Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6742 – Eimi / Bank Holiday Fun

Posted by tilsit on May 26th, 2008


Solving time: 24 minutes

A good stiff Bank Holiday mental workout. A very entertaining curate’s egg of a puzzle for me in that i really liked some clues, but one or two definitions seemed a bit “loose” to me. 10 across’ definition is an example. Correct, I suppose, but inadequate to me. Incidentally, I can’t find a cartoon dog named Tom ( ), was this a misprint for Cat?.

Other clues are quite clever, but would your average solver know there was a poet called (Walter) Savage Landor for 11 across to work properly?

Nina fans are acommodated here too!


ACROSS (*) = anagram (CD) = Cryptic definition (R) = Reversal

1 DANNY BOY    DANNY BOY(LE) directed Irvine Welsh’s masterpiece, and the tune is probably known to some as the Londonderry Air.

6 PITMAN        Sir Isaac Pitman invented shorthand. I am not keen on the “homophone” definition, however 18 across has probably converted me.

9 ODES           The US Playwright is (Clifford) ODETS, whom I have never heard of. He apparently wrote The Sweet Smell of Success. Take the T (time) out.

10 PLUM TOMATO      This parses as TOM inside MA inside PLUTO. i can’t find a cartoon dog named Tom, and so wondered if that should have been “cartoon cat“. Is “food” OK as a definition for this entry?

11 ARNOLD LANDOR*       Nice clever clue, but did you know about Walter Savage Landor, an American poet?

12 ETHERNET            THE RN [Royal Navy – (Armed) Service] inside TEE (R). Having spent most of last week having rows with BT’s Call Centre staff over my broadband connection, I now know what an Ethernet cable is, especially as I wish to insert it in a very painful place belonging to one of their advisors! Chambers gives Ethernet under ‘Ether’

13 SAKI          HH Munro wrote under the pseudonym Saki and it is also Japanese wine, though I am used to seeing it spelt SAKE.

14 CHE GUEVARA             HUGE RAVE* in CA – Nice clue, conjures up nice imagery.

16 i PAGLIACCI             Camille PAGLIA inside IC CI, which just happens to be the centre of ArctIC CIrcle! Very clever. I Pagliacci (The Clowns) is an opera by Leoncavallo. I knew this from an episode of Batman where the Joker dressed as a clown and threatened to unmask the Dynamic Duo. Just checked this on Wikipedia and they claim it should not have the definite article (I) at the front!

18 ARIS         See Chambers for definition!!! However, definition is, like 6 across, a homophone of part of 1, i.e. Derriere!

20 SLOW DOWN           S (Economists finally) + LOWDOWN

22 BORZOI             BOR(NE) + 1 OZ (16 Drams) (R) The on-line version gives “sixteenth” rather than sixteen. 16 drams (in avoirdupois) is one ounce. In troy weight, it’s only 8.

23 ANNE BOLEYN         A + N + NEB (A new nose) + ONLY* with E inside. Nice definition!

24 ACID     A + C.I.D.

25 YARELY      RAY (R) + ELY. the city of ely stands on the River Ouse in Cambridgeshire.

26 LAST TO GO       A Last is a shoemaker’s model (Cue Cobblers joke!), plus TOGO, an African country.


2 ANDORRA         ROAD RAN* i was rather devastated that Andorra’s bouncy little ditty didn’t make it to the final of Eurovision.

3 NO SMOKING        Excellent clever cryptic definition. Monday’s Fascinating Fact: H Vernon Watson was a popular variety entertainer during the wars and he took his stage name from a No Smoking sign painted on a set of double doors, where the doors split, gave him his stage name Nosmo King!

4 BIPED        P.E. inside BID

5 YOU NEVER CAN TELL        A riposte to the Nina? Apart from being a Chuck Berry song, it’s a play written by George Bernard Shaw.

6 PATCHOULI           TOUCH 1 TAP A word I remember from Al Stewart’s The Year of the Cat, one of the discs I’d take to my desert island.

