Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6285 / Monk What you see might not be what you get!

Posted by tilsit on December 7th, 2006


Solving time: 34 minutes

 Life is full of worries and paradoxes.  Mrs Dale (for those of us of an age) always worried about Jim.  Me?  I worry about Simon McStraphanger.  Who he, I hear you ask?  Well, gentle reader, he is the man that crossword editors used to worry about.  He gets on his train at Downminster, and would settle down with his puzzle.  If he completed it as the train chugged into Millbank Central, it was going to be a good day.  Too early and he has much to fret about, unfinished and he has a bad day ahead of him until the journey home again. 

 Last Thursday’s Nestor would have probably given him several palpitations and normally Monk’s challenges usually do the same.  However today’s was a little more benevolent, with several laugh out loud clues,  although there was a paradox to wrestle with.   Usually Monk has a gimmick, pangrammatic grid, theme or message and today?  Well…….


8  TWEEZE   Quaint = TWEE  Great God, not half showing = ZE(US) Def = Pluck

9  NOAHS ARK  Old boat = definition.  ON Westerly = NO  –  evacuated A(nglo Frenc)h = AH + Channel Island = SARK

10  HELLENIC  –  Girl =  ELLEN in “this in Latin” = HIC  –  The use of “Or” in this clue should keep the minds busy on currently fretting about Linkwords.

12  EPSOM SALTS –  My favourite clue today!  Definition =  “They evacuate”  (need I explain more?)  Marines = SALTS on (attached to) a course = EPSOM.

15  RAIN CATS AND DOGS –  This clue causes me trouble.   PELT = definition (fine!)  I presume this is  “coverless sewers” (alluding to seamstresses for the surface) =  (D)RAIN rather than DRAINS.  DOMESTIC ANIMALS =  CATS AND DOGS with “on” linking in the same way as 12 across.  The alternative reading would be CATS AND DOG in RAINS which just is not indicated.

20 CONSTRAINT – Rook = R  one = I  “separately pinned” ie  inside  CONSTANT = perpetual  check = definition.    Nice mislead on a chess theme.

23  WEBSTERS   Dictionary obviously with the remainder of the def being a cryptic hint at people who search the (WW)Web.


1  SWEET PEA  Candy = SWEET penny each =  P   EA.  Climber is definition.

2  FELL TO Def =  “applied himself” as in  “he fell to his task,” T= Time inside FELLOW Divorced or single =  No W(oman) !  Very clever!!! Very Monk!

3  KEEN  Double def.  A new one on me –  see Chambers   Wailing / moaning etc.

4  KNUCKLE SANDWICH  –  Never seen this in a puzzle before!  Blow =  def. Anagram of “H CANDLE WICK SUNK” 

6  ISOLATED   O = Ring inside  I SLATED = one criticised

13  SCARCEMENT  –  SCAR = Damage   CEMENT = Fix

16  NINTENDO –  Another first time seen in a puzzle  –  INTEND in NO 

17  GANGRENE =  RENÉ = Franchman  on  GANG = Workmen

19  TIN MAN  Another laugh-out loud clue  Friend of Dorothy = definition (see Wizard of Oz)  T = last letter of Smart +  IN MAN

24  BYRE  Homonym of Buyer – lower class accommodation – lower class = COWS.

 Another battle with Monk over.  So where’s the gimmick?  So very nearly pangrammatic, but not quite!   The theme or hidden message?Well remember I said that life was full of paradoxes?  Look down left and along the bottom row.

3 Responses to “Independent 6285 / Monk What you see might not be what you get!”

  1. says:

    Solved this in 36 mins. Distinctively Monk-ish to me. Like Tilsit, I found it a little easier than some of Monk’s. Not much else to say, because I think he’s explained everything so fully. While sure of the answer FELL TO could not quite see how it worked (precisely why the W went) – what he says sounds exactly it. Saw the bottom row early on, but with Monk you look for these things, don’t you?

  2. says:

    W does not equal ‘woman’.

    However The Times editor, in his most recent list of accepted abbreviations, cites ‘women’s’ and also the likely culprit: W = wife.

  3. says:

    I forgot to say also that this usage might go towards an elucidation as to why the ‘fellow’ should be ‘single or divorced’.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

7 + five =