Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6326 by Scorpion – Very, very tough

Posted by nmsindy on January 25th, 2007


Scorpion is, I find, the hardest of the Indy setters and this puzzle was no exception.    There were some novel approaches and some areas I am not entirely sure of all the reasoning.   These are mentioned below.

Solving time (slowest of year so far, I think)    77 mins

* = anagram


1    SECOND      Very clever – a particle of a minute.

4   PISCATOR    i.e. an angler.    I got the idea straightaway from “rod” and “bank” but getting the right word took a while longer.

11 H(arr)Y FORD (reversed) + OIL   i.e. HYDROFOIL

12  MANGOES, I think.     It’s fruit all right.    My thought on the wordplay is that chestnut refers to hackneyed jokes starting “A man goes” i.e. “opening of old chestnut”.

13  f(A) c(U) + SPICE = season

22 THE SWAN  (AS NEWT + Here)*       “The Swan” as a typical pub name is my guess.

24  IAN BOTHAM      Have still not quite adjusted to seeing living people in the crossword, but this is an excellent &lit.     (IcONBAT)* i.e. caught (c) out + HAM = joint.  As for the surface reading, I thought that was what the Indy set itself out, on foundation, NOT to be !

25 T (ARK) A    The otter from Henry Williamson’s book, I think i.e. a fable.    TA = appreciated i.e, thanks.    ARK = haven

26  THE LASS (rev) Y  i.e. THESSALY.    You needed to know that the French for “tea” is “the” (there should be an accent on the e but this is ignored in crosswords) and the Spanish for “and” is “y”.

27  FRIEND   FIN interleaved with RED.      Phew!


1  SK IR(M)ISH      I’ve learnt today that the postcode for Stockport is SK

2  COLON    A doubt     Definition would seem to fit “Waste disposal component”.    The “spotted” might refer to the dots in the sign for a colon (:)  but I do not see where “manual” comes in.

5  INDIANA (polis)

6  CROSSWORD SETTER     Delayed here by writing SOLVER first,  but agree SETTER is more accurate  – “his work”

9  PHYSIO   “fizzy”

15  ABERRANCE   (CANBERRA)* E   “fans” indicates the anagram.      Nice play on the meanings of “slip” (a fielder in cricket)

19  AUTUMN   Hidden reversal –  Hidden indicator a bit fuzzy, but no complaints when I found any answer in this puzzle.

20 CH (leade)R IS T(horns)  crown = first letter.      Impressive, that.

23 Shane WA (R) NE     Best clue of all.

One Response to “Independent 6326 by Scorpion – Very, very tough”

  1. says:

    Tough indeed. Some very good stuff here though; like nmsindy I thought that 24A and 23D were both excellent.

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