Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1,203 by Commoner

Posted by Simon Harris on March 17th, 2013

Simon Harris.

I believe Commoner to be a new name to the IoS, and if that’s the case, then welcome! This was very much in the style to which we’ve become accustomed: a good Sunday crossword with nice surface readings and nothing especially troublesome.

Having said that, 12dn got the better of me, not having heard of the plant in question, and failing to come up with anything convincing from the anagram. Apart from that, everything fell into place very smoothly.

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

Across
1 TRIPOD – TRIP + O + D.
5 LOSE HOPE – LO + S[ever]E + (OP in HE).
9 COUNTESS – COUNT[l]ESS.
10 ASTRAL – (ART’S in L.A.)<.
11 TROUBLE SPOT – (POUR BOTTLES)*.
13 SLOOPS + POOL<.
14 STRUNG OUT – RUNG in STOUT.
17 SCARECROW – CARE in WORCS<. I’m not particularly well up on my comic book baddies, but this answer seemed likely, and here he is.
18 FAINTF + AIN’T.
20 MALEVOLENCE – MALE + V[i]OLENCE.
23 PASS ON – PASS[i]ON. I thought “selflessly” was a nice indicator for “remove the I”, and not a device I remember seeing before.
24 ADELAIDE – AID in ADELE.
25 SEAT BELT – (LET BEAST)*.
26 SADIST – [marqui]S A DIST[inctly], and a reference to this chap.
Down
2 ROOF O in FOR<.
3 PINOT NOIRP.I. + NOT + NO I + R. The R is from “port? On the contrary”, meaning the opposite of port, or left. I spent some time trying to make RIO< work though.
4 DAEMON – MEAD< + [d]O[w]N.
5 LAST BUT NOT LEASTL + A S + BUT + hom. of “not leased”.
6 STAKE OUTS + TAKE OUT.
7 HET UP – THE* + UP.
8 PLAY TRUANT – PLAY + TRU[e] + A + NT.
12 ELECAMPANE – (PLANE CAME)*.
15 GRAVEYARD – I think just a cd., though I’m happy to hear other suggestions.
16 SCAVENGE – (CAVE in Sn) + E.G.<
19 ANGERS – [r]ANGERS.
21 LISZT – hom. of “list”.
22 ODESOD + Es.

9 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1,203 by Commoner”

  1. Muffyword says:

    Isn’t STRUNG OUT just a play on words from *grunts? Or is the clue different for the paper versus my online version. This was my favourite clue.

    Thanks for the blog!

  2. Simon Harris says:

    Hi Muffyword-

    The paper has Step in beer, intoxicated and bewildered, so I can only surmise that they do differ. How strange!

  3. Muffyword says:

    I think 16 must have a different clue in your version too. The online one is:

    Cleanse serious cuts initially, then retaliate.

  4. Muffyword says:

    14 online is:

    Exhausted grunts

  5. Andy B says:

    How bizarre that two of the clues had been changed by the time the online version was available. An enjoyable puzzle nonetheless.

    Andy B.

  6. Alchemi says:

    At a guess, the online version is the .ccw file Commoner originally submitted, and the print version was what it got changed to once Eimi had had his way.

    Congrats to Commoner and welcome aboard! At least I’m no longer the baby of the bunch.

  7. Simon Harris says:

    Thanks all. Can confirm 16 is different in print. For completeness, here’s what I was working from:

    Clean tin with hole in it, say, overturned

  8. Robi says:

    Congratulations, Commoner on a fine debut puzzle.

    I was working on the online version and thought the ‘exhausted grunts’ was quite a neat clue for STRUNG OUT, although there is no ‘cryptic’ indicator. I thought this crossword was coming out last week, so perhaps there was a change at the last minute.

    Thanks Simon; I’m not sure I understand the parsing of PINOT NOIR. Could it be PI NOT N for ‘detective in no way, ‘the best’ [being superior to] RIO ‘on the contrary’ reversal at the end? I thought at the beginning there was some play on ‘Poirot,’ but I couldn’t get that to work as ‘port’ would then be superfluous. I, too, liked the ‘selflessly’ in 23. Perhaps Commoner will pop by to explain.

  9. commoner says:

    Thanks for the welcome, and all the comments. And thanks, Simon for the explanations. It’s good to be reminded what the clues meant!

    Alchemi seems to have to answer to the discrepancy between those two clues – the originals appear on the web version, and the rewritten versions appeared in the paper. In the original clue for STRUNG OUT the ‘out’ acted as the anagram indicator for ‘strung’ (assisted by the question mark). But ‘exhausted’ wasn’t a specific enough definition, unfortunately.

    As for PINOT NOIR, detective=PI; in no way=NOT; the best=NOI (as in ‘number one’); and port=l(eft), but ‘on the contrary’ made it R(ight). Which looks to me what Simon got from it.

    Thanks again – it’s great to get the feedback!

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


five − 3 =