Posted by nmsindy on June 21st, 2007
Monk is among the toughest setters, with some very original treatments, and very rigorous logic in the clues. Usually his puzzles in the Indy are themed, but I cannot see one here. (Later found the theme – I am now amending the review to include info on it, but have put it after the clue explanations so, if you have not found it and want to look further, you can) Also major difficulty with 6 across, again anyone who can enlighten me, please do so. (Thanks to all those who pointed out that it’s a cryptic definition to MITTEN)
Solving time (up to the 6 across quandary): 37 mins
* = anagram
1 G (O (OSEG)) OB (goes)* Was pleased to work out a completely new word for me just from the wordplay. Another name for a gooseberry, apparently
6 “Compound four-digit number? Quite the opposite (6)” I’ve removed the nonsense in the original posting where I was trying to choose between MOTHER and MOTLEY, never having thought of MITTEN (explained by several below, thanks)
9 TORTOISE SHELL tortoise = that creeps
10 EEYORE Every second letter – character from Winnie-the-Pooh
11 B (OOZE)-UPS (pubs)* A superb &lit
12 CLEAN SHEET (Chelsea net)* Hope the non-footy element were not thrown by this. Means where no goal is conceded in a match. And the footy element will know it’s very appropriate, because that has been the basis of much of Chelsea’s success under the Roman empire.
14 NEED last letters of “on the one hand”
17 AMMUNITION “WMD? Mini amount, following review” (mini amount)* After his recent comments on the media and the Indy in particular, hope Tony Blair is not tackling this puzzle in breaks at the Brussels EU summit…
20 B ROOK LYN(x) Beckham (m. to Posh)
2 (l) OUTS ELL See the topless yobs, but not sure how say = ell, or maybe it’s parsed another way
3 SURROGATE MOTHER An excellent cryptic definition
4 GOO(g)LE Liked that
5 BUSY BEE (USB by)* end letters of ElectrodE USB a computer term so appropriate, though I’m open to correction by the techies.
6 MIS(s) G(OTT)EN The wordplay seems to lead unambiguously to this, but because of my difficulties with 6 across, went back to it. It seems to be an uncommon word, meaning ill-gotten or misbegotten (as here) with Spenser as the reference in Chambers, so” old” in the clue, I guess. I don’t have Collins to hand, it may be there, it’s not in Concise OED.
7 THERE’S NO TELLING Like the bank tellers who used to add = sum up
8 ELLIPS(is)E The … at the start of the clue means ellipsis.
18 MAN ILL A
19 OB LI (GE) E say = eg “caught up”
21 A MASS Mass being an Indy setter. Unfair perhaps to the casual solver.
Theme: Every clue answer has two consecutive identical letters e.g. MITTEN would fit, but not MOTHER or MOTLEY (and as bensand has noted below in comment 8, so have the clues!)