Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Indepedent 8,024 / Radian

Posted by RatkojaRiku on July 3rd, 2012

RatkojaRiku.

It is a while since I have solved or blogged a Radian, so I was relishing the challenge this morning.

In light of my recent failures to spot Ninas, I was on my guard today, although the grid didn’t really lend itself to one. Thus, no Nina from what I can tell, but what we do have is a themed puzzle around Shakespeare’s The Tempest, with a straightforward gateway clue at 4.

Although I am not very familiar with this play, I knew most of the characters referred to in the solutions. The quotations at 1 and 27 were unfamiliar to me, but they could be identified satisfactorily from the wordplay. Incidentally, the song at 1 is the source of the English expression “sea-change” – thank you, Wikipedia!

I was held up a long time by 8, which, given the theme, I assumed had to be ARIEL, a homophone of AERIAL, although I couldn’t make it fit the clue. As it happens, Radian had already slipped Ariel and another Tempest character, the Duke (of Milan), into 2 (with a non-Tempest solution!), so I ought to have realised that this was a red herring.

My favourite clues today were 21, for its originality in the wordplay, and the beautifully smooth, concise and topical & lit. at 5/13, although perhaps I am tad biased having seen the torch in my home town just last week.

*(…) indicates an anagram

Across        
         
1   FULL FATHOM FIVE   FULL (=plump) + FATHOM (=6’, i.e. six feet, as a measure of depth) + FIVE (=5, i.e. numeral); the definition is “so begins Tempest’s (=entry at 4) song”, sung by Ariel in Act 1 Scene 2
         
8   DJINN   Homophone (“picked up”) of “gin” (=spirit); a djinn is a spirit in Muslim theology
         
9   MAYFLIES   *(MY LIFE’S A); “shambles” is anagram indicator
         
11   LUDDITE   Cryptic definition: the Luddites destroyed machinery in English factories in a protest against unemployment in 1812-18, hence “breaking news”
         
12   PROSPER   Prosper<o> (=Tempest’s magician, i.e. entries at 4 and 25; “nearly” means last letter dropped)
         
15   TACTICIAN   CIA (=spies) in [TACT (=discretion) + IN]
         
17   BOATSWAIN   *(SAT IN A BOW + A); “novel” is anagram indicator; the definition is “Tempest (entry at 4) character”
         
20   TOT UP   T<rade> U<nion> (“leaders” means first letters only) in TOP (=highest)
         
21   NUTCASE   Definition: “crackpot”; a nut case is a shell, hence “she’ll ignore punctuation”, i.e. with apostrophe dropped
         
23   MIRANDA   MI (I’M=writer’s; “back” indicates reversal) + R AND A (=St Andrews, i.e. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, based in St Andrews); the definition is “Tempest (=entry at 4) character”
         
25   MAGICIAN   [AG (=silver) + <t>I<e>C<l>I<p>] in MAN (=chap); & lit.
         
26   INGOT   Hidden (“to some extent”) in “blockING OThers”
         
27   O BRAVE NEW WORLD   [BRA (=underwear) + *(WE’VE WORN)] in OLD (=former); “out” is anagram indicator; the definition is “Miranda’s (=entry at 23) view”, from Act 5 Scene 1 of The Tempest
         
Down        
         
1   FIDELITY BOND   *(ONE FIDDLY BIT); “loose” is anagram indicator; a fidelity bond is a form of US insurance, hence “cover instrument in US”
         
2   LAIRD   *(ARI<e>L) + D (=duke); “tricksy” indicates an anagram; “energy (=E) wasted” means the letter “e” is dropped from anagram
         
3   FANLIGHTS   FAN (=cooler) + LIGHTS (=lands, as verb); fanlights are windows over doors or over windows, hence “they cap entries”
         
4   TEMPEST   *(MEP) in TEST (=match); “trained” is anagram indicator
         
5/13   OLYMPIC TORCH   *(TROPHY COMIC<a>L); “fiery” is anagram indicator; “amateur (=A) lifted” means the letter “a” is dropped from anagram; & lit.
         
