Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 956 by Quixote (8 June 2008)

Posted by nmsindy on June 12th, 2008


This appeared in the IoS on the day that Don Manley’s guide to cryptic crosswords was given out free with the paper. I thought perhaps some of those new solvers might turn to this puzzle (Quixote being Don’s Indy pseudonym), but it’s more likely they’d look at the puzzles in the guide itself.

Maybe just as well because I found this extremely hard by Quixote standards, got there in the end though, solving time 38 mins.

* = anagram < = reversal


1 SAP PH O have not seen that PH = measure of acidity for a while.

4 SEN D UP Democratic Unionist Party  (in the news just now in London as well as NI)

7 I’M PERFECT The imperfect tense (grammar)


11 ASTATINE (sea taint)* Very subtle. The definition is At (the chemical symbol for Astatine)

12 WIND ER Another very tricky one. ‘times’ refers to winding watches, I think.    Been a while since I did that.


15 Greta GARB(o)

17 TEST Hidden

19 ART IS T(h)E not sure about ‘is’ = ‘needs to be’ acquired by, but it has to be right

21 SIT-IN G Very good


25 BASE Double definition


27 D (ES) IRE   Es a bit of a cliche by now   tu es (French) = thou art (‘you are’ in an older guise) so es = French art

28 MAO RIS< Very tough, my second last entry


1 SEMOLINA (a lemon is)*    Not had that as a dessert for a good while.

2 PEE RED Doesn’t bear thinking about

3 HU(e) FF as in ‘hue and cry’, I think

4 SET Double definition

5 DOGFIGHT  Excellent pun on ‘boxers’

6 PARSE C c = speed of light (maximum speed) as in e = mXc(squared)

8 C (consulted initially) ASE HISTORY (so hysteria)*

10 C ASTLES (slates)*

13 RU S(players finally) TIER

16 BA (RR) IERS (Serbia)*

19 SYNOP SIS Pony’s<

20 ST (R) AND

22 TANNER A for E in tenner – A and E are both musical notes. And, yes, if you can remember back that far, there were 2 tanners (sixpence) in a shilling, and 20 shillings in a pound so a tanner is 1/400th of a tenner. Phew! This was the last clue I solved – it crossed 28 ac.    But it lives on in football speak e.g. on Sky ‘he can turn on a sixpence’.     I like asking younger people if they understand that – no one has yet so I explain it was a very small coin.

One Response to “Independent on Sunday 956 by Quixote (8 June 2008)”

  1. Quixote says:

    Maybe I was in a slightly more inventive mood. I remember constructing a dislocated grid just because I felt like it, and maybe I was in that sort of a mood with the clues. The timing of this puzzle with the booklet was pure coincidence.

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