Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1158/Poins

Posted by Pierre on May 6th, 2012

Pierre.

My sense is that the Independent on Sunday puzzle is one that’s pitched at a reasonably accessible level so that ‘lesser mortals’ (and I have deliberately used the inverted commas) can have a crack at winning the prize.  Of the ones that I’ve blogged so far, however, I would say that this is the hardest I’ve come across.  Which means I need help to pin down the parsing on a couple, please.

It’s not a bad crossword by any means, but there weren’t many light-hearted moments; however, as I’ve said before, perhaps we’re all supposed to have our serious solving hats on for the Sunday prize.  The other thing that struck me was the high number of multi-part answers, where you have to sort out up to four elements to arrive at your solution.  Nothing wrong with that, but I just felt that there were a few too many of them in this particular crossword.

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

Across

Upset but extremely ladylike after son’s slight
SUBTLE
A three-part charade: S for ‘son’, UBT for ‘but’ upset, and LE for the outer letters of LadylikE.

Spooner’s group spoils game
HANDBALL
It’s just me, but Spooner clues are not my favourites, because you get into discussions about whether you’re swapping the first letters, or the first syllables, or whatever.  But this is pretty clear: BAND for ‘group’ and HAUL for ‘spoils’ given the good Reverend’s treatment.

10  Transferred target man for brawling
TERMAGANT
(TARGET MAN)* with ‘transferred’ as the anagrind.  TERMAGANT can apparently be used as an adjective as well as a noun.

11  Approaches essential to linear systems
NEARS
Hidden in liNEAR Systems.

12  River goddess
ISIS
A dd.  The Thames at Oxford and the Egyptian goddess.  Don’t know whether that’s where river name came from.

13  One dabbling in colour said to possess talent unfamiliar to model
DILETTANTE
A bit occurring here: it’s (T DIE TALENT)* with T as the ‘model’ T Ford and DIE as a homophone (‘said’) of DYE, ‘colour’.  I think.

15  American actress goes after Chrissie’s first racket
CLAMOUR
A charade of C and LAMOUR for the American actress Dorothy LAMOUR, perhaps best known for her roles in the Road to … movies.  I suspect the misdirection with ‘Chrissie’s’ is referring to Chris(sie) Evert, the American tennis player.

16  Leave as contrast
SET OFF
A dd.  ‘That blouse sets off your make-up nicely.’

19  Threaten, in French, to break this symbol of authority
MENACE
An insertion of EN for one of the words in French for ‘in’, in MACE, the ceremonial symbol of authority.  There’s one in the House of Commons, and those old enough will remember that Michael Heseltine got a bag on in 1976 and started waving it about during a debate.  I think he got hoyed out of the Commons for a bit because of this.

21  Peace finally after prince gets old French duke to yield
PRODUCE
Another multi-part charade: PR for ‘prince’, O for ‘old’, DUC for ‘French duke’ and E for the last letter of ‘peacE’.  ‘Yield’ is the definition.  Good surface.

23  Awful lie involving student spread around before you put your foot in it
ESPADRILLE
The sandal, into which you put your foot, is (SPREAD)* then (L LIE)*  The two anagrinds are ‘awful’ and ‘around’, and it’s L for ‘learner’ or ‘student’.

25  Guard lacking Henry’s incisiveness
EDGE
[H]EDGE

27  Deal with a small quantity
TOUCH
A dd.   ‘He won’t touch it with a bargepole’ and ‘A touch of frost.’

28  At risk when circling narrow island
ON THIN ICE
‘At risk’ is the definition, then it’s an insertin of THIN and I in ONCE.

29  President discovering Catholic in male family line
MCKINLEY
Another multi-part clue: the 25th President of the United States (1897-1901) is an insertion of C for ‘Catholic’ and KIN for ‘family’ in M for ‘male’ and LEY for ‘LEY line’, the line between two sites allegedly having some kind of paranormal property.

30  Fellow getting spiritual illumination in Exodus
FLIGHT
A charade of F and LIGHT.

Down

Plant gun in a corner, perhaps
SET PIECE
I did like this once I’d had the pdm.  It’s a charade of SET for ‘plant’ or ‘put’ and PIECE for ‘gun’.  And of course a corner in football is a SET PIECE.

An obstruction to prevent the retreat of Irish rebel
BARRICADE
Yet another multi-parter: BAR is ‘to prevent’, RI is the abbreviation for ‘Irish’ reversed, and Jack CADE, the Man of Kent/Kentish Man who led a rebellion against Henry VI.  I only knew the last bit because it came up in another puzzle recently.  One to file away, I fancy.

Guide shows initiative
LEAD
The effortlessness with which the English language can have the same word as a noun or verb is at the root of this clue.  ‘I will LEAD you; I will guide you.’  ‘I will take the LEAD; I will take the initiative.’

