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23,428 - very tricky


Solving time 15:43

If the chap who had 17 answers yesterday gets more than about 6 of these in the same time, he should be proud of himself. On to the explanations ...

Across
1P(ASTOR)ALE - various Astors used to own the Times. And a pale is a post. Related useless Portuguese for you: palito = little stick = toothpick.
6BLEAK - a kind of fish as well as cold and raw. Much time wasted looking for C=cold plus a four-letter 'raw' to make some other fish.
10D(RAFT)EE - had the right river from the start, but was looking for DE????E rather than D????EE - something like DEPUTEE
12UNA(DOR=rod rev.)NED - carried=held is the containment indicator, and Una is a popular xwd girl for fairly obvious reasons.
13C,HURL=cast,ISH="ruined his production" - hmmm.
17N.U.T.,S - new solvers: know your trade union initials.
18COAL="Cole (Porter)",HOLE="whole" - nuts are lumps of coal, as in "nutty slack". Very fiendish!
21LE(E,RING)LY - Lely was certainly a painter, nationality unknown to me before.
22R(A,D)IO = to contact by radio, I assume
25L(INK)AG,E
27TITLED,EED=Dee rev. (Dee = dimin. of any girl's name you like beginning with D - more popular in 60s/70s than now, I suspect)


Down
2STRIKE,UP,THEBAN,D
4A(L)TRUISM - a well-worn path, this one, so an easy clue for regulars
6BE A CON - more time wasted, trying to sell myself the non-existent variant spelling CLAXON with a stretched meaning of lax, and con (trick) as an instance of criminality. Good thing I didn't quite buy it.
7EN(TENT)E,COR(DIAL=laid rev.)E - a classic case of "spot the def and don't worry about the wordplay until later"
8KNEADABLE - anag. of bank deal + E
13CAN(ALE)T,TO - "snatch" on its own as the containment indicator is a tad iffy for me.
15POLY,G(L)OT - poly(technic) = "college once" as all UK poly's were upgraded to universities about a decade ago.
16FLORENCE - Brunelleschi was responsible for the dome of the duomo (cathedral) in Florence. I guess he must have been born in the same city.
19WIT,HER
20AG(H)A,St. New solvers: remember the aga = ruler (as well as oven), who can also be agha when it suits, I think.
23OREAD - a mountain nymph - fell = hill/mountain up North.


Indie 6247 (Virgilius) - 5:43
An absolute gem. I'll say no more except: beg steal or borrow this puzzle and enjoy it for yourselves.

Comments

i_am_magoo
Oct. 24th, 2006 12:36 pm (UTC)
I was quite surprised by your analysis as I finished in 6m42s and hadn't realised it was a particularly good time. I think I benefited from a casual approach, with plenty of assumptions, as it's not a competition and I wasn't going to be writing up this blog later. So I hadn't deconstructed 1a, 7d, 27a or 2d (where e.g. I just had the R and K and filled in the answer on the general assumption that it was a musical). I still had time to fill in a nonesensical CHARD at 6a and ponder CLAXON briefly...
petebiddlecombe
Oct. 24th, 2006 02:50 pm (UTC)
Ouch! - now unsure whether you did v. well or I did v. badly. Quite possibly the latter as I had only the short words 11 and 14 from first look at top-half acrosses. Extra checking letters from just one of the 7/8/9 letter words up there might have made a big difference. Forgot to mention time wasted on POL(ONAIS)E and imaginary variants at 1A. I didn't analyse 2D in full either - took a lucky punt on UP=at univ. being the second word (but apart from a few ?UP words as the 3-letter one, it can barely go anywhere else - maybe unconscious competence worked this out for me...).

Very glad I didn't see CHARD - memories of shad and char could have made it a very convincing 'red herring' (laughter).
(Anonymous)
Oct. 24th, 2006 03:18 pm (UTC)
I guess you had a bad day, as my time was around 15 minutes too...

I got PASTORALE straight away, but got stuck on a few where I thought I knew the answer but couldn't see the wordplay, e.g. OREAD, TITLE DEED, and put in ?O?ETREE for 18 (where NUTS may be) which slowed me down until I got 7D. Last two I got were BLEAK/BEACON after staring at it for 5 minutes.

AndyW