Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7028 / Mordred (Prize Puzzle 25-04-09)

Posted by duncanshiell on May 1st, 2009


My first attempt at blogging a daily crossword, having previously blogged The Inquisitor regularly and Guardian Genius (once so far).

I thought the clueing in this crossword was elegant with a number of &Lit clues apparent. It took me a while to solve it but I was regularly distracted by the Saturday afternoon football as I was doing it. I think I have got the wordplay in all but 6ac where I don’t understand exactly how MACAW loses the M and W to leave ACA. Perhaps I have got it completely wrong and the complete answer is not ACACIA, but I can’t identify any other possible trees ending in CIA.

Wordplay Entry
1 CESS (tax) + POOL (joint funds) CESSPOOL (sink)
6 [-m]ACA[-w] (don’t really understand why ‘listless’ removes the M and W) +CIA (spies) ACACIA (tree)
10 I ROAM (I wander) reversed MAORI (native who presumably wanders about New Zealand, &Lit clue)
11 FOLLOWING (double definition grasping/understanding and supporters/fans)
12 Anagram of (E [energy] and LATENCY) + E (last letter of ‘noble’) ACETYLENE (gas)
13 OPERA (double definition musical theatre and Latin for ‘works’) [ I think]
14 TON (century) reversed + OUT (on strike) NOT OUT (unbeaten)
15 TRAM (public transport) + MEL (Spice Girl) TRAMMEL (hindrance)
18 EMS (European Monetary System) containing BANK (e.g. Royal Bank of Scotland) EMBANKS (elevated protection)
20 ANNE (woman) + IS, all reversed SIENNA (The Edge of Love is a 2008 film starring Sienna Miller, among others)
22 COATI[-ng] (crust) COATI (omniverous mammal related to the racoon. Chambers and the Shorter Oxford have it as a carnivore, but Collins and most of the Internet references describe it as an omnivore)
24 TATTOOIST (cryptic definition, one who creates art by ‘scoring points’ on the body)
25 AP + PA (pop/father, looking left and right) + LOOS[-e] (set free, almost) + A (American) APPALOOSA (North American breed of horse)
26 SAN (hospital, cf sanatorium) + ER (emergency room/casualty in America) SANER (more healthy)
27 RATS (blast, as in ‘damn and blast’) reversed + RY (railway) STARRY (stellar)
28 B[-o]Y GEORGE (recently imprisoned pop star, lacking the first O (band) BY GEORGE (gosh!/I’m amazed!)
Wordplay Entry
1 SYMBOL (character) sounds like CYMBAL (percussion instrument)
2 BOMB (failure) below SMOKE (cigarette,/snout) SMOKE BOMB (a bomb that may cause choking from the smoke emitted)
3 COUNCIL (board) contained within PRIVY (loo/throne) and LOR (good lord!/gracious) PRIVY COUNCILLOR (royal adviser)
4 OFF (start) + BE AT (attend) OFFBEAT (a definition of some rock music)
7 IM contained in CHE (2008 film) CHIME (sound)
8 Anagram of A BLUE RAG ARGUABLE (‘that’s surely incorrect’ implies that there is an argument)
9 CLINT (Eastwood) containing E (final letter of ‘Lawrence’)’ CLIENT (patron)
16 M (mark) + ON (agreed) + SIGNOR (Italian) MONSIGNOR (ecclesiastic)
17 REDS (lefties) containing COAT (an Ulster is an overcoat) REDCOATS (British soldiers, in history)
19 SITCOM (hidden in ‘Is it comical’) SITCOM (SITCOMs are comical, at least that’s the theory, &Lit clue)
20 Anagram of A PARTY’S SATRAPY (the office of a satrap or Persion provincial governor)
21 E (English) + N (first letter, primarily, of ‘novel’) + RE (about) + TS (initial letters, origins, of ‘Tristram’ and ‘Shandy’), all reversed STERNE (Laurence Sterne, author of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, &Lit clue)
23 ALPHA (double definition – bright star and best mark)

4 Responses to “Independent 7028 / Mordred (Prize Puzzle 25-04-09)”

  1. eimi says:

    Nice debut daily blog. Re: 6A, list’s second definition in Collins is border – it was new to me, too.

  2. Duncan Shiell says:

    Thanks – Now I look more thoroughly in Chambers it’s even clearer – the second definition of ‘list’ there is ‘to remove the edge from’.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Excellent blog and excellent puzzle. Thanks for explaining SIENNA – it looked like that from the wordplay but nmsindy weakness on films meant I did not get the rest.

  4. Allan_C says:

    Thanks for the explanation of STERNE. It really couldn’t be anything else but I couldn’t quite work it out.
    BY GEORGE had me puzzled for a bit; I was trying to think of pop stars recently in trouble with the law but only Ms Winehouse and Mr Docherty came immediately to mind.
    Very subtle clueing for CLIENT, Eastwood being the birthplace of D H Lawrence.

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