Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6987 by Merlin

Posted by NealH on March 9th, 2009


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def

The combination of cryptic definitions and very long anagrams meant I found this quite hard going, although it was quite satisfying to get through.   It seemed to have a bit of a cockney theme.

1 Showboater: Show (present) + boater (hat).
6 Edge: Double def. To snick a ball in cricket is the same as edging it.
10 Bandana: Band + a NA. I don’t know much about Bruce Springsteen, so I assume he either wears a bandana a lot or it’s some sort of song reference.
11 Pork Pie: double/cryptic def.
12 Butcher’s hook: “Look, Sonny showed no fear — — —“. Don’t follow this apart from the definition, look = butcher’s hook.
15 Music to my ears: (assure economist)*.
17 Egg and spoon race: (Gang soon capered)*.
20 Love Actually: love act + u ally. Love Actually was a film which featured Hugh Grant (although it did have myriad other actors and plot lines as well).
24 Militia: I lit in MI a.
25 Bushman: cryptic/double def.
26 Term: hidden in mastermind.
27 Beanstalks: Beans’ talks
1 Subs: Double def (submarines/subscriptions).
2 Omnibus: (Sub MO around in)<.
3 Beauty Contests: (Cuteys not beast)*.
4 A bash
5 Esperanto: (spare note)*.
7 Diploma: Diploma[t].
8 Even: double def (even is an archaic term for evening).
9 Brahms and Liszt: double definition (high = drunk).
13 Umber: ‘Umber – the Humber estuary.
14 As set
16 Obsecrate: (Seb Coe)* around rat.
18 Growler: double def.
19 Abysmal: [b]aby’s mal.
21 Urban: [T]urban.
22 Omit: O + MIT.
23 Onus: On US.

9 Responses to “Independent 6987 by Merlin”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    12a ‘Sonny showed no fear’ BUT CHER SHOOK – a reference to Sonny and Cher.

  2. Mick h says:

    12Ac’s actually very nice (if you like that kind of thing, as I do). You have to complete the sentence: Sonny showed not fear, BUT CHER SHOOK…

  3. rayfolwell says:

    There is a minor rhyming slang here at 9D , 11 & 12 A.

    The dashes in 12A are actually — — — , which confused me ( I was trying to bring Morse Code into it !)

  4. rayfolwell says:

    In 12a there were 3 sets of 3 dashes (the mysteries of the Internet are converting these to 3 long dashes)

  5. nmsindy says:

    I also found this very tough. I thought

    I too thought this was very tough. I thought BEAUTY CONTESTS was excellent. LOVE ACTUALLY raised a smile too.

  6. mhl says:

    BUTCHER’S HOOK was very good, I thought :)

    A very enjoyable puzzle, although I was thrown by 9 down. It’s a lovely clue, and should have been quite solvable anyway, but the sense of “high” to mean “drunk” is rather the opposite of its modern usage, which misled me. Also, the checked letters in BRAHMS suggested “arches” very strongly. :)

  7. Allan_C says:

    Nice satisfying puzzle from a setter we’ve not seen for a bit (and we had a few long-time-no-see setters last week). Great stuff!

  8. Paul B says:

    Yes indeed – and BUTCHER’S HOOK so beautifully observed.

  9. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    Can’t quite decide whether the theme is just Cockney Rhyming Slang, or London. Probably just CRS, but for London we have omnibus, growler=hansom cab, and Love Actually (set in London). Less obviously, ‘umber and ‘ull pronounciations in 13, and Seb Coe (i/c London Olympics 2012) in 16.

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