Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6697 by Bannsider

Posted by nmsindy on April 3rd, 2008


A very tough puzzle by Bannsider.   Solving time, 64 mins.    Tremendous rigour and invention in clueing.   Just two that I do not fully understand, though I got them from definitions and crossing letters.   I’ve verified them using ‘reveal’.     Don’t think I could do puzzles like this every day, but they’re a real pleasure when they come around.

* = anagram < = reversed


1 A (N) FIELD    n in (failed)*      Home of Liverpool Football Club

5 ENMITY    M (married) for T (time) in entity i.e. being


10 TIT US (Groan)     Mervyn Peake’s work, which I’d heard of, but am not familiar with.  us = our party.    This was my last entry

11 IZ ZAT    Centre of prIZed  and Zat Knight (footballer – a defender).    Hard for non-footy types, perhaps.

12 ENTER INTO   (retention)*   A very well-concealed anagram.

13 Brian EP (Jock) STEIN    Manager of the Beatles – I’d a feeling it would not be a manager of Liverpool FC,  though tantalisingly their three most famous managers all have seven letters, Shankly, Paisley, Benitez.    One played for extended period = EP (extended play – record).


16  ARM    Very subtle, this, if I’ve understood it right.   Proper variety of poplar = Poplar (in London).    So wound = harm = ‘arm.

17 AUGUST E (Rodin)   S


21 SUN (daily newspaper)  SCREEN

22 SKI (M) P    Nothing to do with ‘Holly’ from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Go lightly = skimp.     On the borders of fairness, I felt.

23 O MEGA    Fine = end of a musical piece.

24 ANTI PAST O    anti past = for future  O centre letter of archaeologist.   An Italian starter (dish)

25 CARRIE   “Carry” = bear

26 CO-LET T(i)E


1/8 A POLICEMAN’S LOT IS NOT A HAPPY ONE.    PC = policeman, but I was mainly toying with ‘politically correct’ and got this only near the end after which I finished the puzzle (reasonably) quickly.    From Gilbert & Sullivan (Pirates of Penzance).

2 FRIZZES   Fizzer  with r brought up = f(rizze) s = edge of stone (first letter)

3  ECLAT    The only clue I solved on first run through!    Final letters (among them those of nil and eight)

4 DAME EDNA EVERAGE    “Clothes off peg are Vendee-made, brought up to dress a “lady”  “.     All the letters of Vendee-made are in there, but I cannot put it all together.

5 ELECTROMAGNETIC    (eclat n geometric)*

6 M (OTORHE)AD   (hooter)*    As my interest in pop music began to decline naturally around the time of the demise of 13, I was pleased to work this out from the wordplay and confirm after that they exist.

7 TE (TAN) US   Suet<

14 EASY CHAIR   “Where a sitter might be missed?”   All except the last word seem to give the definition = maybe it just means you would not see the person in such chair or maybe there’s something that I’ve “missed”


20 N (AIL S) ET

22 SeEn PAL    & lit.

17 Responses to “Independent 6697 by Bannsider”

  1. neildubya says:

    Glad it wasn’t just me who struggled with this – the toughest puzzle we’ve had for a while I think. As you say though, rigorous and inventive and ultimately a very satisfying puzzle to finish. I’m also struggling with 4d and had the same query as you re 14d.

  2. beermagnet says:

    14D Maybe it is that a “sitter” is an easy ball, i.e. an easy scoring opportunity – so when it is missed someone might say “That was a sitter” (and a sitter is a chair of course).

    4D The anagram (indicated by “off” I think) is of “are Vendee-made” around (to dress) “a” – but this leaves a G wanting – I can’t see how that comes from the G of “peg” – or more properly what happened to the “pe” of “peg” – but that’s the only g in the clue.
    No doubt this was already your thinking on this.

  3. Mick H says:

    Very hard indeed. Following the principle of trying to do the daily puzzle without a dictionary (and with no reveal button in my paper) I was stumped by IZZAT and SKIMP. 4 down’s brilliant. I thought it was an anagram of (p)EG ARE VENDEE-MAD(e) with its clothes off, i.e. losing first and last P and E, around A. I now see it’s EG ARE VENDEE-MAD backwards around A!

