Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,363 by Scorpion (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 22/05/10)

Posted by Simon Harris on May 27th, 2010

Simon Harris.

Whilst I used to be pretty well intimidated by Scorpion puzzles, these days I tend to enjoy them a great deal. This was the expected combination of a fairly stiff challenge and moments of humour. While not overly difficult, I did struggle with a couple, and 26ac, which may be my favourite clue here, took quite some working out.

I didn’t spot any themes or whatnot, but 24ac is nicely topical.

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

Across
9 SEAWEED – AWE in SEED.
10 LOOK-SEE – [b]OOKS in LEE.
11 ASH-PLANTSPL in ([se]AS[on] + HANTS).
12 LOTUS – LOT + US.
13 EVADE – AVE< + D[eclin]E.
14 EBB – [us]E + B&B.
15 AMAZE – AMAZ[on] + E[clair]. Last one in for me, even though I saw the definition pretty quickly.
16 SEA SHANTY – (ASH + ANT) in YES<.
21 EMAIL – (I AM in LE)<.
22 LID – LID[o].
23 OVULE – (UV in ELO)<.
24 TRASH – [airpor]T + RASH.
26 NECKVERSE – NECK + REV + S[om]E. Certainly an unfamiliar word, but eventually workoutable from the wordplay. It’s a fascinating term, defined in Chambers as the test of ability to read for those who claimed benefit of clergy, usu Psalm 51.1, success giving the privilege of being branded on the hand instead of hanging.
28 OPUS DEI – D[emur]E in PIOUS*.
29 SIAMESE – IAMS* + E[a]S[t]E[r]. For non-pet-owners, Iams is a somewhat pricey brand of pet food, which in my experience tends to be too rich for many feline stomachs, so the clue is quite apposite. Allegedly.
Down
1 ESCAPEE – CASE* + PEE.
2 YASHMAK – (SH + MA) in Peter KAY<.
3 JELLIED EELJ + (LEE + LEE + LID)*.
4 ADEN – [de]AD EN[d].
5 BLASTBOARD FLASHBOARDBLAST FLASH + hom. of “bored”.
6 JOELJ + LEO<. This one beat me, although it seems fair enough in retrospect.
7 ASHTRAYH in ASTRAY.
8 LEASHED – ALE* + SHED.
14 EX SILENTIO – SEX* + (TO LIE IN)*.
15 ART NOUVEAU – (TO RUN)* in (AVE + Au).
17 MENTHOL – ME[a]NT + HOL[e], I think, and plausibly &lit.
18 MANAGUA – Ag in MANUA[l].
19 QUARREL – QUARR[y] + EL.
20 JEZEBEL – JEZ + (B[owen] in EEL).
25 HADJ – HA[-ha] + DJ.
27 CASKC + ASK.

13 Responses to “Independent 7,363 by Scorpion (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 22/05/10)”

  1. jmac says:

    The second consecutive appearance in an Indie Saturday for ELO and this time in what looks like a pangram. Easier than expected from the deadly Scorpion, but the precise clueing made it a pleasure. Particularly liked MENTHOL, YASHMAK, and JEZEBEL.

  2. IanN14 says:

    I noticed this was another pangram, too, and that it contained a large amount of “ash”…
    Any reason?

  3. eimi says:

    Seek and you shall find

  4. Pandean says:

    Cause of ash appears along top and bottom rows.

  5. Pandean says:

    Whoops. Source of ash, I meant.

  6. Simon Harris says:

    So it does, or at least it would do if I had checked 5dn before writing it in…

  7. Pandean says:

    If I remember correctly, I had FLASHBOARD for 5dn.

  8. jmac says:

    How uterly brilliant. Bit distressed though that I shall now have to start reading the front page …

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks Simon. I failed on JOEL and AMAZE but was pleased to nearly finish a Saturday offering. How clever was that? And no, I didn’t spot it – but then again I haven’t heard many BBC newsreaders attempting to pronounce it either.

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Just to remove any possible misunderstanding, when I said ‘how clever was that?’ above, I meant how clever the puzzle was, not how clever I was to get within two answers of solving it.

  11. Simon Harris says:

    The former is how I read it, at least :) Reassuring to know that we struggled on the same two, either way.

  12. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Simon,especially for explaining ‘amaze’.
    Spotted the pangram but didn’t spot the nina(thank you Pandean),even though I spent a few minutes looking for one!
    Discounted top and bottom rows as having too many ‘j’s.
    Excellent job from Scorpion.

  13. Allan_C says:

    What an absolutely brilliant puzzle! I spotted the nina as soon as I’d got the first four down clues, though I wasn’t sure at first – there aren’t too many words that end with a J (see 25 dn). And a pangram too for good measure. Great stuff.
    And being Saturday the dead tree version folded nicely – not like the rest of the week! Has anyone else complained?

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