Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,576/Morph

Posted by Ali on January 27th, 2011

Ali.

Apologies for the lateness with this one – it’s been one of those days!

I really didn’t get the chance to give this one the attention it deserves and needed to speed through a few online in order to get this blog done, but what I did manage of it I thought was brilliant. A nice mini-theme with an excellent clue for the theme word, plus some cracking related answers, FRIES being my favourite. And, yes, 14D is a doozy.

Cheers Morph for a great puzzle.

Across
1 NEOLITH – (HOTEL IN)*
9 PAISANO – ([-h]ISPANO-A)*
11 NAKED – [-s]NAKED
12 CALL IT OFF – (LIFT A FLOC[-k])*
13 SECURELY – E-CURE in SLY
15 LOOFAH – FOOL rev. + A H(ospital)
18 HOAX – Not sure on this one – “..American one taking her cut of trick”
19 STAID – “Stayed”
20 GIRO – Struggling here too – “First half setback that brings benefit”
22 UNKNOT – [-dr]UNK + NOT[-e]
23 UNAMUSED – UNA (Stubbs) + MUSED (considered)
26 DECENNIUM – (CUMIN SEED)* with S for N
28 MOSEL – (SOME L)*
30 RAIMENT – (I AM)* in RENT
31 ERRATIC – RAT in ERIC
Down
1 ON ONE’S SHOULDER – (LONDONER’S HOUSE)* – A grievance is a chip ….
2 ROCK – Duble def – fish and chips
3 TINDER – TIN + RED rev.
4 CHOCOLATE – (ALCOHO[-l], ETC)*
5 SPALL – Hidden rev. in coLLAPSe
6 SILICON – (IN COILS)*
7 TACO – CAT rev. + 0 (duck)
10 OFF THE OLD BLOCK – BLOCK (group) supporting OFF THE OLD!
14 CRACK – R in CACK
16 FRIES – FR + lImEyS
17 PIN NUMBER – REP rev. outside INN + (BUM)*
21 COUNTER – Double def.
24 MEMORY – ROME rev. in MY
25 LIFTS – Cryptic def.
27 CHIP – Cryptic def – “when the chips are down”
29 SETS – Double def., ref. tennis

30 Responses to “Independent 7,576/Morph”

  1. anax says:

    Absolutely marvellous puzzle – I’ll still be giggling about 14d at the Waterfall on Saturday.

    Lots of inventiveness and an interesting mini-theme; it probably forced some obscure answers into the grid although the obscurity at 9a wasn’t one that caught me out as I’d clued it elsewhere (not a published puzzle) some time last year. Shame about the answer-word-in-the-clue at 12a but what a superbly concealed definition! 30a was another highlight clue but there were many others out of the top drawer.

    Nice job Morph!

  2. crypticsue says:

    A superb puzzle – enjoyed the theme. Thank you Morph for the fun.

  3. sidey says:

    Mini theme Anax? Thematic answers seem well into double figures to me.

  4. anax says:

    ;o)
    I wondered if anyone would notice that.

  5. Andrew says:

    Nice one Morph! As well as those mentioned by anax, I particularly liked 4dn.

    Sidey – I can only just get into double figures for the thematic answers: I’ll be interested to what what I’ve missed. You’re obviously doing well on theme-spotting today…

  6. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, Morph – great puzzle, as usual.

    My favourites: 4dn, like Andrew, and also 22ac and 17dn – all boozy ones! [Is this another mini-theme? ;-) ? ]

  7. sidey says:

    If nobody minds…

    The only answer that I can’t see linked to the theme is lifts.

    Altough it’s common to see, 17d really annoys me, as does LCD displays, AC currents and rather too many others to mention

  8. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Ali
    18ac is HO (American one {scrubber/prostitute}) AX (her cut {American spelling of axe})

    20ac is ORIG[inal] reversed (first half setback).

  9. Robi says:

    Thanks Morph and Ali – I didn’t have much time for this, so had to cheat on some.