  4. nmsindy says:

    That’s it Mick H, thanks. I’d noticed that some of the letters seemed in reverse. Re EASY CHAIR, at the very start I’d the idea about football and had tentatively pencilled in ‘GOAL MOUTH’!

  5. Al Streatfield says:

    In DAME EDNA EVERAGE clue why’s “dress” a container indicator?

  6. Geoff says:

    Because (p)EG ARE VENDEE MAD(e) brought up (ie reversed) dresses (ie wraps itself around) A. “Dresses” is here an unusual containment (rather than “container”) indicator – cleverly chosen to fit with the “clothes off” device which indicates truncation of a phrase at each end.

  7. Bannsider says:

    Sorry folks,
    That was a bit of a killer. Often my puzzles turn out harder than I imagine but I knew this was going to be a toughie!
    Apologies to non-footie fans for using Zat Knight and to Ximeneans (among whom I normally count myself) for Golightly.

  8. Testy says:

    Failed on this as not being a football fan I didn’t know who the Celtic boss was and had never heard of ZAT, IZZAT, TITUS Groan or Poplar and I think that the ARM clue is extremely abstruse. Also I can’t see how “Is curler” defines FRIZZES, surely FRIZZES means “becomes curly” or possibly “is curly”.

  9. rightback says:

    IZZAT was marvellous – exactly the sort of clue I could do with at Cheltenham. The setter will be pleased to know that I wrote in ‘Paisley’ before correcting to EPSTEIN.

  10. Bannsider says:

    I’d expect a “Rightback” to know about Zat Knight perhaps :-)
    For Testy: “frizz” can mean to curl (something) or make it form a curl, and a “curler” is a device for frizzing hair, so “is curler” in that sense is not so far-fetched

  11. Richard Palmer says:

    If the Indy crossword was as hard as this every day I’d stop doing it. I must have spent at least two hours on it and still only finished three quarters of it and had a ? against three answers – thanks to the bloggers for explaining these.

    I’ve never heard of IZZAT and it’s not in my dictionary. I’m a footie fan and have heard of Zat Knight but not everyone is familiar with Aston Villa reserves. Bannsider missed a chance to include the sadly-missed Muzzy IZZET here (and at least that is in the dictionary through its secondary meaning).

    Like everyone else, I can’t find a satisfactory justification for EASY CHAIR.

    I didn’t get OMEGA. Mega means very big, that’s not the same as special.

    Sorry, I always get mardy when I can’t finish a crossword.

  12. Testy says:

    In understood that. I agree “curler” could define FRIZZER and “what a curler does” could define FRIZZES but does “is curler” define FRIZZES?

    I suppose you have to interpret “is curler” as “acts as a curler”.

  13. Bannsider says:

    Believe it or not I did consider using Muzzy IZZET but decided that that would be even more unfair.

  14. nmsindy says:

    IZZAT is in Collins. I’d never heard of if either, but the clue hinted strongly to a word beginning IZ- once the I was established. I’d no problem with the FRIZZES definition, on the basis Testy mentions in the final para of comment 12.

  15. Paul B says:

    Come on, Bannsider: EASY CHAIR! Whaat?

  16. Fletch says:

    A decisive victory for the setter in my case too. Like NMS and Richard, I wouldn’t be happy tackling a puzzle like this on a daily basis, I think this was more suited to the Saturday Prize slot.

  17. Bannsider says:

    More suited to a Saturday certainly – but Eimi reckoned it might not attract any correct entries if it had been a prize puzzle (I think he was joking but I’m not sure!)
    Personally I reckon as he’s a Spurs fan and I support the Gunner(a)s he predicted a Liverpool win in the Champions League the night before and wanted to rub in the Liverpool FC references the following day!
    (As I write this I’m watching the re-run on Arsenal TV – referee! :-) )

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