Fifteensquared

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Independent 7,459 by Anax (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 11/09/10)

Posted by Simon Harris on September 18th, 2010

Simon Harris.

After last month’s exceedingly tricky Anax puzzle, I was a little worried about this one, but it turned out to be a lot more manageable. No obvious theme, but a pangrammatic grid, if I’m not mistaken.

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

Across
1 WHOLE – W + HOLE.
4 PATAGONIA – (TAG + ON) in (PA + IA). Pennsylvania, Iowa.
9 SHELL-HOLE – (HELL + H) in SOLE.
10 EQUAL – E[astenders] + QU + AL.
11 PROPER FRACTION – R in (PROPER + FACTION).
13 LENTISSIMO – (IT IS + SOLEMN)*.
14 DIAL – DIAL is LAID<, so "laidback".
16 TIDY – dd., the “drawer” in question being Bill Tidy.
18 LIKE BLAZES – dd.
21 PETROLEUM JELLY – J[ungl]E in (MERELY TO PULL)*.
23 SWORE – W[ound] in SORE.
24 OBJECTIVE – dd.
25 SPINNAKER – A K in SPINNER.
26 TANSY – ANS in TY.
Down
1 WUSS – [sho]W US S[andwiches].
2 OVERRUNO + R. Clever.
3 ELLIPSIS – S[wam]P< in LILIES*. Also clever: the definition is simply "…".
4 PROGRESSIVE ROCK – two defs, one cryptic.
5 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR – two defs, one cryptic.
6 GREECE – [mea]GRE EC E[conomic].
7 NAUTILI – [mari]NA UTILI[sing].
8 AT LONG LAST – (GOT STALL AN[d])*.
12 PLATYPUSES – (SUPPLY EAST)*.
15 ALLEY CAT – ALL + (CA in YET*).
17 DETTORI – (I + ROTTED)<.
19 ZILLION – ILL in ZION.
20 SOLEMN – SO + LEM[o]N.
22 SEXY – S[ton]E + X + Y.

11 Responses to “Independent 7,459 by Anax (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 11/09/10)”

  1. Polly says:

    Sorry to come on like the proofreader I am, but the second U in your answer to 12 down should be E; and, in 4 across, shouldn’t ATG be TAG? 3 down was utterly brilliant: one of the best clues of all time (but I would say that, wouldn’t I?).

  2. flashling says:

    A lot easier than Anax’s previous saturday but a challenge nonetheless, thought 3 down was inspired … as a definition, fantastic. re 4dn I knew I’d seen this recently after Tees on tuesday.

  3. scchua says:

    Thanks for the blog, Simon, and thanks Anax for another quality puzzle.

    I was pleased to be able to complete it before the usual time that the blog comes out (which I rarely do for the online Saturday puzzle).

    Favourite clues are 11A, with a seamless wordplay/definition, and 3D which had a clever way of presenting the definition, misdirecting one to look for an &lit.

    Maybe it’s me, but was there a ring of familiarity with some of the clues, eg. 4D, 3D, 20D, 25A? But no matter, I couldn’t remember the answers anyway, much less in which Anax crossword(s) I may (or may not) have encountered them before. It could well be my mind playing déjà-vu tricks, but certainly it did not distract me from a great puzzle.

  4. jmac says:

    Thanks for the blog Simon. Another top quality offering from Anax. It did seem a bit easier than some by this setter – the top half fell very quickly, but maybe that is just getting to know his style. Agree that 3 dn was a bit special, but there were also many other great clues to enjoy.

  5. Paul B says:

    Prog rules: there can be no mishtake.

    Fab puzzle Anax – top quality at 3dn.

  6. Allan_C says:

    Quite a quick solve for a Saturday puzzle; certainly easier than some from Anax. I agree about the brilliant clue for 3dn, especially following on from 2dn.
    Can’t say that I recall any clues from previous Anax offerings.

  7. sidey says:

    Enjoyable. Although would two submarines both named Nautilus really be referred to as Nautili? ;^)

  8. Eileen says:

    Hi sidey, this is Crosswordland, where of course they would! :-)

    I agree with Allan_C that it’s the link with 2dn that makes 3dn so very special!!

    Many thanks, Anax, for another super puzzle.

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    The link with 2d is what makes 3d clever? Agree 110%.
    But 2d in itself was just as clever!
    [like Simon Says (remember the 1910 Fruitgum Company?)]

    And I liked PROGRESSIVE ROCK (4d).
    [think about thát, my dear friends! :) - in a week in which Tees forgot to mention Caravan]

    But I didn’t quite understand why in 1ac the ‘w[omen]‘ WILL have a ‘hole’ – apart from the fact that it is rather dubious putting it this way anyway.

    But no doubts about the crossword as such – quality stuff.

  10. anax says:

    Good evening friends, and many thanks for your very kind comments.

    Sidey, you have a very good point. Thank you Eileen for jumping in, but the truth is that after looking for the various meanings of Nautilus that could work in the clue I forgot to note that the one I chose wasn’t really valid in plural form; just a case of momentarily taking my eye off the ball, for which I apologise.

  11. Dynamic says:

    Having just enjoyed Anax’s NTSPP032 over at BigDave’s Telegraph Crossword Blog (possibly too risqué in places for a national paper), I tackled this and enjoyed it immensely too, despite missing the Bill Tidy reference.

    I too loved 3d – superbly hidden definition, reminding me of “(thus)” as a definition in one of Paul’s recent Guardian crosswords, and it had to be combined with a sensible 2d (in which I’d missed the clever cryptic wordplay) to make sense.

    …and 4d was also marvellous.

    10a was beautifully constructed, requiring a lift and separate to disassociate Albert from Square, whose link in the surface reading was reinforced by the mention of Eastenders.

    Blog Typo: 25a A K in SPINNER

    Thanks to Anax and all who blogged and commented.

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