Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6353/Tees – Something tricky this way comes…

Posted by neildubya on February 26th, 2007


Another fine puzzle from Tees and, in keeping with the last few Monday puzzles, quite difficult in places.

1 (MARK)* in WON – “Newmark” (helped out by “Maybe”) to indicate an anagram of MARK is something Guardian solvers will be used to. The question mark is definitely needed for the definition of “Labour candidate”.
11 NOTE<,(LOCAL)*,R – Nice clue. Reads well and the wordplay elements are handled well.
14 LOLLIPOP MAN – If you hadn’t got 1A by the time you got to this clue you would be forgiven for thinking they were connected.
22 (LABS TO DO IN)* – I also liked this one. Perfect surface reading.
25/1D/5A/9 SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES – From ACT IV Scene 1 of Macbeth, where the second witch has line: “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes”, referring to Macbeth himself, who has already topped someone by this point in the play. The reference to 19A 18D is, of course, a pun on WICKED. The phrase itself seems to have made it’s way into popular culture in a multitude of ways.
26 (I I AND)* – the only clue in the puzzle that I didn’t like because “I and I” doesn’t seem to me to be a phrase that would convincingly be used in yer actual real life.
28 ANGE(l) in TNT
2 RAMROD – which is a rod for cleaning the barrel of a rifle or other small firearms. Nice trick with “some calibre”.
4 NI,ALL – my fellow blogger seems to get name-checked quite often these days. Not that I’m offended or anything.
6 INRO – I thought this was very tough because I’d never come across INRO before but also because of the wordplay: ORNIS (which I’d also never heard of) is a less common word for “avifauna”, which means “all the birds in a particular region”. I had I?R? and just guessed that ORNI(s)< might be right because of the ornithology/birds connection.
7 I AM in WALLS – quite a cheeky clue (as indicated by the exclamation mark) and an up-to-the-minute reference to David Walliams.
16 O in CAR USER – another smooth reading clue.
19 hidden in “BalzaC AND LEroux” – not sure why it’s a “literary light” though…?
20 NT,AC in IT
23 G,H in OUT
24 OT(ran)TO – Luckily I knew about Horace Walpole’s gothic novel “The Castle of Otranto“.

14 Responses to “Independent 6353/Tees – Something tricky this way comes…”

  1. says:

    26ac – “I and I” is something Rastafarians say for “we” – explained here.


  2. says:

    Some very good clues in this – favourite LOLLIPOP MAN with the TEESing reference to 1 across. Could someone explain the reference in 17 Down – Latest information on ‘Farringdon Crew’ for example (8). I think it must be SPECIMEN (example) but I do not understand the rest.

  3. says:

    Got hold of the Indy today and so managed to do a Tees puzzle – it was tough!

    Re 17d – SP = latest information (Starting Price), ECI = Farringdon (postal code EC1 in London), MEN = crew.

  4. says:

    Maybe a fine puzzle, but it took me ages. Two worries: how is “need” = “ought” in 23? This doesn’t seem to me to be quite right. And in 15 what is happening? In the overall reading I suppose that local time is just about OK for “the here and now”, and I suppose it’s a would-be pub name, although I’ve never heard of it, and a local is a pub. But it all seems terribly loose. I must be missing something, especially as it was not considered necessary to mention it.

  5. says:

    Many thanks for that.

  6. says:

    Need/ought: If you’re happy that “need to” = “ought to”, that seems the most obvious justification.

  7. says:


    In Roget’s New Millennium Thesaurus, under the main entry ‘Charge’ and definition ‘Burden’, ‘need’ and ‘ought’ are given as synonyms.

  8. says:

    I enjoyed this a lot, but if there was something else to’The Here and Now’, I missed it too… I just saw local=here and time=now, and local time is where and when we are now, so it was more an oblique definition than a cryptic one. ‘I and I’ was familiar from all the old reggae songs I spent the late 70s and early 80s listening to. The one I’m not sure about is lollipop man – I always thought they did it as volutneers, out of the goodness of their hearts – was that just childhood naivete?

  9. says:

    As a lollipop man in Salford for example, you would receive a wage – and paid school holidays!

  10. says:

    A very enjoyable puzzle – some good clues that made me smile and a fair challenge. A great start to the week.

    Liked the Musical Box clue – very very deceptive!

  11. says:

    Two further comments. Re SPECIMEN, the query I myself originally raised, I think SP may refer to”latest information” – English slang it says in Collins. While it does not say so, I wonder if it comes from the old Stop Press (i.e. SP) that appeared in newspapers giving the very latest. Re LOCAL TIME, like another poster above, I took this finally as local = here and time = now. The attraction being the use of a well-known phrase as the clue. The ? allowed the latitude, I think. While it is indirect (without a straightforward definition), I think it’s OK as an imaginative clue.

  12. says:

    Origin of SP as “latest info”: my money’s on ‘starting price’, which makes more sense to me in the phrase “What’s the SP” as “tell me the latest”.

  13. says:

    I think you’re probably right, Peter. The only niggle is that in Collins the “latest information” and “starting price” entries are completely separate, shown under headings nos 2 and 3. On the day the puzzle appeared, I thought “crew” might be “men” but I’d no clue what the speci might be so did not look then for SP until I got the very helpful explanation from BenIngton.

  14. says:

    Re: SP, I’ve no idea which of you is right, but to me Niall’s theory has a lot to commend it, as Stop Press would be the latest information; the starting price is a piece of information that cannot change and therefore is only latest in the sense of being last. So, if Niall is wrong, at least his reasoning is very sound.

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