Fifteensquared

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Independent 8,004 by Radian (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 09/06/12)

Posted by Simon Harris on June 16th, 2012

Simon Harris.

Radian’s themed crossword puzzles are always entertaining, and tend to involve a very thorough treatment of the theme.

This week’s revolves around various interpretations of the entry at 10ac. I’ve never watched the T.V. show by that name, but I did recently hear that it had been cancelled, so whether that’s the inspiration for the theme here, perhaps only Radian can tell us.

The puzzle as a whole did not seem unduly difficult, though there was some very clever wordplay to contend with, and one or two slightly unfamiliar terms.

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

Across
9 UNEQUAL TO – UN[i]QUE* + ALTO.
10 HOUSE – U.S. in HOE. This one makes use of the “sign of the zodiac” sense of 10ac.
11 HANOVER – HAN[d]OVER. One of at least three royal 10acs that appear.
12 EPITHET – HE in (E + PITT).
13 ATAXY – hom. of “a taxi”. This exact term was unfamiliar, but I had heard of “ataxia”, so felt fairly confident.
14 PER CENTUM – R[o]C[k] in UMPTEEN*. The “rocks” is doing a spot of double duty here.
16 REPRESENTATIVES – PRESENT in RE[L]ATIVES.
19 EGYPTIANSE + (STAYING + P)*.
21 TUDORD in ROUT<.
22 YARDAGE – (A + G) in READY*.
23 NERVOUS – OVER* in SUN<.
24 ROOST – ROO[k]S + T[ree].
25 RESIDENCE – (DECREE NIS[i])*.
Down
1 HUGH LAURIE – (LAUGH* + URI Geller) in HE.
2 NEON LAMP – this appears to be L.A. in (NEO + M.P.), but that leaves the second N unaccounted for, so perhaps readers have better interpretations. The clue is: New Age member of 10 nicks city light.
3 SURVEY – (V in SURE) + [derb]Y.
4 SLUR – U turn in SLR.
5 HOME TRUTHSHO + MET + RUTH’S.
6 CHOICEST – CHO[c] ICES + T.
7 SUNHAT – (NUT HAS)*.
8 SETT – SETT[er].
14 PIED-A-TERRE – DATE in PIERRE.
15 MISTRESSES – ST[o]RE in MISSES. Edward VII appears to have had enough mistresses to warrant their own Wikipedia category, but I’m not sure why they’re defined as a “box set”.
17 ENTRACTE – EN + ART< + ETC<.
18 VIDEOING – (I’D + EOIN) in V.G.
20 YARROW – A[ction] in WORRY<.
21 TIRADE – I in TRADE.
22 YORKY OR K.
23 NEST – NE[edy] + ST[arlings].

16 Responses to “Independent 8,004 by Radian (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 09/06/12)”

  1. Dormouse says:

    2dn: LA in N(ew) + EON (age) + MP

    Of course, the theme word is 10ac not 10dn.

    Thought 8dn might be SETT, but couldn’t see why.

  2. Simon Harris says:

    Thanks, Dormouse. That slip is corrected now.

  3. crypticsue says:

    A very enjoyable theme and the right sort of difficulty for a Saturday afternoon. Thanks to Radian and Simon too.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Excellent themed crossword from Radian. Quite hard, so ideal for a Sat. I’d not heard of the TV programme or the actor but it was not to difficult to track down and in any event that was only a small part of the theme. As you say, it was impressive to fit so much in. In 14A I think, while ‘rocks’ is used twice, there is no overlap ie it’s used as anagram indicator for umpteen and then ‘odd bits of one’ refers back to it, but is separate. I was trying to work with the odd letters of ‘one’ till light dawned. Many thanks, Radian, and Simon.

  5. lizard says:

    15dn Did the mistresses visit the Royal box at the theatre?

  6. aztobesed says:

    Wasn’t there an ATV television series, Edward VII?

    Enjoyed this a lot.

  7. Thomas99 says:

    lizard-
    That’s what I was wondering. This site suggests something of the kind: “She [Sarah Bernhardt, no less] was one of the bevy of beauties seated in the King’s box at the Abbey during his coronation.”

  8. dialrib says:

    Thanks, Simon.
    I was surprised to find rooks are crows (24a) as I was taught ‘if you see a rook, it is a crow; if you see some crows, they are rooks’.

  9. MikeC says:

    Thanks Simon and Radian. An interesting, challenging puzzle. Re 15d, this link supports Thomas99@7:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1259670/A-love-seat-fit-king-The-antique-chair-gives-eye-popping-insight-Edward-VIIs-debauched-youth.html

  10. Paul Stevenson says:

    I had assumed that 15d was rather ruder than the (plausible) theatre box explanation. The Chambers Dictionary I have on my phone lists the definition I had been thinking of for box as “The vagina (vulgar sl)”.

  11. redddevil says:

    dialrib @ 8 rooks and crows are not the same so 24a is in fact a flawed clue.

  12. nmsindy says:

    Re reddevil at #11, I’m not an expert on birdlife at all but my dicts suggest a pretty big overlap at the very least between rooks and crows – looking at Collins and COED.

  13. redddevil says:

    well there’s a pretty big overlap between blackbirds (Turdus merula) and thrushes ((Turdus philomelos) too but they’re still not the same and would hardly be interchangeable in a crossword clue methinks.
    Rook (Coruvs frugilegus) and crow (Corvus corone corone) look similar but then so do ravens…

  14. eimi says:

    It depends how narrowly you define crow – obviously if you’re using it to define any bird of the family Corvidae, then the clue is fine. I was surprised, but I do check these things and for rook, Chambers gives
    “n a gregarious species of crow”
    and COED
    “a gregarious crow with black plumage and a bare face, nesting in colonies in treetops”

  15. redddevil says:

    eimi – i Take your point on how genreal the definition is (Jackdaw and raven are also dictionary defined as crow variants) but would you have been equally happy to allow blackbird to clue thrush (or v.v.)?
    My dictionary suggests you ought to be as it defines blackbird as “a type of thrush”.

  16. eimi says:

    #15 DEFINITELY NOT vice versa – the general shouldn’t be defined by the particular.

    But if the dictionaries say a blackbird is a type of thrush, then thrush for blackbird would be fine.

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