Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6836/Punk

Posted by John on September 12th, 2008


When people say things like “You’ve got to get on to the wavelength of the setter”, my inclination is to say “Rubbish. A cryptic is a cryptic and they all more or less have the same rules”. But perhaps these people do have a point: I used to find Punk incredibly difficult, but now the fact that he has appeared here instead of the usual Phi, who no doubt appears tomorrow, has not resulted in any stretching of the time, really. Oh all right then, 33 minutes.

Maybe he’s simply become easier than he used to be. Certainly he’s good. Lots of excellent clues here, even if there is the odd point I’m not quite comfortable with.

8 ANAGRAMMATICAL — it’s a well-known fact (?) that ‘eleven plus two’ and ‘twelve plus one’ have not only the same sum but the same letters, but I’m not quite sure what the definition is here
9 D(R)AFT — the educational component is one of the three R’s
10 DISCIPLE — disc i((LP)rev.)e
16 IKE BAN A — had rather than has? — I know it makes a better surface, but I’m never happy when the past tense is used although the wordplay doesn’t need it
20 SYLLABUB — (bu(n) bally s)rev.
22 T’ WANG
23 PERSONAL COLUMN — I’m not sure here: it seems to be a bit more than just a CD, but I can’t see how
1 S(AN DOWN)PARK — referring I think to ‘Only Fools and Horses’
2 CAV(ALI)ER — Muhammad Ali
3 T(R)OT
4 AMI D — Nice in France, which always catches me out
5 FATS DOMINO — (Fast)* domino — I know he was a pianist, but only as one of his strengths
6 DIVIN(GB)E LL — excellent surface, if the grammatical pedants don’t mind
13 INITIALISE — in IT (liaise)*
14 GRANNY BOND — I wonder if I understand this properly: 007, and a granny may be 77, but …
17 ART TAT UM — after 5dn, you can see where Punk’s musical tastes lie
19 STY LET — ho ho
21 BULL — I think this is correct, although ‘no cow’ as a definition of ‘bull’ seems a bit loose
22 TOOT — a palindrome

6 Responses to “Independent 6836/Punk”

  1. Geoff Moss says:


  2. nmsindy says:

    Yes, some excellent clues here, and, like John, I found it a little easier than usual from Paul. I’d come across the eleven two, twelve one idea in some previous crossword, that helped me along.
    I think the past tense was there for IKE as he’s passed on. Shortcake = bu(n). Hmmm! But Eimi’s said he usually, but not always, strictly Ximenean.

  3. Duggie says:

    Maybe it’s me but things seem in a right mess today. Can’t get at the Indy’s puzzle – and the FT’s has a mismatch between clues and grid. Better cut the grass.

  4. Geoff Moss says:


    It’s not just you! I have had the same problem with the Independent’s website. The FT is however solvable if you remove the incorrect black square from 2d and 7d and renumber the grid (or the clues) accordingly.

  5. Mick h says:

    Blimey – sounds like a Listener!

  6. John says:


    Thanks Geoff. How blindingly obvious, and what a good clue.

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