Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6817 by Tees

Posted by nmsindy on August 21st, 2008


This was very tough indeed.   I found the NW quadrant absolutely fiendish, but got there in the end.   Solving time, 67 minutes.    As in previous puzzles by Tees, this draws on very wide and sometimes unusual cultural references.

* = anagram  < = reversed


1 Robert P(IRS)IG      My last answer.   IRS = Internal Revenue Service (US)

5 HYPE RION   noir<     Poem by Keats

9 P (EER GYN) T    (energy)* in PT   Play by Ibsen

10 T(W)ENT Y    w = women   y = close to boundary (last letter)

11 BUM PP O    Character from the Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper

12 PENTAGON   Double definition

14 PRIORITISING   (Origin spirit)*

17 EVANGELISTIC   (gives a client)*

20 SISYPHUS   From Greek mythology

22 EVA (Braun) DER (the in German)

23 Eugene O’NEILL    one ill


26 PRESCOTT   (protects)*

27 MANS(i)ON    criminal family from 1960s in US.


2 I REFU(e)L     last note spent  = take away the last letter which is also one of the musical notes A to G, I think.

3 SCRAPE PENNY    Little girl = abbreviated name.    Archaic word so ‘once’.

4/13 GAY POLICE ASSOCIATION   Cryptic definition


7 RYE    Hidden, indicated by ‘sandwiches’  A gypsy gentleman

8 OUTPOINT   (tit pun oo)*   pair = two ducks i.e. no runs scored in either innings from cricket, I think

15/5D  TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR     (at Portsmouth then)*

16 TV DINNER   Pun on ‘set’

18 INSTANT    Close to a straight definition

19 GEN (TO)O     TO = telegraph office    Geno Washington (musician)

21 (Ot)HELLO     Liked this    OT = overtime

24 IBS(en)     unmeasured = take away en = measure (printing).   It’s an abbreviation – Irritable bowel syndrome

16 Responses to “Independent 6817 by Tees”

  1. Al Streatfield says:

    I got it all unaided apart from BUMPPO and OUTPOINT in roughly the same time as NMSINDY

    I thought of BUMPPO because of the BUM PP O, but there was no way I could put it in because it didn’t look like a word and I had never heard of, let alone read, The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper. A grossly unfair clue in my opinion. It would have been OK in a weekend barred puzzle with the extra checking etc.

    OUTPOINT I probably should have thought of because I knew it was OUT something, but it didn’t occur to me that “sail closer to the wind” could mean “OUTPOINT” and “pair” to mean OO seems a bit indirect. “Bouncing” I assumed meant “not being accepted”, i.e. being removed, but didn’t think it could be an anagram indicator. Didn’t like.

    There were some good clues in the puzzle and a couple of excellent ones. I liked “set meal” for TV DINNER. But trying to finish it was a real pain…

  2. Rick says:

    Got about half of it but the cultural references were a mystery to me. ‘Bumppo’? I mean really! It was strange as some of the clues seemed really obvious and others were incredible convoluted. Still fun enough though.

  3. NealH says:

    After a fairly good run the last few days, I got hopelessly stuck on this. I filled in about half of it and then just couldn’t get any further without some research. There was far too much general knowledge for my liking: I don’t think I’d ever have got Bumppo or Sisyphus on my own. Also, the wording was designed to be as confusing as possible. I’m still struggling to work out why 1 across is the IRS inside pig rather than the IRS on top of pig and 9 across was one of these irritating ones that looked like PT inside an anagram of energy rather than the other way round. Mind you, it didn’t help that I put “the police association” rather than “gay police association” to start with.

    One thing still puzzles me. Why is gentoo, which I thought was a type of penguin, a Hindu in 19 down ?

  4. Pat says:

    Extremely tough, and a bit obscure for my liking.

    In 19d, Gentoo is an old Anglo-Indian word meaning Hindu, derived from the Portuguese for gentile.

  5. nmsindy says:

    I understand fully the points NealH is making re 1ac and 9ac but I was satisfied in the end that it was fair misdirection which is part of the game (and I was certainly misled at first!).

    In 1 ac IRS has PIG ‘on’ – I saw this (eventually!) as similar to for example the containing indicator ‘wearing’. This was the key to my finishing the puzzle and it was my last answer as I indicated in the blog.

