Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6745/Scorpion

Posted by neildubya on May 29th, 2008


I found this easier than usual for this setter but there are still a few bits and pieces that I don’t understand.

1 (STOUT MUSCULAR)* – interestingly, this could have been CUMULOSTRATUS or STRATOCUMULUS, although strictly speaking only the former really fits with the definition of “grey”.
10 SCAR – not sure how S can be “way”, assuming I’ve parsed this correctly, althought I guess it could stand for South?
11 (HE FELL)* in SP[-a] – nice clue, with a misleading but fair (I think) definition.
12 THIRS[T for K] [edit: corrected from T for G; my typo]
16 ON in GG
22 ARTISTRY – I think this is an &lit but it doesn’t look very convincing: “Innovative star embodies it, overseeing tracks”. I’m not really sure how the wordplay works either. “Tracks” is RY so is the rest an anagram of STAR with IT reversed inside?
24 hidden reversed in “avaILABle” but I don’t see how “including transfers” indicates that.
25 INN,I[-ncorrec]T
1 (CHEAT)*,IN,E HO(?),[-a]WARD – CATHERINE HOWARD. Got all the wordplay for this except HO, which seems to be indicated somehow by “Henry VIII in suspicion”.
3 (CRIME)* in KEEL (going up) – LEE REMICK.
4 HAM in SPOO[-f] – SHAMPOO, which starred Warren Beatty, amongst others.
14 TEST in IN,IN,E – “current couple” (for IN IN) had me puzzled for a while, partly because I thought that “current” was just I.
15 SPECTATOR – a guess as I don’t understand this one: “Drunk at cricket’s boundary ropes?” There’s an anagram of “ropes” there but that as far as I’ve got.
19 YEARNED – YEAR END with the N moved up a bit.
23 initial letters of “Some Early Photos In Album”.

14 Responses to “Independent 6745/Scorpion”

  1. Ali says:

    I managed to plough my way through all bar 3 clues of this one on the bus, which probably means it was a tad easier than most Scorpions, but admittedly glossed over some bits of wordplay once I knew the answers.

    15D is another &lit I think – (AT C[-ricke]T ROPES)* was my interpretation.

  2. Graham T says:

    12A T for K?

  3. Eileen says:

    1dn: H [Henry] + O [8th letter of suspicion]

  4. Testy says:

    10A I don’t get either.
    11A I take it A must be an abbreviation for “advanced”.
    13A “a call” must give I BID so does “a”=I. I’ve seen “one”=I and vice versa and “one”=A and vice versa but I can’t recall seeing “a”=I before.
    20A I can’t quite get. I see “leak returned” gives the SSIP but can’t see where the GO comes from.
    24A I don’t see how “including transfers” works either.
    27A Is “using mobile” the anagram indicator here? If so I’m not keen.
    6D My knowledge of sport is pretty minimal, but do skippers toss the coin or does the ref normally do this and the skippers just call it.
    Agree with others on 15D and 1D.

  5. neildubya says:

    11A – that’s what I assumed also.
    13A – me neither but if it works one way then I’m ok with it working t’other also.
    20A – if you GO to the toilet you have a leak, perhaps?
    27A – I assumed that “mobile” was the anagrid with “using” there to make it all sound nice.
    6D – I think this happens in cricket but not completely sure.

  6. Testy says:

    13A: I didn’t see it as a question of working one way but not the other. The only way I can see “a”=I is by taking two steps via “one”. a=one and one=I (in the roman numeral sense) but I still don’t think that this necessarily means that “a”=I. Just because two words share a synonym does not make them synonymous.
    20A: but where does “Gas” come into it?
    27A: I agree that “using” makes the surface work but it completely destroys the cryptic reading which ought to be the more important of the two. “getting mobile” would have worked from a cryptic reading and be just about OK for the surface.

  7. neildubya says:

    20a – GAS can mean to talk (at length) about usually trivial things.

    Agree with your other points.

  8. C G Rishikesh says:

    20A: I should think that ‘gas’ (meaning ‘gossip’) is the def. for word required.

  9. Testy says:

    20A I have finally seen the shaft of golden light thanks!

  10. Ali says:

    6D – spot on. In cricket, the home captain tosses the coin and the away captain calls it.

  11. nmsindy says:

    I too thought it was (I won’t say ‘easier’) less difficult than usual for Scorpion.

    Thanks for explanations esp for SPECTATOR which, though I got it right, had me baffled and it’s very good.

    Quite happy with a = I in 13 across. While technically it may be a double leap, it’s only a v small one.

    17 BEAT was brilliant, I thought.

    Re ARTISTRY overseeing, I think, indicates IT reversing, maybe a little too far but opinions differ on these matters.

  12. Wil Ransome says:

    If this was an easier Scorpion, I hate to think what a difficult one is like. I blogged a Scorpion puzzle a while back and it was far easier. This one took me ages. Some of the clues were brilliant I thought (11ac, 17ac, 25ac, 15dn) but some of the others I’m still very unsure about (I had a long list, which has been whittled down). S for ‘way’ in 10ac, ‘including transfers’ for hidden reversed in 24ac, ‘VIII in suspicion’ for the eighth letter of ‘suspicion’ in 1dn, all leave me unsatisfied. The intestine is not part of the stomach, so is it ‘where fuel’s broken down’ in 14dn? The waste from fuel is hardly ‘fuel’s broken down’. I thought ‘using mobile’ in 27ac was decidedly dodgy.

    And I never understood 26ac. Nobody has mentioned it so perhaps it’s very easy, but how is ‘a reformed character’ IP? If it’s an anagram of ‘pi’ then it’s an indirect anagram; if ‘reformed’ is supposed to be the anag. indicator, then hmm…

  13. Wil Ransome says:

    In my last sentence I meant to write “if ‘reformed’ is supposed to be the reversal indicator, then hmm…”

  14. Dorian lidell says:

    Just FYI, 15dn is an anagram of AT CT (=”cricket’s boundary”) ROPES, &lit.

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