Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6261/Math – Eightsquared

Posted by rightback on November 9th, 2006


Solving time: 6:04

An impressive 11 answers on a 24dn theme, though only 13ac, 14dn and possibly 16ac are likely to have caused any difficulty for anyone with only a passing knowledge. I found the top right the hardest quarter.

Beginners’ 3 tips of the day: ‘traveller’ = REP, ‘working’ = ON, ‘against’ = AGIN.

4 AP(O)PLE + X + Y – can’t quite make the surface reading work here
10 anag. of MALE inside STATE – ‘of’ seems superfluous to the cryptic reading
11 SNARL – double definition, ‘foul’ in the sense of ‘snarl up’. Spent most of my last minute looking for possible alternatives here, and I’m still not completely convinced
13 FIANCHETTO – a difficult anagram which comes from the Italian fianco meaning ‘flank’. To fianchetto a bishop means to move it one square into the knight’s column (e.g. for white, to b3 or g3). This move is a feature of a number of chess openings, especially those with ‘Indian’ in their name
16 GA(MB)IT – in chess, an ‘opening gambit’ usually means an opening in which one player sacrifices a pawn (sometimes more) to gain positional or strategic advantages. Nothing to do with ‘gamble’
28 REP reversed + CAPITA[l]
5 PFENNIG – 100 of them made a Deutschmark
7 AXE reversed + C[u]T
14 CAPABLANCA – P replacing S in Casablanca. José C from Cuba was World Champion in the 1920s. A guessable answer, even without knowing the name
17 I’M AGIN + IN (= elected) + G(overnment)
21 EMBERS – last letters of ‘came… joyous’. The plural ‘endings’ doesn’t quite seem to fit the Cinderella surface reading
22 CL(IQ)UE – worked this out once I’d stopped the clock, having initially thought ‘hint’ = CUE
24 C(HE’S)S
26 PAWN – double definition, to pop something is slang meaning to take it to a pawnbroker’s

3 Responses to “Independent 6261/Math – Eightsquared”

  1. says:

    For what seems like an inevitable xwd theme (something else with black & white squares) this felt pretty fresh. You walloped me on the clock (9:33). Part of the gap was from a bad initial choice at 1D – BANK RATE rather than BASE RATE, not yet having 9, my last answer. Also lost time at 14 looking for a Russian surname, and finding the fairly simple CALAIS at 19.

  2. says:

    About to tidy up on the unfinished answers, but the chess theme helped me to my best performance for the Indie. Playing league chess in Bristol, and having studied plenty of chess books meant that Capablanca came to me immediately. Casablanca – I then guessed was a port (as well as being a film!). Obviously I will struggle if the setter decides on a geography theme! I enjoyed 6261, particularly as it was themed on one of my interests. I’m now about to look through the explanations for my valuable daily lesson…

  3. says:

    I appreciated the fact that Math resisted the temptation to use ’24 man’ in each of the piece clues. In fact I got a couple of the non-24 pieces before I got 24 and sussed the full extent of the theme.


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