Fifteensquared

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Independent 7,644 by Tyrus (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 16/04/11)

Posted by Simon Harris on April 23rd, 2011

Simon Harris.

A strange one this. Certainly very tough, and I found it hard to get any momentum going. Spotting the theme late didn’t help, of course. In fact, there are elements of it that still don’t quite gel for me, and I’m left with the feeling that I’m missing something rather key.

The theme is schools, or at least rough pronunciations of them. Central to this – though not literally, of course – is the perimeter nina, which is displays vaguely Cockneyish-sounding homophones of the names of four schools, two fictional and two real. In clockwise order they are:

GRAIN + JILL “Grange ‘ill” Grange Hill
ARROW “‘arrow” Harrow
BASH + TREAT “Bash Street” Bash Street
EATEN “Eton” Eton College

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

Across
1 GRAIN – I in GRAN.
4 JILL – J[a]IL + L[eg].
8 EONS – ON in Es.
9 TARGET AREA – (RETREAT AGA[in)*.
10 ACCENT - (C + EN) in ACT. Spotting the appropriate pronunciation of "grave" is crucial here!
11 OUSTING - S in OUTING.
12/19 TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL - cd. and an indication that there may be some reference to schools ("class") with some initial Hs dropped in the perimeter ("round 'ere"). I think that's all there is to it, but there could be more.
15 GOER - I've no idea how this works, beyond the definition: Repair switch touching live wire.
16 EDGE - [w]EDGE.
18 EISENHOWER – (WOE HERE IS [pali]N)*.
21 IMPEACH – I’M + CHEAP*.
23 SHINTO – HINT in SO.
25 NETTLESOME – LES in NET TOME.
26 SHAW – HAS* + W. George Bernard, of course.
27 BASHAB< + SH.
28 TREAT – T[h]REAT.
Down
1 GROUCHO – Peter [c]ROUCH in GO.
2 AISLE – hom. of “isle”.
3 NOT AT HOME – NO TAT + HOME[r], I think.
4 JEERS – JEE[pe]RS.
5 LEAVING DO – (GIVE AN OLD)*.
6 CRY OFFC + RY + OFF.
7 MEAGRE – (E in GAM<) + RE. At least that's how I parsed it; the tilde in the clue remains a mystery to me.
13 CLEOPATRA – (COLE APART)*. The reference is to the distinctly ordinary-looking Cheryl Cole, whose primary claim to fame appears to be marrying a footballer.
14 RENASCENT – SANER< + CENT.
17 DRIVEL – RIVE in LD<.
20 EXTRACT – EXTRA + C[a]T.
22 ALEPH – [fem]ALE PH[ysiotherapist].
24 ISSUE – [t]ISSUE.

16 Responses to “Independent 7,644 by Tyrus (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 16/04/11)”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Simon.

    I thought this was a super puzzle. I didn’t fully understand 12/19, as I only saw the Nina just before you posted – and laughed out loud. Great stuff!

    Great cluing throughout; I think my favourites were 9 and 18ac. 4ac caused the most problems, I think – very clever!

    15 ac is GO [repair] + reversal of RE [touching]

  2. Eileen says:

    PS Many thanks to Tyrus for a challenging and very enjoyable solve.

  3. Allan_C says:

    I’m even more mystified than you, Simon, about 7. I can’t see where the ref to 19 (‘school’) comes in at all. And I never spotted the tilde; doing the dead tree edition i thought it was just a mark on the paper.

  4. Eileen says:

    Hi Allan_C

    A GAM is a school of whales, which I only found out last Saturday. I’ve known ‘pod’ [from crosswords] for some time now!

  5. beermagnet says:

    Apart from the clue to 12/19 with its “Not round ‘ere reportedly” indicating the perimeter, there is CRY OFF SCHOOL down the middle which I saw as a similar suggestion.

  6. mc_rapper67 says:

    I think 15A is GO (repair, as in ‘go to’) + ER (re, ‘on or touching’, switched) = GOER (live wire, lively person).

    (I completed and submitted this without even noticing the ‘skool’ theme, so thanks for the enlightenment there…)

  7. Allan_C says:

    Thanks, Eileen!

  8. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was v good, a little easier than some previous Tyrus puzzles, I thought. I spotted the real schools but not the fictional ones, the second one I did not realise was a school till now. Thanks, Tyrus, and Simon.

  9. mc_rapper67 says:

    Sorry – should have read Eileen’s comment fully…(;+>)

  10. jp says:

    Is there any way of putting the clues in the blog? I’ve lost my torn-out crossword from last Saturday. Or can I go on a site to see it?

  11. Eileen says:

    Hi jp

    The puzzle’s here:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/puzzles/crosswords/cryptic/

  12. Allan_C says:

    Hi jp

    To add to Eileen’s advice, that link normally takes you to the current day’s puzzle – but because Saturday and Sunday are prize puzzles they’re always a week behind.

  13. bamberger says:

    Is there a way of printing the Indie crossword, please? The papershop doesn’t open until I’ve left for work and I’m trying to solve an Indie unaided so having the commute time helps.
    Thanks

  14. beermagnet says:

    bamberger – to print:
    Download a copy of CrosswordSolver from http://www.crosswordsolver.info/
    Once installed and run, under the “File” menu there’s a “Download puzzle …” action that leads to a list where you can select “Independent (Cryptic)”
    When it is loaded you can Print using “File” “Print”, or the printer icon.

  15. bamberger says:

    Beermagent -that is brilliant -thanks very much

  16. Nitsy says:

    I thought the “Cole apart” anagram was excellent.

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