Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7422/Raich

Posted by John on July 30th, 2010

John.

A very nice offering from Raich, who has been an excellent addition to the Independent stable this year. I even saw the Nina. Something that many people get very excited about happened on this day once (I won’t say the date because it may be visible to the casual observer, who would then get less pleasure). The whole team has been cleverly incorporated in the answers (although there may be some subtlety that has passed me by with the Charltons but see later).

1966 (low enough I think). They’re in italics.

Across
1 HU(N TBA)LL — Hunt and Ball
5 S TILES — Stiles
10 AS SENT S
11 ITALIAN — don’t see this: it’s (nail ati) reversed, but I can’t see why ‘ati’ is ‘alternatives for captain’ — of course, alternative letters of cApTaIn, thanks K’s D below
12 DIVISOR — (Ovid is r{ealise})*; one is misdirected to the answers to 13ac and 26ac, but it’s simply that 13 is a divisor of 26
13 SPINACH — (nips)rev. a ch
14 POLICEMAN — (complaine{r})*
16 fundinG I’VE Raised
18 TIE-IN — (it)rev. ein (German for one)
19 PUSSYFOOT — (soft soupy)* — I’d only come across this word in Saintsbury’s wonderful ‘Notes on a Cellar-Book’, where he rails against prohibition
21 RUMBLER — tumbler with r for t at the start
23 E LEG(1)AC{y}
26 HO O POE’S
27 I(P)S WICH — “which” [“witch” of course, again thanks K’sD] — I actually knew that Alf Ramsey had been manager of Ipswich Town, having gone to school there. As a boy Ipswich was my second team after Portsmouth.
28 ME E K ER
29 CHARLTON — OK Charlton Athletic and Charlton Heston, but ‘double’? Oh yes I see, this is the subtlety as there were two Charltons in the 1966 team — Charltons
 
Down
1 HE A RD — nice misdirection as ‘listened to’ normally signifies a homophone
2 NASH VILL{a g)E — Nashville, Tennessee
3 BAN K{ID}S — Banks
4 {s}LU(ST RU)M — a lustrum is a period of five years
6 TEA SING L{ad}Y
7 BALI ELite — rather an obvious hidden reversed
8 S{tudy} AND HU({office}R {trainee}S)T — Hurst
9 WI(LSO)N — Wilson
14 PETERSHAM — p (there’s)* a.m. — Peters
15 CANAL ZONE — can (no zeal)*
17 VIOLINIST — VI (noisil{y})* t
19 PARIS H
20 SW(ED)ISH
22 MO ORE — Moore
24 PlEASE Relax — never heard of this word — it isn’t in Chambers so far as I can see
25 CO(HE)N — referring to Leonard Cohen, who is Canadian — Cohen

22 Responses to “Independent 7422/Raich”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, John. Had a crack at this one early doors, and pleased to say that I think that this is the first of Raich’s puzzles in the Indy that I have managed to finish. Knowing the setter’s love of football and with Capello and Eriksson in the clues, suspicions were aroused, but I didn’t twig the nina until comparatively near the end.

    Very clever to fit all the thematic material in, but there were some other clues that I liked as well – DIVISOR and LUSTRUM (which I got from the wordplay and was pleased to find existed).

    In 11ac, the ATI comes from the alternative letters of cApTaIn – very clever surface. I had ‘witch’ as the homophone in 27ac (spellbinding/fascinating?) but I could be wrong.

    The only problem with a puzzle like this is that for someone like me who has no interest in football the theme can be a little tedious and finding the eleven parts of the nina just becomes a slog …

    Seriously, I loved it. Thank you Raich for a very enjoyable early start to the day.

  2. Myrvin says:

    Too much electronic help for me today on this.
    Not being a footy fan, those allusions were lost on me – apart from some obvious ones. Nor the date reference – football again? Lucky we had a soccerite to blog it.
    In US films and TV, people are always pussyfooting around.
    EASER is in the OED, but not (as you say) Chambers.
    I thought of HEARD straight off – but had to click to HE before putting it in.
    Never heard of LUSTRUM – sometimes it’s 4 years too.
    11a is NAIL reversed preceded by the odd letters of captain reversed.

  3. Myrvin says:

    … sorry – even letters.

  4. Ali says:

    Great stuff this. I wasn’t sure if there was a theme or not for a good while, but eventually twigged once I saw Charlton and Wilson, and guessed that the ’66 final must have been on this date. I’d never heard of HUNT BALL before, but it’s an absolute doozy given the theme! Loved the SANDHURST clue too. Thanks Niall.

  5. Jim T says:

    Extremely enjoyable puzzle with some excellent clues. Liked ITALIAN, WILSON and SANDHURST especially.

  6. RayFolwell says:

    I spotted the theme when I had about 2/3 of the clues, but I’m old enough to remember 1966. Congratulations to Raich for fitting the whole team in and Sir Alf for picking a team that could all be clued so seamlessly.

    EASER is in Chambers under EASE.

  7. Testy says:

    It’s a shame that the online completion message didn’t say “They think it’s all over…it is now!”.

