Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6658 by Tees

Posted by NealH on February 18th, 2008


* = anag, < = reversed

Another very tough Monday puzzle by Tees with a slight theme of political party leaders (although Nick Clegg was either overlooked or just couldn’t be fitted into the puzzle). Since the online crossword is now appearing the same day as the paper version and it has a reveal function to show the answer, I can’t see the point of skipping any clues, so I’ll give all the answers.

1 Brentwood: Bent wood around “r” – definition in the linked clue below.
6/20/10/1d On the verge of a nervous breakdown: Cryptic def (“near Barking”) – also used as the definition for the clue above.
9 Entropy: Entry around op.
11 Kings: Cryptic def (suits of playing cards).
12 Pseudonym: (my p) around (no dues)<. I don’t know who the Monk used as an example of a pseudonym is. I initially thought Oliver Twist, but wasn’t he called Monks rather than Monk ?
13 Open Road: Cryptic def.
15 Otis: Hidden word reversed – another appearance for “Miss Otis Regrets”.
19 Node: I didn’t really follow this one . Clue is “Swelling to show how maiden comes to be most important”.
23 Bowler Hat: (Albert who)*
24 Top up: Double def.
26 Overdue: Wasn’t sure on this – “Unpaid money spent where Romeo has fight with Tybalt”. I’m guessing spent = over, so was “due” they place where they fought ?
27 Cameron: Me in car + on.
28 Noter: Another minus a h (I think).
29 Destroyer: Deser(t) around Troy.
2 Elton: Eton around l (lambert is a unit of luminescence).
3 Trousers: Definition in “fly useful” – the rest is r + ouse in ts (odd letters of test).
4 Olympiad: (Diplomacy – c)*
5 Dinner Party: I think this is just a cryptic def based on the misleading use of “courses”.
6 O Grade: Ogre round a d.
7 Two and Two: Cryptic def.
8 Epsom: Hidden word
14 Endowment: Double def.
16 Sharpener: Sharer around pen (pen is a female swan).
17 Vertices: (Crest View – w)*
18 Egg Timer: Cryptic def (a woman’s body being shaped vaguely like an egg timer).
21 Leader: (Leander – n). Leander is apparently a famous rowing club.
22 Thread: Tread around h.
23 Brown: Row in bn.

14 Responses to “Independent 6658 by Tees”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Re 12, Monk is another Indy setter – set last Sat’s puzzle.

  2. conradcork says:

    19 ac maiden becomes ‘main’ with no de.

  3. nmsindy says:

    OVERDUE Not sure about this either, but the DUE part might refer to the duel between the two in the play Romeo and Juliet with money (L) spent i.e. removed.

  4. NealH says:

    Yes, that thought occurred to me as well, but it didn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

  5. Jill & Tamzin says:

    We think it is, money (the L bits) gone where LOVER has DUEL.

    The EGG one is about women’s fertility, time our eggs!

    Very funny, favourite one was near Barking. Cheers.

  6. rightback says:

    21ac: Leander is England’s top rowing club, based at Henley – Matt Pinsent and friends rowed there, in a rather fetching shade of pink. A tough clue if you have no interest in rowing, but probably deliberately as it was part of the theme.

  7. Paul B says:

    3dn is r/ouse/r in ts, def ‘fly useful in these’.

  8. Al Streatfield says:

    1 across breaks the convention that even in the run-on clues each clue must be self-contained, with the second clue helping to provide an elegant and fluent surface reading for the two clues combined, and NOT the definition for the first clue.

  9. Paul B says:

    Well, I’m not so sure. The first clue contains ‘somewhere’ – which, as you will have seen, is not a part of the SI – to let solvers know they’re looking for a place.

    The follow-on (although this, being a CD, has nothing to do with places) you’d hope would be enough extra help for most solvers!

    Is there a book of crosswording conventions? Can I get my copy?

  10. Al Streatfield says:

    I take your point that “somewhere” gives a partial hint, but it isn’t sufficient in itself to be a definition. So for a proper definition, both clues are needed…

    The reason I made the “convention” comment is that, as it stands, the solver, assuming he/she is aware of the convention, will find the clue very difficult to solve. Another difficulty with the second clue is that it would have never occurred to me that “ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN” is a phrase that is in a dictionary. I haven’t checked…

    “Is there a book of crosswording conventions”?

    Good question.

    I’m actually writing a book about crosswords. Sounds like a chapter on the subject would be a good idea…

  11. Paul B says:

    I should point out, or remind, that setters coming from the general direction of Grauniad were never told ‘what not to do’ to any great extent. As a result, they exhibit what some people (in general, those who were told what not to do) ‘Araucarianism’.

    Personally, I do not find that the label provides an excuse for dodgy cluing grammar (it rarely does with Araucaria himself, or Paul, or Enigmarod, or Taupi) although, so long as a phrase is well-known, there is no reason why such a compiler wouldn’t include it. And is that not the beauty of the Indy, where entertainers from both schools happily jostle for supremacy?

    So, I’d say that while your conventions may preclude certain things, going against them doesn’t necessarily make a clue or a puzzle any more difficult.

  12. Al Streatfield says:

    Well, the blog starts: “Another very tough Monday puzzle by Tees”….

    I checked- “ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN” isn’t in Chambers. “ON THE VERGE OF” is and “NERVOUS BREAKDOWN” is.

    Presumably you wouldn’t use “ON THE VERGE OF DISCOVERING A CURE FOR CANCER”!…

  13. NealH says:

    The expression is well know from the film “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” by Pedro Almodovar.

  14. Al Streatfield says:

    “Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown” is certainly well-known among cinephiles amongst whom I count myself. But that’s hardly the point.

    It’s just another example of what to me is an unjustified tendency amongst some compilers to use phrases that aren’t really phrases at all, or at least not ones that are recognised by dictionaries.

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