Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8076 by Jambazi (Saturday Prize Puzzle 1 Sept 2012)

Posted by mc_rapper67 on September 8th, 2012

mc_rapper67.

I haven’t come across Jambazi as a setter before – but as a prize-puzzle obsessive I would have missed his midweek Indy debut puzzle, blogged back at the end of July by duncanshiell, and which received pretty favourable reviews. I suspect this puzzle had its origins around that time, between Wimbledon and the Olympic exploits of that great British tennis player, Andy Murray (he’s only Scottish when he loses (;+>).

There were a number of sub-themes – nothing particularly dominant but: several tennis references cleverly built into clue surfaces; several pitches for weird and wonderful TV programs that surely even Channel 5 wouldn’t stoop to? ‘Monkey Tennis’, ‘Cooking in Prison’, and the intriguing ‘Arm Wrestling with Chas ‘n’ Dave’! And a nod to the great Steve Coogan/Alan Partridge and his perpetual stay at that Travelodge somewhere in Norfolk.

I have to admit I did solve this fairly quickly – for a Saturday prize puzzle – with head down and blinkers on, as most of the clues are quite gettable as pure cryptics, if you don’t spend too long admiring the clever surface readings. The beauty of blogging is that you are forced to revisit them all a bit slower – especially with the Saturday Indy, as I have to type all the clues from the paper copy. This often gives the chance to enjoy the surface readings and diversions more closely than on the first solve.

I enjoyed the use of ‘Midge’ for the Ure of urea – taking the p?! – and the best clue – for me – was the clever diversion of ’12 15 given space’ in 13D, which had me scratching my head for a while trying to make some sense from 12A ARIL and 15D SLEEPWALK. That, and the fact that ‘anagram’ was itself part of the anagram of MAGNA CARTA, made it a facepalm moment…

The tennis references – Virginia Wade, Cyclops, and especially the image of a seed (Mr Murray) starting to annoy a resting Ivan Lendl, were nicely done – although I have to say the poker-faced Lendl rarely shows, or showed, much emotion – pleasure or annoyance.

I did tarry a while at 8D, dithering between STEALING and SPELLING. I initially put STEALING – which could be ‘taking’ and also maybe ‘charming’, or enchanting – as in stealing someone’s heart? But a check in Chambers gives ‘to spell’ as ‘to take a turn at’, which fits both definitions in the clue much better. Hopefully I made the right choice…

 At the current rate of one every 6 weeks or so, I look forward with anticipation to another Jambazi in mid-October! 

Across
Clue No Solution Clue Definition (with occasional embellishments) /
Logic/parsing
1A CYCLOPS Electronic tennis aid seizes: “unknown call”, oddly admitted (7) Electronic tennis aid (bleeper) /
COPS (seizes, arrests) around (admitting) Y (unknown) + CL (odd letters of CaLl)
5A INVENTS Conceives Monkey Tennis; very cutting (7) Conceives /
anag (i.e. monkey) of TENNIS, around (cut by) V (very)
9A MOOSE Animal sounds sweet – animal sounds English (5) Animal /
two indications: 1. ‘moose’ is a homophone of (sounds like) ‘mousse’, sweet, or dessert. 2. MOOS (animal sounds) + E (English)
10A EPAULETTE Record gold symbol, cut piece of fancy material (9) Piece of fancy material /
EP (record) + AU (symbol for gold, Aurum) + LETTE (letter, or symbol, cut)
11A REAWAKENED Revived study that’s over following redevelopment of Kew area (10) Revived /
anag (i.e. redevelopment) of KEW AREA, plus NED (den, or study, over)
12A ARIL Part of seed starts to annoy resting Ivan Lendl (4) Part of seed /
first letters of Annoy Resting Ivan Lendl
14A INSPIRATION Cooking in Prison, with it a bright idea? (11) Bright idea /
anag ( i.e. cooking) of IN PRISON + IT A
18A CLOSE SEASON Clubs miss spice at game, period with no shots (5, 6) game (grouse?) period with no shots /
C (clubs) + LOSE (miss) + SEASON (add spice)
21A UREA Midge by a wee substance? (4) wee substance /
URE (Midge Ure, musician and Band Aid co-founder) + A
22A SPACECRAFT Challenger, perhaps with bar expertise (10) Challenger (Space Shuttle), perhaps /
SPACE (bar, from keyboard) + CRAFT (expertise)
25A TELEGRAPH See 26 (9) See 26 /
See 26
26A RADIO /25. Message over the airwaves gutting hotel – introduction to Alan Partridge broadcast (14 – 5 & 9) Message over the airwaves /
anag (i.e. broadcast) of HOEL (hotel, gutted) + A (first letter of Alan) + PARTRIDGE
27A COWLICK Frighten and beat – shock seen on forehead (7) shock (of hair) seen on forehead /
COW (frighten, subdue) + LICK (beat, defeat)
28A SCANDAL Disgrace former store with small/large clothing (7) Disgrace /
SL (small and large) around (clothing) CANDA (C&A – former store)
Down
Clue No Solution Clue Definition (with occasional embellishments) /
Logic/parsing
1D CAMERA See 19 (6) See 19 /
See 19
2D COOGAN See 4 (6) See 4 /
See 4
3D OPERATIVES Skilled workers and poor Soviet covering for every American (10) Skilled workers /
anag (i.e. poor) of SOVIET, around (covering) PER (for every) + A (American)
4D STEVE /2. Comedian checks up on Green, top radio star (5 & 6) Comedian /
STEV (vets, checks, up) + ECO (green, ecological) + OGAN (radio star, Terry Wogan, with top letter removed)
5D IMAGERIES One periodical with topless series of pictures (9) of pictures /
I (one) + MAG (periodical) + ERIES (series, without top letter)
6D VALE Virginia Wade ultimately left before farewell (4) farewell (Latin) /
VA (Virginia, US State, not tennis player!) + L (left) before E (last letter of Wade, tennis player)
7D NOTORNIS New Zealand bird wrong to go off on climbs (8) New Zealand bird /
SIN (wrong) + ROT (to go off) + ON – all climbing
8D SPELLING Taking turn at charming (8) Double defn. /
to SPELL can be to take a turn at, as well as to charm/enchant
13D MAGNA CARTA Document from 12 15 “given space – swing cat [anagram]” (5, 5) Document from 1215 (1215 ‘given space’ to make ’12 15′) /
anag (i.e. swing) of CAT ANAGRAM
15D SLEEPWALK Stretch one’s legs out of bed? (9) cryptic definiton? /
lovely clue, nice diverting image of tall person’s feet hanging over the end of the bed. Not an &lit, as I first thought, because there is no wordplay?
16D ACOUSTIC Jerk supporting a relative, not in hearing (8) hearing /
A + COUS (cousin, relative, without in) + TIC (jerk, spasm)
17D COLESLAW Old king’s order for cabbage salad (8) cabbage salad /
COLES (Old King Cole’s) + LAW (order)
19D CANDID /1. Old TV programme about idea: Arm Wrestling with Chas ‘n’ Dave initially (6 & 6) Old TV programme /
CA (circa, about), plus anag (i.e. wrestling) of IDEA ARM with CND (initials of Chas N Dave)
20D STROLL Constitutional way? Revolution? (6) Constitutional (daily walk/exercise) /
ST (street, way) + ROLL (revolution)
23D COHOS Fish caught round harbour by ordinary seaman (5) Fish (plural, noun) /
C (caught) + O (round) + H (harbour) + OS (ordinary seaman)
24D UGLI Slug likes slice of fruit (4) Fruit /
hidden word in (i.e. slice of) ‘slUG Likes’

