Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6278/Dac – and so to Beds.

Posted by petebiddlecombe on November 29th, 2006


Some of you may have seen this post appear, disappear and reappear. That’s because I posted on the wrong day after looking at last week’s schedule and then removed it while I found out what today’s planned contributor wanted to do. Do not adjust your browser!

Solving time 8:40

Two Bedfordshire place names here, plus a couple of other British things. I wonder how Ilan Caron will get on …

1 GRIND TO A HALT – (that,O,darling)* – “ring” converted to O before anagramming. That’s probably as far as I’d want to go along the road towards the dreaded indirect anagram.
8 CLUED(o) is the game – called “Clue” in the US I believe.
12 Ven.,ICE – Ven. = venerable is the abbrev. for an archdeacon.
13 PINN=”pin”,ACES
19 (d)UNSTABLE – Dunstable is a place in Bedfordshire
21 HI TECH =”high tec” – a detective being a “solver”.
22 WITH,DREW=Ms Barrymore
26 LATER – the Debussy compostion is “La Mer”.
1 G,LUT(T)ON – Luton being an airport just the other side of the M1 from Dunstable, which used to be dominated by charter flights to the Spanish costas. Fixed in Brit cultural memory by this infamous TV advert
2 INDI=”Indie”,A – “large area” is a bit cheeky as it could describe any country, but India is pretty big (maybe 4th largest nation after Russia, Canada, China?)
3 D(I AM)ETER – enjoyed “Circle Line” as the def.
4. (f)OX,(h)EN – if you haven’t come across Reynard=Fox, look here
18 MA(TI=”it mounted”)SS,E
23 H(ALL)E – the “Hallé Band” is Britain’s oldest professional orchestra.

14 Responses to “Independent 6278/Dac – and so to Beds.”

  1. says:

    I found this v. hard — mainly because I have no access to the puzzle! Is The Independent available online somehow? I tried finding it the obvious way with no luck.

    I’m very eager to give The Independent cryptic a regular try given the glowing reviews it’s been getting recently — I only get a chance on my trips via Heathrow (I’m the guy in the corner of the BA Club World lounge with a pile of papers next to him).

  2. says:

    Sorry, that remark was as stupid as posting on the wrong day! I think you can get the Indie crossword if you subscribe to a paid online version of the complete paper. But it’s not obvious from their web-site what service you need to buy for this. I think they had a crossword subscription service but abandoned it. Possibly the relative youth of the paper compared to Times/Guardian/Telegraph means they don’t have the loyal troops of 50+-year-olds who will solve the XYZ puzzle because they always have.

  3. says:

    I enjoyed this puzzle, 18 mins. Only thing I did not understand was solver = tech, thanks, Peter.

    Re Ilan’s point, the Indy withdrew their on-line crosswords in mid-2005 – they were losing money, apparently. It was a very limited service compared with Times, Guardian, covering only Mon-Fri cryptics. So I fear every day I’ll miss the paper or, if travelling, have to ask a relative to buy. Have not missed it yet this year, though. I’d love to see it restored, and would still buy the paper which I do not buy just for the crossword.

  4. says:

    Isn’t this when we ask eimi to weigh-in with his comnents about online Indy cryptic availabilty?

  5. says:

    I have refrained from weighing in, because I’m about as knowledgable about online availability as the next man. Actually, when the next man is Peter Biddlecombe I’m actually less knowledgable than him – nice headline, by the way.

    The online version of the crossword had already ceased to exist when I took over the reins from Brian Greer in February of this year. I understand that it was rather a limited service, without any ‘added value.’ I’ll do a bit of research and get back to you, but I will offer a few comments in the meantime.

    Thanks to the very positive publicity given, originally on Pete’s blog when he underwent the change and now here on this excellent site, and also I would hope to some of the new faces I’ve brought in, there does seem to be a growing interest in the Independent crossword. Hopefully the powers that be can be persuaded that this interest can be harnessed and that there is a market for a competitively-priced online version, ideally with a large archive and bonus puzzles. If enough people request it, I’m sure it can be made to happen. It would mean more work for me, but I think these puzzles deserve a wider audience.

  6. says:

    Not in the right place I know, but can my fellow contributors help me – I am trying to upload my comments on today’s Guardian puzzle, but after logging in, cannot navigate to the appropriate place to post, because there is a dirty thick blue line at the top of the page. i have been trying on and off since 8.30 this morning, but no joy!

    I don’t have access to my personal e-mails at work so don’t have Neil’s e-mail address to get help from him.

  7. says:

    email me at [email protected] and i’ll see if i can help?

  8. says:

    …or send an email to [email protected].


  9. says:

    …or send a mail to [email protected]


  10. says:

    I’d like to see the Indy online – that’s the one good thing about The Guardian’s crossword at the moment in my view.

    Apart from Araucaria, that is!

  11. says:

    As the established Sunday setter, I was trying very hard to try to persuade one of the ex bosses to get the Independent crossword back on line at about the time Eimi took over the crossword editor’s chair, but I was politely refused. The argument against doing so was one of finance – the Indy is leaking lots of money and couldn’t see anyway of bringing in profit by restoring the puzzle. I don’t want to be unduly negative but I don’t hold out much hope of restoration right now ( let alone the inclusion of Sat and Sun puzzles which were never included). Naturally I wish my colleague Eimi every success as he tries to use his new-broom powers of persuasion and I would encourage everyone to have a go. But you will need to mount a very strong case for economic benefit. Yes -it IS a shame that the Indy won’t put its puzzle on its website, but simply telling them that probably won’t work. Good luck, one and all!

  12. says:

    I’ve always thought that charging for online access to a web service was money for old rope — at least once the initial development investment has been made (and presumably it has already, given that it used to be live) then the incremental cost of submitting a new grid/clues/answers via an existing script and setting the timers would be pretty cheap: pretty much automatable and left up to the editor. My bet is that this was a false economy by the Indy budget-slashers. Blah blah blah. Preaching to the choir.

  13. says:

    Anyhoo, I seem to remember eimi telling us that a compiler would be making their debut tomorrow but he wouldn’t name names. Shall we start the idle speculation now? My money’s on a big name Listener compiler that we’ll all recognise…

  14. says:

    A quick note about Kobi Thompson: from the e-mail I get notifying me about a comment on my post, it’s pretty certain that Kobi is in Australia.

    Debut tomorrow: I’ll be doing my best to ignore any grapevine whispers and judge the new puzzle on a “blind tasting” basis. Should be possible unless the pseudonym gives the game away.

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