He leaves without feeling ingenuous
ARTLESS
[HE]ARTLESS.

Symbol of French belief about the central features of capitalism
DENOTATION
Plenty of français aujourd’hui.  DE for ‘of’ in French, then an insertion of TA for the central letters of ‘capiTAlism’ in NOTION for ‘belief’.

About to reach further
AGAIN
A charade of A and GAIN.

Contribution to school assessments for girls
LASSES
I was thinking along SATs lines here, but it’s hidden in schooL ASSESments.

Not as difficult as the Queen supporting independence after the end of empire
EASIER
Since it’s a down clue, the last two letters are ER for ‘Queen’ and they’re ‘supporting’ E for the last letter of ‘empire’, AS and I for ‘independence’.

14  Occasionally referring to uprising when going around with Tunisia’s leader
NOW AND THEN
Okay, I have looked at this long enough.  ‘Occasionally’ is the definition, but I can’t parse it, so help appreciated.

17  Moneypenny’s dumped in launch as it’s abandoned
FOUNDLING
You might as well have two in a row you can’t explain.  Launch is founding, I guess, and a FOUNDLING is a baby that’s abandoned in a safe place, but where Moneypenny comes into it I can’t see.  I’m not being much help to you this morning, am I?

18  Forceful macho types kept in check
VEHEMENT
Clever clue.  An insertion of HE MEN in VET.

20  An abstract of mine getting an award after European exhibition’s opening
EPITOME
‘A summary or abstract of a written work’ (SOED).  E for ‘European’ PIT for ‘mine’, OM for ‘Order of Merit’ and E for the first letter of ‘exhibition’.

21  Cultivated it among staff
POLITE
An insertion of IT in POLE.

22  Priest in silence retreating behind small partition
SEPTUM
The definition is ‘partition’, particularly in the biological sense and even more particularly in the cardiac SEPTUM sense.  There haven’t half been some multi-part clues in this one: S for ‘small’, then an insertion of P for ‘priest’ in MUTE, ‘silence’ reversed.

24  Courage lacking at first in Shakespearean character
PLUCK
An insertion of L for the first letter of ‘lacking’ in PUCK, one of the characters in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Aka Robin Goodfellow and an Indy setter.

26  One of 8 letters initially found after the return of Kit
GIRL
Poins is asking you to look at LASSES for 8dn and make a singular: it’s a reversal of RIG for ‘kit’ followed by L for the first letter of ‘letters’.

Many thanks to the setter.

9 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1158/Poins”

  1. flashling says:

    Hi Pierre, re 14 referring to = ON rev = NO + (WHEN +T(unisia))* around AND (with) – not fully got the other yet.

  2. Dormouse says:

    17d – “Moneypenny dumped”, I think means (P)OUND inside FLING for launch.

    A simpler explanation of 13ac is (TALENT)* + T inside DIE, homophone for DYE.

  3. flashling says:

    Good spots Dormouse, TY. Cheers Pierre, I doubt any blogger even gaufrid has a perfect record.

  4. Pierre says:

    Thanks, both. Should have seen NOW AND THEN, but I’d still have been looking at FOUNDLING this time next week without Dormouse’s elucidation.

  5. Wanderer says:

    Thank you for the elucidations, Pierre. Like you I found this harder than usual for a Sunday, and I was also unable to parse FOUNDLING (thanks Dormouse).

    At 30, I resisted putting in FLIGHT for ages because I couldn’t (and can’t) see the significance of ‘spiritual’ in the clue. And I fear I still don’t really understand how 7, AGAIN, works. At 29, I thought the line may have been our old friend EL, the elevated railway, and tried to invent a President McKinnel… couldn’t justify the second N, of course.

    Ticks for 13, DILETTANTE and 23, ESPADRILLE.

    Many thanks to Poins.

  6. Dormouse says:

    Wanderer, I think it’s spiritual as in seeing the light.

    I thought I understood how 7 worked, but now I’m not sure.

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    I think 7 is A (about) + GAIN (to reach) = AGAIN (further)

    Merci Pierre pour le blog!!

  8. Paul B says:

    In Chambers full-on, a = about, but you do wonder about the extent to which just about anything can be used if nothing else fits. And Poins was quite Frenchified today. They’re socialists over there now, you know.

    On so-called ‘multi-part’ clues, I can’t see why Pierre has a problem. Charades are the mainstay of many a puzzle, it seems to me, and potentially far more entertaining than a bunch of anagrams and dds. Although there were indeed some dds today.

    Oh I dunno. I can’t make any sense at all, can I? Time for bed, and lots of it. I hope you all had a jolly good weekend.

  9. Wanderer says:

    Thanks for clearing up a = about. A new one on me.

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