Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6264/Monk – Tough for a Monday.

Posted by neildubya on November 13th, 2006


A superb offering from Monk, one of my favourite setters. This was fairly easy in parts (I did half of it in about 15 minutes) but the NE corner was fiendishly difficult. Tough start to the week but thoroughly enjoyable.

1 B in THUR,ER – ref James Thurber, creator of Walter Mitty. ER is Elizabeth here, Edward later on…
5 TOC EMMA – a trench mortar. This was a new to me but it’s eminently gettable from the fairly straightforward wordplay. Peel=EMMA (The Avengers), TOC= cot (bed) backwards
9 NONPAREIL – RAP (hit) back in anag of “one-nil”. The clue reads very smoothly although “one-nil” is hardly a “beating”!
12 ER=edward, in PIQUE, a stiff cotton fabric. Perique is a tobacco from Louisiana.
15 SPECIAL DELIVERY – a doosra is the off-spinner’s version of the googly, whatever that means. Something to do with cricket. Not your usual delivery anyway.
19 DULL (anag) in BOG – a bulldog is a Procter’s assistant at either Oxford or Cambridge University.
23 CYBERPETS – pure class this. “Animals virtually” is the def, c=caught, walk=step + on=re + by (all backwards). Expertly done.
25 N, WARDER (screw) reversed.
1 T(-Husband)ANKFUL – a (Renault) Clio can’t take more than a TANKFUL, which is “thankful” after you drop the h (husband). Again, the surface reads very nicely.
2 ULNAR – anag of URINAL minus I (“one splitting”)
3 BAA-LAMB – a Baal is a false god + A + MB (doctor). Def is “potential sacrificial offer”.
4 RHEUMATOLOGICAL – anag of “a rogue claim, loth” – I got this surprisingly quickly as I often struggle with long anagrams.
7 MOONQUAKE – very sly. “Maria” here is the plural of “mare”, which is a sea on the Moon.
15 SUB(DUE)S – subs = subscription.
16 (I)N,DEPT(H)
18 YELTSIN – anag and very apt surface reading (allegedly)!

10 Responses to “Independent 6264/Monk – Tough for a Monday.”

  1. says:

    This was very challenging, typical MONK in the INDY. Took me 43 mins. I’m quite sure those two great setters arrived at it INDEPENDENTly but Merlin had almost exactly the same clue for YELSTIN some time ago. I remembered it because it was so brilliant.

    It was not mentioned in the review, maybe have a look at central row and column.

  2. says:

    This YELSTIN – who he?

  3. says:

    Intrigued to see Monk on a Monday, which has rrecently been shared between a range of setters, usually rather easier than Monk. Wondering whether this is a permanent change in the schedule… (Slipped up on PERIQUE, wrongly guessing at PERUQUE, to complete a dud of day, having got one wrong in the Times as well.)

  4. says:

    But you have higher standards than most of us, Peter. I’d never heard of that word or indeed Pique with that meaning, so as crossing letters appeared went to the dict to confirm, though I had guessed it right from the wordplay. I’m down to post on Thurs and I thought Monk might be that day and I might be floored! So it was a relief to see it today – though I did work it out. BTW, Baa-lamb is in none of my dicts that I can see, but the wordplay was so friendly I don’t think many would have had a problem.

  5. says:

    Monk has generally appeared on Thursdays or Saturdays and his next puzzle will be on Saturday 25th, to coincide with the setters and solvers get-together he’s organised in Ilkley. All bloggers, readers and setters are welcome. See Derek Harrison’s Crossword Centre and archive for more details.

  6. says:

    I’ve shuffled the pack a little this week, so Niall has a Phi this to report on this Thursday. The following Thursday sees the Indy debut of another setter, but I’m keeping his identity under my hat for now.

  7. says:

    Actually, sorry, getting ahead of myself – the debut will be on Thursday 30th – it will be Mass on the 23rd.

  8. says:

    What – no comment on Rufus?

  9. says:

    Since you ask, I did “Rufus” yesterday, after I’d admired the nice drawings of all the sheep :-)
    It took me 8min 49 sec, mainly because I got badly stuck on things like HARVEST FESTIVAL.
    Some nice clues and one or two iffier ones, I thought

  10. says:

    A bit more on “toc emma” and similar stuff. They come from a WWI radio/signaller’s alphabet, from which you only need to know A/ack,H/aitch,M/emma,P/pip and T/toc. These give you: ack-ack = anti-aircraft, ack-emma and pip-emma = AM/PM, the old soldier’s society Toc H (pronounced “tock aitch”) for TH=Talbot House where it was originally based, and toc emma = TM = trench mortar. That seems to be the full set of surviving words. Apart from Zulu = UTC/GMT (from written times like 18:30Z), I can’t think of any words coined from the modern one starting Alpha, Bravo, Charlie.

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