    My only quibble was over “easily” as an anagram indicator in 19A. Perhaps it’s OK but it’s the first time I can remember seeing it used this way.

  8. walruss says:

    Another very enjoyable solve from the Indy. I like the way they’ve been trying to soothe the irritated masses lately with their nostalgic football themes. Kind and generous, plus I actually knew this football quote in despite of my distaste for the game.

  9. Twiddlepin says:

    I’m kicking myself that I didn’t spot the 1966 theme. Doh.
    But for the uninitiated, can someone explain the references to “nina” above?

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Twiddlepin, it’s just the name for a hidden message in the puzzle that you can see when it’s completed. Often it will be the letters down the sides or top/bottom of a crossword that will spell out a word to do with the theme; here it was just the fact that Raich managed to get all eleven members of the 1966 World Cup winners into the grid. Some setters seem never to have ninas; others are very keen on them. Usually you can solve the puzzle without twigging the nina; but if you do, then it’s a bonus since it will give you a pattern or a theme to work with.

  11. Bannsider says:

    Hugely enjoyable puzzle: a Raich puzzle on July 30th could only have one theme of course!
    The clues I thought were probably Raich’s best set yet, not that there was anything wrong with previous sets. My favourite was that for LUSTRUM, but many others worthy of note. Setters the length and breadth of the British Isles rejoice at not needing to bother working out how on earth to work Rooney, Upson, Gerrard, Lampard &co into any puzzle for 30 July 2044 …

  12. Bannsider says:

    …or 2054 even :-) Probably won’t affect most of us anyway!

  13. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Testy at no 7: Eimi’s puzzle on the eve of this year’s competition which had a world cup theme did in fact have this completion message, if I remember well! And sadly for England, it was all over – very soon …

  14. Simon Harris says:

    I thought this was jolly good – and not just because I know the setter will be reading! Spotted a general football theme but didn’t quite twig the 1966 connection, let alone the relevance of the date. It didn’t matter, as this was a very pleasing lunch hour solve.

  15. Twiddlepin says:

    Thank you Kathryn’s Dad.
    So why is it called a ‘nina’?

  16. Bannsider says:

    An American artist called Al Hirschfeld used to hide the name of his daughter Nina in his drawings. It comes, rather fittingly, from that.

  17. Stella Heath says:

    I was only nine at the time, and my parents’ wedding anniversary was 30th July, so the football took a back seat. Anyway, we’ve just won the world championship here in Spain, and I was getting used to a few weeks without football, basking in other people’s glory while avoiding the sun.

    The point is, I totally missed the theme,so thanks, John, for pointing it out. It makes for a very much cleverer puzzle than I’d realised.

  18. Raich says:

    Many thanks, John, for the blog and to everyone for their comments. It was indeed a very difficult grid to construct but the names lending themselves to the creation of clues without any reference to the occasion was a bonus, with Harold Wilson being PM at the time helping too. Raich remembers it all, having been (just) old enough to bet on an English World Cup win at 7/2 at the semifinal stage when four European teams were left. Good too, that 44 years on, 9 of the 11 are still with us (Bobby Moore and Alan Ball having passed on).

  19. flashling says:

    Clever Raich, finished without spotting the 1966 link which makes it a fair one for the non footie folks. Suprised there wasn’t an extra ramsey nina but I realise how tricky these can be. (I have a house in Ipswich…)

  20. Scarpia says:

    Thanks John.
    I thought it was all over …but soccer rears it’s ugly head again! :)
    A pretty good puzzle for which knowledge of soccer wasn’t necessary.Surprisingly,given my antipathy to the “sport”,I spotted the link quite early on.
    HUNTBALL fitted in nicely and I particularly liked PUSSYFOOT and NASHVILLE.
    Re.25 down COHEN – I think Raich missed a trick here,a better wording(IMHO) would have been “Canadian singer,he’s caught in a scam” as Leonard Cohen has recently had to come out of his retreat in a Zen centre and undertake a gruelling World tour,at the age of 75,to try to recoup some of the $5 million that he was (alledgedly) defrauded of by his manager.

  21. John says:

    Yes I agree about the ‘ugly head’. Pity, because it’s basically a very good game (which is why children play it and love it so much) but it’s ruined, at the top level anyway, by all the cheating that goes on, all the diving and shirt-tugging etc. Yet whenever this is pointed out you get people who say oh yes but this is the game of the masses and to criticise it from your lofty height is just being elitist. Rubbish. Golf and snooker don’t suffer in this way, and it’s no defence to say that there’s a lot of money involved, for there are big prizes in these two sports. I can’t see why there can’t be some sort of retrospective punishment for any cheat who is ever caught in a photograph. The newspapers are full of people tugging each other’s shirts. Why can’t they be punished for doing so?

    No, Myrvin @2, I’m not a soccerite. I simply remember the game from my childhood.

  22. Scarpia says:

    John.
    I am in total agreement with you.
    I was a big soccer fan as a lad,hence my spotting of the theme in this puzzle,but,for the reasons you give,I have become totally disillusioned with it.
    Too much money,too many prima donnas.

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