Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,506 by Radian

Posted by Simon Harris on November 5th, 2010

Simon Harris.

Hands up who didn’t see a themed crossword coming today! Still, it’s never a chore to blog a Radian puzzle, and this was a very good one. Unfortunately, time pressures mean that I have had to rush this a bit, so please feel free to clear up any loose ends. 9ac, for example.

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

Across
1 ABSINTHE – [ar]ABS IN THE[ir].
5 MAYHEM – MAY + HEM.
9 LOUIS XVI – LOUIS Armstrong + something I don’t quite understand.
10 CLOUDS – (CLU[e]S DO)*.
12 ZEBU – [pri]ZE BU[lls].
13 PARLIAMENT – MENIAL* in TRAP<.
15 GUNPOWDER PLOT – (GROUP LET DOWN + P[arliament])*.
19 ROYAL OCCASION – AS in (ROCOCO INLAY)*.
23 IN ABSENTIA – IN + (A + ABSINT[h]E)* .
25 ORCA – ORCA[dian]. “Orcadian” is the adjective meaning “from Orkney”.
28 ORKNEY – (R in OK) + NEY. I can’t claim to have known that Michel Ney was a French marshal, who earned the epithet Bravest of the Brave at the battle of Borodino (1812) in the Napoleonic Wars…and was executed for treason (1815), but I do now!
29 VACUUMEDVAC + hom. of “Us” + MED.
30 SUSSED – SS in SUED.
31 PATIENCE – I in TEN in PACE.
Down
1 ABLAZE – AZ (The A-Z) in ABLE.
2 SQUIBQU in SIB.
3 NEST – S[nake] in NET.
4 HAVE A GO – dd. Apparently an old radio game show, compered by the delightfully named Wilfred Pickles.
6 ALLOA – ‘ALLO ‘A[llo].
7 HOUSE PLAN – HOUSE PLAN[t].
8 MISSTATE – MISS TATE.
11 BLED – [inflata]BLE D[ivan].
14 ANAL – ANAL[ysed].
15 GUY FAWKES – spoonerism of “Phi gawks”.
16 WPC – W[hen] P[ursuing] C[riminal] &lit.
17 RAINRA + IN.
18 TRAITORSOR in TRAITS.
20 CONE – dd.
21 ALI BABA – (BA + B[oy]) in ALIA.
24 SIEGE – IS< + EG + [jun]E.
26/22 ROMAN CANDLE – LAND* in ROMANCE. I wonder if I’m the only one who spent ages thinking that OMAN must be the “foreign land”.
27 FUJI – dd.

8 Responses to “Independent 7,506 by Radian”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Simon.

    I came here for the explanation of 9ac but, as so often happens, I’ve just seen it: LOUIS [Armstrong] + X [by] + V1 [rocket]

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Simon for the blog and Radian for a crossword that was perhaps made easier by its topicality.

    15A GUNPOWDER PLOT was first in, which helped with those related clues. Favourites were 29A VACUUMED, I liked “use, say” = “UU”, 15D GUY FAWKES, a nice Spoonerism, and 21D ALI BABA, giving “inter alia” a new interpretation.

  3. Eileen says:

    There’s some super cluing here, as we expect from Radian.

    No surprises in the theme but an excellent treatment of it: in 15ac, for instance the opening letter of Parliament is the P needed for the anagram, but the Plot was to blow up Parliament on the Royal Occasion of the State Opening.

    I loved 10ac and the use of ‘inspired by’ in 19ac and, although I often don’t like Spoonerisms, 15dn is a great one: I laughed at the idea of Phi gawking at his usual slot being taken over by Guy Fawkes!

    Great stuff – many thanks, Radian!

  4. Eileen says:

    And I sussed out the coincidence, K’s D!

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I guessed on yesterday’s blog it would be fireworks from Eimi, but it was from Radian instead, with a good fun puzzle. As fellow contributors will know, I’m theme- and Nina-blind, but having predicted it I wasn’t going to miss out on the man, the plan and the place.

    But beyond those three, the other references weren’t that easy, so well done to Radian for the clever clueing of the other solutions to do with the bonfire night theme. And it was only when I’d said the spoonerism for GUY FAWKES out loud half-a-dozen times that it finally clicked. One for the regulars, perhaps, but the clue was a gimme even if you weren’t, so a nice touch.

    Marshal NEY, General LEE – it’s the three-letter men who are the setters’ pets, it seems.

    For the French king, I’d persuaded myself that the rocket was Apollo XVI. Arriving at your destination safely is more important than the route you take to get there, as they say.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Nice puzzle from Radian, thanks for the blog, Simon. Favourite clues, VACUUMED, NEST, SIEGE.

  7. Colin Blackburn says:

    Pangrammatic to boot.

  8. NealH says:

    Thanks for explaining 7 down. I got hung up about Ouse = flower being inside and thought it must be something like ouse in h-plan[e]. I thought 4 down was a bit weak, since the name of the programme clearly comes from the phrase. I thought for a while there was something else going with the old=a go, but there doesn’t seem to be. That aside, it was an excellent puzzle and, even after getting the theme quickly, I still took me a while to get all the answers. The bottom right was the trickiest and it wasn’t until I remembered that the adjective for Orkney was Orcadian that I managed to get going in that section.

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