Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman 3378/26 June 2011

Posted by Pierre on July 3rd, 2011

Pierre.

A clearly-clued and entertaining entry-level puzzle from Everyman.  I was particularly taken with some clever anagrams this week.

 

 

 

 

cd  cryptic definition
dd  double definition
(xxxx)*  anagram
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x]  missing letter

Across

British PM receiving a kiss from a domineering woman
BATTLE-AXE
A charade of B for British and ATTLEE with an insertion (‘receiving’) of A X for ‘a kiss’.  Clement Attlee was the British PM in the post-war years after the Labour Party won a landslide victory over Churchill’s Conservatives.

Sensational cover capturing ancient city
LURID
An insertion (‘capturing’) of UR, CrosswordLand’s favourite ancient city, in LID.

Does it mean brand new slots?
ONE-ARMED BANDITS
This is the first of the anagrams that I really liked.  It’s (DOES IT MEAN BRAND)* and the surface is very well-constructed. ‘New’ is the anagrind and since ‘slots’ is a slightly loose definition of ‘slot machines’, there’s a question mark at the end.  Fine clue.

10  Staff and non-commissioned officers in a large country house
MANOR
Lovely surface for a simple clue: it’s a charade of MAN for  ‘staff’ in the verbal sense and OR for ‘other ranks’.

11  Runs from farm in a dell in flood
AVALANCHE
Everyman’s indicating that you should remove the R from [R]ANCH and then insert it into A VALE for ‘a dell’.  It’s relying on the non-snowy definition of ‘avalanche’, as in a phrase like ‘an avalanche of criticism’.

12  Cause for hope in plight
PROMISE
A dd, and a very clever one, imho.  This was my last one in, and I knew it had to be PROMISE, but it took me a while to see why.  One definition is obviously ’cause for hope'; but the other relies on the archaic meaning of ‘plight’, as heard in church wedding ceremonies.  ‘And thereto I plight thee my troth.’  Translation: ‘And so I promise you my fidelity’.  One in three marriages in the UK ends in divorce, but hey ho, we all meant it at the time …

13  Provokes former partner with quotes
EXCITES
A charade of EX and CITES.

15  Turning device that could make you chatter
RATCHET
(CHATTER)*

17  Artist getting help, a struggling Italian painter
RAPHAEL
A charade of RA for artist and (HELP A)*  ‘Struggling’ is the anagrind for the second part of the answer.  The painter was a contemporary of Michaelangelo and Da Vinci.

18  Former service provider?
PRESS GANG
Smiley clue, linking the old with the new.  Most of today’s youth would immediately think ISP, but of course in the olden days, the press gang were the group of army or navy recruiters who would get you drunk and then sign you up for duty in the services with a promise of the King’s Shilling.  A cd.

20  Drink drop of kirsch at party back in Virginia
VODKA
An insertion of K for first letter of kirsch and DO for party (all reversed, ‘back’) in VA for Virginia state.

22  Crafty minor orders mask to bring about artful deception
SMOKE AND MIRRORS
Another fine anagram.  I was off into Oliver Twist and Artful Dodger territory for a while, but it’s (MINOR ORDERS MASK)* and ‘crafty’ is the anagrind.

23  In the process of looting, with place being abandoned
UNDER
It’s [PL]UNDER, and ‘in the process of’ as in ‘in the process of construction’/’under construction’.

24  Those who just missed out on the gold rush?
RUNNERS-UP
Not referring to the ’49ers but to a race or other competition where you’re competing for the gold medal.  A cd.

Down

Bishop fell over brush
BROOM
A charade of B for bishop and a reversal (‘over’) of MOOR for ‘fell’.

He had tender foot treated in bus terminus?
THE END OF THE ROAD
Another clever anagram.  It’s (HE HAD TENDER FOOT)*  ‘Treated’ is the anagrind.

Praise Garland, reportedly, and a broadcasting executive
LORD REITH
A homophone clue, indicated by ‘reportedly’, of ‘laud wreath’.  LORD REITH was the founder and first Director General of the BBC, and is remembered each year through the Reith Lectures.

Mean to declare silver and lead in earrings
AVERAGE
Plenty of misdirection here, with both ‘mean’ and ‘lead’ changing their meanings from the surface reading.  The definition is ‘mean’ and then it’s AVER, AG for ‘silver’ and E for the ‘lead’ letter in earrings.

Welcome hug
EMBRACE
A dd.

