Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,391 by Scorpion

Posted by Simon Harris on June 24th, 2010

Simon Harris.

This seemed like a bit of a classic. Unfortunately work issues and inopportunely-timed fire drills meant I couldn’t really give it the attention it deserved, and had to cheat relentlessly. There’s some great stuff in there for sure though.

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

Across
5 SO LONG – S[alvaging] + O[b]LONG.
7 TAKE HEED – TA + H[i]KE* + DEE<. Well-hidden def. here.
9 ABOVE-BOARD – OAR in (DAVE + BOB)*.
10 CAGE – [ameri]CA GE[nerally].
11/23 VAL DOONICAN – VINDALOO* + CAN.
12 AMENDMENTS – AM + END MEN + T[heatre]S. I’m not quite sure about END MEN here, it’s kind of a guess.
14 ARREST – hom. of “a rest”. Again, nicely misleading use of “PC”.
15/6 ROCK OF GIBRALTAR – dd. This just about rings a bell as a racehorse that won something recently.
18 JAGUARUNDI – J[ourno] + (U[ncovering] in GUARDIAN*). Had to resort to the “cheat” button here.
20 APT – [c]A[r]P[e]T.
21 EATS – [h]EATS.
22 LEO TOLSTOY – OT[h]ELLOS* + TOY.
24 YOU BET – (T[alkativ]E + BUOY)<.
Down
1 COMBOVER – COMBO V ER.
2 NOUVELLE CUISINE – N + (E COLI EU UNVEILS)*. Very good.
3 SKID – S[undance] KID.
4 CHICKEN CHASSEUR – CHIC + KEN + CASH* + RUES<.
7 TRADER – TR[ousers] + AD[justed] + ER.
8 EIGHT – (G[arden] I[n] in THE)<.
13 DORMITORY – (MI + TOR) in DORY.
16 OUTMODED – (TM + ODE) in DUO<.
17 UNWORN – ROW< in NUN*.
19 ALAMO – A LA MO[de].
22 LACE – L[ee] + ACE.

15 Responses to “Independent 7,391 by Scorpion”

  1. pat says:

    Utterly frustrating. Managed about 6 answers before giving up. Have kicked myself 29 times after reading this explanation…..

  2. Paul A says:

    11/23 Couldn’t see past Van Morrison at first, but uncle Val a rocker? I suppose he rocked gently to and fro a bit.
    Really enjoyable

  3. Mick H says:

    I wondered about ‘rocker’ too, but the clue made me laugh so much it didn’t matter.

  4. IanN14 says:

    I think the point is that he was known for having a rocking-chair.
    Brilliant clue…
    Also thought 1d. and 9ac. were nicely misleading.

  5. sidey says:

    I had to cheat too much. Mr Doonican = Irish rocker was probably funny thirty years ago. Who actually has the time this needed during the week?

  6. nmsindy says:

    I thought this was v good too with v carefully crafted clues and very clever misdirection in places. Re Sidey’s comment at 5, I’ve found having tackled quite a few Scorpion puzzles since he first appeared, that one gets used to the style and they become a little easier. My favourite was LEO TOLSTOY with the misdirection of ‘play’ but there was much else to admire too. And original approaches, all ultimately fair.

  7. Stella Heath says:

    I’ve never tackled Scorpion before, and am still at a loss to know what some of the definitions were, in 7a and 14a, for example. I solved too many clues by guesswork, and even then couldn’t see the explanation, which is quite frustrating

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Like others, found this tough, and had to admit defeat with a little over half done. But some good clues in the ones I did solve – especially admired VAL DOONICAN and COMBOVER.

  9. Eileen says:

    I’m with those who gave up [too soon] but, as has been said, there’s lots to admire.

    Coincidentally, Araucaria gave us the same stylish chap [clued as ‘smart lad’ today.

    Stella: the definition in 7ac is ‘cave’ [public schoolboy slang] – Latin ‘beware’. I can’t see 14ac either.

  10. nmsindy says:

    Re comment 7, the definition in 7A is ‘cave’ = beware and in 14A “User with a PC might experience such” – a PC being a ‘policeman’ as the blog mentioned.

  11. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Simon.
    I thought this was a brilliant puzzle,tough but full of wit and sparkle.
    So many great clues that it is hard to pick out favourites,but 7 across,11/23 across,22 across and 1 and 2 down particularly stand out.
    With this sort of clueing who needs a theme?

  12. Tatrasman says:

    In 12A I think ‘stage performers peripherally’ might refer to dancers at the end of a line i.e. ‘end men’, though can’t find a reference to this on Google.

  13. eimi says:

    Correct. Chambers defines end man as “the man at the end of a row of performers, etc.”

  14. flashling says:

    Found this very hard nearly fell in the trap for cave as my initial glance was take care for that then I glanced at 1ac and stopped dead in my tracks as I was writing it. Several smiles as I finished, which took forever, couldn’t get for the life of me why it was outmoded until I realised it was meditation not medication in the clue. I blame the low level lights they have in the hotel.

  15. flashling says:

    as for 12 ac I saw it as end = stage as in a part of something. But only scorpion and Eimi know and Eimi has just blown me away.

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