Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,614 by Scorpion (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 12/03/11)

Posted by Simon Harris on March 19th, 2011

Simon Harris.

Drawing a Scorpion on a blogging day is always a little daunting, and this was a thorough workout.

Many of this week’s entries are towns on or near the River Thames. It will be interesting to hear how readers less familiar with the geography of the home counties got on.

For my part, I had a map open by the end of it, but primarily for confirmation of some of the unfamiliar towns, as generally speaking the wordplay was entirely fair.

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

Across
7 LECHLADE – (CH + LAD) in LEE. An unfamiliar one, solved from wordplay.
9 THAMESAM in THES, and today’s theme.
10 ETON – NOTE<.
11 SIDE ORDER – (RED + ROE + DIS)<.
12 WALTON – ALT (German for “old”) in NOW<.
14 NO LONGER – (L in NOON) + [a la]GER.
15 STAINES – hom. of “stains”.
17 URGENCY – U + R[e]GENCY.
20 OBEDIENTOBE + (I in DENT).
22 HUDSON – ([yo]U in DOSH*) + N. A well-hidden definition, referring to actor Rock Hudson.
23 SWORDSMAN – cd. [declare]S + WORDSMAN. A reference to the adage The pen is mightier than the sword.
24 DAHL – HAD< + L. Roald Dahl, of course.
25 MARLOW – MAR + LOW.
26 THE SOMME – THE + (MM (“married pair”) in S[t]O[k]E).
Down
1 THIN – [clo]THIN[g].
2 SAMSON – SAM’S ON.
3 READING – dd.
4 STROLLER – S[tuden]T + ROLLER. I’m not sure that a Rolls-Royce and a limo are necessarily the same thing, but the point is clear.
5 MAIDENHEAD – (AID + HEN*) in MEAD.
6 DECREEDEC + [t]REE.
8 EXTRACT – EX TRACT.
13 THIRD WORLD – THIRD (class of honours degree, also known as a “Thora”) + (L in WORD).
16 EYES DOWN – [trad]E + YES + DOWN. “House hunters” being a whimsical reference to bingo players in this case.
18 COOKHAMCO + OK + HAM. Another one solved from wordplay only.
19 STOMATA – TOMAT[o] in AS<.
21 BISHAM – BISH + AM.
22 HENLEY – HE + N + LEY.
24 DOOM – DO + OM.

4 Responses to “Independent 7,614 by Scorpion (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 12/03/11)”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks Simon for the blog and Scorpion for a prize puzzle that was not too difficult.

    Slow start, but once I got 3D READING, which led to the gateway clue, I could finish this prize puzzle in about the same time as an average weekday Indy. Quite pleased I didn’t have to google “towns on the Thames” in order to complete the grid, the wordplay being clear enough. Favourites were 11A SIDE ORDER,, 17A URGENCY, both with neat wordplays, and 16D EYES DOWN. I think in 21D BISHAM, you meant to convey that’s it hidden in (rub)BISH AM(assed).

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Simon, and Scorpion for an entertaining puzzle. I’d heard of all the towns except Bisham.

    I had 9ac as HAM [amateur] in TES [because that's the one I used to read] but yours works just as well!

  3. Allan_C says:

    One or two tricky clues but all quite straightforward and, for a Scorpion, relatively easy. I got 9a straight away (parsing it as you did, Eileen) and seeing all the references to “on 9″ in the clues gave the theme. I did wonder at first if all the places would be those that have “-on-Thames” in their full name, e.g. Walton-on-Thames, though it soon proved otherwise.

  4. flashling says:

    I used to live in Reading and was en route there whilst doing this, perhaps because I lived in the area I cleaned this up very quickly. Today’s Nimrod is another matter.

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