO. “Bags” as in “trousers”.
3 EGG-AND-SPOON-RACEP in (EGG + AND SO ON + RACE).
4 SUDANDA in SUN.
5 NEWLYWEDS – my notation falls short here, but this is WED in NEWLYS, which is NEWLYN with N swapped in for S. North and South are partners in bridge.
6 LAUGH OUT OF COURT – cd.
7 ELDER HAND – HERD* in ELAND.
8 CRY ONES EYES OUT – (RY in C[ant]ONESE) + YES + OUT.
14 TEA FOR TWO – perhaps think of this as CHA CHA [cha]!
15 ABSURDIST – US* in (BIRDS AT)*.
21 PALLY – ALL in PY.
22 ABELE – it’s a poplar, and it fits, but that’s all I have here.

20 Responses to “Independent 7,315 by Bannsider (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 27/03/10)”

  1. jmac says:

    RE 22 down: Abel (from Cain and Abel, Abel being first murder victim, i.e. first to be done [in]), + E for English capital.

    A great crossword, though I failed to get UREDO.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Tough puzzle by Indy standards generally but not as difficult as the earlier Bannsiders of 2010, I thought. Favourite clues, the two 15-letter entries, 3 down and 6 down. Got UREDO but do not understand the wordplay part either. Clue is “Rash prediction for VP Den made incorrectly”.

  3. Pandean says:

    I couldn’t see the UREDO wordplay before either, but have just twigged it. Predictive text might try returning VPDEN for UREDO.

  4. Pandean says:

    I also didn’t see the wordplay for ABELE when solving, so many thanks to jmac for explaining that one. Another good clue in a tough but fair puzzle.

  5. Duggie says:

    As one of the last people on the planet not to own a mobile phone, let alone know how to operate one, UREDO baffled me. As did ABELE until reading this blog. A brilliantly deceptive surface, like so many of Bannsider’s clues. More please.

  6. Fletch says:

    I didn’t understand uredo either, I only entered it because it fitted and worked with the def. I hope someone can come up with a better explanation than predictive text.

  7. Bannsider says:

    UREDO: I’m afraid predictive text is what it is. I did wonder at the time whether this was a sadistic step too far. Judging by the comments then it probably was. Disgruntled solvers may console themselves with a mental picture of a bedraggled setter pushing a pram round the local village, draft crossword and mobile phone in hand ….

  8. sidey says:

    The trouble with predictive text is that different manufacturers use different software and this in turn can ‘learn’ in some cases. The results therefore can’t be predicted. My two phones give ‘used?’ and ‘tpddm’, I don’t think this is a valid method, sorry.

  9. Bannsider says:

    That, surely, is the point tho :-)

  10. Polly says:

    As a relative newcomer, somewhat to my surprise I finished this puzzle much more quickly than others by Bannsider. The only clue I found unsatisfactory was 8dn: can someone explain how ‘greet’ is synonymous with ‘cry one’s eyes out’? The individual elements of the clue are only the parts, and give no indication of their sum.

  11. Simon Harris says:

    Hi Polly –

    “Greet” can mean exactly that – “to cry”, though perhaps most noticeably in Scotland (and in crosswords!)

  12. Polly says:

    Yes, I realized that, but ‘greet’ is only part of the clue, not the whole solution; the expression ‘cry one’s eyes out’ isn’t signposted by the clue. In all the other clues it’s possible to separate the individual elements from the one or two words that are synonymous with the answer.

  13. Polly says:

    Also, there’s an overlap between ‘cry’ meaning ‘greet’ and ‘in Cantonese, railway worker leaving'; if you insert ‘cry’ in ‘Cantonese’ as instructed, then delete ‘railway worker’ (ry ant), you’re left with a superfluous C.

  14. jmac says:

    Polly, you have to read it as “in Cantonese, railway” i.e put “ry” in Cantonese; and “worker leaving” i.e. take away “ant”, thus leaving “cry ones” [etc] as Simon gives in his blog.

  15. Polly says:

    Thank you, jmac – silly me! That takes care of comment no. 13, but no. 12 still stands, and I can’t bear to think of Bannsider as fallible. In his defence (and mine), I thought UREDO was brilliant, and both it and ABELE were clear to me without explanation.

  16. jmac says:

    Polly, I take your point at 12. I think it only makes sense if you either read greet as being a particularly emotional reunion, or it reflects the feeling of the dismissed railway worker. Perhaps not the strongest clue in this puzzle.

    I didn’t get UREDO – it is a startling innovation, brilliantly spotted by Pandean, which in the hands of a top setter like Bannsider can make for a great clue. My concern is what happens when this device moves further down the food chain …

  17. Simon Harris says:

    I’m afraid I don’t see the problem with “greet”. One of the meanings of that word is “weep; lament” which seems a perfectly satisfactory definition to me, well within the bounds of a Saturday puzzle.

  18. jmac says:

    Point taken – I had overlooked its secondary meaning.

  19. Polly says:

    Me too. Thank you, Simon, for your patience.

  20. Gai says:

    Loved hootnanny and Tea for Two. Clever and funny; just my cup of cha.

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