Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,008 by Eimi

Posted by Simon Harris on April 2nd, 2009

Simon Harris.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

This crossword was pants! Not really – it was excellent of course, but it did take “underwear” as its theme (see 3ac). Entertaining stuff, with some tough ones thrown in.

This is becoming a great week for Independent solvers, yet I note that we’re saying that almost every week now.

Across
3 WEAR – this being the only answer in the top row, all the other across answers are indeed “under WEAR”. And are underwear.
7 BODICE – BOD + ICE.
8 TEDDY – dd.
9 KNICKERS – NICKER “stuffed in” KS.
10 CILICE – CI + LICE. The answer wouldn’t be out of place in a Beelzebub, but the wordplay makes it solvable. A “cilice” is apparently a hair shirt, as worn by penitents.
11 VEST – VET “about” S.
13 CORSELETTECOLETTE “written about” R[-i]SE. I solved this rather unsportingly, by assuming that the word would come up, and looking for a slot the right size!
16 DRAWERS – dd. In fact, the across dds are really triple defs, given the theme.
19 SINGLET – dd.
21 UNDERPANTS – it doesn’t pant enough. Raised a smile.
24 SLIP – dd.
25 SMALLSS + MALLS.
27 BLOOMERS – dd.
30 TANGA – (A GNAT)<.
31 BASQUE – hom. of “bask”.
32 BRAS – BRAS[-s].
Down
1 BONN – BONN[-y].
2 BIG CAT – BIG + CAT.
3 WERE – WERE[-wolf].
4 ABUSER – AB + USER, I guess, although I struggle to explain the wordplay: “Captain Bligh perhaps”
5 ADDLE EGG – A + DD + (EG “in” LEG). Not a term I’d heard, but I got there thanks to the wordplay and a vague awareness of the Curate’s Egg.
6 SYNC – [-[-justi]N] SYNC. I’m led to believe that this is a reference to a pop group who had a member named “Justin”.
8 TACHE – TEACH*.
12 ENRONEN + RON.
13 CURRUC<.
14 SIS – SIS[-ter].
15 TREVI – ([-ol]IVER T[-wist])<.
17 WHEELING – HELL “onto” WING.
18 SKA – ASK with A “put down”.
20 IFS – dd. Ireland was once the “Irish Free State”.
22 PASTA – PAST + A. I’ve always felt “key” for “any letter from A to G” to be a bit weak, but one sees it often enough to be aware of it.
23 NOBLER – NOB[-b]LER.
24 SAMOSA – AMOS “found in” SA.
26 MYTH – MY + TH[-e].
28 ORBS – O + RBS.
29 ROUÉ – [-a]R[-g]O[-s] U[-s]E[-d].

12 Responses to “Independent 7,008 by Eimi”

  1. Ali says:

    Were you solving online by any chance? 18D in the paper was “Boris Karloff’s music?”, so I was a bit confused by your explanation!

    The slightly odd grid had ‘themed puzzle’ written all over it. Very entertaining, impressivley constructed stuff though. I particularly enjoyed ORBS and wonder if that was added in fairly recently?!

  2. Ray Folwell says:

    22D was also different in the paper – “Food that’s the finished article?”

  3. eimi says:

    One of the advantages of being crossword editor is the ability to tinker with one’s clues at quite a late stage, but I must remember to change the online version too! I did tinker with the ORBS clue, but only changing love for zero capital. I also noticed in yesterday’s footage that the symbol in front of RBS looks a bit like an O.

  4. Mick H says:

    That’s quite some feat to get all the acrosses to be types of undies – I take my hat off to you, if not my briefs!
    Re 4 down, surely it’s just that Captain Bligh, like any other sea-captain, uses ABs.

  5. Testy says:

    ADDLE EGG was new to me too and not in any of my dictionaries (although it is hinted at indirectly in my COED under ADDLE (adj.) “(of an egg) rotten”).

    The line meaning of SINGLET I could only find in the field of atomic spectroscopy (which seems a bit niche). Am I missing something? If not then I think it might have been fairer to hint at the field somehow.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was impressive. I saw the theme almost immediately, made great progress at first, but then slowed, and came to grief in the NE corner where I couldn’t finish. Favourite clue, MYTH.

  7. Duggie says:

    Great! And only one anagram! Is this a record?

  8. Simon Harris says:

    I have to admit I didn’t check SINGLET anywhere – I did just assume it was one less than a couplet :) Although the spectroscopy def is certainly obscure (if intended at all), we’re effectively given two other much more straightforward defs to work with, so maybe it all balances out.

    [Edit] Beaten to it! Thanks for clarifying, Eimi.

  9. Testy says:

    Sorry, I’ve just re-read my comment and realised it sounds wholly negative. I of course ought to have said that this was a fantastic puzzle and, as Mick H said, the grid construction alone would have been impressive enough but the clues (apart from my minor quibbles) were great too.

    I presume ADDLE EGG will turn out to be in Collins, as that is the one dictionary I don’t have and I understand it’s the one Eimi uses, but I’m still searching for a decent “line” definition for SINGLET (I was wondering if there might be some literary meaning for a single line as opposed to a couplet but I’m not sure how you could have a rhyming singlet!)

  10. eimi says:

    Thanks Testy (and others). I’m afraid addle egg was rather desperate, but the letters weren’t very promising. Addle is also mentioned in Chambers as “bad (eg of an egg)” so it is often applied to an egg, but I don’t think any of the dictionaries has the term explicitly. Apparently Cressida in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida says: If you love an addle egg as well as you love an idle head, you would eat chickens i’ the shell.

    I can understand why Nmsindy had trouble in the NE corner – SYNC was also unpromising and my original clue involved Dr Syn, but I decided that it was probably less well known than Justin Timberlake’s former band.

    The singlet is from physics, but defined as such in all three major dictionaries. The number of answers generated by trying to pack so much thematic material in the Acrosses also meant that I had to economical with the definitions, especially after I’d added SIS and SKA to the grid to help with the checking letters.

    Again, as a lot of the answers were short, there wasn’t much scope for anagrams. Had I managed to get BRIEFS in fibres would have been hard to resist, but to answer Duggie, Nestor produced a puzzle recently with no anagrams.

  11. Al Streatfield says:

    Great puzzle, if you’re into “sophisticated” (or should that be “obscure”?) adolescent rudeness.

    Shouldn’t the compiler’s pseudonym for this one have been “Arnold Layne”?

  12. eimi says:

    For those unaware of the reference, Arnold Layne is a song by Pink Floyd about a transvestite who steals women’s underwear from washing lines. Presumably sophisticated (or should that be obscure) insults are now acceptable here.

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