Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6590 by Merlin

Posted by nmsindy on November 29th, 2007


An excellent puzzle, as usual, from this top setter. Solving time: 19 mins

* = anagram  < = reverse


4 H AND M (Clothes shop) AID

11 A LEX (Luthor – Superman’s enemy) AND RA (artist)

14 (Yorkshire) BATTER IN G RAMS using metric units = in grams


22 ORNAMENTS (smarten on(e))*

25 BR ONZE Third in Olympics etc after Gold, Silver. BR = Brazil (IVR), confirmed in Collins. Onze is French for eleven ie football team

27 TH (RE) AT Last I solved and much easier than it looks.


2 DO ONE’S BIT Definition ‘chip in’ Lorna Doone = 19th century novel. Good surface suggesting computers

3 CON GA Con = direct course, a less common meaning of ‘con’. GA = Georgia (US state)

‘conga’ is a verb here, I think ‘to dance’

5 AFGHANISTAN (an Asian fight)* less I (head of Islamists). A nice &lit from the master.

6 DER RINGER Note it’s double barrelled not double-barrelled! That’s where definition and word play meet. ‘der’ = the German, like ‘le’ is the French.

7 A (one) PER (each) Y (year). Colony of apes (less common meaning of the word, but not too difficult from the checking and wordplay).

8 DUE (LL’I S) T A very elaborate & lit with punning on score as in a musical piece ‘duet’

I’ll<    s = second

15 TRADE MARK   ‘used to’ as mark replaced as German currency by the euro in 2002.

18 AS (like) SON (lad) AN (article) CE (Anglican)    Same vowel or consonant repeated – the clue itself being an example.

17 IF FINES S (society)     Remember provided = if

21 Greta GAR BO    Hidden in those answers run together in the order given.

6 Responses to “Independent 6590 by Merlin”

  1. neildubya says:

    27a was my last answer too. Experienced a kick-self moment when I got it. A lot to praise here but I’d single out 5d and the marvellous 8d. In 15d I convinced myself, for some strange reason, that “Frankfurt banker” was a punning ref to the Main river, which held me up for a while.

  2. conradcork says:

    Immense virtuosity in this puzzle, very lightly worn, which makes it even more impressive. 27a sums up why I rate Merlin so highly. It is the easiest kind of clue (in retrospect) but the surface distracts you. Magic, really, as befits a magician!

  3. Nealh says:

    I don’t get the battering ram clue. I saw the “in grams” bit but don’t really see where batter comes from. Is it because barter is supposed to sound like batter in a Yorkshire accent ?

  4. nmsindy says:

    I think it’s Yorkshire batter from cooking but happy to be put right by locals or others.

  5. Richard Heald says:

    Yorkshire pudding is often referred to “oop” here simply as ‘Yorkshire’, as in “roast beef and Yorkshire”.

  6. Quixote says:

    I tackled this last thing in bed after a long trip with Colin Dexter to Worthing to visit the 97-year-old Dorothy Taylor, ex half of Everyman. It was the perfect ending to a special cruciverbal day.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

3 + = nine