Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1,124 by Crosophile

Posted by Simon Harris on September 4th, 2011

Simon Harris.

It’ll be interesting to hear how other solvers found this. It seemed to me to be a step up in difficulty and inventiveness for Crosophile and for Sundays in general. Either way, it was very good.

Just looking at the grid now, there seems to be a Nina that I missed during solving. I can see NITROGEN and NARCOSIS in the unchecked squares of rows 2 and 4. This is not something that I’m familiar with, but a quick google shows it to be a nasty-sounding condition from which divers can suffer, particularly when diving at great depth.

As for how it’s made its way into our Sunday crossword? I’m afraid readers will have to enlighten me on that!

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

Across
1 UMBRA – UMBR[i]A.
4 COMMENCE – from COMMERCE with N (knight) in place of R (rook).
9 IN VITRO – [un]INVIT[ed] (from 1dn) + [liquo]R + 0.
10 TREADLE – ALTERED*.
11 VILLAV + ILL + A. Aston Villa being the football club, of course
12 PRATTLESP + RATTLES.
14 THEATRICAL – (E in THAT) + [elect]RICAL.
15 JAMB – JAM + B[eside].
18 DEEP – DEE + P. Perhaps another diving reference here.
20 SUPERMODEL – (PERM + O.D.) in (SUE + [catwa]L[k]) &lit.
23 WALKOVER – hom. of “war” + K + OVER.
24 RISKYR.I. + SKY.
26 RAPTURE – a potential homophone (“some might say”) of “wrapped ya”.
27 ASCETIC – hom. of “acetic”.
28 FEAST DAYE in FAST DAY.
29 RUPEE – [pe]RU + PEE.
Down
1 UNINVITED – UNI[o]N + VITE + D.
2 BIVALVE – (V +V + LIABLE)*.
3 ATTRACTS – TART* + ACTS.
4 CROC – CROC[k].
5 MOTORCADES – (DEMOCRAT SO)*. I thought the less common meaning of “occasional” was nicely used here.
6 EGESTA – E.G. + EATS* &lit.
7 CEDILLA – [i]CED + I’LL + A[brade]. A cedilla is the little squiggle seen on the Ç in “façade”.
8 NESS – dd.
13 FIGUREHEAD – FIGURE + HEAD.
16 BELLYACHE – BELLY “joint below loin” + ACHE (from EACH, with “first to last”).
17 EMBRACER – CAR< in EMBER.
19 ECLIPSEE + CLIPS + E.
21 DESKTOP – (SK[y]PED TO)*.
22 TOP-UPST + O[wner] + PUPS.
23 WORK – W OR K &lit.
25 HAZY – Z in HAY.

7 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1,124 by Crosophile”

  1. Glow-worm says:

    Forgive my butting in, but could anyone enlighten me as to whether there was a review of my puzzle for August 21st — IoS 1123 — and if so where it is? It’s always a pleasure to read the 15 Squared comments and I feel quite bereft. No Ninas in it, though…

    Regards to all

    Geoff Oxley

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Glow-worm
    It was pointed out to me earlier today that there has not been a blog posted for 1123 and I have emailed the scheduled blogger to find out why.

  3. Wanderer says:

    I don’t have enough experience of Crosophile’s work to know whether this was a step up in difficulty for the setter; but I entirely agree that it was much more difficult than we’re used to on a Sunday, and very welcome indeed for it. I guess many people have more free time at weekends than during the week, and I needed plenty of time for this one!

    Lots of favourites here. The UNINVITED/IN VITRO cross was excellent, SUPERMODEL took me a lot of working out, CEDILLA, DESKTOP and THEATRICAL also pleased. Sadly I failed to spot NITROGEN NARCOSIS, and I fear I can add nothing to what it’s doing there.

    Many thanks Simon for the blog, and to Crosophile for an unexpectedly tough and hugely enjoyable puzzle.

  4. superkiwigirl says:

    Many thanks for your usual fine blog, Simon, and for a very entertaining puzzle, Crosophile.

    I agree that this was somewhat more difficult than we often get on a Sunday, but I’m with Wanderer in finding this no bad thing. I managed to get quite a few solutions fairly easily, but then slowed right down and had to struggle with the last ones in.

    Interestingly, several solvers (me included) found Crosophile’s puzzle on Wednesday quite tough (though again, it was a very enjoyable challenge). If I remember correctly, Crosophile joined the blog to explain that he is still trying the gauge the level of difficulty which Indy solvers prefer. My own view is that, goldilocks style, the level displayed in these last two puzzles is “just right”.

    I’m afraid that I also missed NITROGEN NARCOSIS, and whilst I can see a “slightly watery” connection with words like DEEP, NESS and FIGUREHEAD I don’t see a full blown nina here (or is there more to this?)

  5. scchua says:

    Thanks Simon and Crosophile.

    This Sunday’s, as well as last Sunday’s, were enjoyable puzzles, and, as I said on the Site Feedback, as good in challenge and quality as the average weekday Indy. Thanks Glowworm for last Sunday’s.

    I spotted the NITROGEN NARCOSIS, which is also called RAPTURE of the DEEP. I assume Crosophile has an interest in diving.

    Favourites were 9A IN VITRO, last one in, taking some time to twig that “one down” = clue 1D; 29A RUPEE, and the &lit 6D EGESTA.

    If I might add, I think 26A RAPTURE is a homophone “some might say” of “wrapped’cha” with the “cha” as in “gotcha”. Also, since it’s not a familiar sense of the word, in 14A THEATRICAL, “elect” = “saved” in the religious sense.

  6. flashling says:

    As scheduled blogger for glowworm I can only apologise, I forgot and the paper has long since been recycled. Sorry it had been a busy weekend (or 2 or 3).

    Flashling/Phil

  7. Crosophile says:

    Thanks, everyone, for the helpful and pleasing feedback.
    Re the nina, if I remember rightly I went with ‘nitrogen narcosis’ because, as (8,8) it fitted the grid nicely and had potential as a hidden theme. In the event, disappointingly, the ‘bends’ and ‘divers’ or whatever couldn’t easily be worked in though ‘rapture’ and ‘deep’ made it to the cut.

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