Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday/Quixote 873 – V good as always

Posted by nmsindy on November 10th, 2006


Quixote is, as most will know, Don Manley of the Chambers Crossword Manual, the 4th edtion of which has recently appeared. Highly recommended, especially for help in explaining all the clue types and puzzle types. He was in the Indy pretty much from the start, transferring to the IoS when that paper was launched in 1990 – this puzzle is, as you see, No 873. At one time, I found these easier by quite a bit compared to the Indy weekdays, but that’s changed somewhat. This one took me 25 minutes. I also thought that, for new solvers, I might give a few tips and complete analysis of 4 clues (asterisked in the report below)


1  HALF-TIME   He “collects”  Alf and Tim and we get ED and MARK later.   No problem with that.

10 GROCER     So they say, means, it sounds like  “grow” “sir”

13 SHORTFALL   period between summer and winter = fall (US), autumn (UK)

14 EAR-SPLITTING = very loud.    One of the first solved, but the last understood in that “ear” is “part of” i.e. splitting “fanfarE ARrangement.    I think that’s it, anyway.

17  PATENT OFFICE     PA tent off ice

22  ROTTERDAM   “bad egg” = “rotter”   First man beheaded (A)DAM

23  ESTER   Esther (Book of Old Testament) less h.     The editor of the Church Times Crossword knows his OT



27  CHAMPERS    My favourite clue – double defn with the misleading join between Bubbly and folk



4  MODUS VIVENDI  anagram of v devious mind.    This took me ages, wondered where the 2 Vs fitted in.    Very good clue.    Phrase from Latin.

7  UNCLAD    Uncl less e i.e. almost + a d = day.   “To get” is a link.  Defn is “ready for bed”    

8  THRILL  Th(e) less e + rill.    Tricky

11 MOUTH-TO-MOUTH      mouth = trap.    “Like” needed in defn to show it’s a adjective.

16  NEURITIS    one less o i.e. loveless.   Old City = Ur (more OT).  

18  ABELARD  a + L (50) in Beard.    Liked that a lot.    Abelard and Heloise from medieval days.  I’ll refrain from giving you the full details..

19  FIEFDOM.     Misleading cricket image refers to its HQ Lord’s.  England’s opener  i.e first letter (E) in anagram of mid-off (a fielding position in cricket).  .     And no problem for anyone nervous at using capital letters when the reference is to the word in lower case i.e. the lord who has the fiefdom.     It’s all avoided my having it as the first word in the sentence so it gets capitalised anyway..


80-90% of crossword clues consist of (a) a definition of the answer and (b) another way of getting to it, lying side by side and not overlapping.    (b) is now usually referred to as wordplay; it’s also called the  subsidiary indication.Either may come first.Crossword convention is that the clue must read as a normal piece of English. But when solving you must take the wording literally.The wordplay element will  give instructions on what is going on e.g. anagram, piece of word reversed, hidden etc. The setter has to give indications that this is being done and, while there will often be link words, every word in the clue has a role in getting to the solution.

24    Come into view/with/plea, having changed sides finally.      Plea = appeal – “having changed sides finally” means change the last letter from L (left) to R (right) and you get APPEAR (come into view).  “With” is a link

26  Jeer at/man falling over before journey       Man falling over = Ed (reversed) followed by ride = journey

3   Boy without name is given name/ – a significant event       Boy = lad without name means lad is outside n = abbreviation for name  and then “is given” name (Mark)

21  Numbness/ conveyed by/Proust (translated)   This is an anagram of Proust and the anagram is indicated by translated, suggesting changed around.   A very appropriate one as Proust is a French writer whose work would be translated into English.

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