Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic N° 25,733 by Chifonie

Posted by PeterO on September 5th, 2012

PeterO.

A collection of finely turned clues, with nothing too difficult.

Across
1. Instant support (6)
SECOND Double definition.
4. Booze or smack? (6)
WALLOP Double definition; wallop is beer.
9. Lacking reputation despite anything to the contrary (15)
NOTWITHSTANDING Definition and literal interpretation.
10. Nationalist leader had gin cocktail (6)
GANDHI An anagram (‘cocktail’) of ‘had gin’.
11. Odds on getting good service (8)
EVENSONG A charade of EVENS (‘odds’, paradoxically as it may seem) + ‘on’ + G (‘good’).
12. Called into action, when out to lunch (8)
DERANGED An envelope (‘into’) of RANG (‘called’) in DEED (‘action’).
14. Romeo was sick, when criticised (6)
RAILED A charade of R (‘Romeo’, phonetic alphabet) + AILED (‘was sick’).
15. Bellini heroine left well-adjusted (6)
NORMAL A charade of NORMA (‘Bellini heroine‘) + L (‘left’).
18. Look for the men of Smithfield (8)
BUTCHERS Double definition: BUTCHERS, for butcher’s hook, is rhyming slang for ‘look’, and Smithfield is a famous meat market in London.
21. Put off drinking? I am showing calibre! (8)
DIAMETER An envelope (‘drinking’) of ‘I am’ in DETER (‘put off’).
22. Reproach worker trapping vermin (6)
BERATE An envelope (‘trapping’) of RAT (‘vermin’) in BEE (‘worker’).
24. Cover trials only, perhaps, in a contentious way (15)
CONTROVERSIALLY An anagram (‘perhaps’) of ‘cover trials only’.
25. Wrinkled, being submerged about an hour (6)
SHRUNK An envelope (‘about’) of HR (‘an hour’) in SUNK (‘submerged’).
26. Relative runs away from trouble (6)
BOTHER A subtraction B[r]OTHER (‘relative’) without the R (‘runs away’).
Down
1. Theatre adopts alternative accommodation (7)
STORAGE An envelope (‘adopts’) of OR (‘alternative’) in STAGE (‘theatre’).
2. Browbeaten officer got married (5)
COWED A charade of CO (commanding ‘officer’) + WED (‘got married’).
3. Bagatelle overturned on night out (7)
NOTHING A charade of NO, a reversal (‘overturned’) of ‘on’ + THING, an anagram (‘out’) of ‘night’.
5. Enthusiast accepted pal’s posh recipe (7)
AMATEUR A charade of A (‘accepted’) + MATE (‘pal’) + U (‘posh’) + R (‘recipe’).
6. Female metalworker relieved in South Africa (9)
LADYSMITH Definition and literal interpretation; Ladysmith was besieged in the Second Boer War, and relieved in February 1900.
7. Zionist leader leaves Cornish town as act of atonement (7)
PENANCE A subtraction: PEN[z]ANCE (‘Cornish town’) with the Z removed (‘Zionist leader leaves’).
8. Mount fashionable dances (6)
ASCEND An anagram (‘fashionable'; an unusual anagrind, but better than some) of ‘dances’.
13. Two masters introduced to change their own college (4,5)
ALMA MATER An envelope (‘introduced to’) of MA MA (‘two masters’) in ALTER (‘change’).
16. Zero? Less than zero? About zero? That’s unpromising! (7)
OMINOUS An envelope (‘about’) of O (‘zero’, the second) in O (‘zero’, the first) + MINUS (‘less than zero’).
17. Tolerate drink that’s a disappointment (3-4)
LET-DOWN A charade of LET (‘tolerate’) + DOWN (‘drink’, as a verb).
18. Hurtful counterplot? (6)
BARBED A charade of BAR (‘counter’) + BED (‘plot’).
19. Sauce bachelor’s put in Mexican food (7)
TABASCO An envelope (‘put in’) of BA’S (‘batchelor’s’) in TACO (‘Mexican food’).
20. Chatterbox loses head when seeing snake (7)
RATTLER A subtraction [p]RATTLER (‘chatterbox’) without its first letter (‘loses head’).
23. Get to deliver a sermon, but not quietly (5)
REACH A subtraction [p]REACH (‘deliver a sermon’) without the P (‘but not quietly’).

30 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic N° 25,733 by Chifonie”

  1. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Chifonie and PeterO. Had to come here to find out what BUTCHERS was all about. Should have known it was rhyming slang. When I clue makes no sense to me, it usually turns out to be that. Not complaining though. I learned something.

    Cheers…

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, PeterO.

    Is this supposed to be mental first aid for yesterday’s Bonxie?

    I wish they’d put Chifonie into the “occasional substitute for Rufus” slot. This was of similar standard to Rufus, a fact underlined by COWED which appeared, similarly clued, in Monday’s puzzle!

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks PeterO and Chifonie

    I spent most of my time looking for mistakes … it’s not the same when everything works as it should.

    Well done Hugh!

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Peter.

    I thought this was a delightful puzzle from Chifonie – perhaps not one that would delay an experienced solver for long, but it had in my opinion the twin benefits of being accessible and well-crafted. I liked DERANGED in particular, and LADYSMITH reminded me of a documentary I watched last week on Paul Simon’s Graceland album, where he (at the time, controversially) collaborated with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. I’d forgotten the historical connection.

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Peter.

    I agree with K’s D: as well as DERANGED, I also particularly liked DIAMETER and BARBED – and BOTHER, for the surface.

