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Independent No 6712 by Radian

Posted by NealH on April 21st, 2008

NealH.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed

The Independent continued its trend of trying out less well-known compilers for the Monday puzzle. Radian was another new compiler for me, although I don’t know if it’s actually a debut crossword or not. The theme was plants, so how well you fared with the puzzle depended to an extent on how green-fingered you are.

Across
1 Bramble: (Rabble)* around m.
5 Hyssop: (Posy)< + H around s.
9 Alerted: (lad)* around (tree)*.
10 Soda Pop: (Ados)* + pop.
11 Stonecrop: (once)* + r in pots<.
12 Minor: Soundalike, although as usual with these I was never completely sure whether the answer wasn’t “miner”.
13 Ahern: An around her. Bertie Ahern recently resigned as Irish PM.
14 Euphrasia: Soundalike of “you, Frazier” (Joe Frazier was Ali’s opponent in the “Rumble in the Jungle”).
16 Impatiens: (Emins)* around pati[o].
18 Flora: A + (Rolf)<.
21 Dates: Odd letters from “dead trees”.
23 Red Clover: Red Car with love (0) instead of a.
25 Ginseng: Gin’s eng(lish).
26 Cassava: Ass inside (a vac)<.
27 Walnut: Lawn* + alternate letters of just.
28 Siamese: I in sesame*.
 
 
Down
1 Brassia: Brassica minus c.
2 Anemone: Men< in A one.
3 Butternut: tern in B tutu*.
4 Elder: double def.
5 Hosepipes: (see hippos)*
6 Sedum: Hidden.
7 Orpines: Or + pines.
8 Spirea: Rips< + ea.
14 Eyebright: (They)* around (bri[d]ge]*.
15 Rafflesia: Raffles + i + a.
16 Indigo: Indi[a] + go.
17 Petunia: peanut* around i.
19 Obviate: e boat* around vi.
20 Aureate: [L]aureate.
22 Stein: [Hammer]stein.
24 Docks: homophone of “docs”.

8 Responses to “Independent No 6712 by Radian”

  1. neildubya says:

    I’m hopeless with flowers/plants so this was a bit of a struggle. Half of the answers I filled were guesses, including the two 14s, but somehow managed to finish it all. Kudos to the setter for getting so much thematic material in the grid.

    I don’t recognise the setter either so I’m guessing it’s a debut but eimi or nmsindy will be able to tell us for sure.

  2. Paul B says:

    Count me in for the Gridwork Admiration Club, Dubya – not all that many non-leaved entries. And, speaking of Dubyas, the ‘Bush senior’ clue I thought bloody fantastic.

    Downside: too many anagrams, too much single-letter indcation and subtraction, same indicator (over) used twice to indicate reversal in the ac clues, 14ac & 14dn possibly unfair since the answer to each is all one gets to define the other, plus 6dn’s ‘a bit’ seems a bit on backwards.

    But that’s honesty. Or envy. If this is a first puzzle, I wish mine had been as good.

  3. nmsindy says:

    I found this tough, as I’m weak on plants, it was quite imaginatively put together. Have not seen RADIAN in the Indy before, but it did remind me of the Listener setter DIPPER whose puzzles are based on plants. Bertie Ahern is still Irish PM – he will leave on 6 May so that clue is quite correct.

  4. eimi says:

    If Nmsindy hasn’t seen him before, he hasn’t been in the Indy before. The first debutant in the daily puzzle since Morph in February 2007. The clues were limited by both the number of thematic words and the number of clues produced by the grid, but I thought it a very promising debut.

  5. Testy says:

    Very good and extremely impressive number of thematic answers.

    Only gripes are the 14A/D thing mentioned by Paul B, the MINOR/MINER thing mentioned by NealH (really such ambiguous clues should only be allowed where the checking letters dispel any doubts and this would surely not do if it had been a prize crossword) and finally, I’m not keen on the “here and there” and “occasionally” to indicate alternate letters as they could indicate any selection of letters (“alternately” or “regularly” work better for me).

    I didn’t have an issue with the “a bit” though.

  6. Wil Ransome says:

    Why is SEDUM XI (6 dn)?

    I liked this, although much of it was hard as I hadn’t heard of some of the answers. Much taken on trust, for example I never knew that euphrasia and eyebright were the same thing.

  7. Testy says:

    XI is intended to indicate 11A for which the answer was STONECROP and I think that this is another name for SEDUM.

  8. NealH says:

    And thankfully no-one noticed or pointed out my gaffe over the “Rumble in the Jungle”. It was of course George Foreman who was Ali’s opponent on that occasion.

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