Fifteensquared

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Independent 7,473 by Raich

Posted by Simon Harris on September 28th, 2010

Simon Harris.

Always nice to see a Raich puzzle. This one seemed really quite straighforward, though the NE corner held me up for a bit while the final few entries fell into place.

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

Across
1 KNICKERS – hom. of “nickers”.
6 ICEBOX – ICE + BOX.
9 ANNALIST – ANNA + (IS in LT).
10 SLACKS – LACK in SS.
11 STEPS – [trickie]ST EPS[om].
12 BRUNETTE – (BT + [v]ENTURE)*.
13 SPLASH – S + PL + ASH.
16 TRESPASS – TRES + PASS.
18 ORATORIO – OR + A + TO RIO.
20 EVINCE – E[conomists] + VINCE Cable. A chap whose name seems to have caught the imagination of several setters recently.
22 ALCOPOPS – COLA* + POPS.
24 SHOES – S + HOES.
27 SHORTS – R in HOSTS’S*.
28 IGNORANT – GI< + NORA + NT.
29 WRITHE – WRIT + HE.
30 TROUSERS – USER in SORT<.
Down
2 NONSTOP – NO[on] + N + S + T + OP.
3 CHAMP – CH + A MP.
4 EVIL – [o]LIVE[r]<.
5 SATURATION POINT – (A TUT AS PINOT NOIR)*.
6 INSINCERE – IN + SINCE + R[ol]E.
7 EXACT – EX + ACT.
8 ORKNEYS – YONKERS*.
14 APT – A + PT.
15 HARD PASTE – (SHARP DATE)*.
17 PSI – PS + I.
19 REACHER – from TEACHER, “when T’s R”.
21 CLEANER – C + LEANER.
23 CARET – CARE + T.
25 HORUS – [c]HORUS.
26 UNDO – UN + DO.

16 Responses to “Independent 7,473 by Raich”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Thank you Simon.
    Yes, I think there’s a theme going on here, as quite often with a Raich puzzle.
    Pairs (found across the centre row) of 1, 10, 11, 24, 27 and 30 are all in there…

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Simon for the early blog.

    Quite nice and easy, but enjoyable nonetheless, thanks, Raich.

    IanN14@1, good catch. I get “a pair of knickers, trousers, etc.” but “a pair of steps”, seems an odd one. One can’t have “one/a knicker, etc.” but one can have “one/a step”. “Pair of steps” doesn’t seem any special, then, compared to say, “pair of alcopops”. Am I missing something? Perhaps a specific use for “a pair of steps” (dance maybe?). (I’ve already furthered my education from doing this crossword, with another meaning for “trousers”!)

  3. sidey says:

    scchua, a pair of steps is another name for a step-ladder, like these http://www.tycromedia.com/images/5-foot%20Fiberglass%20Step%20ladder.jpg

    And well spotted Ian, who else ;)

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Morning Simon

    Thanks for the blog. Either I’m starting to get on Raich’s wavelength, or he’s being gentle with us today, because this one went in very quickly. Everything being carefully clued and a fairly generous grid helped. The one that took a bit of time was ANNALIST, where I’d convinced myself that ALI was the young lady in question.

    If I’m being hyper-picky (and on this occasion I am) then perhaps ‘takes money dubiously’ in 30ac fits the tense of the answer better, otherwise the clue points to ‘trousering’.

    I think Raich may be in for a slapped wrist from our Orcadian friends: strictly speaking you can have Orkney, or the Orkney Islands, but not The Orkneys, since Orkney is already plural. The Orkneys is commonly heard, but our friends in the north don’t like it, apparently. It made for a good clue, though.

    Very good puzzle, which I enjoyed, thank you.

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Simon.

    I might have known there was more to this than met the eye, when I finished it so easily. Well done, Ian, as ever. [I don't think I've heard it called a pair of steps for a long time.]

    Hi K’s D

    If you take the definition in 30ac as ‘is taking money dubiously’, the tense is correct.

  6. scchua says:

    Thanks sidey@3, I continue to do (the Indy) and learn.
    Although there’s definitely more than a pair of steps, unless it’s a short ladder!(smiley face here). Unless the “pair” refers to the the front and the back!

  7. Fish says:

    About to have professional cleaners in my house in my first time, so it was nice that “CLEANER” was the first clue I got.

    Or would be, if the second wasn’t “KNICKERS”.

  8. Ali says:

    Yet another theme goes sailing over my head.

    This was definitely the easiest Raich daily puzzle I’ve done. And there was definitely nowt wrong with it!

  9. sidey says:

    An aside: A tradesman will use a pair of steps or more often just steps, however if he wants some new ones he will have to buy a step-ladder. I love English usage.

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    So do I, sidey, which is why crosswords fascinate me. Like Eileen, I too can just about remember ‘a pair of steps’. But at the risk of all this becoming arcane and frightening off lurkers, why did I ask my neighbour the other day: ‘Can I borrow your step-ladders?’ Are they plural ‘cos there’s two of them, one on each side?

    I really need to get out more.

  11. sidey says:

    Quick answer, yes, the ones I linked to are really a pair of steps.

  12. walruss says:

    A pair of steps has two parts, the bit with the ladder and the bit that supports, with some kind of joining in-between. It’s those twp arts, I suppose, that justify the plural. Anyway, what a lovely puzzle from Raich/The Independent.

  13. Raich says:

    Many thanks, Simon, for the blog and to everyone for their comments which are much appreciated.

    Yes, PAIR OF STEPS is perhaps a little less familiar than the others, but dicts confirm it as a stepladder (or should that be ‘them’?).

  14. flashling says:

    Found this very easy, just must have been on Raich’s wavelength, although missed the pairs bit, just thought the link was clothing. Vince Cable (or his wife) does certainly appear a lot recently. Wednesday tomorrow, bad day for me so posting will probably be rather late, but it’ll turn up. Gaufrid, I have very little chance to do blogs on Wednesdays at present, can you change the calendar please if possible?

  15. Wil Ransome says:

    Very nice crossword, easy but perfectly sound so far as I could see and the only nitpick I have is (not the tense of TROUSERS, as has been explained perfectly well by Eileen @5) the 40% checking in two of the answers: was this necessary to get the Nina in?

  16. Allan_C says:

    I must have been a bit thick; I saw the theme as lower garments (Knickers, Slacks, Shorts, Trousers) and never spotted the nina till Ian pointed it out. But if I may add an aside to the pair of steps discussion, in English as spoken in South Wales (and possibly elsewhere) things that come in pairs are often referred to as singular, e.g. ‘a trousers’, ‘a scissors’ and ‘a steps’. This usage probably derives from the equivalent in Welsh but I won’t bore you with the explanation.

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