7 TIMER         REMIT (R)

8 ANT BEAR      A N.T. (National Trust) + BEAR (carry) – a tough one if you have never heard of it, still aardvark never hurt anyone……

14 CHIROPODY       Hmm…. do chiropodists remove flakes of corn?

15 VEAL ROAST        A LOVE RAT’S* Good funny surface reading.

17 POLENTA        LENT inside P.O.A.

19 IRONING      I + RONIN + G     i is the electric current symbol in physics – a subject I detested at school and nice to see something Frank “The Twank” Webster taught me has stuck. RONIN is a de Niro film from 1998, which i thought was a remake of a French film, but I can’t trace it.

21 WHERE WEAR (homophone) SPORT is used in the context of “sporting a garment”.

22 BONES B ONES – In the world of advertising demographics, the B1’s are part of the middle classes.

Thanks to Eimi for an interesting and thought-provoking puzzle!

10 Responses to “Independent 6742 – Eimi / Bank Holiday Fun”

  1. nmsindy says:

    There’s a Nina, which helped me. Thought ARNOLD was English poet, Matthew, I think.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for all those explanations, Tilsit, quite a few of which I did not see, though I did solve the puzzle correctly. An example of a Nina forcing harder words into the grid.

  3. tilsit says:


    I was referring to (Walter) Savage Landor who was a US poet.

  4. nmsindy says:

    I understood that, Tilsit, thanks, and would not have known it otherwise! It was just that the definition ‘English poet’ referred to Matthew Arnold, I thought.

  5. eimi says:

    Thanks Tilsit. Wikipedia says (Walter) Savage Landor was born in Warwick, so I think they’re both English poets. I was aware of the (I) Pagliacci debate, but most sources (including Collins) seem to refer to it as I have, even if it is incorrectly. Re: “cartoon dog” somehow sneaking from my fingers when my brain thought of “cartoon cat,” mea culpa. That’s one of the problems of self-editing. Test solvers apply here.

    Re: the Nina. Indirect clues such as 18 Across are frowned upon, so I thought I’d make the most of the Nina.

  6. Paul B says:

    Schweizer Day today?

    RONIN is not a remake. It purports to reference the story of the Forty-Seven Ronin, in which the samurai of some geezer forced to commit seppuku (after a public row with a court official) plot to avenge his death.

    Great film (screenplay by Mamet) with a great MacGuffin, but I don’t quite follow the links as (a) the protagonist is actually the only one of the team who isn’t a mercenary (he’s straight CIA), and (b) in contrast with team members the 47, while also leaderless, were still loyal to their deceased master.

    Sorry, but there isn’t much on telly.

  7. eimi says:

    A volunteer has kindly offered to be my guinea pig for future puzzles.

  8. Michod says:

    I needed the Nina to finish the last few clues, and still couldn’t see the 1ac-18ac link. But ‘London derriere’ as a definition for ARIS is a beaut. I hadn’t come across ARIS, which according to Chambers is itself indirect rhyming slang: ‘Aristotle = bottle; bottle and glass = arse’… ending up perversely with almost the word you first thought of!

  9. Colin Blackburn says:

    I’m involved in a discussion on rec.puzzles.crosswords about 18ac. Which I think is a superb clue, especially given the indirection in the rhyming slang. eimi has been accused (in his role as editor) of shredding the rule book. I’m not sure what rule book has actually been shredded. There seems to be an inability to see the difference between word play leading to the grid answer and an indirect definition of the answer.

    I’m happy to see indirection in either the definition or the word play as long as it is fair. And this clue is much fairer than many cryptic definitions I have come across.

  10. Miranda says:

    I’m always about a week behind but get there in the end (nearly) – many thanks again. I got confused with your cats and dogs in 10a though, the clue asks for a cartoon cat (Tom) inside a cartoon dog (Pluto) so all seems well, doesn’t it?

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