Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6647/Punk

Posted by John on February 5th, 2008


I had been expecting a comparatively easy ride today; evidently we have a treat in store on Saturday. Although this took a long time, as Punk’s crosswords always do, it was very good: some excellent clues and no apparently weak ones. But I’m still bewildered by the 16 11 thing. OK it’s Scottish football teams, but how does “Scottish lienal” give that? Obviously some devilish cryptic idea that passed me by but which somebody will explain.

One criticism – the only one, in fact: the grid is very unsatisfactory, basically four separate crosswords, all with six- or eight-letter answers, once you’ve solved the ten-letter answers. I thought this hideous thing had been put out to grass.

1 HEARTS – there are 13 hearts in a pack of cards
4 IN FOR ME D, referring to the Kenneth Williams one-liner
9 MA(H)LE R – scorers in crosswords are often composers
10 ST MIRREN – Helen Mirren played the part of The Queen in the recent film
11 aLIEN ALlegedly. Not a word with which I was familiar and I can see no connection with football teams.
12 MONTROSE – (Morton)* SE
22 LEEBOARD – o in (drab eel) rev. Another word I had to look up.
24 AC TO(F)GO D(rown)
25 AL LIED. For a long time I was thinking the small boy was Ed, but he was Al.
1/18 H(A MILTON ACADEMIC)AL. The right name. It’s just that people often pluralise it, as they do with Trivial Pursuit.
3 TEE (REGAN rev.) – I even looked up branager in the dictionary.
5 NATIONWIDE – (die in a town)*
8 DUN DEE. A dun is not the first horse that comes to mind.
13 P((RACER) rev.)IOUS
15 (t)UMBREL L A
19 ALTA(I)R. Separate is a verb in the wordplay.
20 CELTIC presumably, but I can’t quite explain why. It seems to be (c (t)itle c) rev. but probably isn’t: leader of championship = title seems rather doubtful.
21/2 FORFAR ATHLETIC – for (Hitler a fact)*

13 Responses to “Independent 6647/Punk”

  1. conradcork says:

    Re 16 11 – Scottish 11 (the number) not Scottish ’11 across’

  2. John says:

    Thanks Conrad. Yes, quite obvious really, as I expected it to be.

  3. conradcork says:

    In case anyone wants to know, the ‘they’ve all got it in for me’ was stolen for the Carry On film by Talbot Rothwell, from a piece in the 1951 ‘Radio Fun’ comic annual, written by Frank Muir and Denis Norden.

  4. Jon says:

    Can somebody explain 26ac?

    I completed most of this, but doubt I would have if I hadn’t got 7d and guessed we were looking for Scottish Football clubs.

  5. Chris says:

    What’s the clue for 20ac? Without having seen it, “leader of championship” sounds more likely to be an indicator of one of the ‘c’s.

  6. eimi says:

    20 (down) is:
    16 11, constant leader of championship lost, then caught up (6)

  7. Paul B says:

    Right, so constant = C, leader of championship lost = (t) ITLE (does that actually define TITLE anywhere? Would ‘championship + leader lost’ have been more accurate?) plus caught = C, all reversed.

    Nit-picking, of course, in which I’m compelled to indulge, in the light of a great puzzle like this.

  8. nmsindy says:

    Jon, 26 across is, I think, ROCK ROSE “Plant came up alongside pitch” came up = ROSE and pitch = ROCK

  9. petebiddlecombe says:

    I’ve staked my claim in the past as a despiser of this 6/8/10 grid, but when it’s accompanied by a strong theme, I don’t mind it nearly so much. I also fell into the “Scottish Lienal???” trap. Very nice puzzle.

  10. Jon says:


    Thanks. For some reason I couldn’t get my head around pitch = ROCK…

  11. Amnesiac says:

    No explanation given for 27ac, which I guess means that the solver thought it was trivial. In fact I got (in both senses) everything else in the crossword except this one! With _A_H_R I’ve plumped for “RATHER”, but I’m still not 100% convinced of this (clue: “Pretty, strictly speaking”. Anyone care to enlighten me?

  12. Jon says:

    Straight double definition, I thought. Chambers online has got ‘pretty’ as a synonym of ‘rather’. Collins online has got ‘strictly speaking’ also…

  13. Amnesiac says:

    OK. I’ve not heard “rather” = “strictly speaking” before. Having read the Collins example I can see what they mean, but it still doesn’t jump to mind as an obvious substitute. Live and learn!

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