Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6503 by Math

Posted by nmsindy on August 20th, 2007


This had a theme, but I proved you did not need to know it to solve the puzzle, because I tumbled to it only when verifying for this blog having filled the grid in. I give details of this after the clue explanations. Quite an easy puzzle, I thought.

< = reverse * = anagram

Solving time: 17 mins


1 T (RE) AD

4 ST (street = way) ONE

9 OGRE S ergo< S a quarter, like N, W, E

12 oRATIOn

13 BO (UR) NE Ilium is an example of a bone, hence “Ilium maybe”

14 I DEN (TIT) Y

17 UN AB (A T) ED A t in abed (resting)

21 J AS ON

24 UL (TIM) ATUM (mutual)* Tiny Tim

26 YOR (K SHIR) E Shirt tail cut was a bit of a giveaway here.

28 BEANS “Like black French coffee” Has to be right because of 8 down, and coffee = beans but do not see the wordplay just now.


3 DIS MAY Miss (Doris) Day


7 LONG Hidden

8 SYNONYMS “Beans Meanz Heinz”

13 BLUE (JAY) S Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

16 P ETUNIAS (aunties)*

23 S (CR) UB

25/29 MATT DAMON nomad<

Theme: 25/29 in films the 13 across 10, 14, and 24 playing 23, I think, but I’m v weak on films.

11 Responses to “Independent 6503 by Math”

  1. neildubya says:

    25/29 plays 22A 13A, to give the character his full title.

  2. Wil Ransome says:

    I thought there were more doubtful clues than you normally see in the Independent.
    a) 9A: “Shrek’s kind” to give “ogres” seems rather feeble.
    b) 19A: “(for?) those that can prove innocence” doesn’t mean “alibis”.
    c) 24A: “Organisation” as an anagram indicator? Not here, surely – it’s a noun.
    d) 28A: This was only doubtful because I can’t understand it.
    e) 2D: “in Asia perhaps” doesn’t = “eastern”.
    f) 7D: I’ve never heard of “of” as an inclusion indicator.
    g) 16D: P for “Papa”???

    But otherwise fine. Otherwise.

  3. Paul B says:

    I’ll stand for P for Papa, which is in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet. You know the one, I’m sure Wil: alpha, bravo, charlie, delta …

    What happened to your missing L by the way?

  4. petebiddlecombe says:

    I don’t understand 28A either. The rest may not be terribly precise, but they didn’t hold me up. “of” for hidden words is an old Grauniad favourite. Guess who wrote this:

    Whereas […] most anagram indicators are adjectives, adverbs, or past tenses of verbs, I see no reason to rule out the appropriate use of nouns for this purpose, as in this example:
    A pectoral disaster for her (9)

  5. nmsindy says:

    Commenting on Wil’s points

    a) Not a big expert on Shrek but, as he is an ogre, as Internet confirmed, I think “Shrek’s kind = ogres is OK.
    b) had no problem with this – alibis are “those that can prove innocence” – “for” is an OK link IMHO.
    c) The question of nounal anagram indicators is addressed in Azed’s recent book – this is certainly one such but opinions differ – I think you are probably right but it did not hold up solving.
    d) Yes, I don’t understand the wordplay as I mentioned in the blog.
    e) thought this was OK – saw “in” as a link word. Asia = Eastern.
    f) Have seen this before, though it’s unusual I’d agree – just about acceptable, I’d say – it was the last clue I solved.
    g) P = Papa is OK as noted by another poster.

  6. scrunge says:

    28A – black, french and coffee are all types of bean so I think it just means “For example black (beans), french (beans), coffee (beans). A tad obscure though.

  7. nmsindy says:

    Yes, that’s it, thank you, Scrunge. Dicts confirm.

  8. Joins says:

    I think the above passage is from Mr Greer’s ‘How to do the Times Crossword’?

  9. eimi says:

    I’m afraid I’m with Mr Greer. I have never heard any convincing argument for the proscription of nounal anagram indicators.

    ‘Of’ can mean ‘from’ and therefore seems to me to be permissible to indicate hidden words.

    In the end, most of these things are a matter of taste, and solvers are perfectly entitled to find any clue not to their taste, but I thought this was a nice topical thematic (as the latest Bourne film opened at the weekend) and not too challenging for a Monday. In addition to the thematic material already mentioned, the first two across answers make TREADSTONE, a CIA operation Jason Bourne was involved with.

  10. petebiddlecombe says:

    Joins is right – and Brian Greer is ‘Virgilius’, who seems to please just about all the bloggers here.

  11. Testy says:

    I really do not see why people have such a problem with nounal anagram indicators (providing they are appropriate). Surely “a mixture of x and y” is perfectly fine so why not “an x and y mixture” and it must certainly be far more appropriate than many weak non-noun indicators I’ve seen.

    Regarding Wil’s other points
    a) as discussed above, Shrek is an ogre so Shrek’s kind would certainly be an accurate (if slightly cryptic) definition.
    b) the definition here is certainly not a very tight one and is perhaps a little indirect but alibis do prove innocence so I wouldn’t say it’s inaccurate.
    d) didn’t get this one either but having seen the explanation above I think that it seems a perfectly good (and apparently extremely misleading) clue.
    e) definition of eastern includes “situated in the east” and so “in Asia” is appropriate as an example of something that is eastern, hence the “perhaps”.
    f) regarding “of” as a hidden word indicator, I’ve never kept count of how many times I’ve seen it used but if I did I’m sure I would have lost it by now!
    g} explained perfectly above.

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