Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6276 by Obtrox – Nervous start

Posted by neildubya on November 27th, 2006


Solvers of advanced cryptics will recognise the name Obtrox as he/she has compiled a number of crosswords for the Listener, Enigmatic Variations and the Independent’s own Weekend Magazine over the past few years.

A small ripple of panic came over me as my initial pass over the clues, both Across and Down, yielded nothing. Not a sausage. A second pass over the Across clues almost had the same result, and the ripple began to turn into a wave, until I finally got 24A. The SW corner fell into place fairly quickly after that and the rest followed suit at a leisurely pace. There were some nice things in this and it was a “good solve”, although I thought 1A was a bit weak and 20A not a very convincing anagram.

1 MATCHING PAIR – to be honest, I was expecting something more cryptic. When I saw “Snap” I thought “Card game! No, too obvious surely” so I waited until had all the checking letters before filling the answer in.
13 ERGO in PLA – I thought “therefore” was going to be “so” so went on a wild-goose chase looking for 10 letter words for “aircraft” (50% would be 5 letters I thought).
15 NOIS(E), ROT (rev) – I liked “cobblers” = rot.
17 S,WIND,LE – nicely disguised def = “do”.
19 TA, L in BEAU
20 TASTE BUDS – anag of “butted ass”. Now, I’m no compiler, but I can’t help thinking that there are better ways to clue this word. Something to do with friends (buds) and discretion (taste) maybe?
24 D in O,O+U,R – the clue that stopped a mild oncoming panic attack.
25 I,FI in AMPLE+R
2 A,LO,FT – again, I thought the definition (“up”) was nicely disguised in “then put feet up”.
3 RC (rev)+OS+SWORD – couldn’t quite believe that this was the answer given that the word “cross” appeared in the clue.
6 BY in AS,S – nice misleading surface reading which disguises the definition well.
7 (s)ECOND in RITE – the surface reading for this seemed a bit clumsy though.
9 POLE POSITION – anag of “pipe onto soil” and a ref to Formula 1.
16 anag of “ellen” and “biro” -
19 SS,P in TOOT – thought I’d stumbled into the Private Eye crossword when I filled this one in. It’s in the Concise Oxford though and it apparently means an habitual drinker also.
23 G, RIPE

One Response to “Independent 6276 by Obtrox – Nervous start”

  1. says:

    This was harder for me than the average OBTROX, 34 mins to solve. PERGOLA was my last too and I did exactly the same looking for 10 letter words and thought of PERSONA. The Cross in the clue for Crossword amazed me, and I’m sure it was just an oversight. The other slight niggle I had was 8 down, which, while I have not seen the solution, I’ve in as BAD CONDUCTOR. As a phrase it’s not in Concise OED or Chambers (the 2 dicts I have at the moment). However, when I keyed the known letters into OneLook it came up as the only option. Liked the touch of the two Snaps in the first two clues and a link between the third and fourth also. Favourite clues: TORSION and also 4 down – lovely surface.

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