6   FOLIO   OIL (=perhaps crude) + O (=old) + F (=fellow); “picked up” indicates vertical reversal
         
7   VIEWPOINT   VIE (=struggle) + W (=with) + POINT (=aim)
         
10   TRANSPLANTED   N (=new) in *(DENTAL PARTS); “wobbly” is anagram indicator
         
14   ROAST LAMB   STLAM (MALTS=whisky; “served up” indicates vertical reversal) in *(BOAR); “wild” is anagram indicator
         
16   INTERVIEW   *(ITV + <t>RIE<d> + NEW); “no-frills” means first and last letters dropped; “format” is anagram indicator
         
18   APELIKE   <s>LI<m> in [A + PEKE (=dog, i.e. Pekinese)]; “clipped” means first and last letters dropped
         
19   NOMINEE   OM (=order, i.e. Order of Merit) in [NINE (=9, i.e. numeral) + E (euros)]
         
22   ANIMA   Reversed (“upset”) and hidden (“during”) in “exAMINAtion”; in Jungian psychology, anima is the female component of the male personality
         
24   NIGER   REGIN<a> (=monarch; “almost” means last letter is dropped); “overthrown” indicates vertical reversal
         

5 Responses to “Indepedent 8,024 / Radian”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, RR and Radian. My knowledge of the play was pretty sketchy tho I’d heard some of the characters’ names over the years. It was a very enjoyable puzzle in which I eventually was able to word out pretty much everything from the wordplay tho I did check a dict to see what ‘anthropoid’ meant. Never knew Huxley’s book title came from a quote from Shakespeare (27A) nor that Prospero was a magician. Tough puzzle for sure with some good misdirection – favourites FIDELITY BOND, FANLIGHTS, ANIMA. PS one typo – in the 21A explanation, it should be ‘punctuation’ rather than ‘pronunciation’

  2. RatkojaRiku says:

    Thanks for pointing out the typo, nmsindy – I do my level best, but sometimes things just slip through the net amid the chaos of a working day.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, RatkojaRiku. The typos are the least of our worries – I needed you to explain quite a few today. I said I was ‘themed out’ last week, and with two further themed puzzles in the last two days, I’m looking forward to Dac tomorrow for (I hope) a plain but entertaining crossword without the need to cross-reference clues.

    The gateway clue here was gettable (thank you to setter), and although my knowledge of The Tempest is skinny, I knew the top quote and guessed the bottom one; after that it was steady progress, with MAYFLIES my favourite today. Or as one mayfly said to his partner: “What do you mean, ‘Not tonight, darling’?”

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    In cross-referenced/themed puzzles I always try to find the (or one of the) gateway clue(s) first. So I started with 4d which gave me TEMPEST straightaway. Happy me? Well, it was more like “Oh God, it’s Him again”.
    But, while indeed it was, I enjoyed the crossword tremendously.

    Although I couldn’t parse it when I solved the puzzle today around noon, I think NUTCASE (21ac) was great – almost novel.
    And RR, LUDDITE (11ac) was another one I needed your fine blog for. Oh, those cryptic definitions. One doesn’t expect them that often when this setter’s around. A setter who is more focused on constructional devices (in all his – much admired – disguises).

    My Clue of the Day is perhaps (because there were more contenders) 5,13 (OLYMPIC TORCH).

  5. Dormouse says:

    Well, The Tempest is one of my favourite plays – even went to see a performance in Russian last year – so my complaint is there wasn’t enough references to the play. I must admit some surprise at people saying they didn’t know the quotations; seems to me they were things I’d known since birth.

    5/13 took me ages as I’d been working on the anagram being of “fiery trophy” plus ‘a’ for amateur with comical being the indicator. And I just couldn’t think of any words beginning o-y. “Olympic” is hardly obscure at the moment.

    15ac was the last in for me, by which time I was at the “I’ll get that word even if it takes me all night” stage and I picked up Chambers and started going through words beginning t-c. Fortunately, that way the answer comes fairly quickly in the search.

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