Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6856 by Eimi – ‘Tis the Season to Miss out the Crossword

Posted by NealH on October 6th, 2008


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed

I don’t know if the Indy has dropped the cryptic crossword altogether from its published edition but, despite annoying other passengers on the train by noisily going through my paper 11 times, I was unable to find it. Somewhat galling to find you’ve spent £1.00 and didn’t get the main thing you wanted !

There is now a printable version on the web site, which is how I got the compiler’s name. It was a relatively easy for the most part but I was thrown by 11 across, where I’d never come across “summer” as a type of beam. I suppose I should have realized because all the other seasons also appear. There were a couple of other clues I didn’t entirely follow.

1 Seasons: Sea son[g]s. Indicates the puzzle “theme”.
5 Spring: double def.
10 Electronic organ: (in Elgar concerto)*.
11 Summer: “Beam when tale-teller loses leg”. The dictionary confirms that summer is a type of beam, but I don’t follow the rest.
12 Autumn: Aunt* around U M.
14 Cases: double definition (case as in “case the joint”).
16 Bride to be: (to bed)* in brie[f].
17 Error free: (r reefer or)*
19 Miser: Miser=”close one”. Word play = MI + ser[vices].
20 Winter: W + Inter [Milan].
21 Cliche: Alternative letters of Celtic + he, but I’m not completely sure why the Caholic is there.
25 Proxima Centauri: (American tour pix)*.
26 Malaga: A lag in ma.
27 Vivaldi: Viv + Aldi – see Viv Nicholson
1 Seersucker: Se[tt]er + sucker. This was made difficult by the fact that on the online version you don’t get the compiler name. On the printed version, it’s been changed from “compiler” to Eimi.
2 A Team: Ate AM. This is a reference to the TV series, the A Team, whose leader was called Hannibal. You can’t accuse them of being elitist.
3 Outlets: Out + Lets.
4 Swot: tows<.
6 Pro cure
7 Ingenious: This was the other one I didn’t really follow. Clue is “Clever girl turned into a cow in fashionable group”.
8 Gong: Go[i]ng.
9 Minutiae: Minute around AI<. A minute is a 60th part of a degree in angular measurement.
13 Decree Nisi: (Residence I)*.
15 Straw Poll: [Jack] Straw + poll.
16 Bergerac: Double definition. Bergerac was a 1980s TV detective series set on Jersey. It was John Nettles’ previous incarnation, before he left to do something about the horrendous murder rate in the Midsomer area.
18 Running: Double def.
19 Molotov: Double def. Fairly easy to get from the “cocktail” part, but I was not aware that Perm is a Russian city which was formerly called Molotov.
22 Cruel: Soundalike of crewel.
23 Spam: Initial letters + &lit.
24 Derv: Hidden.

16 Responses to “Independent 6856 by Eimi – ‘Tis the Season to Miss out the Crossword”

  1. sandforb says:

    7d. “girl turned into a cow” is Io (a long definition for a short segment of the answer!)
    fashionable group = “in genus”

  2. Ali says:

    7D is IO in IN,GENUS. IO was the girl who was turned into a cow, so says Greek mythology.

    I’m not sure of the SUMMER clue either, and only got it because it was the only place the missing season would fit. Loved the A-TEAM and MALAGA clues.

    And, yes, a printable pdf every day would be lovely, thanks!

  3. Geoff Moss says:

    7d IO in IN (fashionable) GENUS (group) – Io was a priestess in Greek mythology who was turned into a heifer by Jupiter.

  4. rayfolwell says:

    As the link refers to the ‘missing cryptic’ it looks like a mistake to have omitted it from the printed edition. I hope so, or I’ll be cancelling my Indy.

  5. Colin Blackburn says:

    All: Eimi has said elsewhere that there was a cock-up at the Indy due to the sports section being moved.

    NealH: You should buy it in your local students’ union shop. Just 30p! One benefit of sometimes working on a campus.

    I completely missed the Nina! I now see that VIVALDI is also part of the theme and a great clue to fox those with no knowledge of pools’ winners and cut-price supermarkets.

  6. Eileen says:

    21ac: the alternate letters of ‘Celtic’ are CLI, so you need the C from Catholic. [I wasn’t aware of this as an abbreviation, other than as RC, but it’s in Collins.]

  7. mhl says:

    Good to hear that I’m not the only one – I thought this might have been my most abject crossword failure yet, not managing even to find the puzzle… :)

  8. Barbara says:

    NealH: I went to the Indy website but couldn’t see how to download the puzzle plus all the clues in workable condition.
    How did you manage it? Did I miss a key button?

  9. NealH says:

    Go to and click on the link.

  10. Geoff Moss says:

    We haven’t had an explanation for 11a yet so I will offer a suggestion:

    SUMM[on]ER – ‘on’ being the leg side in cricket.

    A ‘summoner’ (apparitor or beadle) is a minor church official who is responsible for the behavior in church and for dealing with minor misdemeanours. S/he is therefore likely to ‘tell tales’ to the vicar.

    Very loose I know but I can’t come up with anything better :-(

  11. Colin Blackburn says:

    Just noticed you comment, NealH, about 1dn after looking at the pdf version and spotting the difference. It does seem odd that ‘Eimi’ was changed to ‘compiler’ for the interactive version given the anonymous nature of that version. Do they not even want us online solvers to have the merest hint of the compiler’s pseudonym?!

  12. eimi says:

    I had Geoff Chaucer’s Summoner’s Tale in mind for 11A (a bit of high culture to offset the TV references), but liked Geoff Moss’s reasoning.

    Ray’s comment (4) provides an answer to Ali’s request (2). I have no say in such matters, but I’m not sure that the Indy could afford to lose many more paper sales.

    My reasoning for editing out the setters’ names is that it’s possible that internet crossword solvers may never have bought the paper or (heaven forbid) have discovered fifteensquared and (as the setters are not mentioned in the online version) not have a clue who Eimi is.

  13. Colin Blackburn says:

    Editing out Eimi: seems reasonable. What if a setter uses ‘me’ or ‘setter’, say, to refer to their pseudonym as part of the word play? Do you then edit in the other direction or rewrite the clue?

  14. eimi says:

    I’d like the online version to include the setters’ names, but this is not possible under the current system and my requests for change have not been met. Most setters are aware of this restriction, but I have occasionally had to change a clue in an online puzzle. Nimrod’s Christmas Eve puzzle which namechecked his colleagues came before the advent of the online puzzle, but as it also contained a preamble, I would have had to submit a different puzzle for the web site, as indeed I had to do for a recent Virgilius puzzle that contained two letters in one square.

  15. Geoff Moss says:


    Would it not be possible to include the setter’s name in, say, the first across clue? As an example, today could have been:

    1 [Today’s setter: Eimi] Shanties no good for salts? (7)

  16. eimi says:

    I don’t want to invade the sanctity of the clue area, but I have a cunning plan …

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