Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman 3348 (28 November 2010)

Posted by Pierre on December 5th, 2010

Pierre.

My first Everyman blog, and a pleasure for me to solve it and explain it. I’ve been a fan of Everyman for many years and as usual this one didn’t disappoint. It might have been first night nerves, but I did find this harder than usual. Three-quarters of it went in pretty straightforwardly, but there were some unusual words that held me up near the end.

dd double definition
cd cryptic definition
* anagram

Across

1 Introduction to Homer, or superb Roman poet
HORACE
H + OR + ACE

4 A crooner, fellow from an Oxfordshire town
ABINGDON
A + BING + DON
Bing, of course, is Mr Crosby, possibly the best known of the crooners.

9 Irritable old servants
LIVERY dd
This is one of the clues I struggled with, mainly because the word I’d use would be liverish. Perfectly fair though.

10 Awfully foul brew could make one flounce
FURBELOW
(FOUL BREW)*
Not a word I’d come across before, but it’s clued clearly enough. ‘A flounce, ruffle or other ornamental trim.’

12 Precise, short, theatre cleaner
SURGICAL SPIRIT
Nice clue, with two definitions: of  ‘precise’, and ‘short’ in the alcoholic sense.

14 Itinerant Romanians in an Italian-speaking country
SAN MARINO
(ROMANIANS)*

16 Card (king) Welshman rejected
KNAVE
K + EVAN reversed

17 A bye, perhaps, in over
EXTRA dd

19 Accept compassion is to be encouraged
TAKE HEART

21 Two pianists, drunk
BRAHMS AND LISZT
Which of course is Cockney rhyming slang for a word I couldn’t possibly elucidate for an audience as genteel as fifteensquared. Oh, all right then, it’s ‘pissed’.

24 Free wood used to make a stall
LOOSEBOX
LOOSE + BOX
I couldn’t see this even when I’d got all the crossing letters; then it was a question of ‘it must be LOOSE, what else fits?’ It’s not in the SOED, and some online dictionaries give it as LOOSE-BOX, but Collins gives it as one word: ‘an enclosed and covered stall with a door in which an animal can be confined.’

25 Guide by hand
MANUAL dd

26 Anxiety shown by South American writers at closing of bookstore
SUSPENSE
S + US + PENS + E
Nice surface.

27 Small number on team backing inventor
EDISON
NO SIDE reversed.

Down

1 Relative in his flares, bullied around start of term
HALF- SISTER
(HIS FLARES T)*

2 Right above pirate ship
ROVER
R + OVER
I spent far too long trying to convince myself that there was a ship called a RATAR.

3 Company car is damaged making for a Mediterranean island
CORSICA
CO + (CAR IS)*

5 OU sportsman keeping a woman of intelligence
BLUESTOCKING
BLUE + STOCKING
OU is Oxford University rather than the Open University. Wonder why they’re called this?

6 Beat writer, at first, with a club
NIBLICK
NIB + LICK
An old name for a golf club and a word I only know from doing crosswords.

7 During an illness, almost over, trouble a spiritual leader
DALAI LAMA
AIL in MALAD(Y) reversed plus A
One that was easier to solve than to parse.

8 Pond creature young toad initially turns into
NEWT
NEW + T
The favourite pet of 21 across.

11 Class points out what a theatre may put on
VARIETY SHOWS
Charade of VARIETY (class) and SHOWS (points out)

13 Running on tenth lap in old Olympic event
PENTATHLON
(ON TENTH LAP)* I think Everyman has inserted ‘old’ because the competition we have nowadays is called the ‘modern pentathlon’.

15 Hitchcock film noir – too darned American
NOTORIOUS
(NOIR TOO)* + US
Nicely misleading use of ‘film noir’ and ‘darned’ as the anagram indicator.

18 A grant secured by the sportsman
ATHLETE
A + TH(LET)E
Another clever clue with a lovely surface.

20 Rope with which Henry gets hauled up
HALYARD
HAL + DRAY reversed

22 Problems housing 50 in wretched dwellings
SLUMS
Insertion of L (50 in Roman numerals) in SUMS.

23 Additional matter written about learner driver
PLUS
Another insertion, of L in PUS. Pus is matter, I suppose, although not a particularly pleasant one to contemplate on a Sunday morning …

Super puzzle, thank you Everyman.

6 Responses to “Everyman 3348 (28 November 2010)”

  1. Robi says:

    Thanks, Pierre for a lovely blog, and to Everyman – I always enjoy these. Although I solved it, I didn’t understand 18d and 23d until your good explanations. I particularly liked 21a.

  2. Davy says:

    Thanks Pierre for your excellent detailed blog and welcome. My thoughts on this puzzle are identical to yours even down to your reasoning with LOOSEBOX (my last one in) although I could only find LOOSE-BOX in the dictionary. Among a plethora of great surfaces, I would select HALF-SISTER as standing out although some people may object to ‘bullied’ as the anagrind. My favourite clue is this puzzle is definitely the BRAHMS AND LISZT one which gave me a laugh. I’m sure it’s been used before but maybe not clued in this way.
    Thanks Everyman.

  3. Stella says:

    Thanks Pierre, you’ve done a good job for a first blog.

    Just one quibble: I think the parsing of 27ac is ON(e) (‘small number’) after (‘on’) <SIDE

    Thanks as always, Everyman.

  4. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks Pierre,

    Prof Google advises that the Blue Stocking Society, was a nickname for a predominantly female literary club of 18th-century London.

  5. Pierre says:

    Hi Stella, thank you for your kind comment. I took the NO part of 27ac to simply be the abbreviation for number – like you sent us comment no. 3 today. Your way works too, though it’s a bit more complicated.

    Hi Dad’s Lad, thanks for that. I knew it was something to do with a literary society and that they actually did wear blue stockings. It’s been around a bit, then.

  6. tmesis says:

    Thanks Pierre for clarifying a few of the clues. I was convinced that 3d was Cortina and blithely assumed it was an Italian island like Capri its Ford stablemate in the 70′s. How stupid of me – I now know its a ski resort!

    As far as the bluestockings go it was actually the literary men who were wearing them in the mid 18th Century

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