Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6572 by Punk

Posted by nmsindy on November 8th, 2007


A tough puzzle, I found. Was slow to get the 15-letter entries, but got all in the end. As always, some excellent clues from Punk. Solving time: 41 mins.

* = anagram


1 F OWL P EST Infest = in fest owl = bird p= population primarily (first letter). Won’t reopen the “Can indeed be in deed?” debate.

11 GLAD STONE My favourite clue in the puzzle, jointly with 23 down. Wonderful surface reading. If you’re interested in him, I’d strongly recommend Roy Jenkins’ biography. Illuminates a vanished world.

12 HOARSE “Horse” Dicts confirm these sound the same, which frankly surprised this blogger.

13 CHIC (stylish) KPEA peak with k moved to front. I’ve learnt today that garbanzo is another name for it.

16 GOTTLIEB DAIMLER (Time a tollbridge)* Though the anagram jumped out from the start, this took me quite a while, esp the first name.

18 W (EAR TH) E T ROUSERS. Our home = earth weak individual = wet disturbing people = rousers. Definition = dominate but the whole surface reading gives an excellent &lit flavour too.

19 TOT (ALI) TY Mohamed Ali, boxer = ringmaster

24 OLD SCHOOL fish collectively = school

27 TEMPLE Double definition – not 100% sure of this cos of some doubt re 25 down (see below)

28 NEON A TAL (e) ‘short story’ was good


2 WAR (battles) M AS T (upright) OAST (oven) Excellent

3 PORT (left) – S (A) LUT

7 (l)EGO Excellent – roof lifted as it’s a down clue and wordplay follows the appearance in the grid.

8 T (HE’S) AURUS Sign of the Zodiac. When starting to tackle crosswords many years ago (long before Bradford’s , electronic solvers, not to mention the Internet), I was advised to try (Roget’s) Thesaurus. Have to admit it rarely helped at all.

9 P (ACHY D) ERM Less than 50% checking made this tough

14 P (OLLEN CO) UNT (colonel)* This was good with a misleading surface reading

15 RECEPTION Double definition

16 GO (WITHO) UT Definition = want. “how it may be” is telling us to put (how it)* into (‘cutting’) gout = disease. Not too sure about the anagram indicator ‘may be’.

17 IBUPROFEN (pub on fire)* Surreal surface reading of the day.

20 LOCAL cf lo-cal (low-calorie) Very good

23 BLUE “Tone down” My other joint favourite clue with a standard phrase leading to an excellent double definition.

25 DIM I think. This worried me, though I guessed it straightaway. It seemed a straight definition so was not sure why there was a ‘?’

9 Responses to “Independent 6572 by Punk”

  1. ilancaron says:

    i don’t do the Independent but i do note that today’s Guardian is by Paul aka Punk and he uses both FEST (in 1A!) and bird=OWL (8D).

  2. Geoff says:

    I don’t do the Indy either (usually), but from what nmsindy says, the FEST in 1ac comes from the trick “infest” = in FEST (which I personally think is entirely legit). As the solution is FOWLPEST, and OWL is involved, I guess there must be a strong &lit flavour to the clue.
    FEST in today’s Guardian is clued in a different way – as “event’, ie the German knees-up.

  3. Quixote says:

    NMSINDY: Who ever said that the IN DEED debate was closed? Much to admire in this puzzle, but for me that doesn’t include 1 Across, sorry! I’ll shut up!

  4. nmsindy says:

    My only purpose it not going further into it was that it is a very common debate so there seemed no point in going over the ground afresh in the blog. I did not consider the issue closed. My personal opinion would be v much opposed and, as a daily Indy solver, can say it makes v few appearances there. To me, it’s just not logical, but all do not hold that view (specifically the previous Guardian editor who says so in his book).

  5. Nealh says:

    I didn’t really like “infest” either, but that wasn’t the one which threw me. I got completely stuck on the rather bland 14ac. Somehow, “reception” doesn’t seem like a synonym for “reaction” (it’s more like “taking in” as opposed to “pushing back”). Unfortunately, by the time you’d finished everything else, the combination of letters left (_e_e_tion) fitted so many other words that I had a lot of difficulty thinking of it.

  6. Nealh says:

    Why did I say 14ac ? I mean 15 down.

  7. Testy says:

    When you make a mistake like that what sort of reception do you expect?

  8. nmsindy says:

    I’d to think a bit about ‘reception’ too, but was finally satisfied. As the symmetric opposite to ‘pachyderm’ it was also less than 50% checked.

  9. Alan G M says:

    I don’t have any trouble with the IN DEED business, it makes for good surface writing, and crosswords are for fun, surely, and not to be taken seriously. Solving time about 90 minutes, thanks to 15d, which took awhile, but enjoyed the struggle. Thanks, Punk, you made my day. It’s very rare for me to solve a crossword in one sitting!

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