Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6341/Mordred

Posted by neildubya on February 12th, 2007


There was a lot to admire in this puzzle but I can’t say that I enjoyed it that much. I found it a bit of slog and I filled in too many (for a Monday) answers without really knowing why. Maybe it’s just me…

1 IS in LAUDER< – ref to Estee Lauder. Superb surface reading.
5 GERMAN (MANGER) – I’d never heard of this chap so I’m grateful for the straightforward wordplay.
9 IC (in charge) in (A CAT IS)* – is “nervous” a convincing anagram indicator? Discuss.
10 C in SCONE – I think I may have heard the word before but not this meaning. No surprise really as it’s an obsolete word that was only used at the Oxbridge universities.
13 MIA,U,L – a rare form of MIAOW.It doesn’t appear in the online versions of Collins or Chambers but it is the Concise OED and the wordplay (providing you who Mia Farrow is) is straightforward so I guess that’s fair enough.
14 (RU DELEGATION)* – I was a little surprised that DEREGULATION was the right answer as that word and DELEGATION both end in -ATION. I didn’t think it was the “done thing” to have an answer that was fairly similar to a word in the clue…?
18 APICULTURIST – I’m sure this is right but don’t ask me why. I’ll take suggestions from the floor.
24 B(e)RET,ON – nice clue but I’m not sure what the word “restriction” is doing.
29 E,N,CA,SHED – another good one with a convincing surface reading.
1 S in (TREES)* – like 14A, the answer here is similar to a word in the clue, in this case they’re both RE- words. I can’t really put my finger on why I don’t like this, it’s just a bit…unsatisfying.
3 even letters from “aDjUsTs”, CH – DUTCH is Cockney slang for “wife”.
11 RE(for IN)SURRECTION – another good surface reading.
15 (A QUESTION)* – I was slightly puzzled about the definition until I looked up EQUATION in Collins Online, which contained a link to PERSONAL EQUATION which I think is correct meaning for the clue definition.
17 NF in SINE,IN
19 C in odd letters from “FoR lEnNy”,H – Dawn French is married to Lenny Henry so the surface reading of the clue is very good.
23 YEN in HA – took me a while to spot how this worked. The phrasing of the wordplay (“longing for the heart to laugh”) is really good.

8 Responses to “Independent 6341/Mordred”

  1. says:

    18ac A+PI+CULTURIST culturist being a devotee of refined tase.

    24ac Isn’t restriction working with suffering to explain the los of the first E?


  2. says:

    18AC – thanks. Didn’t know that pi was short for pious and therefore sanctimonious.

    24AC – yes, sounds right.

  3. says:

    2D and 25A

    In 2D shouldn’t we have been given (4-2) rather than (4,2)? It’s surely “slip-up” not “slip up”. Or doesn’t the Independent give anything but commas in its indications of word length?

    And on a similar note, shouldn’t 25A have been (4,2,2)? Chambers says that “give into” is obs.

  4. says:

    Edward German wrote GLORIOUS DEVON, my party piece

  5. says:

    13A: MIAUL is in fact in Chambers (2003) — I had to reason to look it up for another puzzle yesterday…

  6. says:

    I enjoyed the puzzle very much and found it quite challenging. I loved the Dawn French clue, and the Estee Lauder one. Quite an elegant challenge.

    And now for today’s…

  7. says:

    I have not gone back to the clue to check, but the answer given is GIVE ONTO, not GIVE INTO, which, like Wil Ransome, I had written in. I was not however convinced and did not fully understand it.

  8. says:

    GIVE ONTO Think I understand this now. “Overlook present of new toy that is incomplete” Collins gives the definition e.g. house by a beach I think then give = present o’ = of n = new to(y). If I’ve interpreted it correctly, the o’ = of usage is v common in advanced xwords such as the Listener, but I do not recall it too often in the daily cryptics.

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