Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6431 Tees / A Mixed Bag

Posted by tilsit on May 28th, 2007


soLVING TIME:  1 hr  5 mins  (with a couple of hints).
Whether it is the sandblasting doses of antibiotics I am mainlining or that I am being especially thick today, but I found this a bit of a struggle.  Some good solid cluing, although if I see 23 across again,
I shall probably do something I’ll regret.  Liked 17 /7 (appropriate for today) and as usual a nice scattering of cultural references.  Didn’t enjoy it as much as Tees’ last puzzle for some reason; had a feeling of déjá vu with a couple of clues.
ACROSS   (* = anagram, (R) = Reversed   CD= Cryptic definition)

1   SQUAD CAR  Panda = Police car –  one of four =  QUAD in SCAR = Pit (see Chambers)
9   ETHEREAL  Virgilius did this answer as a hidden a few weeks back, but this contained a nice mythological reference.  ALECTRONA was daughter of Helios, the Greek God of the Sun.
10  WARDEN  Nice clue (changed my mind over this one)  One runnign home =  def.  W + shakespearean Forest =  ARDEN (setting for As You Like It). 
11  ANTONYMOUS  As good and bad = def (‘like opposites’)  T in ANONYMOUS
12  TIFF  Jeweller = TIFF(ANY)
13  NOVA SCOTIA  Da Gama =   VASCO  in NOT Ia = NONE) + A.
16  SECRETE  Release =  def   Corner of= S.E.  + CRETE (LAD OR D                                                             
17/7  HOLIDAY RESORT Best clue of the puzzle – CD  How you make WHIT into WITH? Re-sort the holiday!
23  NEVER NEVER  Rather hackneyed clue –  Do I need to explain?
26  NEUROTIC  N + EURO =  CIT(Y) (R)
27  ENGORGED  Is inscrutable an anagram indicator?  Not for me, I’m afraid.  GREEN GOD*


4   CANAANITES  AN A AN (articles) in CITES
5   RESTIVE  REST on I’VE = setter has
6   SHUN  H in SUN
8   GLOSSARY  LOSS in GARY (Neville – carthorse football player)  This clue caused me the most thought.  The obvious allusion is to Chamberlain but it doesn’t quite work for me.
14  SHOESTRING CD  Oxford =  Shoes, therefore the allusion is to a lace.  Nice clue.
16  SPAWNING  PAWN (one used) in SING (Grass)
18  ACCURATE  AC =  Before Christ (not as often seen as BC, but still valid) + CURATE
21  RAVE UP  PARVENU * less N
22  NATO  Another good clue  KING COLE =  NAT before O (old)

15 Responses to “Independent 6431 Tees / A Mixed Bag”

  1. says:

    Enjoyed this one, though pretty tough. Agree with ’tilsit’ that the ‘resort’ was a cracker, but fave clue is ‘Alectrona’ reference. ‘Hag’ clue quite funny.

    ‘Inscrutable’ I buy as it means ‘enigmatic’. Thought 8 down could be a Richard Neville the Kingmaker reference.

    Keep the good stuff coming, Indy.

  2. says:

    Agree this was very tough, but it had many gems to make the journey worthwhile. Missed one though 12 across TIFF, not having heard of Tiffany’s, the jewellers. Thanks for explaining HOLIDAY RESORT. Had my doubts about inscrutable as an anagram indicator too but accept Chris Clarke’s point above – was looking for ages for gore or gory (i.e. blood) in the centre and the crossing letters emerged to seemingly confirm it! But as a footy person a Neville = Gary came straight away. Liked ORIGINATOR too and dicts confirm creative is a noun – my first instinct was to look for a adjective.

  3. says:

    Count me in for the “tough but fun” vote. 17A/7D was excellent I thought.

  4. says:

    Brilliant Whit Monday reference, which hit the mark exactly.

    Good and bad are examples of antonyms I thought, so ‘antonymous’.

  5. says:

    Thanks to all for the + comments: thanks especially for noticing the Whit ref!

    If it helps, the QUAD is ‘one of four young'; ‘as good and bad’ is synonymous with ‘antonymous’ (ho ho); ‘inscrutable’ (thanks, Chris!) is to be taken as meaning ‘enigmatic'; the ‘Neville’ reference (in terms of the surface reading only) is based on the idea that the Kingmaker was involved in a fair few battles, eventually dying in one at Barnet in 1471.

    Hope a good w/e was had by all.

    TTFN, Tees.

  6. says:

    I’m not sure about SECRETE. SE is hardly “corner of”, possibly just “corner” I suppose, but …; is it corner of “some”, i.e. the outside letters? Probably no, but neither way does it seem satisfactory.

    TIFF: almost a very good clue, but does “Some discounted jeweller” mean “Some discounted by jeweller”? Surely not.

  7. says:

    I knew I shouldn’t have messed with Brooke. Nevertheless, if you split Crete into its NW, SW, NE and SE parts, I think most people would be happy to call the resulting areas ‘corners’.

    And as for playing with the order of words to accommodate the cryptic reading, this is virtually unheard of in crosswords. Yes, I realise I’m an unconscionable libertarian, Wil, but some solvers might allow that I didn’t completely ruin the cryptic grammar.

  8. says:

    A couple of the clues have had previous outings on the Guardian crosswords website which may explain the sense of déjá vu experienced by the reviewer.

  9. says:

    (No relation to the Al above!)

    V. tough. Some nice clues. Liked the Neville Chamberlain (?) clue. Like Wil Ransome had problem with the clue to SECRETE. I don’t think it was supposed to refer to S(om)E. If it means SE CRETE, this seems to me to be far too vague for a wordplay reference.

    Also didn’t understand the WHIT clue. Dubious about it. Acc. Chambers, WHIT doesn’t stand up on its own as a word. It has to be Whit Sunday, or Whit Monday…


  10. says:

    Whit is in the Concise OED as short for Whitsuntide – and I’ve certainly heard it used on its own (mainly in the past of course before the Bank Holiday was fixed and which just happened to coincide with Whit this year.) Have to admit I did not understand SECRETE until it was explained here.

  11. says:

    Thanks, Niall. That same definition, more or less, appears in Chambers 21st Century Online (basically the dumbed-down version), so it really can’t be considered obscure, difficult, or otherwise out of bounds. The way the clue works is amply explained in the blog, so I won’t bore Al (the Streatfield version) by repeating it.

    SECRETE is a perversion of a part Brooke’s line ‘there is some corner of a foreign field that is forever England’. I don’t think RB literally meant the corner, and I hope I’ve taken rather less of a liberty.

  12. says:

    Doh! Apologies! I’ve just checked in Chambers, the normal version (2006) and discovered that Whit appears on its own.

    (That’s what happens when you try and post in a place where Chambers isn’t to hand. I’m still pretty sure it didn’t appear on its own when I last looked- in a previous edition…)


  13. says:

    Agree about secrete, I don’t count Crete as a land.
    Love originator though, drinking sensibly for ‘igin’ is excellent.

  14. says:

    I did think long and hard about whether to accept SECRETE, but in the end I decided that as Crete is undeniably land and not part of the UK, the clue was not totally inaccurate, although it may prompt the solver to think of a country. Changing it would have ruined Tees’s Rupert Brooke reference.

  15. says:

    Well let Graham dub the pair of us nutant, but that Homer thought Crete a land too:

    ‘There is a land called Crete in the midst of the wine-dark sea, a fair land and rich, begirt with water, and therein are many men innumerable, and ninety cities.’

    (Odyssey XIX)

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