Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,413 / Orlando

Posted by Eileen on August 29th, 2011

Eileen.

After Araucaria’s Bank Holiday double challenge, a very pleasant diversion from Orlando for the holiday itself. I didn’t find this too taxing but there’s much to admire here: the usual wit, elegance and variety in the cluing [too many instances to mention here] and some nice references to a wide range of topics – something for almost everyone, I hope. Many thanks, Orlando, for putting me in holiday mood. :-)

Across

  WINDOW DRESSING: WINDOW [light] DRESSING [sauce]
  INCOG: IN + COG [small part]: abbreviation of ‘incognito’, which gives ‘in small part’ a double meaning.
9   ARMENIAN: anagram [unfaithful] of MARIANNE and a clever reference to  Marianne Faithfull
11  ENOUNCE: hidden in havE NO UNCErtainty
12  SWALLOW: double definition
13  DISCO: DISCO[very] [what's come to light - 'very deficient']
15  SAINT PAUL: anagram [turning] of UP IN ATLAS – the capital of Minnesota
17  ILL AT EASE: I’ll [I'm going to] A TEASE [a kid]
20  ECLAT: reversal of TALE [story] around C[onservative]: a nice surface and a favourite crossword word that I haven’t seen for a while, I think.
21  AVERRED: AV [bible - the Authorised Version, which is celebrating its quatercentenary] + ERRED [was not infallible] – a lovely surface!
23  DRESDEN: anagram ['buggy'!] of DR[ive] NEEDS
25  AIR COVER: an ‘eadscarf would be ‘air cover, useful, along with dark glasses,  for travelling 8ac
26  OFLAG: O[ld] FLAG [standard] reference to this prisoner of war camp
27  COLOUR SERGEANT: anagram [& lit?] of NCO SURE TO GLARE

Down

1   WHITE ADMIRAL: anagram [unfortunate] of WITH round E [middle letter of 'Pinkerton'] ADMIRAL [naval officer]: an excellent clue – almost & lit – referring to Lieut. Pinkerton, the US naval officer in Puccini’s ‘Madama Butterfly’ and, of course, the opera itself.
2   NACHO: reversal [from the south] of OH [now I see] + CAN [container]
3   ORGAN LOFT: anagram [in need of repair] of FOR A LONG + T[ime]; a very cleverly constructed clue, I think, and – unfortunately for many churches – another potential & lit!
4   DRAWERS: double definition
5   EL MISTI: ELM [wood] + IS + reversal of IT: I hadn’t heard of this volcano  but the clue is perfectly clear.
  SENNA: double definition: the Formula One champion Ayrton and this laxative
7   NEARLY ALL: most of AL[l]: this is one of those clues that are so beautifully simple that you think they must have been done before but I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen it – a real laugh-out-loud moment.
10  TWELFTH NIGHT: double definition: Shakespeare’s play, with the intended title, ‘What you will’, is believed to have been written around 1601–02 as a Twelfth Night’s entertainment for the close of the Christmas season.
14  SOLFERINO:  SOLO [alone] with F[rance] and ERIN [Ireland] inside
16  THEME SONG: MESON [something with a very short life] in THE G[erman]: I’ve learned today that ‘in particle physics, mesons are subatomic particles composed of one quark and one antiquark, bound together by the strong interaction. Because mesons are composed of sub-particles, they have a physical size, with a radius roughly one femtometer: 10?15 m, which is about 2/3rds the size of a proton or neutron. All mesons are unstable, with the longest-lived lasting for only a few 100-millionths (10?8) of a second.’ On more familiar ground, this is the THEME SONG for this TV comedy  which ran between 1968 and 1977 and is still being repeated  around the world. Another clever and amusing clue.
18  ANDOVER: A N[orthern] DOVER [port]
19  ENDORSE: anagram of RED NOSE
22  RECTO: RECTO[r] [minister not finishing]
24  DELTA: double definition: ‘the flat alluvial area at the mouth of some rivers where the main stream splits up into several distributaries’ – i.e. ‘a bunch of flowers’! – named, for its shape, after the Greek letter delta, the first letter of Dionysus, a Greek name. Another  lovely clue to end with.

16 Responses to “Guardian 25,413 / Orlando”

  1. sppaul says:

    Yes, a jolly jaunt for a bank holiday morning. Thank you Eileen and Orlando. El Misti is in Peru – I think I went there in 1972!

  2. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Eileen. There were a number of unknowns – me at least – especially the “meson”, although no doubt my brother will have had no trouble with it, being a professor of nuclear physics :)

    Others were the battle and the volcano, both guessable from the impeccable cluing. Also not a few smiles and one :lol: at 9ac – it’s a long time since I’ve heard of Ms. Faithful.

    All in all, an enjoyable and instructive work-out. Thanks Orlando.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Many thanks, Eileen, for your blog of a most enjoyable puzzle. Not all that easy, I found, but some excellent clues and a wide variety of devices. Couldn’t manage EL MISTI, although ‘when in doubt follow the instructions’ would have been good advice.

    When I were a lad studying Chemistry, you only had to concern yourself with protons, electrons and neutrons; but now you’ve got your mesons, bosons, leptons, gluons, baryons and hadrons to contend with. Much to the delight of setters, no doubt.

