Dicta – solution

A fairly rare trip (for me, at least) into contemporary popular culture, but House was a fascinating series (still is, for me, as I’ve not yet worked through the DVDs), and the similarity between his mantra and the line from Company was too neat to ignore.  It also gave me a chance to revisit a gimmick I had used back in 1989 (23 years a long enough abeyance, do you think?) in the Listener puzzle which won me the Ascot Gold Cup.  Solvers this time round were much more blasé about it.

Getting two 13-letter entries into the grid, in orthogonal directions, meant they had to cross, so I made use of the similarity between them.  I also ensured they were well-checked – neither were exactly easy to find in standard references.  Working SONDHEIM and HOUSE into the grid around these two to run parallel with their associated quote seemed to lead me to have the LIES rising and the RISE lying, with the result that the Across dictum affected the Down elements and vice versa.  Or perhaps I intended that all along –  I can’t remember.  A nice open grid resulted, though.  Here is what fifteensquared thought of it.


EVERYBODY LIES is a dictum of Dr Gregory HOUSE (in the TV series of that name), so every Across clue included a lie of some description; EVERYBODY RISE comes from SONDHEIM’s song The Ladies Who Lunch (from Company), so all Down answers were entered in reverse.


1          PRUSSIANISM; Russian is in pm; East European

11        MAYENNE; yen in mane; Japanese money

13        TUAN; a in tun; barrel carrying one

14        ELUSIVE; e lus(t) I’ve; hard to secure

15        MARLINESPIKES; mar lines pikes; lines not rods

17        TREYS; re for 0 in toys; threesomes

18        RARE; hidden; uncommon

19        SONDHEIM;

20        AUGER; Au Ger; gold not silver

21        NEONATOLOGY; anag; newborns not geriatrics

23        TAUBE; a in tube; pipe securing article

24        SEED TIME; see + t in dime; planting not harvest

27        NIXY; nix y; nothing not everything

28        GOFER; go(L)fer; rejecting not accepting


33        IAPETUS; comp. anag; Saturn not Neptune

34        CHAV; Ch AV; not cultured

35        PRESS ON; press + on; keep going

36        VECTOGRAPHS; anag. – y; ending not opening


1          MUMP; mump(s)

2          RADAR; rad a(I)r

3          EVERYBODY LIES;

4          INNS; in NS

5          ERNANI; hidden

6          MUSLIN; mus(t) lin(e)

7          LAMPUKI; lamp UK I

8          ASTROTOURISTS; anag. & lit.

9          YEREVAN; y ere van

10        REPRESENT; rep resent (25 = GRUDGE)

12        NERVY; ER v in NY

16        ONE-TIME; one t

17        SCIENTIST; I in scent is + t

21        SHAVIAN; sh! avian

22        CITY MEN; cit(e) + M in yen

24        TSUBAS; SA bust (all rev.)

25        GRUDGE; g Rudge

26        SCI-FI; (spec)ifics (rev.)

29        HOUSE;

31        RELY; re(a L) ly

32        SNYE; Sn ye

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