Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman 3360/20 February 2011

Posted by Pierre on February 27th, 2011

Pierre.

There has been discussion recently about Everyman getting a bit harder. This one was certainly accessible, but for me it just lacked a bit of the usual zing.

Comment was made on the Everyman blog a few weeks ago about the puzzle being formulaic, but in a good way: clever anagrams, some multi-word phrases, a couple of less well-known words clearly clued. This offering seemed to lack some of that, I thought, but it could just be me.  However, still a pleasing interlude with my Sunday morning coffee.

dd double definition
cd cryptic definition
* anagram

Across

1 Fan in seat wriggling about so
ENTHUSIAST
An insertion of THUS in (IN SEAT)*

6 Mark on skin causing alarm, no end
SCAR
SCAR[E] with no end.

10 Wife’s mother at home with rules and regulations?
IN-LAW
A rather obvious clue.

11 Film of past committee
OVERBOARD
A 1987 rom-com which I must admit I’d never heard of, but the charade of OVER and BOARD is very clear. There’s a remake coming out this year, apparently.

12 Rows across a river in Spanish city
LINARES
An insertion of A + R in LINES. Lovely surface, leading us to the Andalusian city.

13 Inn with a small restaurant
TAVERNA
TAVERN plus A. Simple, but good.

14 A source of treasure in Valencia? Dad’s mistaken
ALADDIN’S CAVE
(VALENCIA DAD’S)* and a further Spanish reference.

18 Teacher nastily shamed sister
HEADMISTRESS
(SHAMED SISTER)*

21 Letters received ahead of good job taken with airline
POSTBAG
A charade of POST, BA (British Airways or Bloody Awful, depending on your experience with them) and G.

23 Dour expert’s frown
GRIMACE
A charade of GRIM and ACE. This one’s been round the block a few times.

24 Somehow I fall, poor victim of hoax
APRIL FOOL
(I FALL POOR)*

25 How movie ends is unimaginative
INANE
Because ‘movie’ ends in an ‘e’! This one really made me smile, but it was my last one in, because for me ‘unimaginative’ is not synonymous with ‘inane’. I’d choose ‘silly’ or ‘senseless’ and since ‘unimaginative’ isn’t central to the clue I wonder why Everyman didn’t choose another adjective.

26 Be mindful of college turning
NOTE
A reversal of ETON, the college where half the current cabinet spent their time warming lavatory seats for each other and preparing for high office. This one’s been following GRIMACE around the same block.

27 Bitter line written in a hospital department
ASTRINGENT
Nice clue: it’s STRING inserted in A ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat department, the setters’ favourite hospital unit).

Down

1 Fit to eat in deli? Be worried.
EDIBLE
(DELI BE)* Bit of an odd surface, I thought, until my failing eyesight revealed that it was DELI and not DELL.

2 Gift, article left in shelter
TALENT
An insertion of A + L in TENT.

3 Like a member of the jet set?
UPWARDLY MOBILE
A cd, and one that again is a bit well-worn.

4 Those having great stamina in club teams?
IRONSIDES
A charade of IRON (golf club) and SIDES. The SOED indicates bravery rather than stamina, and references particularly Edmund II and Oliver Cromwell.

5 Kind of dessert
SWEET
A dd.

7 Tea girl’s name for Mao?
CHAIRMAN
A charade of CHA, IRMA and N.

8 Unorthodox lad described by globetrotter, old tennis star
ROD LAVER
An insertion of (LAD)* in ROVER. The Australian left-hander is now 72: he was only 1.70m tall and about 70kg dripping wet, but he wasn’t half good.

9 Like Caesar’s wife over hint?
ABOVE SUSPICION
A charade of ABOVE (over) and SUSPICION (hint). It’s referring to the phrase ‘Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion’. Somebody who knows more about classics than I do* will give you chapter and verse.

*Go on, Eileen, you know you want to.

15 Unconventional Irish soldier?
IRREGULAR
A charade of IR and REGULAR.

16 Comedian entertaining a clergyman
CHAPLAIN
Lovely surface: it’s an insertion of A in Charlie CHAPLIN.

17 Snark and its strange language
SANSKRIT
(SNARK ITS)*

19 A drop of red in buffet in appropriate container
CARAFE
Insertion of A + R (a drop of red) in CAFE. Anyone else think that café for buffet is a bit of a stretch?

20 Failing to change sides
DEFECT
A dd. The noun has the stress on the first syllable, the verb on the second. Learners of ESOL must love that kind of stuff.

22 Misleading explanation for grand deficit
GLOSS
A charade of G and LOSS.

So for me, a generally sound but slightly uninspiring puzzle by this setter’s very high standards. Thanks to Everyman as always.

16 Responses to “Everyman 3360/20 February 2011”

  1. Forbes Wilson says:

    I agree with the comments about cafe and inane. They do not scan well. As for Mao! That one was a stretch, but obvious when other things were in place.

  2. Davy says:

    Thanks Pierre,

    I didn’t put anything in for 25a as nothing seemed to fit the sense of the clue. I didn’t spot IN AN E.
    However, there is a secondary definition for INANE which is empty or void which does fit with unimaginative.
    I did enjoy the puzzle though so thanks Everyman.

  3. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Pierre, I don’t remember being as disappointed as you sound with this puzzle, though I agree it does have a little less sheen than former examples.

    You’re right about ESOL students and double definitions, they’re almost as much loved/hated as false friends – words that are familiar in a particular language, but actually mean something rather different, like ‘simpático’ in Spanish = ‘friendly’.

    Considering the language of Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem, I found 17d rather good :)

  4. Stella Heath says:

    BTW, anyone ever heard of ‘hopping the twig’ (in today’s Speedy)?

  5. AJK says:

    I liked LINARES and ASTRINGENT. Good wordplay for INANE, but ‘unimaginitive’ seems a bit of a loose defintion.

    Today’s puzzle is easier, but some lovely clues, and a new word for my vocabulary.

  6. Rishi says:

    O/T
    In Everyman No. 3353 (2nd Jan), which I have seen just now in a Madras paper, I took the clue “23d A series under discussion” not as a DD as indicated in the blog here but as a charade A + TISSUE (as in ‘a tissue of lies’). Isn’t this more appropriate?

  7. Pierre says:

    Hi Stella. I didn’t mean to sound too disappointed! It’s just that the Everyman is so well-constructed, week in, week out, that when one appears with a few niggles or tired clues in it, it really stands out.

    As you say, false cognates are bear traps. I suppose the best-known one for English-speaking learners of Spanish is to say ‘estoy embarazada’ to express ‘I’m embarrassed’, when in fact it means you’ve got a bun in the oven …

    Hi Rishi. That was one of Lorraine’s blogs, but I think your parsing is correct. Not enough eagle-eyed contributors for that one first time round. Satisfy my curiosity by telling me what the O/T is about?

  8. Rishi says:

    O/T is Off Topic.
    Topic is 3360 while I was talking about 3353 !

  9. Pierre says:

    Thanks, Rishi – a new one on me!

  10. Eileen says:

    Hi Pierre

    Well, if you insist:

    It’s this story about Caesar’s wife, Pompeia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompeia_%28wife_of_Julius_Caesar%29

  11. Rishi says:

    Pierre
    RE “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.”
    This is a favourite quote with Indians. Especially in the recent spate of scandals we often heard that the Prime Minister [of India] must be ‘like Caesar’s wife’! I was wondering how a man can be like a woman unless he wears a sari with a pair of scooped out half-coconut shells hidden in the choli (blouse). Anyway…
    As for the sententious declaration, I don’t think it is in the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar.
    For the anecdote, one may visit:
    http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=13949
    Rishi
    for and on behalf of Eileen

  12. Rishi says:

    Eileen
    Sorry! Your Comment appeared while I was still typing.
    Rishi

  13. Eileen says:

    Hi Rishi

    Amazing – after twelve hours [I've been out this morning] we both respond at the same time!

  14. Rishi says:

    I was taking a break from watching India-England World Cup cricket match !

  15. Pierre says:

    With the way the Little Master has been smashing England to all parts, Rishi, cricket is definitely O/T today …

  16. Robi says:

    Good, clear puzzle.

    Thanks Pierre for a nice blog. CAFE=buffet is in the Chambers Crossword Dic. In Chambers, itself, it gives: ‘a restaurant where customers serve themselves….,’ so I guess it’s allowable.

    I did like INANE.

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