Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 898 by Quixote

Posted by nmsindy on May 3rd, 2007


A little trickier this week, with some elaborate wordplay.

Solving time: 30 mins

Quixote’s puzzles are very accessible. As they appear in a weekend edition with a week to work it out, they should appeal to those starting out. In view of this, for a change, I’ll totally analyse in this blog four clues in this puzzle.

* = anagram


6 HYBRID Hidden “More than a little” i.e. 6 letters of the 11.

10 FORMALLY Full analysis clue 1 “Type to join up in a conventional manner” Generally clues comprise (a) a definition of the answer (b) another way of getting to the answer by manipulating its letters. Nowadays this is known as “wordplay”, in earlier days as “subsidiary indication” or “cryptic indication”. The whole clue should also make sense as a piece of English (often referred to as the “surface reading”). In this case definition is “in a conventional manner” Type = form followed by ally = to join up. The meanings of the words are usually instinctive, but can be confirmed in a dictionary. Technically this is known as a charade based on a old word game – putting bits side by side, but you don’t really need to know that.

11 DEERSTALKER A hat, which I worked out as crossing letters appeared. What’s Dr Dolittle got to do with it? I did not know, but the Internet tells me it was a series of children’s books from the past about a doctor who could speak to animals, hence deer’s talker. He and I missed each other in my childhood, I’m afraid.    But the first person I asked later knew all about it.
17 TATTOOER (art to toe)* This took me quite a while to work out.

21 SALESPERSON (Rep one’s lass)* Favourite clue – an excellent &lit. “Possibly” indicates the anagram and the whole clue is also a definition of the answer. Up there with the best.

24 MOTIONED Full analysis clue 2 “In first couple of terrors doom may be signalled” Definition is “signalled”. He motioned to me to… Anagram of In te (first couple of terrors) and doom with “may be” indicating the anagram.

27 H (Y) ADES Unknown = y. It can be x, y, or z – from algebra

28 PARA GU(A)Y bloke = guy Onerous task, to guard a country.


2 RING “Phone round to get special present” Has to be ring = phone, I think, but not sure what Quixote is getting at with the rest of the clue.

3 SLANDER Islander “not one” i.e. less i Isle of Man

5 ELF Full analysis clue 3 “Troublemaker almost escaped, going North” Definition = troublemaker escaped = fled. almost escaped means less last letter d i.e. fle going North means (in a down clue) reverse it i.e. elf. If it was an across clue, a similar approach would be “from the East”


8 ILL-TREATED The NHS will want the ill treated.

12 SCOURGE Full analysis clue 4 “Schoolboy originally needing bravery with the bringing out of a whip” Definition is the single word whip. Schoolboy originally = first letter i.e. S bravery = courage with the bringing out of a i.e. remove a giving s cour(a)ge.

13 CLEAR STORY Also known as clerestory. Expect church references from Quixote, editor of the Church Times Crossword.

23 RIG A Capital of Latvia, which is also a port.

25 D I P The switch, back in 1971, from old pennies (d from denarius: of which there were 240 to a £) to new pence (p – 100 to a £)

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