Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6294/Tees

Posted by neildubya on December 18th, 2006


I really enjoyed this. Quite tricky in parts, with some subtle and genuinely inventive wordplay. I got one wrong (18D), confirmed one on the Interweb and filled in a couple without fully understanding why but these clicked into place when I looked again. Great start to the week.

1 “sham pain”
10 M in LEON – took me a while to twig that Mike is M in the Nato alphabet.
11 (p)INTERPLAY – the last one I filled in but without understanding why. Google told me that “Comedy of Menace” is a dramatic style invented by Harold Pinter, the playwright…famous for his..long…pregnant…pauses. I wonder how many people would have needed to look that up though?
13 MP,I in LUSH – “richly attired” is neat wordplay.
21 A(r)MADA in RN – everything about this clue is excellent. The surface reading and definition are misleading and the handling of the wordplay is accomplished. I really liked “ours (RN – Royal Navy, our armada) to port and starboard” to indicate the container.
25 IN,SUD< – is “banker” a slightly cheesy way of defining a river? No matter, seems to work well here.
26 SA(r)T(r)E – another one that I filled in from the definition. Have only just realised that Jean-Paul Sartre is the philosopher.
27 OVERT,RAIN – spookily for me, I was on my way to the gym when I was solving this puzzle.
1 IST in CALL,O – the second largest moon of Jupiter. The question mark at the end of the clue is there, I guess, because “call” and “o” are two different “rings”.
3 INSAN(e) in PD,NEEDLES – took me a while to parse this one because of the wording, which makes sense on the surface but seems a bit awkward as wordplay. To my simple brain, “Lunatic not all there in Police Department…” would seem to make more sense, but maybe I’m missing something?
4 H,SIEG(e)<,AS – the surface reading seems to strain a bit here but the handling of the wordplay is very good.
15 MINE in ESTAT(e) – the Concise Oxford defines this as a “small bar” only, not mentioning “shabby”, but Chambers does. Not a very familiar word, to me at least, but the wordplay is quite straightforward.
16 AND,ERSE,N – a tricky one this, not least because you have to nail “with” as “and”, get Erse as a word for the Gaelic language and then not get deceived into reading “close” as an adjective. Nicely done.
18 ANNA,OTT< – I filled in ANNETTO (I’m hopeless with trees and plants).
19 EC,LOG,U,E – the surface reading sends you off in another direction. My first thought was that “City” was the definition.

6 Responses to “Independent 6294/Tees”

  1. says:

    Re PINS AND NEEDLES, I read it as INSAN(e) i.e. lunatic (not all there) in PD + NEEDLES.

    This was a brilliantly inventive puzzle, one of the best for a long time. Solving time: 42 mins Liked GEISHAS and CHAMPAGNE a lot, and my favourite was RAMADAN.

  2. says:

    Re PINS AND NEEDLES. That’s how I read it too, I was just puzzled over the order of the words.

  3. says:

    The &Lit anagram at 17ac 12 wasn’t too bad, either. A real talent, this guy.

  4. says:

    Is this simply ARMED hidden in the first two words? I can’t see what else it is. In that case how does armed = provide with weapon? arm = provide with weapon; armed = provided with weapon, surely. What am I missing?

    Wil Ransome

  5. says:

    Sorry, my name wasn’t ARMED!

  6. says:

    You’ve been had, Will: ‘with weapon’ = ARMED.

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