Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6356 / Punk – Wot no choo-choo?

Posted by petebiddlecombe on March 1st, 2007


Solving time 11:07 (if correct)

A theme that kept me guessing for a while, as the crucial no. 5 didn’t fall until I’d got one of the theme answers, most of which are Glenn Miller numbers. Some of these, like Tuxedo Junction, I’ve got a gal in Kalamazoo, and Chattanooga Choo-Choo, are just waiting for a setter like Punk/Paul to find the right stunning anagram or outrageous charade. For variety, we had one work of Henry Arthur Miller, and a false cross-reference at 26. A couple of wordplays eluded me at 12 and 7, so I might have wrong answers there. A nicely-judged thematic puzzle overall, with quite a few easy clues to get you some checking letters.

9 IN THE MOOD – (HEM in (ON IT)*), O.D.
12 UGANDA – where the privileged 5s come in I have no idea.
13/15 DEATH OF A SALESMAN – the one from the other Miller – cryptic def.
29/31 MOONLIGHT SERENADE – (one to dream, English)*
30/19 STRING OF PEARLS =- can see string for racehorses, but not where Margaret comes in.
1 PRIM,U.S. – the presiding bishop in the Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church, says Collins. New word, but easy wordplay.
2 TETE-A-TETE – musical sophisticates will know that the technical name for Tonic Sol-Fa’s “te” is “leading note”, because it “leads” to the tonic/key-note. Much easier to remember than the names like “submediant” used for the other notes.
4 O,B.O.,E – I objected to “blow it” for “horn” in Times puzzle wordplay yesterday. For reasons I can’t explain, it seems to work better here.
7 LOCUM is the only word I can think of that fits, but the clue is a mystery to me. (“G, S, T and P?(5)”)
10 DIA=aid<=,PA,SON – one of the organ stop names worth knowing for xwds.
14 LOBBYISM – (boy’s limb)*
18 AQUIL(e.g.,I)A – this distincive garden flower.
22/21 LITTLE = low,BROW,NJUG=Jung* – low rumble of muttering from Ximeneans about the need to split “lowbrow”….
24 SOB(b)ER
26 HAL(V)E – the fake x-ref

Daft diversion – search terms
The contributors to this blog can look at a statistics page. This shows how many people have looked at each posting and which links people followed to find this site. It also shows search terms that were “used to find your site”. I wonder how disappointed some of these people were …

ximenean jumper was resting
wearing plimsolls at weekends
sugar-coated chocolate drop nonpareil
Definition too dicey
tits morphing
getting your ears pearst
Harrogate 2007 underwear

13 Responses to “Independent 6356 / Punk – Wot no choo-choo?”

  1. says:

    Re 7D: a locum is a S,T,AND-in-GP. Ho ho.

    Really good puzzle, I thought. I got 5A immediately and then 15/13A, which made me think all the rest of the theme clues were Arthur Miller plays. When it became clear they weren’t I moved on to Henry Miller and then, finally, Glenn.

  2. says:

    Re 12 across
    Uganda is upper class Genn and Arthur

  3. says:

    Sorry – sgould have typed Glenn

  4. says:

    and should have typed should. I’m going for a nice lie down now.

  5. says:

    STRING OF PEARLS Margaret is defined as Pearl – I learned this when verifying. I think 5 also refers to the Miller’s Tale in the Canterbury Tales (Chaucer).

  6. says:


    If you’re comemnting from a WordPress account with a name, I think you can edit your comment by clicking on the little “e” next to the time stamp.

    For this clue, I’d have preferred “Country of privileged 5’s, originally” or something similar. Locum: I thought GP might be involved.

  7. says:

    Re those search terms. A while back, I saw that someone was using my username as a search term, which made me feel a bit strange. Like I had a stalker or something…

  8. says:


    Margaret’s for PEARLS is wrong, according to Chambers (2006). Margarite is the pearl-like substance, so it should be Margarite’s.

    Re. puzzle generally:

    Some very good clues, and one excellent one, the one for HALVE. Some that didn’t quite work, in my opinion.

    One such: Beg to get Punk’s first clue. For PLEAD.

    ‘Get’ to me implies that what’s ‘got’ is the answer to the clue, rather than, as here, the cryptic indications.

    For it to work cryptically, for me, it would have to be: “Punk’s first clue to get beg”, which, of course, doesn’t make sense…

    (From memory, “getting” is also used in the same way in another clue).


  9. says:

    Having now looked up Margaret in the Chambers “Some first names” section (rather than Pearl as I did yesterday), I can see that pearl is to Margaret as rock is to Peter. This could open some flood-gates, all the way from the loftiness of Aaron to the beauty of Zuleika.

  10. says:

    It was in Chambers 2003 that I looked it up in the names Section referred to by Peter – I perhaps should have specified this in the earlier post.

  11. says:

    Re: TETE A TETE “Te” meaning “leading note” had me confused the whole time. I kept on thinking: “Why “leading” “. It’s been explained above, for which thanks.

    I checked in Chambers and nowhere is “leading” mentioned…

    Wouldn’t the clue have been better as “Notes about a private conversation”?

  12. says:

    Leading note should be there in Chambers if you look through the entry for “lead”, and it’s also in Collins and COD, so I think it’s fair game for a daily puzzle.

  13. says:

    Sorry, I meant “nowhere in the entry to TE is “leading” mentioned”.

    Solved it quickly since I have compiled a similar clue.

    You’re probably right that it’s fair game for a daily.

    Still think my surface reading is better. (What are “leading notes about a private conversation”?) “Notes about a private conversation” immediately makes sense…

    And in terms of crypticity, most people know “Do, re, mi…etc” as notes. (Or “doh, reh, me… etc”) Very few people know that “Te” is a “leading note”, so it is rather obscure…


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