Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1110, by Crosophile

Posted by jetdoc on May 29th, 2011

jetdoc.

Blogging from my sister’s dining room table today, up in the Lake District. An entertaining puzzle from Crosophile — relatively gentle on the solver, but with some nice twists.

Across
1 AUTHENTIC Real gold in that case gets detailed check
AU = gold; THEN = in that case; TIC[k]
6 DEPTH Dipstick measures this small branch taking hours
DEPT = small branch (of a business etc); H = hours
9 ATILT A little dodgy, knocking a couple off — not on the level
*(A litt) — anagram of ‘a little’ minus a couple of letters
10 RESERVOIR Errors I’ve corrected in store
*(Errors I’ve)
11 HULLABALOO Song and dance from Emu’s owner, a cartoon bear
Rod Hull, Emu’s owner; Baloo the bear
12 FOWL The sound of ghastly birds
Sounds like “foul”
14 NEONATE Gas swallowed by baby
NEON = gas; ATE = swallowed
15 FROGMAN This diver’s of German cast but not European
*(of Grman), ‘cast’ being the anagram indicator, and ‘not European’ indicating that the E should be removed
17 CUSHION Zip in metal shin pad
O = zip (nothing); CU = metal (copper); SHIN. Definition: pad.
19 MONSTER Swiss cheese plant, not a big one
Monstera (Monstera deliciosa) without A.
20 NEAT Ordered to be seized back (under contract)
TA’EN reversed
22 STALACTITE One of the suspenders, perhaps, is made of elastic that’s not hard
*(elastic tat) — ‘not hard’ means take out the H before anagramming
25 MARGARITA Cocktail — a small amount knocked back by educated woman?
A GRAM, reversed; RITA refers to Educating Rita
26 PARED Cut into twos say?
Sounds like “paired”
27 SANDY As the beach ends in sky?
S AND Y are the ends of ‘sky’
28 GODFATHER Don to assemble around one dozen fellows initially
GATHER = assemble; ODF = initial letters of ‘one dozen fellows initially’
Down
1 AWASH Ark originally used to be on top of hill that’s covered in water
a = Ark originally; WAS = used to be; on H = top of hill
2 TRILLIONS A huge number of Tweets around one being broadcast
TRILLS = Tweets; I = one; ON = being broadcast
3 EUTHANASIA After a struggle auntie has a painless death
*(auntie has a)
4 TERRACE What’s bank raised? There’s suspicion about the margins of error
TRACE = suspicion; ER = margins of error
5 CAST OFF Moor no longer seen — Equity on strike?
CAST =Equity; OFF = on strike. Definition: ‘moor no longer’
6 DIRT With no hint of evidence attempted to back up nasty rumours
‘tried’ = ‘attempted’, minus E (hint of evidence), reversed
7 PHOTO Visual evidence it’s dangerous in river?
HOT = dangerous; in PO = river (River Po)
8 HARDLINER Dry and more solid around waterfall?
HARDER = more solid; LIN = waterfall. Politically, ‘dry’ and ‘hardliner’ refer to people who are ‘definite and unyielding; having such an attitude or policy’.
13 CORNUCOPIA Our cap with coin after playing? Wish it was this!
*(our cap coin). Cornucopia
14 NICKNAMES Soubriquets such as ’Rob’?
‘Rob’ and ‘nick’ both mean ‘steal’.
16 MATRIARCH For her, is right demeanour to be upstanding in marriage?
MATCH = marriage; R AIR = right demeanour, reversed
18 NOTHING Not Out’s the object — a duck! …
NO = Not Out; THING = object
19 MALLARD … and another walk, the essence of foolhardiness
MALL = walk; foolhARDiness
21 APRON Shortly after March, later stage
APR = Shortly after March; ON = later. Any part of the stage that extends past the proscenium arch and into the audience or seating area
23 ELDER Ancient tree (a chestnut?)
Three definitions (though ‘chestnut’ for something old and stale seems to be pushing it a bit.
24 WARY Taking care to be right in manner
R in WAY

6 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1110, by Crosophile”

  1. Bamberger says:

    The NW was fully completed, bits of the NE were solved but the SW was completely blank and only had 13d/26a in the SE.
    I’m afraid I still don’t get 20a. I know that neat =ordered but can’t see where does ta’en comes from and the significance of (under contract).

    19a Never heard of monstera
    19d This must be one of the few times that the … genuinely refers back to the previous clue.

    Bit above my ability level e.g 16d have to spot match=marriage , spot air=demeanour and do some reversing.

  2. nmsindy says:

    I enjoyed this puzzle a lot. I think ‘under contract’ means TAKEN (seized) is contracted ie shortened to TA’EN. Thanks Crosophile and Jetdoc.

  3. superkiwigirl says:

    Thanks jetdoc for the helpful blog and Crosphile for an enjoyable puzzle.

    After a quick romp through the Everyman this morning I came to this one with hopes of a dividend for all of the practice that I’ve been putting in lately. I struggled towards the end however, and like Bamberger finished off in the SW, with APRON as the penultimate and NEAT my last one. As soon as I read the parsing I couldn’t believe how I had missed it – “back” and “contract” are clear enough, I just didn’t think about losing a middle letter to produce such a phrase (is it Scots/northern dialect?) .

    Favorite clues were HARDLINER (learned in the process of “lin” as crossword speak) and MATRIARCH. APRON is really good too I think.

    Onwards and upwards as they say!

  4. jetdoc says:

    Chambers, rather unhelpfully, just gives ‘a contraction of taken’. This was the last one for me too — answer fairly obvious from defiition and checking letters, but wordplay quite tricky.

  5. Crosophile says:

    Many thanks, jetdoc.
    Just to clarify with 23d (ELDER), ‘chestnut’ was only meant to refer to it being a bit of a hackneyed clue (attempting to freshen it with a slightly self-referential spin!).

  6. Allan_C says:

    “Ta’en” is quite old usage. Found in Shakespeare as in “Let me be ta’en, let me be put to death” (Romeo & Juliet, III, v).

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