Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6905/Hypnos

Posted by John on December 2nd, 2008


The wordplay is always fine, but forgive me if I’m lukewarm about some of the surfaces, which seem to me to be a bit thin. ‘Publication with no trouble elevated colour'; ‘A liberal honour acquired by lead showing composure'; and a few others: perhaps I’m missing something, but they don’t mean a lot to me. However, the excellence of one or two of the clues (27ac, 2dn, 4dn and more) makes up for this.

6 SMEW? — this seems to be the only word that will fit, and although it isn’t in any of my lists of birds it is according to Chambers a small species of merganser. But wems???
12 MERCEDES — (R.E.M.)rev. cedes
13 A RN {h}OLD
15 TAKE FOR A RIDE — (fake ID or tear)*
18 DO P.P.E. L(G)ANGER — ref. Bernhard Langer
21 {f}OREGON{e}
24 AUSTERE — (set-u{p})* in (era)rev.
26 T(W)IG
27 SPIN BOWLER — (Brown piles)* — what’s the exclam doing here? It seems to be saying ‘this is rather clever and it has an amusing surface’, which it is and has, but that’s not in my opinion what an exclam is for
1 A P(L OM)B
2 AmeriCA’S TROtskyites — this is an even nicer clue than 27ac, yet if Hypnos thinks 27 is worth an exclam then why not this?
3 BY (“buy”) THE SAME TOKE N
4 STONEHENGE — n in (those gone)*
5 {j}OUST
7 MAGNOLIA — mag no (ail)rev.
8 WHEE(D{ig})LER — ref. Sir Mortimer Wheeler
9 TIERRA DEL FUEGO — (art old refugee)* around i
14 ROUND R OB IN —although it’s there in Chambers Crossword Dictionary, I can’t quite see where I’d use ’round’ to mean ‘vigorous’
16 A D(V O CA)AT{e}
17 APRES-SKI — a CD I think, referring to the skiing event
20 STUPOR — (pur{e} sot)*
23 HEAP — 2 defs

11 Responses to “Independent 6905/Hypnos”

  1. Richard says:

    6 ac. I think the wordplay is “mews” with the back letter moved to the front.

    for 20ac, I thought at first that the answer was “Proust”, which seems to fit, in a funny sort of way – interesting that it’s an anagram of “stupor”!

  2. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Re: “round” (in the sense of ‘vogorous’. As in “He was given a round thrashing” or “She was given a round scolding”, perhaps.

    in Madras that is Chennai, India

  3. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Sorry. It should have been ‘vigorous’. How I wish that we could either delete or edit our comments!

  4. C G Rishikesh says:


    Is there a possibility of our being able to preview our comments (and make changes if necessary) before we finally press the ‘Submit Comment’ button?

  5. nmsindy says:

    Enjoyable crossword, good variety with a few meanings I’d to check afterwards, including ROUND = vigorous. In BY THE SAME TOKEN, I think the TOKE N is in two parts.

  6. NealH says:

    You’re right. I had to check the meaning of toke, but it means a draw on a marijuana cigarette.

  7. John says:

    Richard I was about to say what a good clue 6ac is and thank you for explaining it, but I’m still unsure: is Hypnos really abbreviating ‘seen’ to s, something that isn’t supported by any of Collins/COD/Chambers?

    Rishi my suspicion is that our hands are tied by the people who produce this software. I may be wrong, but I don’t think it’s written specifically for us. But your point is a good one and Neil will know how you can make it heard in the right place. And I think you’re right about round and vigorous.

    Niall you’re clearly right about toke + n. I wasn’t quite comfortable with it before and had just thought he was including both ‘draw’ and ‘note’ so that ‘in addition’ fitted better into the surface.

  8. Westy says:

    I’m definitely a newbie at this, but am I the only one who finds the connection between PIONEERED and FOREGONE [21 A] a little tenuous? I’d love someone to explain it to me and prove me wrong.

  9. neildubya says:


    WordPress (stupidly) does not allow users to edit their own comments. I can edit all comments but that’s because I have elevated rights which allow me to do all sorts of stuff. There are some plug-ins which provide this functionality but I’m bit hesitant about installing them as they are developed by third-parties (not the people who make WordPress) and there’s always a risk that they might break something. But I agree that it’s a very useful feature to have so I’ll see if I can find a plug-in that looks reliable and has been well tested.


  10. nmsindy says:

    Re Westy’s comment at 8, I did have to think quite a bit about that one, tho the answer was clear enough. FOREGO means to ‘go first’ (precede in time, place) and I guess a ‘pioneer’ does that also so it can be justified if not having quite the clear interchangeability you’d sometimes have.

  11. Westy says:

    Thanks Nmsindy, I had considered that connection but it somehow seemed out of reach to me. Guess I still have a lot to learn!

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