Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6365 by Hypnos – Gentle start to the week

Posted by nmsindy on March 12th, 2007


A pleasing and not too difficult puzzle by Hypnos, one of the occasional setters.   Quite a few anagrams among the 22 clues.    When I saw the central across clue contained “theme”, I thought the puzzle might have one, like so many recent Indys.   But I’ve not seen any.     (Later:  1 error – see 18)

Solving time: 19 mins

* = anagram


1 SCRAP (MERC) HANT    Merc = Mercedes (car) in (chaps rant)*.    Definition is “totter”.

9 TEE M    Golfing reference.

10 (f)LUSH

12 SUBJECT MATTER     Count = matter you see quite often as here

15 I (international) MPOR (Prom)*  piano-TUNER

18 IOWA   I think.  (Later when solution seen:  No! It’s COMA from Comanche – definition – state that’s out – as Peter says in comment below, if you can’t understand the wordplay look further – the two vowels make it tricky though – there were similar doubts a few weeks ago with FARE.)   I always approach 4-letter words where the two crossing letters are vowels with trepidation as there can be many alternatives.    I think the idea is that the native American tribe is the Kiowa, that “out” may mean “knockout = KO” and “not half” is that just the K is needed.     I am not totally sure and any 6 down would be welcome.


1  C (R) UT CH     Tricky.     “Staff” is the definition.

2  SP (EC) Trader ATE      City = City of London financial district located in postal district EC.    You’ll see it again.

3  SCORES    Nice double definition.

6 ENLIGHTENMENT   (hint gentlemen)*     c. 18th century movement that changed how people saw the world.

13 B (LOW) AW(e) AY     Bay = horse

16  THESIS  (Shiites)* less i = “heartless” i.e. without its middle letter.      Thesis = a person’s view i.e. position here.

17 Walt W(HITMAN).

13 Responses to “Independent 6365 by Hypnos – Gentle start to the week”

  1. says:

    LUSH/CRUTCH and BLOWAWAY/IOWA took me longer than the whole of the rest of the puzzle. I didn’t understand IOWA at the time; I can’t remember the clue, but your explanation is better than anything I could come up with.

  2. says:

    IOWA (maybe) State that’s out for Native Americans? Not half! (4)

  3. says:

    The definition is “state that’s out” – not such a “not too difficult” clue, perhaps.

  4. says:

    So answer is COMA and the natives are the Comanche. I also fell into the IOWA trap yesterday, but shouldn’t have done – a classic case of “if the wordplay doesn’t make sense, look for another answer”.

  5. says:

    It fooled me too. Mind you (though opinions may differ) I don’t much care for Definition for Subsid Indication! Otherwise v nice puzzle from a valued colleague!

  6. says:

    Why not, Q? Is there a solid reason?

    I know the Times ed doesn’t like it, but I’d thought it simply a matter of personal preference.

  7. says:

    It has been argued (by eg Azed and I am inclined to agree) that the SI exists FOR (to serve the purpose of) the D – you mess around with the letters for the sake of the answer rather than the other way around.

  8. says:

    Speaking purely as a solver, I agree with this interpretation. I think it’s logical to say wordplay FOR definition and definition FROM wordplay, but not the other way around in either case. So I agree with those Times people (and others) on this.

  9. says:

    Thank you both – your reasoning is truly sound.

    And yet, as one who fell under the Derridean spell far too early for his own good, I’m backing the idea that the heirarchy ‘Definition over wordplay’ (with the ‘jouissance’ bit duly trampled) is no more than arbitrary – when you can’t have one without the other, why is one worth more than the other?

    By convention, I suspect.

  10. says:

    …with hierarchy spelt right, please.

  11. says:

    I am not sure that the convention “wordplay FOR Definition” implies that one is worth more than the other. All it means is that the wordplay gets the result of the answer (directly from the definition).


  12. says:

    The older terminology – “Subsidiary” Indication – suggests to me one is worth more than the other. A lot of this is convention, but convention usually has some reasoning behind it. Again, just the views of an interested solver.

  13. says:

    I’ve never been a fan of the term “subsidiary indication”, preferring the formulation “cryptic indication(s)”, which doesn’t imply that one is more important than the other, only that one is cryptic and the other is definitional.

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