Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6640 (Mass)

Posted by NealH on January 28th, 2008


Initially I thought this was going to be very easy. I got through most of the clues fairly quickly but then got hopelessly stuck on 8 across, 25 across and 24 down, some of which was self-inflicted because I’d incorrectly written “plot” for 2 down.

* = anag, < = reversed

8 First-rate: Clue is “A sack stuffed with well-turned pastries”. Looks like “tarts”< inside “fire”. Must be an &lit, but I can’t see it.
11 Dominion: Do + minion
13 Tester: T + trees*. It’s a canopy over a bed.
14 Factotum: Cryptic def referring to the fact that a factotum does lots of jobs.
19 Treble: Seems to be “t” + soundalike of “rebel”. I have never heard of tenor being abbreviated by t, but I daresay it happens in musical circles.
25 Vice ?: Clue is “tool box”. A vice is a tool and it does sort of box things in, but I’m not convinced that’s correct.
27 Betterment: Better (one who bets) + met around n.
2 Plan: L in pan (depression in the sense of salt-pan. Don’t ask me why I thought it was “pot”.)
3 Teetotal: Another one I wasn’t totally sure of. Clue is “More than just draught-resistant ?”, so I assume it means draughts of beer.
4 Ennui: Hidden word – excellent surface meaning.
6 Aftertaste: (Treat + feast)* + rather strained &lit.
7 Tripos: O in Trips
15 Termagant: “Virago caught up in troublesome matter”. Seems to be nag< in matter*. I don’t know in what context nag means caught.
16 Reminder: Re(d) + minder. A red would be a ball in snooker.
24 Anne ?: Didn’t get this at all. The clue is “Just fail to grab queen”. There was a Queen Anne, so that may be the answer, but I don’t get the rest of it.

6 Responses to “Independent 6640 (Mass)”

  1. Andrew says:

    24d “Just fail to grab” = ANNEX less last letter

    For 8A, “A” must be the definition.

  2. Andrew says:

    PS 19A – T is indeed a standard musical abbreviation for Tenor, as for example in SATB =Soprano/Alto/Tenor/Bass

  3. Jon says:

    Isn’t it Mass, and not Math (at least according to my paper?)

    For 25ac I went for FILE – as in box-file, and the tool, though I wasn’t convinced.

    Yes, I started out thinking this would be easy enough, but a couple of tricky ones in there – 8ac, 11ac, 14ac for me. Spent too long thinking 17ac was the name of a Greek island…

  4. Andrew says:

    And finally 15d – maybe it’s an &lit, with NAG=VIRAGO in the wordplay.

  5. nmsindy says:

    25ac was tricky with a lot of ?I?E alternatives, but I also went for FILE in the end. Some excellent clues here as usual from Mass – the favourite being FIRST-RATE which was so cleverly misleading. T for tenor is a staple in advanced crosswords, not sure if you see it so much in the daily cryptics.

  6. petebiddlecombe says:

    Mass is one of the setter names I fear most. I fell 6 short of finishing this. Make it 7 – part of my problem was putting ASTI,R where I should have put ALE,RT.

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