    As for 18, I was a little hoaxed. I thought it might be that ‘ho’ is an American expression for a prostitute (one who turns tricks) with ‘ax’ being the alternative spelling for ‘axe’ i.e. to cut.
    Is there a better explanation out there?

  10. Robi says:

    Gaufrid; we crossed! :(

  11. Robi says:

    Sorry, I meant :)

  12. nmsindy says:

    Some excellent clues here, my favourites were NAKED, CHOCOLATE, and MOSEL. Nice thematic treatment of CHIP as well. Quite a hard puzzle. In defence of PIN NUMBER, it does sound better than PI NUMBER as pin is a common word perhaps and maybe it’s clearer when someone is told to enter their PIN NUMBER rather than just their PIN despite the tautology. Maybe a bit like the ‘last and final call’ at airports to try to get people to their flight before it closes. Thanks, Ali, for the blog and Morph for the puzzle.

  13. flashling says:

    Great stuff only unsure of 9ac new word to me but what a fantastic puzzle. As Anax mentioned, a cracking clue. Was in the company of Morph’s Aunt and Uncle whilst doing this who even bought me a pint bless ‘em. Cheers Ali for the blog and to Morph for the laughs.

  14. rodders says:

    Found this quite tricky and never got ” lifts “.
    Enjoyable though I needed the internet for a couple of word definitions. 9 across new to me and not totally convinced by ” unamused “.

  15. gnomethang says:

    Excellent Puzzle from Morph.

    15a and 18a formed a wonderful pair! 14d caused strange looks when I couldn’t stop laughing!

    Thanks to Morph and Ali for the sound review.

  16. Lenny says:

    Could someone parse Taco for me please?

  17. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Lenny
    It is CAT (spew {throw up or be sick}) reversed (up {as it’s a down clue}) O (duck {or zero}).

  18. Morph says:

    Thanks for the blog and comments.
    Re number of thematic clues, 27dn explains (kind of).
    Lift may be a stretch… but think football or golf.

  19. Lenny says:

    Thanks Gaufrid. I did have a trawl through the dictionary before I asked this question but, on further examination, I see that I missed the last entry in Chambers: vt to vomit. Having a couple of cats myself, I can well believe this but I have never come across it before

  20. sidey says:

    Anyone worked out 20 GIRO yet?

  21. sidey says:

    Morph, thank you for the LIFT explanation, I’ll forgive that considering the quality of the rest ;)

  22. flashling says:

    @20 sidey Thought Gaufrid #8 did, can’t personally see the chip connection though.

  23. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Ali.
    Super puzzle from Morph.
    Other than the clues with 27 mentioned I didn’t spot the theme and only managed the key word after solving 16 down.
    When puzzles have a lot of clues linked to one key clue,I think it is good that the key clue should be hard to solve,or the whole puzzle can become too easy.

  24. walruss says:

    Ididn’t have time to say yesterday, but well done to Morph for a good ‘un!

  25. spb says:

    I had kayo for 7d, parsed as ‘o’ and yak (for spew) up. Kayo means to knockout and pancake used as a verb can mean to flatten. That said, I wasn’t convinced by it.

  26. Jim T says:

    So many standout clues here. A very, very good puzzle.

  27. John H says:

    Morph is in today’s Torygraph (the Toughie), if anyone fancies another spanker.

  28. Wil Ransome says:

    Nobody seems to have answered Sidey@20: It’s original (= first), halved and then reversed to give giro (= benefit).

    Excellent puzzle. I seem to remember once some while ago there being a discussion about whether or not it was OK to clue Catholicism as Rome (as Morph does in 24dn) but can’t remember what the outcome was. To me it doesn’t seem good enough.

  29. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Wil
    Nobody needed to respond to Sidey @20 because I gave the solution in comment #8, but it seems he did not read it.

  30. Wil Ransome says:

    Sorry Gaufrid, it never occurred to me to look earlier than Sidey’s post. Silly.

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