Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,243 by Anax (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 16/03/13)

Posted by Simon Harris on March 23rd, 2013

Simon Harris.

A year or two ago I seemed to draw an Anax every time it was my turn to blog a Saturday Indy. Like female flatmates, it seemed that our cycles had synchronised. Strangely, though, it seems to have been some time since our last tangle, so I was up for the challenge.

And a challenge it was. I was picking at this all week and still didn’t actually finish it. The grid seemed to fill from the bottom up, with the top two rows plus 3dn defying me until the end. I’ve done my best to explain them, though my understanding of the aforementioned 3dn feels quite tenuous.

Across
1 SOMETIME Well matched, I and my ex? (8)
SO + MET + I + ME, with the definition being “ex”
5 OJIBWA Shrink in love with a Native American (6)
JIB in (O + With + A). Apparently “jib” can mean “shrink” in the sense of “balk” or “recoil”. Think of shrinking from one’s duties
10 NOLO CONTENDERES Never see prisoners accepting soft drug plea bargains (4,11)
NO + LO + ((TENDER + Ecstasy) in CONS). Seemingly some sort of Latin-derived legal term that I would not have deduced in a months of Sundays
11 DRAMATIST Writer shot at first (9)
DRAM + AT + 1ST
13 SUSHI One after dodgy hospital food (5)
SUS + Hospital + I
14 WINCHESTER RIFLE Picks up little boxes extremely eager to find gun (10,5)
E[age]R in (WINCHES + TRIFLE)
15 HYDROGENATED FAT Cook to add then, e.g., fry a food additive (12,3)
(TO ADD THEN EG FRY A)*
18 AUREI Top banks united on ancient gold coins (5)
(United + RE) in A1
19 FIRST LADY Michelle? Douglas? Boy’s in a mess (5,4)
FIR + (LAD in STY). Michelle Obama being the First Lady referred to, of course
20 THE VIRGIN MOTHER Beginning to travel, possibly overnight, I’m travelling with this woman? (3,6,6)
T[ravel] + (OVERNIGHT IM)* + HER
23 DEDUCE Reason to eliminate leader? (6)
DE-DUCE. Rather clever. Il Duce (“the leader”) was the sobriquet enjoyed by Mussolini, so if you were to “de-duce” something, you would be removing or eliminating the leader
24 IMPAIRED Faulty communication from Bluetooth device? (8)
IM PAIRED. I think “pairing” is when a Bluetooth device finally condescends to communicate with another of its ilk after a lengthy spell of rebooting, checking the manual and trawling through arcane menus full of passwords and settings
Down
1 SON A child is born every second (3)
[i]S[b]O[r]N Great, deceptively smooth surface reading
2 MY LEARNED FRIEND Aldermen deny being drunk around day that barman referred to? (2,7,6)
FRIday in (ALDERMEN DENY)
3 TLC Briefly feeling pains? (3)
Bit stumped here. Is this just a cryptic definition, using “briefly” to denote that it’s an abbreviation?
4 MENDIPS John negotiates lower hills (7)
MEN + DIPS
6 JUDAS PRIEST Rock group praised for playing during fair (5,6)
PRAISED* in JUST
7 BIRDS OF A FEATHER “Unsafe” fiord – safe parts swimmer likes (5,2,1,7)
(FIORD SAFE)* in BATHER
8 ABSTINENTLY Sailors can see harbours emptied, not without indulgence (11)
ABs + TIN + (N[o]T in ELY)
9 FETTLE Initially things look to be in fair condition (6)
(T[hings] L[ook]) in FETE
11 DOWNHEARTED Sad, as clown is? (11)
“low” can mean “down”, and [c]LOW[n] has it as its heart
12 APHRODISIAC Admitting nothing in crash I paid off the other driver (11)
0 in (CRASH I PAID)*
16 EFFIGY Guy providing iron wheels genuinely gutted (6)
(IF + Fe)< + G[enuinel]Y
17 ACRONYM Nimby is one – a familiar term, ultimately (7)
A + CRONY + [ter]M
21 OVA Museum serving as base for duck eggs (3)
0 + V and A
22 ROD Staff party – Romeo’s turned up (3)
(DO + Romeo)<

* = anagram; [] = removed; < = reversed

8 Responses to “Independent 8,243 by Anax (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 16/03/13)”

  1. sidey says:

    Thanks for that Simon. I think 4d is DIP in MEN’S.

  2. Simon Harris says:

    Thanks, sidey. Looking at the clue again, I can sort of see it work either way! Yours is probably the right one though.

  3. Jim T says:

    Thought this was a very good puzzle with some brilliantly original clues, none better than APHRODISIAC. Liked DEDUCE, NIMBY and many others.

    Thanks to Anax and Simon.

  4. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Simon.

    TLC stands for “tender loving care” so it’s a sort of double cryptic definition – tender: “feeling pains” and tender loving: “feeling” care: “pains” as in taking pains to do something. Or purl any of the above, I guess! [Or perhaps I'm entirely wrong! :)]

  5. NeilW says:

    By the way – you’ve left “with this woman”, HER, off the end of your parsing of THE VIRGIN MOTHER.

  6. Simon Harris says:

    Thanks, NeilW – fixed.

  7. Jim T says:

    Comment at 3 should refer to ACRONYM, not NIMBY, at 17d. SOMETIME v good too.

  8. Flashling says:

    Put in tlc but one of those clues I guess. Hate latin phrases with hard nw made this difficult to to finish.

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