Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6793 by Morph

Posted by nmsindy on July 24th, 2008


This was a very clever themed puzzle, the theme of which became clear to me only at the very end.   Solving time, 51 mins

* = anagram  < = reversed

1 L EADERLESS S  (released)*

6 ADZE    As crossing letters appeared, it looked as if this was going to be the tool and I verified it using ‘reveal’.   I don’t understand the rest (this may be because, while I’m aware of the TV comedy series, I’v never watched it.)

9 FLAVOUR ENHANCER   (Channel Four rave)*

11 A (VENUE) S

12 PR I SING    The first of the themed entries which, are a ‘leaderless insurrection’ i.e. a synonym with the first letter removed, uprising here with the resulting word being a real word.

13 CALLIGRAPHER   (Archer lag lip)*     Surface suggesting you-know-who

18 IN SURRE(y) CTION   It< into con or noc<  not sure how it works – maybe an abbrev for no overall control but a quick looks in dicts did not find it.

21 A CERB IC  “Serb”   The ‘ending’ takes the final two letters, if I’ve read it right.

23 EDITION    Themed cf sedition  (No 1 tide)<

24 HIS TORIOGRAP  HER   (got a prior)*    Won’t get into the nounal anagram indicators issue.

25 WIND    Favourite clue – bloggers with recent arrivals will have had no problem with it, I guess.

28 GRANT-AIDED  (tragedian)* d (head of drama)


1 LA FRANCE  (clean far)* (France in French) with the definite article used as they do e.g. L’Angleterre.    This took me ages and I’d niggles with it.      The hyphen in far-off was the first problem but, Eimi has said they’re not always strictly Ximenean.   However, if it had been left out, I think the surface would have been still just fine.  The second very minor niggle is the far-off as I can think of only one country nearer to the UK.

2 A (MAZE) DLY   (lady)*

3 EVOLUTION    Themed cf revolution  (violent coup)* less CP

4 LARKS   An excellent double definition – thought for ages it would start with a g = good

5 SANDPIPER    How a cockney would say ‘sandpaper’ (abrasive), I think, but I really agonised with it before settling for I rather than A as the sixth letter which was not intersected by an across entry.   ‘Reveal’ confirmed I was right.

7 DECEIT   “de-seat”

8 EN (RAG) E    losing the rag


14 RAUNCHIER   (hurricane)*

15 ENCHILADA   (a deli chain)*  less one (i)

16 FIN I SHED   Definition = over

17 ENSNARED   (N Red sea n)*    uses abbrev n for navy as well as Northern, I think.

19 CASH EW (first letters)

20 RE A SON    Thematic cf treason

21 B (L) OG   I confirm that we are unpaid

23 ELGIN   First letters (he of the Marbles)

6 Responses to “Independent 6793 by Morph”

  1. beermagnet says:

    18A NOC is definitely a well-used abbreviation for No Overall Control (in the lists of local elections results)

  2. Geoff Moss says:

    6a Could AD ZE be a homophone for ‘had the’ in a broken French accent?

  3. Testy says:

    I thought this was great. My only problem was with the ambiguity at 5D where the checking letters unfortunately did not help.

    Otherwise really excellent stuff. I agree with comments 1 and 2 above.

    Regarding 1D I could understand Nmsindy’s first niggle (although I’m happy with that sort of thing) but don’t get the second. Given that “far” is part of the anagram fodder and “off” is the anagrind, the definition is just “country (self-styled)” so it doesn’t matter how near or far it is (unless he was going for an &lit which I don’t think is the case).

    24A (at the risk of picking at the scab) I don’t have problems with nounal indicators in general anyway but I think that “arrangement” ought to be the least offensive of all of them even to the strictest of Ximeneans.

  4. beermagnet says:

    SANDPOIPER: Unusually for me for a homophone, I didn’t have any doubt about this – but you see, earlier I’d tackled today’s Guardian’s “My Fair Lady” offering and had cockneyisms on the brain. I actually thought that it was more Dick van Dyke than Eliza Doolittle before I realised I was doing a different crossword.

    LEADERLESS: I was really put off by the word “leader” appearing in the clue.

  5. Michod says:

    Thanks for all the nice comments. With hindsight I should have avoided ‘leader’ in 1ac.
    6a is, as Geoff says, a dodgy French homophone. The dodgy Cockney homophone at 5d only works one way round, I’d argue, because while ‘sandpaper’ may become ‘sandpiper’ in Cockney (or Australian, I suppose), the same’s not true in reverse.
    As for 21ac, I used ‘Milosevic’s ending’ for -IC on the grounds that it’s not just the last letters, but the suffix of the name (and many other S/cerbs, e.g. Mladic, Karadzic to pick two at random!)
    Don’t know why no one wants to talk nounal indicators. I agree with Testy – ‘arrangement’ used thus is surely better than lots of weak adjectives that see regular use as anagrinds.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Many thanks to those who explained the points I missed. Re the Cockney homophone the clue was so short that initially either could have been the definition, but I was fairly confident after I thought about it. I guess for solvers not living in London such references can be a bit tricky esp if they go beyond the removal of an initial h (e.g ‘arry).

    Re the nounal anagram indicators, the AZED book contains an explanation on this (why they should not be used) which many of the top setters have found really useful. It does require detailed thought on grammar/syntax (which is not my background) to appreciate it but, if they were to be OK, ‘arrangement’ would seem a good candidate. I just put it in as a casual comment knowing this was a contentious issue, and as there was one in this puzzle (which you do not see too often).

    The idea behind the puzzle was very imaginative, and, as noted in the blog, not spotted till the very end, which is good.

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