Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6939 by Math

Posted by NealH on January 12th, 2009


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

1 Bored: ore in BD.
4 Games: Gas around ME.
9 Itchy: [T]itchy.
10 Solitaire: So I lit a [f]ire.
11 Scrabble: (BB + arcs)< + le.
13 Beetle: double definition.
15 Dimness: Didn’t follow this – “Untouchable’s introduction following Don’s initial stupidity.” I suppose the definition is stupidity and Don’s initial gives the D, but not sure about untouchable’s introduction.
16 Analyst: I can only suppose this is a hom of Anna Liszt, but the only Anna Liszt I can find was the mother of Franz Liszt and doesn’t seem to have been a historian.
18 Abandon: A band on.
20 Twister: Double definition. The second part is a reference to the Wizard of Oz, I think.
22 Goitre: Gore around it.
23 Prisoner: P R + is one r. Def is “one inside”.
26 Triumviri: Trium[ph] + V I + RI (vehicle registration for Indonesia). I’m not sure that the definition is technically correct. The triumviri is one of the three people sharing office, not all three.
27 Chess: C + Hess.
28 Ensue: EN + Sue. I think EN is short for Enrolled Nurse or something like that.
29 Dumps: Mud< + PS.
1 Buckram: Buck + ram. Not sure if the “sized” is part of the definition.
2 Ray: RA + last letter of photography. Reference to Man Ray, the artist, whose best known medium was photography, so could be seen as an &lit.
3 Disclosing: Di’s + closing.
4 Gala: Double definition.
5 Mathematics: Didn’t entirely follow this one – “a number of subjects to the contrary”.
6 Swiftly: Sweetly with EE replaced by if.
7 Airs: double def.
8 Deserter: (tres in reed)<.
12 Breadcrumbs: (A BBC Murder)* + s[tory].
14 Mastermind: Master + mind.
15 Draughts: aught in DR’s.
19 Asinine: A sin in E.
21 Tenders: Double def.
24 Risk: is between R and K.
25 Life: Hidden.
27 Cam: Mac<.

14 Responses to “Independent 6939 by Math”

  1. Eileen says:

    Hi Neal

    15ac: ‘I’m Ness’ [Eliot, leader of the Untouchables]
    16ac: an annalist is a writer of annals
    26ac: singular triumvir, plural triumviri

  2. Daleswoman says:

    15A D + I’m Ness (How Eliott Ness of “The Untouchables” might introduce himself)

    16 Analyst / annalist

  3. Paul B says:

    Mathematics = a subject of numbers, contrary to ‘a number of subjects’.

    Excellent puzzle.

  4. Eileen says:

    Paul B: I had the same thought re MATHEMATICS but I’m not sure a mathematician [and I’m not one] would call Mathematics a subject of numbers.

    Neal, I forgot to say that buckram is a fabric stiffened with size and so ‘sized’ is part of the definition.

  5. Mick H says:

    And then there’s the theme, signposted by the first two across clues (I spotted eight, possibly nine). 1ac could just as well hafve been BOARD, so I suppose the choice of BORED GAMES reflects Maths feelings about the Christmas break!

  6. Paul B says:

    Eileen, I merely parse what’s there to be parsed, and yet I see those charlatans at Collins opine that mathematics is ‘a group of related sciences, including algebra, geometry and calculus, concerned with the study of number’. For Chamberites it’s simply ‘the science of magnitude and number’.

    It’s the latter MATH (who with a pseudonym like that ought to know) seems to have plumped for, otherwise the indefinite article causes problems.

  7. TwoPies says:

    17a dd of identifies (shortened to id) and plural of id?

  8. Paul B says:


  9. Colin Blackburn says:

    On maths, “The study of the logical consequences of a set of axioms,” doesn’t exactly lend itself to a cryptic clue definition.

  10. Paul B says:

    No, but it’s a great name for a band.

  11. Allan_C says:

    I wondered if 1a was originally “board” and changed by the editor so as not to make the theme too obvious. But is beetle (played with dice, pencil and paper) a board game? And is there a game called Twister?

  12. TwoPies says:

    Twister is a game where you put your hands and feet on coloured circles. Board is stetching it a bit though, it’s more of a big mat!

  13. Colin Blackburn says:

    Two other games, intentional or otherwise, are “The Game of LIFE” and “The ANALYST game”. Both are relatively modern board games, though I think “The Game of Life” has been around nearly as long as Risk.

  14. Testy says:

    This had me humming REM’s Man on the Moon (“… let’s play Twister, lets play Risk. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…”

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