7 Responses to “Independent 8076 by Jambazi (Saturday Prize Puzzle 1 Sept 2012)”

  1. flashling says:

    Not just me that couldn’t decide between spelling and stealing then.

  2. Richard Heald says:

    Nice puzzle, whose overriding theme can of course be explained by this hilarious scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS1le_8ZhOU.

    After Gordon Ramsay made ‘Cooking in Prison’ a reality on Channel 4 earlier this year, surely it’s only a matter of time before we see Chas ‘n’ Dave flexing their biceps …

  3. Tramp says:

    Thanks for the excellent blog MC.

    For those that are unfamiliar with Alan Partridge (AP), in the episode A Room With An Alan (which Richard has kindly provided a link to), Alan pitches programme ideas to a TV executive. A running joke in our family when we see trailers for rubbish programmes is to quote AP and say “if you don’t (make it), Sky will”. I saw one advertised the other night — The Gloves are Off, or something — which is celebrities doing boxing, I think: If you don’t, Sky will.

    I was watching Only Connect a while ago and one of the missing vowels rounds featured AP pitches. The term Arm Wrestling with Chas ‘n’ Dave rang a bell and I decided to see if I could use it in a clue for something to do with a TV programme. When I saw AP was to return to our screens, ironically on Sky, I decided to theme a puzzle around him. I sent it to Mike at the Indy, he made a few improvements and to my amazement, scheduled it for 1st Sept.

    Sorry if I caused confusion with SPELLING/STEALING.

    I’d love to set one by mid October but It’d be a struggle in terms of time.

    Thanks again folks. I’m off to the Northern Sloggers and Betters/Anax’s 50th do now.

    Have a good weekend

    Jambazi

  4. Jim T says:

    Witty and enjoyable puzzle paying tribute to a great broadcaster. Great shame ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ was decommissioned – seems a bit harsh just for shooting a guest but TV’s a ruthless business.

    Loved the three programme pitch clues and SLEEPWALK. Never considered STEALING as a possibility for 8d which was my last answer.

    Thanks, Jambazi and mc.

  5. mc_rapper67 says:

    Thanks to Richard H and Jambazi/Tramp at #2 and #3 for shedding some light on the thematic darkness that I was fumbling around in! I obviously didn’t watch, or remember, enough of Alan Partridge. I think the comedy-detail-retention section of my brain is too full of Python to let much else in.

    flashling at #1 – ‘they do say great minds think alike’!…or was it ‘fools seldom differ’? Either way, glad to know I wasn’t the only one…

  6. nmsindy says:

    I managed to solve it all knowing nothing whatsoever about a theme including working out STEVE COOGAN (who I’d never heard of) from the wordplay and verifying afterwards that there is indeed such a comedian.

    Not too difficult a puzzle.

    Favourite clues MOOSE, STROLL.

    Thanks, Jambazi and mc_rapper67.

  7. allan_c says:

    Apart from needing a word finder for 7d I got it all without understanding all the themed references. CoD for me has to be UREA, with MAGNA CARTA a close second.

    Your comment about Andy Murray put me in mind of Flanders & Swann, circa 1963: ‘If we’ve ever done anything good it’s “another triumph for Great Britain” and if we haven’t it’s “England lose again”!’

    Thanks, Jambazi/Tramp and mc_rapper67.

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