Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,452/Phi

Posted by Ali on September 3rd, 2010

Ali.

This is the first puzzle I’ve had chance to do this week and, looking at the blogs, it looks as if I’ve landed on my feet drawing the Friday slot. Nothing too tricky here from Phi, and nothing less than excellent, elegant clueing. I thought there might be something going on in the outer unches when EQU appeared on the top row, but there’s nothing that I can see.

Across
6 IMITANTS – 1 + MIT + ANTS
8 RENOWN – I think this NOW in most of a word for opening, but can’t work out what REN[-?] would be!
10 LEAP – Hidden in mobiLE APps
11 TREATY PORT – T(ime) + AT Y(ard) in REPORT
14 COWCATCHER – COW + CATCHER – Excellent use of ‘neat’ in the definition here
15 REEL – RE[-v]EL
17 PLAY HARD TO GET – Cryptic def.
18 ANTI – [-m]ANTI[-s]
18 PLEASANTRY – L[-ord's] in PEASANTRY
19 PUTTANESCA – TAN in (TEACUPS)*
20 BOHR – BrOtHeR
21 ANOMIE – AN + OM (order) + I.E (that is)
22 SCOTLAND – D[omicile] + (TO CLANS)* – A very nice &lit.
Down
1 EMPEROR PENGUIN – (PUMP OR ENGINEER)*
2 Q-TIP – Q(uestion) + TIP
3 UNSTITCH – (THIN CUTS)*
4 URETER – URE + TE[-a]R
5 SNAPDRAGON – SNAP + DRAG ON
7 SHEPHERDESSES – SHE + P(ower) + HE in (DRESSES)*
9 WORCESTER CHINA – (WHERE NARCOTICS)*
13 CRANIOTOMY – (TORY IN COMA)*
16 TESTATOR – TEST + A TOR
18 PONGEE – Hidden in sPONGE Easily
20 BALM – M[-edical] in LAB rev.

16 Responses to “Independent 7,452/Phi”

  1. Ian W. says:

    I think it’s REN(t) for opening.

  2. Eileen says:

    Hi Ali

    Thanks for the blog.

    I hadn’t noticed any nina [I always forget to look!] but you alerted me to the top row, which is actually EQUUS, a play that I did know:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equus_%28play%29

    and then to the bottom, YERMA – which is one that I didn’t!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerma

    PLAYS HARD TO GET!

    I agree re ‘rent’.

  3. PeterO says:

    Ali
    I was also unsure of 8A. The best I could do is NOW (‘currently’) in REN[t] (‘opening’ – see what a rent…).

  4. nmsindy says:

    This was the usual excellent offering from Phi. I tend to Nina hunt with Phi and saw EQUUS all right and wondered if there was more from the play in the grid – I’d heard of it tho was not familiar with it. So thanks, Eileen, for explaining it, that is quite clever, and thanks, Ali, for the blog.

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Ali. You’re right, we’ve had some tricky (for which in my case read ‘impossible’) solves in the Indy this week, but this was the usual accessible puzzle from Phi, immaculately clued as always. The more obscure words like ANOMIE, PONGEE and PUTTANESCA were all pretty gettable; Q-TIP I haven’t heard for ages, although I seem to remember scraping the grot out of Kathryn’s ear with one when she was little.

    IMITANTS I got, but it’s not in either of my dictionaries, and COW CATCHER I wasn’t sure about – surely you catch, rather than dispose of, a cow with one.

    Nina? Don’t be silly. Phi doesn’t do ninas in his Friday Indys (but good spot, Eileen …)

    A good weekend to everyone.

  6. sidey says:

    Kathryn’s Dad, cowcatchers are really for (violently) removing bovines from railway tracks rather than actually catching them.

    Thanks for the Nina explanation Eileen.

    I assume ‘settlement’ in TREATY PORT is a reference to settling accounts, it’s a bit vague in an otherwise good puzzle.

  7. Stella says:

    Thanks Ali and Phi.

    This was gettable, except that I didn’t understand ‘cowcatcher’ until just now when I had another look at the clue – I was looking for a basketball player :lol:

    (My excuse – the European championship is being played at the moment, with great expectations for Spain – which are not quite being fulfilled :()

    Surely ‘imitants’ are copiers, rather than copies?

    Well done spotting the Nina, Eileen. I read both plays in my teens, and thoroughly enjoyed them. ‘Yerma’ is by Federico García Lorca, about the tribulations of a woman desperate to conceive. Her name means ‘barren’.

  8. walruss says:

    ‘Horseplay’, I think Equus has been called! And probably more than once. More interesting than usual, this one, for a Phi, whose puzzles don’t always scintillate!!

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, sidey, that makes sense now – they’re the sticky-out things on the front of locomotives for getting rid of stray bovines, no?

  10. scchua says:

    Thanks Ali for the blog.

    sidey@6, “treaty port” was a port in a country where a foreign country, by treaty between the two countries, could establish its own settlement outside the sovereignty of the host country. Famous example was Hong Kong. There were others in China and Japan, and (what is now) Ireland.

    Thanks Eileen for pointing out the nina, which I missed because I got 4D wrong, or vice versa.

    Thanks Phi for a challenging yet not too hard crossword (in contrast to a couple earlier this week).

  11. scchua says:

    Re 10: Erratum: Hong Kong is not a good example of a treaty port, because it was totally ceded. A better example was Shanghai, where the foreign settlement was established beside with the existing port.

  12. sidey says:

    K’s Dad, yes, possibly in the sense of to catch someone a blow rather than to trap.

    scchua, of course, thank you.

  13. flashling says:

    Easier to get than yesterday for sure, saw equus and thought play but yerma was just a jumble of letters to me having never heard of it, oh well, good spot Eileen. Thanks Ali (&Phi)

  14. Eileen says:

    I really can’t go on passively accepting credit for ‘spotting’ the nina! Being a [very] longstanding Guardian solver, I’ve only been doing the Indy [and then not every day] since finding this site a couple of years ago. I still can’t quite get into the habit of looking for hidden messages, although I should have, by now.

    It was Ali’s reference to EQU which alerted me and when I saw EQUUS, I started looking for ‘horse’ references. YERMA meant as little to me as you, flashling, but I thought it was worth a google and – bingo! – there it was: a Lorca play. [At least I'd heard of the author!]

    And then the clue in the middle row – brilliant!

  15. flashling says:

    Don’t be so coy Eileen! Anyway it does say hard to get, even if most of us have heard of Equus, it never even occured to me to look yerma up.

  16. Allan_C says:

    Spotted the nina but didn’t think to connect it with 15. PUTTANESCA was a new word to me, not in Collins or Chambers (well, not the editions I’ve got). Interesting derivation, accoding to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghetti_alla_puttanesca

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