Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6783/Bannsider (12-07-08)

Posted by neildubya on July 18th, 2008


Brilliant puzzle. Very tough, but completely worth the effort it took to solve. I could have said something complimentary about almost every clue but I was afraid that might give the impression that money had changed hands. No theme that I could see but with “Spurs” in a clue and 8 as an answer I can only conclude that Bannsider is trying to curry favour with his editor.

1 OSAMA BIN LADEN – which I think must be OBAMA SIN LADEN with the B and S switched round. Very simple but it took me ages to see, although I had the answer filled in quite quickly.
13 hidden reversed in “hypocrISY A Step” – cleverly done, although with an enumeration like (4,1) it’s reasonably easy to spot.
14 HAIR GEL – now that’s what I call a cryptic definition: “Shock firm with this application”. Superb.
18 O(U)R – is this “first person” in the royal sense of the word? E.g “our royal will”?
21 (ME ELBOW)* – EMBOWEL, which, confusingly, means the same as “disembowel”, i.e to draw out of the body.
23 LO(TT)O
25 hidden reversed in “ThROW OR NET TO Rest” – clever uses of “fences” in a clue which took me ages to decipher. ROTTEN ROW runs along the south side of Hyde Park and was the place to be seen in the 19th century. Not so much these days though.
29 VLADIMIR PUTIN – I can almost see the wordplay here but not quite: “President no longer accepted parts in mid-April TV broadcast”. (MID APRIL TV)* accounts for everything except the U and IN. “Accepted” could be IN I guess but what about the U?
4 hidden reversed in “cloAK RUBbing” – and an excellent &lit.
6 AR(ALS[-o])EA – another clever clue but this took me a while to unravel. If I’ve parsed it right, the definition is “polluted water”, “expanse” is AREA and “shrunk too” is ALS[-o]. It’s also an &lit as the ARAL SEA is polluted and has actually shrunk.
8 (IN WET EARTH HAL[-f])* – WHITE HART LANE (which is Tottenham Hotspur’s home ground). Very well-hidden definition in a misleading clue surface.
9 (HAIR GEL)*,L,I,WELL – another corker, especially the definition: “ginger pop manufacturer” (GERI HALLIWELL, when she was in the Spice Girls, was known as Ginger Spice). 14 refers to the answer at 14a.
15 LOGARITHM – “logger rhythm”.
20 BOO,KEND[-odd]
22 odd letters from “BaRmEn SeLl A pUb”
24 M in TAIL
26 TUNER – sounds like “tuna”.

6 Responses to “Independent 6783/Bannsider (12-07-08)”

  1. eimi says:

    I’m not sure “Lean times ultimately for Spurs” was designed to curry favour, but with Berbatov and Keane on the verge of leaving and Bent probably staying it could prove to be prophetic. I understand that the long answers at the perimeter are Bannsider’s 5/2.

  2. beermagnet says:

    18A OUR is very much first person, it’s just first person plural (possessive) rather than the singular I or my that we somehow naturally think of when we see the words first person’s. I too pondered about the royal we before realising the generality.
    29A VLADIMIR PUTIN: Surely the U comes from accepted in the U vs. non-U sense, and the rest of the anagram is from (IN MID-APRIL TV)
    6D You meant to write ALS[-o]

    I really really enjoyed this crossword. Struggled with 8D and had nearly all the crossing letters before it clicked – I thought ground was the anagrind.

  3. Fletch says:

    Was it Bannsider last Saturday? Damn! I’d given up hope of ever seeing him again and didn’t get the paper.

  4. Joins says:

    The only clue I didn’t understand was the one to which the answer appeared to EBONY. Can anyone explain it?

  5. neildubya says:

    7d – E,BONY. On a piano keyboard, the flat notes are black or EBONY.

  6. nmsindy says:

    A brilliant crossword, full of clever invention, very very tough, but as Neildubya says, well worth sticking with for the gems revealed.

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