    Thank you. Chifonie, for restoring my good humour. [I was feeling too grumpy to comment on yesterday's puzzle. ;-) ]

  6. tupu says:

    Thanks PeterO and Chifonie

    I am very much in agreement with PeterO, K’s D, and Eileen’s comments. A quick solve but elegant and enjoyable. An excellent example of deceptive simplicity (ars est celare artem).
    I ticked 9a, 12a, 21a, 16d.

  7. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks to Chifonie and PeterO. A quite remarkable shift in degree of difficulty compared to yesterday.

  8. KeithW says:

    Of course it all goes better if your first write-in isn’t GHANDI!

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    If it’s any consolation, Keith, that is my favourite trick too … despite having seen it somewhere recently clued on the basis of GH AND I being consecutive letters alphabetically.

  10. chas says:

    Thanks to PeterO for the blog.

    I agree with NeilW @2: put Chifonie in sometimes on a Monday.

    I now remember to be careful with GHANDI/GANDHI because I have been caught out before. Today I had inserted COWED so that fixed which one it was going to be. :)

  11. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Chifonie and PeterO

    It was like a Monday revisited … no help needed until the parsing checks ! :)

    WALLOP as beer was new to me – last in was 18, because thats just where we ended up at.

    Still an enjoyable half hour.

  12. liz says:

    Thanks PeterO and thanks to Chifonie for a puzzle that put a smile on my face this morning.

    BARBED was my favourite (and last one in).

    Like Eileen @5, I couldn’t bring myself to comment on yesterday’s!

  13. Robi says:

    Pleasant enough straightforward solve. Looking at yesterday’s comments it’s probably just as well that I didn’t have time to attempt that puzzle.

    Thanks PeterO for a good blog. At least the Google button was not needed except for NORMA.

    I did like DERANGED and BARBED.

    I am sometimes having trouble with this comments box with the cursor freezing. If anyone has a solution or comment, please add in the ‘General Discussion’ tab.

  14. John Appleton says:

    My first write-in would have been GANDHI, but I never remember where the H is supposed to go. COWED was probably easier due to it being in another recent puzzle, but overall a good puzzle.

  15. crypticsue says:

    Enjoyably straightforward – the ideal puzzle for someone fairly new to cryptics but with enough to entertain an old hand like me.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  16. rowland says:

    Chifonie didn’t go down too well here last time, but all is forgiven now!! I enjoyed it too, very smooth, and some nice clues. CoD would be 16d I think.

    Cheers all
    Rowly.

  17. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Let’s be positive; this puzzle was at least 10% more puzzling than Mondays. That’s it.

    This might interest some of you, from today’s ‘Corrections Column’.
    “….. contained a spelling mistake in the solution for 8d. The answer sought was Sex Pistols, but it had to be spelled Sex Pitsols to fit in with other answers on the grid.”
    I was sure it was ‘last gatp’ that was required. Was it really a ‘spelling mistake’ ?

  18. RCWhiting says:

    BTW
    Any suggestions for how yesterday’s could have been saved.
    I dismissed ‘lost goth’ as being undefinable. However, ‘last gate’ could be ‘final obstacle for canoeist’. Any better offers.

  19. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Chifonie and PeterO.

    What a relief after yesterday! All good fun today.

    I particularly liked 6d, which was nicely clued. First thought was Mafeking but it doesn’t fit in any respect!

    Giovanna x

  20. CynicCure says:

    @18
    RCW, you can always find a friend on Facebook…
    http://www.facebook.com/public/Lisa-Getz

  21. Trailman says:

    Yesterday I made feeble solving attempts on the tube and felt rather inadequate. Today, with only my wife to show off to, all proceeded smoothly. Life is not fair sometimes.

  22. RCWhiting says:

    CC @20
    Definition??

  23. CynicCure says:

    @22
    Do I have to do EVERYTHING?

  24. RCWhiting says:

    I am not on FB but thought you might be on intimate terms with the lady which might lead to an interesting definition.

  25. William says:

    Thank you, PeterO nice clear blog. Liked DIAMETER. Well rescued, Chifonie, couldn’t bring myself to blog yesterday but I did think about a fix and came up with these for

    RCW & CynicCure:

    6D = MISGRADE (topical at this time of year)
    14A = LADY GAGA
    8D = SURCINGLES
    10A = SENTRY
    18A = BEER

    Any good?

  26. RCWhiting says:

    Clever thinking William but I was looking for the neatest sticking plaster rather than a triple heart bypass operation.
    Also I don’t think The Surcingles ever made the UK top 100.(!)

  27. William says:

    RCW – brilliant, ha-ha. Sorry, but the patient failed to respond to any known band-aid.

    How about “Bands sing cruel southern medley” for SURCINGLES?

  28. Paul B says:

    Oh yes, quite brilliant RCW.

    But this makes me wonder in what format the puzzle was submitted. Crossword Compiler, probably the most popular medium for transmission, would have voided one clue box or the other as a result of the overwrite (i.e. any change of spelling), so at the very least the compiler would have been wondering why suddenly no clue. I perplexed am.

  29. Derek Lazenby says:

    Paul B, I doubt it, the on-line puzzle is in text form in the Javascript section of the HTML whereas the output from CC is in binary form (a Java Applet plus binary data file, see the HTML for the Indy). Open the on-line version of todays xword, then select View/Source (or whatever similar your browser does)(it takes ages), see line 1307 and the intialisation statements following the declaration of the array “var solutions = {};”. Maybe they really do have a program which decodes the binary puzzle, but it’s more likely to be a program which reads some text file as going from text to binary and back to text is something of a waste of time (but that doesn’t stop people doing it!).

  30. Wolfie says:

    Thanks Derek. That’s what I thought too.

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