Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6718 by Scorpion

Posted by NealH on April 29th, 2008


*=anag, []=dropped, <=rev.

Very tough puzzle by Scorpion, I thought.   There were three I didn’t fully understand.


7  Mincer:  cryptic definition.
8  Heighten:  he + (the gin)*
9  Leo Minor:  Odd letters of sleep + minor.
10 Bistro:  (Brit[ish] + so)*
11 Meat Loaf:  (fame a lot)*.   I found the “arrests” a bit confusing and didn’t seem to add much to the clue.
12 Cherry:  C[las]h + err + y.   I think cherry is sometimes used to mean a ball in cricket.
13 Arthur’s Seat:  Didn’t understand this apart from camelot = (King) Arthur’s seat.   The clue was “Camelot providing attraction in former home of Thunderball player ?”
18 Posses:  posses[s]
20 Snowball:  Snob around w + all.
22 Aghast:  Hidden.
23 Improper:  Rope in (prim)*.
24 Pittance:  Pitta + even letters of snacked.
25 Shiraz:  Hairs* + z.


1  Pikelet:  Cryptic def.  Had to do reveal to get this since I’ve never heard of pikelet meaning a type of food.  I thought it was a small fish.
2  Scimitar: (armistice – e)*
3  Bronco:  B + roo around nc.
4  Big Bucks:  Big Buckinghamshire + pile (of money).
5  Chaste:  t in chase.
6  Ferrari:  Fear around RR (Rolls Royce) + i.
8  Herefordshire: Here + for + d + (heirs)*.
14 Hesitant:  He’s + titan with t moved to end.
15 Ambrosia:  Didn’t get this at all.  Clue was “Seaman in Wales once caught leaves – delicious food”.  Delicious food is obviously the def, but I didn’t understand the other wordplay.
16 Rough it: Didn’t understand this either. Clue is “Three characters together in retreat live basically”.
17 Glue Ear:  (U E + large)*.
19 Scatty:  Scat + t[enb]y.
21 Oppose:  Op + pose.

14 Responses to “Independent 6718 by Scorpion”

  1. Magpie says:

    16 down – the three characters together are g, h & i inside rout = retreat. Can’t assist with the others though!

  2. manehi says:

    AMBROSIA – OS for ordinary seaman in CAMBRIA, roman name for Wales, minus the C (“once caught”).

  3. Testy says:

    Arthur’s Seat is a large volcanic plug (a big hill) in Edinburgh (in the shadow of which is the Palace Holyroodhouse) and Edinburgh is the former home of Sean Connery who played Bond in Thunderball. A bit tenuous this one.

  4. DUNCE says:

    Great job NealH. I’d wondered about that Leo Minor thing for hours. I thought REM+O+O+NIL*. Your explanation is much more sensible! Oh…2D: SCIMITAR – E. (Cringe cringe:))

  5. petebiddlecombe says:

    Also found this very tough – 6, 1, 18 and 19 in that order took 10-15 mins. Small correction at 9A: you need old = O between sLeEp and MINOR.
    19’s “Vacation in Tenby” and 3’s “National’s leading” for N (or “leading colt” for C, though I really hope not) were just the wrong side of the line, I thought. Ditto the factual detail behind 13. 15’s wordplay eluded me but I think it’s OK. Hadn’t noticed before that there’s an ALTO* lurking in Meatloaf!

  6. nmsindy says:

    This was as difficult as the Indy gets, but very satisfying to solve (though I’d not have time for it every day). Like others, I did not get PIKELET which was tough with just the three vowels as crossing letters and a meaning new to me (it’s in Collins).

    While I’m not an expert on grids, I think this was made harder by being almost four separate puzzles, linked only by the two words in the central row and column.

    Some very inventive, rigorous clueing which I ssociate with Scorpion who, in terms of solving time taken, is the hardest Indy setter for me.

  7. Al Streatfield says:

    V. difficult. I did manage to finish it without help, but it took well over an hour. Some very good clues, and some, along with other people, I didn’t understand. I can’t remember the exact clue to SCIMITAR but it took me ages to realise that it was an anagram of ARMISTICE minus E, and was convinced this was the compiler’s fault rather than mine. Anyone remember what the clue was?

  8. Fletch says:

    Weapon that’s moved close to police for armistice (8)

  9. Al Streatfield says:

    Thanks! It begins to make more sense on reflection, but still looks a bit indirect. In other words, it doesn’t look as if you are being told exactly what is to be anagrammed. Surely “for armistice” implies that the answer is a word meaning “armistice”.

  10. Testy says:

    I would read it as a kind of reverse anagram. The answer (SCIMITAR) is something that if it was “moved” (i.e. anagrammed) with “close to police” (E) it would give “armistice”

  11. Wil Ransome says:

    SCIMITAR: isn’t this a comp. anag., so beloved of Azed? (scimitar)*+e = armistice? Not sure, since it’s an indirect anag., but perhaps that’s OK in comp. anags, which one so seldom sees in broadsheet cryptics that I wonder.

  12. Mick H says:

    Tough indeed, but tasty as a PIKELET, which is another name for you might know as a drop(ped?) scone or griddle cake.

  13. petebiddlecombe says:

    SCIMITAR – I don’t think it’s quite a comp. anag, as one of the elements is only one letter long – not many choices of anagram there! And ‘indirect’ normally means that you get a synonym for the anag. fodder – in this case the indirect version would be something like

    Weapon that’s moved close to police for peace (8)

    with the solver required to convert peace to armistice before taking off the e and jumbling (which would be really vile of course).

  14. Paul B says:

    I agree with other PB – not really a comp anag.

    I’m seeing it as ‘answer* plus e gives armistice’ – the ‘close to police’ is at the end of the referred word.

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