    In 9 ac the wording was again unusual but fair misdirection, I thought. ‘maintenance’ suggesting (again eventually!) that ‘exercises’ were holding = maintaining the anagram of ‘energy’ though I found the answer first and worked back from it to try to understand the wordplay. In fact, this was the only answer in the NW quadrant that I got before I really got stuck.

    Re GENTOO, I’d come across that word before meaning Hindu (in a crossword) so my main concern was understanding the wordplay which I (again eventually!) did.

    No gainsaying that this was a tough one, though, but all the more satisfying to solve it. But I would not have time for them every day, but variety is the spice as they say…

  6. Testy says:


  7. Pat says:

    I forgot to say, nmsindy, thanks for an excellent blog on a tough nut. I thought it asked only marginally too much, certainly in Bumppo, perhaps in Pirsig, and conceivably in Scrapepenny and Gentoo. I had my usual blind spots on O’Neill (6)and TV Dinner (2,6), though. Can’t bring myself to see TV as a two-letter word. And of course, having seen Ibsen, I justified the illness as BSE removing In, rather than IBS removing En.

    Fair play to the setter, I suppose! Just not every day, please . . .

  8. Wil Ransome says:

    Note to Peter (I think), or whoever wrote the details of the SETTERS at the top of the page: Tees is not medium: he is hard; very hard. And I’m not sure that he’s all that libertarian. It all seemed pretty sound and Ximenean to me.

    I failed to complete this (five to go), but apart from the ludicrously difficult BUMPPO I understood it all when I saw the answers. Fair cop.

  9. Tees says:

    I won’t do it every day, promise.

    As always, thanks very much indeed for the blog and for all the comments, which are much appreciated.

    Without prejudice I should say that Natty Bumppo is himself The Deerslayer, and not simply a character in the book, plus lots of other names (such as Hawkeye) according to which of Fenimore Cooper’s Bumppo works you read. I’m possibly blinkered by my very familiarity with the topic, having delved as a kid. (Boy, am I glad Alastair got it from the SI, as I can now claim that I try to make clues less difficult when the required words may not be all that well-known.)

    For OUTPOINT, the def is ‘sail closer to the wind than’.

    The ‘on as in wearing’ I would probably not have used had the clue been down, due in part to gravity. Nonetheless, I’m aware of the Times convention that, in across clues, ‘X on Y’ = YX.

    GENTOO is listed only as ‘a Hindu’ in my desktop Collins. I have to go to the shelf, where Chambers and SOED live, to find the Falkland Islands penguin.

    Despite NealH’s experiences I must counter that the wording – honest – is NOT designed to be ‘as confusing as possible’. On the other hand, and like a lot of Indyists I suppose, I’m always trying to get away from standard indication and sentence order, whilst hopefully remaining fair, and grammatically correct at the cryptic level.

  10. Quixote says:

    I did this one on the train and still had time to read the paper. Thought it tricky in places (quite easy in others), but liked the TV dinner clue having written an identical one as Pasquale some while back (these things happen)! I guessed at BUMPPO, but didn’t think it unfair. I didn’t bother to check it. After a good day’s play (Som v. Hants) at the Rose Bowl I just about emptied my mind of matters cruciverbal, though a gent in front was having difficulty folding his Times puzzle now that the page is divided vertically!

  11. Fletch says:

    The Times was such a breeze yesterday he probably spent longer folding the paper satisfactorily than doing the crossword!

  12. Mick H says:

    I thought of BUMPPO, but in the end went for BUMPHO (useless pages=bumph) as being a marginally more probable name!
    Gay Police Association took a long time to get, but was very good – a rare CD with a much shorter clue than answer.

  13. Al Streatfield says:

    I wrote my point at the start of the strand before having checked whether the definition for OUTPOINT of “sail closer to the wind than”, which I thought was dodgy, checked out. Not according to Chambers it doesn’t, nor anything like…

  14. nmsindy says:

    I did not know the meaning, but had worked the answer out from the anagram and verified after that it was quite correct. Not a sailor…

  15. Al Streatfield says:

    Where did you verify the definition?

  16. nmsindy says:

    Collins – it’s not in Chambers BTW.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

+ seven = 8