Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6346/Monk – Tough

Posted by neildubya on February 24th, 2007


I found this really difficult but never frustratingly so. There seemed to be just right mix of easy clues to get you started and tough ones to stop you getting too cocky. I can’t see a theme, apart from the fact that 1A 4A and 27A 28A form well-known but unconnected phrases, so this the cue for a fellow blogger or reader to point out something spectacularly obvious that I’ve missed.

1 BUTT,ON – in cricket, the “leg” side is also known as the ON side.
4 MOOR,H,SUM< – I wasted lots of time assuming the definition for this clue was “make fast”.
11 PICCY – “picky”. Sometimes I can’t believe how dense I am. On my first reading of the clue I thought that “fussy in report” had to be “picky” but couldn’t see how that worked with “still”. What seemed like hours later the penny finally dropped.
12 OUT OF THIS WORLD – got this immediately. “Good start”, I thought, “this shouldn’t be too tricky”. How wrong I was.
16 (REPEAT I’M C)* – does this count as an indirect anagram? C is part of the anagram fodder but is indicated by “about” (circa). It’s not the first time I’ve seen this (or something similar) done and it doesn’t seem to attract many complaints. Anyway, this was one of the easier clues in the puzzle.
18 E,N,C OUR AGE – stupidly filled in ENTOURAGE because I didn’t read the clue properly, which held me up on 15D.
20 I, R in NET – another easy one I was grateful for.
21 PUT,A,H,H in BOTSWANA – another possibly indirect anagram? Nestor fans will remember that this word appeared in his first crossword for the Independent.
26 B,ROME,I in LAD – had to resort to books to get this as I’d never heard of it and I wasn’t parsing the clue correctly.
28 ISLAND – a reference to John Donne’s Meditation XVII.
1 BAD-MOUTHED – “cruel sea” has to be BAD MED but not sure where OUTH comes from.
3 OVERFLY – rearrange the bits of FLYOVER.
7 L in (SOCIETAL)*
8 MAYO – the last one I filled in I think and I needed Google. A reference to this person.
13 (TH(i)EF)* in LANDED – I’m LEFT-HANDED myself so it was slightly distressing to discover that it can mean “perverse or ambiguous”.
15 AG in A,N,CHORE – took longer than it should have done thanks to my mistake in 18A.
17 E,BAKE<,O in P,O – terrific clue and not a word you often see in a crossword.
23 hidden reversed in “exAMINAtion”
24 L in GUT

2 Responses to “Independent 6346/Monk – Tough”

  1. says:

    In one of the coincidences that occurs from time to time, despite the number of words available, Monk submitted this crossword before Nestor’s first puzzle arrived containing the answer Bophuthatswana, but as I had several Monks in stock and only one Nestor I had to hold Monk’s crossword over for a while

  2. says:

    The OUTH in Bad-mouthed comes from “out west of Hebrides” where “west of Hebrides” delivers the letter “H”

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