Girl in hotel in Damascus
LINDA
Hidden in hoteL IN DAmascus.

Rule in hearing on domestic pets, then come down hard
RAIN CATS AND DOGS
A charade of RAIN for a homophone (‘hearing’) of ‘reign’ and CATS AND DOGS.  This phrase is one of the mysteries of the English language, with a number of theories of where it came from, none of them conclusive.  You can ask Mrs Google if you like, but I’m not convinced by the most common explanation, which is that cats and dogs used to live under thatched roofs and would be washed down to the floor when it rained heavily.  The French have a much better expression: ‘Il pleut comme les vaches qui pissent‘, ‘It’s raining like cows pissing’, which you don’t need much imagination to interpret.

Natural spread of seed is spread out on lawn, initially
DISPERSAL
A charade of (IS SPREAD) and L for the first letter of lawn.

12  Together, eccentric pair get through university
PARI PASSU
A charade of (PAIR)* PASS and U. ‘With equal speed; side by side; simultaneously and equally’ (SOED).  If you’re interested, it comes from the Latin for ‘with equal step’.  And yes, I only know this from crosswords.

14  Always seen with daughter wearing cloak in republic
CAPE VERDE
The archipelago in the Atlantic is an insertion (‘wearing’) of EVER and D for ‘daughter’ in CAPE.

16  Rough terrain for a coach
TRAINER
Another cleverly hidden anagram.  It’s (TERRAIN)* and the anagrind is ‘rough’.

17  Most of army unit’s recommended diet
REGIMEN
REGIMEN[t].

19  Weapon attracting special attention
SPEAR
A charade of SP for ‘special’ and EAR for ‘attention’.

21 Storyteller can make adult sit up
AESOP
He of the fables fame is a charade of A for ‘adult’ and ESOP for ‘pose’ or ‘sit’ reversed.  ‘Up’ is the reversal indicator since this is a down clue.

I enjoyed solving and blogging this one.  Thank you to Everyman.

6 Responses to “Everyman 3378/26 June 2011”

  1. Mystogre says:

    Thank you Pierre. A typically gentle linguistic ramble from Everyman. I enjoyed 11, 12 and 18ac but had trouble in the SW corner with UNDER taking a long time to drop. Knew it had to be that, but why was the problem. All four longer clues were interesting challenges with three of them being well constructed anagrams and the fourth a trip down memory lane, as I have not heard it used for some time.

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Pierre & Everyman this was very enjoyable and a tad more tricky than our usual Sunday fare.

    Like Mystogre, the SW corner was the last for me, too.

    My first take on 3d was LORD JUDIE but eventually I conjured up REITH from somewhere.

    I knew PARI PASSU from studying law many years ago and I also recall landing at CAPE VERDE when, unusually, a flight between London & Jo’burg made a transit stop there.

  3. Bamberger says:

    I struggled with the last two weeks but breezed through this one except for 19d where , faced with s?e?r, the answer was likely to be “spear” but for some reason couldn’t see why.
    9a was brilliant.

  4. Davy says:

    Thanks Pierre,

    I thought this puzzle was Everyman in top form with some great anagrams and surfaces. I didn’t understand the ‘plight’ part in 12a but I do now – very clever. I struggled to come up with UNDER and PARI PASSU but realised that the last word was unusual when left with P_S_U. I don’t think Everyman is always as easy as some people maintain.

    Particular favourites were BATTLE AXE which evoked memories of Peggy Mount, ONE-ARMED BANDITS (now bandits usually have two arms and are often in government) and the brilliant PRESS GANG which for some reason I saw immediately.

    Many thanks Everyman.

  5. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Pierre for a comprehensive, and comprehendable, blog.

    I guessed the homophone in 3d, but had to look up the spelling, as I didn’t know the man. Last in PARI PASSU, when it could hardly be anything else – never heard the expression, but according to Wiki it has to do with inheritances.

    A very enjoyable puzzle, where I had no problem with archaic usages, and enjoyed the long anagrams. Thanks as ever, Everyman

  6. Stephanie Fleming says:

    Pierre, I just want to say how much I enjoy your blog which I happened across some weeks ago. Down here in New Zealand the puzzle is published several weeks later in our Saturday Herald , this one we got yesterday. It’s great to have found somewhere to go for those particularly difficult clues or as in this weeks puzzle work out why why you thought was right, is right!! Pari passu being a particular case in point.
    Again, thank you for the blog and keep up the good work.

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