    Thanks too to Orlando.

  4. Robi says:

    Fair clu(e)ing, although the unknowns of EL MISTI, SOLFERINO, SAINT PAUL and OFLAG caused a bit of a Monday grump.

    Thanks Eileen for a good blog. I failed to spot the DRESDEN ‘buggy’ anagram. I see the Quiptic is also an Orlando – better cut the lawn first.

  5. chas says:

    Thanks to Eileen for the blog. Once again I had to come here to see why I was right for NACHO and THEME SONG.

    I liked ARMENIAN once I had spotted it was an anagram but I failed to see the allusion to the singer :(

    I liked AIR COVER

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Eileen & Orlando, this was very enjoyable although rather harder than our usual Monday fare but all the better for it.

    I struggled in the NW corner but got there in the end.

    My COD was TWELFTH NIGHT and I also liked INCOG which eventually arrived unexpectedly.

  7. Lopakhin says:

    Stella @ 2: The wonderful Ms F will not thank you for misspelling her surname – though it’s probably happened many times before; she’s FAITHFULL. An adjective she isn’t!

    Agreed: a satisfying session with Orlando – but how did I not spot ENOUNCE hidden in there?

  8. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Eileen & Orlando

    Quite a nice puzzle although I have never heard of EL MISTI or the battle of SOLFERINO. Crimean war? I will have to Google it.

    For a start I entered ALMOST ALL for 7D and this held me up for a while.

  9. Eileen says:

    Hi gm4hqf

    I’ve saved you the trouble – just click on the link! :-)

  10. caretman says:

    Thanks, Eileen, for the blog.

    After spending the weekend working out the prize puzzle, and now with probably spending the next few days figuring out how 4-5 of those clues work, it was good to have a gentle beginning to the week.

    Lopakhin @7, you’re not the only one who missed the hidden answer in 11a. I thought it was a homophone clue with “speak out” acting as both the indicator of the homophone and what the light was to be a homophone of (“announce”).

    I had to look up OFLAG and SOLFERINO to confirm. In fact, for the latter, I initially thought it might be SALFERINO, with F(rance) and I(reland) in SALERNO, a battle I was much more familiar with, even though I doubted that the result would be word meaning “alone.” I was just one letter off.

    So thanks, Orlando, for a fun start to the week.

  11. Eileen says:

    Hi caretman and Lopakhin

    I thought ENOUNCE was really well hidden. I’m still not sure where the indicator is – which is why I didn’t mention it! I could make out a case, I think, for either ‘have’ or ‘out’.

    caretman, re SOLFERINO: this was somewhere in the back of my mind but the first thing that leaped up was SALERNO [since my dad was involved in it, I think] but, of course, as you say, it didn’t fit! Just for the record, and for future reference, I can’t find I = Ireland anywhere. I is the IVR for Italy [and IRL for Ireland].

    [I'm sure everyone here is relieved that your weather has been less severe than feared. We were thinking of you.]

  12. MattD says:

    Fun with some new words for me. Nice after over 24 hours battling with saturday’s prize monster.

    Any crossword with meson is good for me!

    Thanks eileen for explaining the last one. Flowers is a misdirect I usually pick up on but failed to see it thus time.

  13. Orlando says:

    Hi Eileen,

    Thank you for the blog, and thanks to all who have commented.

    I remember the battle of Solferino from O-level history [Europe 1815-1914] – remember O-levels? Apropos, there is a Rue de Solférino in Paris and a Metro station called Solférino, near the Musée d’Orsay. One of these days I am going to set a puzzle with a hidden theme of Paris Metro stations, so Solferino may crop up again in that context. Be warned!

  14. Eileen says:

    Hi Orlando

    Thanks for dropping in – it’s always good to hear from you!

    I do indeed remember the Battle of Solferino from O Level Unification of Italy! [as I said, 'from the back of the mind', as Bamber Gascoigne used to say] – it’s just that I’ve seen SALERNO a number of times in crosswords because it’s conveniently an anagram ['new'!] of ‘Orleans’.

    ["One of these days I am going to set a puzzle with a hidden theme of Paris Metro stations, so Solferino may crop up again in that context. Be warned!"] Oh dear!

  15. nmsindy says:

    Paris Metro stations have been done before – I’ve a clear and distinct recollection as I blogged it but missed the theme! A Saturday Indy by Merlin quite a while back, if memory serves.

  16. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Orlando for an excellent blog of a very clever puzzle

    After spending a lot of time on Saturday’s double, I had a busy day today and only got round to this one this evening. I eventually got and understood it all, but I was badly held up in the SW. I was sure that 22d must be ‘folio’ (a Minister’s concerns are his portfolio, and this minus one side (port) gives ‘folio’ (a document)! Of course this threw me badly out for 21a and 25a. At least I magnaged to think myself out of this mess having thought myself into it.

    I liked 1a, 2a, 13a, 3d, 16d, and 24d.

    A great puzzle in retrospect and at times along the way, but by the time I came to it, I rather missed the quicker solve Rufus usually provides!

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