Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 886 by Quixote – Quite easy

Posted by nmsindy on February 8th, 2007


Sometimes you can be lucky with a puzzle – the words are familiar or you quickly see how most things work and go through it fast. This happened me with this one to give me my fastest Indy solve of the year so far. On reflection, a big factor in this, I think, was that the puzzle contained 4 15-letter entries, 3 of which I solved straight away.

Solving time: 10 mins

* = anagram

9 BIRTHDAY PRESENT (TRIP BY ADHERENTS)* The 15-letter answer I did not get immediately, but did very soon after.


11 MISER Hidden reversal

12 DI (ARCH) Y

15 CAP ELLA (Fitzgerald) Jazz musician A first-magnitude star in the northern constellation Auriga. This was new to me, but I pencilled it in from the wordplay on first reading.

19 L (OO) SE Amusing surface . Two Os (love) in the London School of Economics.

22 A MONTH OF SUNDAYS The four or five issues of the (Sunday) paper and the word lengths of the phrase gave me this immediately. A proverbially long time.

22 SANG (Warbled) + RIA (AIR reversed)

24 ASS (AJ) AYER (Philosopher – 1910- 1989). Analyst of e.g. the extent of the presence of metals.


2 PERSONAL PRONOUN e.g. I, you, he for someone already mentioned. Guessed this immediately from I? and the word lengths. The ? as it’s an example I guess. Said I’d verify the anagram at the end. (SLUR ON PAPER NO NO)*

3 RO (H) AN Got this from the wordplay – others will be much more familiar with it than I am. From Lord of the Rings.

5 TA (P) STER Favourite clue with a very pleasing overall image.

6 RHEOMETER (THREE MORE)* I said the last 5 letters had to be METER and correctly guessed the rest.

7 AVERSION THERAPY “Putting off treatment”. Nice cryptic definition which I got straight away – again the word lengths helped as treatment = therapy jumped out. I think I’ve seen the idea used before more than once and that would have helped me too.

8 SAT O RIS(k). Got it from the wordplay – from Zen Buddhism, I know now.

13 COLLECT OR (Other Ranks = Soldiers – a v common device)

15 CELLARS “Sellers”

18 (Edmund) SPENSER (1552-1559) Hidden – well known to advanced crossword solvers as Chambers contains all his words from way back so those crosswords which usually use Chambers as their reference and exploit it to the full will have his strange spellings. Often indicated in clues by “Ed’s”.

21 TUN IS (A port in – you’ve guessed it – Tunisia). Nice use of different meanings of port. “Big cask is used for port”.

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