Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6909/Bannsider (Prize puzzle 06-12-08)

Posted by neildubya on December 12th, 2008


Brilliant puzzle. Rock-solid cluing with some excellent surface readings and very clever definitions. 18 and 20 will no doubt annoy those who don’t like too much pop culture in their puzzles and I’m not really sure I agree with the homophone in 5 but for me these are minor quibbles. A pleasure to solve.

1 C,LEVER,DICK – “one spotted at dinner” is “spotted dick”, very much a British dessert so overseas solvers might struggle with that.
7 S,SPA< – SAPS.
10 FOR,TIETH – very tough. “Ruby” is the def and a reference to a wedding anniversary. TIETH is “draws old”.
11 MOUSS,AKA – MOUSS sounds like “mousse”; “picked up” is the homophone indicator.
13 [-l]AU(THO)R[-a]
14 (ALAS USE PROGRAM)* – MASSAGE PARLOUR. Loved the definition: “Establishment to manipulate, and more”.
16 FLEA IN ONE’S EAR – “shell-like” is slang for “ear”, as in “a word in your shell-like”.
18 S,TUBBS – tricky if you’ve never seen the BBC comedy series “The League of Gentlemen”, in which Edward and Tubbs run the local shop (“there’s nothing for you here”). Not sure how guessable this would have been without that knowledge.
20 KILKENNY – another pop culture reference, this time the US cartoon show “South Park”. At the end of every episode, one of the characters – the parka-clad Kenny – always gets killed, to the accompanying cry of “Oh my God, they killed Kenny”. Probably easy to guess from the def if you got the crossing initial K.
22 A,DJ in KIT< – TADJIK
24 P(SS)T
25 SPEED CHESS – a cryptic def I think.
3 V,AC – abbreviated form of “vacation”. I think V is “see” because it’s the IVR abbreviation for the Vatican City.
4 RA,S(T)AFARI – the Gunners here are the Royal Artillery (RA).
5 INFLATE – which is how someone with a posh accent might pronounce “in flight”.
6 KA(RM)A – RM is Resident Magistrate and KAA was the rock python on The Jungle Book.
7 V in (HER TIELESS)* – SHIRTSLEEVE. Fantastic clue with a great definition hidden in an excellent surface reading.
8 (C PRE INTERCOURSE)* – PETROCURRENCIES. Another toughie. The definition (“fuel ready”) is very good indeed.
12 S[-afet]Y,STEM BUILT – “built” came easily (sound like “Bilt” the German magazine) but it took much longer to get the first word as the wordplay was very tough.
17 OAK TREE – cryptic def referring to the Royal Oak, where Charles II hid to escape the Roundheads after the Battle of Worcester.
19 hidden reversed in “courSE DISpute”
23 DOH – Homer Simpson’s catchphrase and HOD going up.

3 Responses to “Independent 6909/Bannsider (Prize puzzle 06-12-08)”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Very tough and inventive puzzle. Re VAC, I think v. from Latin is used for see, vide, I think.

  2. Tom Johnson says:

    No — the German magazine is “Das Bild”, pronounced “bilt” but spelt as indicated.

  3. Fletch says:

    A bit easier than his last one (six towns) and I loved the League of Gentlemen and South Park clues so this gets a big thumbs up from me!

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