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23,430 - super puzzle

Solving time 11:54

Lots of good stuff in this one - a round of applause for the setter. Various bits of knowledge required, but I don't think these would be enough to prevent a solution for people without them.

1C,A,Pa.,CITY - Philadelphia = "a Pa. city"
10PROFESSIONALISM - anag. of 'in E soaps or films'
11ER=(R.E. rev.),AS,T(aught),U.S. - Erastus was indeed a theologian.
12P,RE(Qu.)EL - a lovely creative bit of wordplay.
15O(r)ATES - Titus O fits the 'conspirator' bill.
20G,RE A TAPE - another beautifully simple bit of wordplay
23COARSER - "courser" as in "hare coursing" - I guess this word can apply to people doing hunting as well as greyhounds.
25CHARLIE - 2 slang meanings
26BUILDING BRIDGES - as Thomas Telford did, along with roads & canals.
27REGIME - rev. of em=measure (printing), I=current (physics), Ger.=German - some old favourites for beginners to note
28CREDIT,ON="to be paid for by" as in "this round's on me" - yes, it's a Devon town.

1COPPER - a type of butterfly as well as a bit of "PC slang".
2PRO,BAT,I,ON=bowling - another classic clue not really about cricket at all.
3CHE(St.)ER - cheer = comfort is an old-fashioned meaning
4TO,S.A.S. - tosas are a Japanses breed of mastiff, orginally kept for fighting. And the SAS are an elite bunch of squaddies.
7P(OIL)U - oil in up rev. "poilu" = French slang for a soldier - an infantryman, from memory.
14FIGUR(I)NE - gunfire actually being the object, not the subject of "caused damage".
19HAS,I,DIM - the hasidim are fundamentalist Jews - the ones in all the black
21T(O,AD)IED - ad = bill as in "Bill stickers will be prosecuted"
22NELSON - a wrestling hold and famous column.
25CAB,E.R. - the caber famously tossed in the Highland games is a tree trunk.

Indie 6249 - Punk
Unless he appeared while I was away, this is Punk's debut Indie puzzle. You can tell from another xwd website that he's also Paul of the Guardian - John Halpern, also on the Times team. I suspect the Punk/Monk rhyme is no coincidence. Very nice puzzle which took 9:42 - a bit quicker than I feared - Paul puzzles can be tough for me. If you want to solve it, look away now, as although the theme was a nice choice, I have a nasty feeling (not confirmed by any easily findable stuff on the web, so I'm probably wrong) that not all British Monopoly sets use the same colours for the groups of properties. So as well as foxing those used to Atlantic City street names (or these days, American national parks, Tolkien characters and heaven knows what else), there may be niggles from some owners of the UK's traditional London-based sets. Our family heirloom from the 1930s was fine ("If you have questions about monopoly, send an envelope with stamps to the value of 1 3/4 d to Waddingtons ..." - now I guess you're directed to some website).


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 26th, 2006 12:43 pm (UTC)
couldn't finish
I couldn't finish this one even in an hour (my comeuppance now that I've volunteered to be part of the community!) -- quite a bit of esoterica for me: POILU (only knew about the stew), CREDITON (my Devon geography is limited -- even though I was sure it was CREDIT??), HASIDIM (should have seen this, being Jewish), and I convinced myself for longest time that ERASMUS was our theologian until CHESTER put paid to that). Perhaps I should give myself the old heave-ho.
Oct. 26th, 2006 01:01 pm (UTC)
Re: couldn't finish
No heave-ho!

This is just the sort of information the Times xwd editor seems to be telling me that he needs. Though there are times with words like Crediton where you have to go with your instincts. POILU is another xwd special which I guarantee you'll see again sometime - P?I?U must have only one choice, and I suspect P???U offers v. little else. The stew meaning is equally esoteric for me - not in Brit dictionaries (OED not checked) or even in my Wesbters 3rd New Int'l.

Oct. 26th, 2006 12:48 pm (UTC)
The colours of properties in Monopoly most definitely does change from era to era - I used this fact in a puzzle I set for my Metro column once ("Think Tank") and I similarly had to find the most common set of colours.

Got most of the way with this puzzle, but _I_ RIFLE at 13A foxed me - I never considered it might start with a vowel, as did CREDITON and NELSON in the bttom right corner. CREDITON was particularly tricky when the T arrived as by hoped-for candidates of BRIDPORT and particularly BRIDGEND (thinking it might be a briding loan idea) fell to bits.

A good mix of very easy and more challenging clues.
Oct. 26th, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC)
BRIDGEND: nice lateral thinking but the Bridgend in Devon looks much too small a place for use in a daily paper puzzle. The best-known Bridgend (in the UK at least) is just off the M4 in Mid-Glamorgan. (Note to self: pinch old road atlas from car to save faffing around with map sites).
Oct. 26th, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC)
I once wrote a clue for CREDITON for the Church Times:
Place for bishop with unorthodox doctrine (8)
I believe Peter Coleman (ex-Bristol) was the Bp at the time. Anyway one of my setters told me that this joke went down very well in the Exeter diocesan office. (Bishops on D.Harrison's website too - I don't know!). DFM
Oct. 26th, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC)
It is indeed the Punk debut in the Indy. Yes, some of the names seem to have changed since I last played 40+ years back...

Liked "Make yourself small in place you shouldn't be". SQUAT

Oct. 26th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
Coincidentally (or perhaps not) today's Guardian puzzle is by Paul too. Just a plain puzzle with no gimmicks, but as usual requiring a bit of lateral thinking, e.g. 1A Row of houses (8) or 25A Deadication? (6) - the latter not a spelling mistake!

Andy W
Oct. 26th, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Paul/Punk
You could say he's monopolised today's crosswords.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )