Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6827/Radian

Posted by neildubya on September 2nd, 2008


I found this mostly reasonably easy but with a few tough spots here and there. I only spotted the Nina (in the perimeter running clockwise from the bottom left-hand corner) once I’d finished the puzzle – appropriately enough for the time of year it reads BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES, which is a traditional thanksgiving hymn which I presume is often sung around harvest festival time.

6 hidden in “maNY A LAager”
9 (RING)*,ED – GIRNED was new to me but it was my first guess given the wordplay. Even so, I waited for all the crossing letters before filling it in.
10 REP,ROACH – I’d never heard of Hal Roach (an American TV and film producer apparently) so this was another partial guess. “Carpet” is an easy enough definition and “salesman” is a common indicator for REP so not knowing the Hal shouldn’t have made this clue unsolvable for most.
13 R(EVIL)E – Good clue, especially the use of “clamp” to indicate containment.
17 IT in SURF< – another good one with a pertinent surface reading, given the current economic climate.
19 INSTEP – not sure I really understand all of this: “Sandhurst marchers” would be IN STEP but what does “they control it” mean? Something to with controlling the INSTEP of the foot?
23 R,IGOR,O[-p]US – you don’t need to know that Stravinsky’s first name was IGOR to solve this but it certainly helps. You could probably get by knowing that you’re looking for a word for “harsh” that begins with R.
27 B,(TREE)*,OOT – BEETROOT, the colour you go when you blush.
28 [-c]ANNUL[-a]
1 IN(D)IGO – Inigo Jones was an Elizabethan architect.
2 NA[-v]AN – I didn’t understand the “Irish fort” reference so this was another guess.
4 IN,(SPERRI[-ns])* – INSPIRER. Bizarre sounding clue and “3, perhaps” is a bit loose as a definition for GANDHI I thought.
7 BAR[-ns]LEY
8 S(ICKLE)S – “little to child” for ICKLE was a nice touch and quite original.
15 PENS[-l]IVE[-d]
16 TOP(TOT,O)E – “tope” means to drink habitually and to excess, which I knew from somewhere or other (probably another crossword).
18 RUS(SE)T – more guesswork required here as I’d never come across RUST as a type of fungus before. Also, is “Sussex” really good enough as an indicator for SE (South East)?
21 G,US,VAT (reversed)
26 L in UNA – I remember Una Stubbs from the 80s children’s TV programme Worzel Gummidge but apparently she’s recently been in Eastenders and The Catherine Tate Show.

14 Responses to “Independent 6827/Radian”

  1. Mick h says:

    Never mind the harvest, I’m impressed at the scheduling of a puzzle with GUSTAV among the answers – how was the editor to know the hurricane would be downgraded at the last minute!

  2. petero says:

    An interesting crossword, which strives, largely successfully, for unusual devices in its clues. I was surprised at the description of ‘Elizabethan architect’ for Inigo Jones; a trip to Wikipedia showed that this is not as far off as I thought. He was 30 when Elizabeth I died, but his earliest surviving building came more than a decade later. Certainly his style is a radical departure from what one thinks of as Elizabethan architecture. The online version of the puzzle has what seems to be an error: the clue to 22D is a variant of the clue to 21D, and as far as I can see bears no relation to the answer ‘ensile’. I would suspect that there was an attempt to revise 21D to remove the superfluous word ‘rejected’, and the wrong clue was overwritten. I suppose that the Irish fort in 2D refers to the Hill of Tara, which Wikipedia again informs me is near Navan. Close, but no cigar!

  3. rayfolwell says:

    Google reveals that Navan Fort is an ancient earthwork in Co. Armagh.

    7, 12 & 24D are connected with the Nina as well.

  4. Mick h says:

    The clue at 22d in the paper is “Store greens I left over” – another answer linked to the theme.

  5. Testy says:

    What purpose does “over” serve (other than surface reading and helping the &lit aspect)?

    Is “Store” the hidden indicator (it seems a bit loose to me)?

  6. nmsindy says:

    Enjoyed this, tough, with some original ideas. Maybe 15, 17 in the centre row were linked to the theme also. ENSILE waw my last answer – the definition I thought was ‘store’ and I read ‘over’ as an unusual hidden indicator i.e. that greENS I LEft considered as a whole was over ‘ensile’. Not sure if I’m interpreting it correctly. Did see the Nina emerging fairly early on, though did not get SHEAVES till I’d five or six letters. I don’t understand 19 though – IN STEP as two words must be the wordplay part, but I don’t understand the defintion part.

  7. Radian says:

    19: I felt it might cause problems but I couldn’t resist referring back to ‘arch’ (= instep). And Nmsindy’s right about 22.

    Forgive me too for the occasional NI ref. It’s hard enough to keep you guys guessing – and I may as well help our overworked tourist board. There’s more to enjoy here than the Giant’s Causeway!

    Many thanks for all the feedback, invaluable for a johnny-come-lately. Please keep it coming.

  8. Paul B says:

    See! See! Themed, Nina’d, and nary a recondite ref, ne’er mind word.

    Sláinte agus táinte!

  9. Testy says:

    Yes, I’m forever tripping over my cannula on my way out of the hall.

  10. Radian says:

    It’s a bit late but I’ve just noticed, after pondering on blogs 8 and 9 (I’m still baffled), 28a is annu(a)l, not (c)annul(a).
    My erse is not in gear so could Paul B enlighten me please: Health and ?

  11. neildubya says:

    28a – I can’t remember the clue but it definitely mentioned “tube”, which is what a cannula is. Maybe the clue was changed by the ed?

  12. nmsindy says:

    Re 10, Proverb “Health is better than wealth” and punning of course. “Is fearr slainte na tainte”, forgive omission of accents.

  13. Fletch says:

    28a: Cancel tube – sidings unavailable (5)

  14. Radian says:

    28a: There you go: you improve your own clue then forget you’ve done it.

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