Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7053 by Tees

Posted by NealH on May 25th, 2009


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

Another very difficult puzzle by Tees. I couldn’t really get going until I looked up the Laurence Sterne wikipedia entry to find the answer to the long clue starting at 20. There were a couple that I didn’t entirely follow, although I could see what the clue was getting at.

6 Abed: Abe + d. Abraham Lincoln was indeed the 16th President of the US.
10 Elgar: “Genius on pitch who might have scored in game ?”. I don’t get this one. “Genius on pitch” is obviously a musical reference to Elgar, but I don’t know what the “scored in game” is referring to. Perhaps he wrote music that’s used in some international sports event.
11 Sclerotic: (Cecil sort)*.
12 Colossi: C (Charlie in phonetic alphabet) + (is solo)<.
13 Map read: (Damp are)*.
18 For that matter: Fort + ATM in hatter.
22 Heretic: Here + t + IC.
23 Esteems: E SS around teem.
25 Nanda Devi: Hidden in “demon and a devilish”.
26 Anger: DD. One you just have to look up – Kenneth Anger.
27 Yves: V in Yes.
28 Therefrom: Ref in (more HT)<.
1 Greycoat: Category*.
2 Nigel: “Turned up at home with stage name violinist dropped”. I assume this is a referene to the violinist Nigel Kennedy, but I’m not quite sure how the mechanics of the clue work. “Turned up at home” is presumably IN<, but sure how you get gel.
3 Lords spiritual: (old ruralists)* around pi.
4 Mission: Last letter of Jerusalem + is + Sion.
5 Nelumbo: One* around (Lum + b)
7 Butterfat: (Utter f) in bat.
8 Decade: Cad in Dee.
9 Krapps Last Tape: (pla[y] as parts kept)*.
15 Deference: ER in defence (Sicilian Defence used in chess).
16 IRA: Hidden in Tiraun.
19 Hackett: Hom of “hack it”. I’m not sure exactly what American town this is referring to. There seems to be one in Arkansas and one in Wisconsin, but both are tiny.
20/14/17/21/1A The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman: &lit and anagram of the entire clue.
24 Eager: Eag[l]e over r. Dying in the sense of “dying to do something”.

16 Responses to “Independent 7053 by Tees”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Neal.

    I was hoping you were going to explain ELGAR – my reasoning went as far as yours!

    Re 2dn: I took it as ‘stage’ = ‘leg’, [as in sports], reversed.

  2. NealH says:

    I’m still a bit confused over the “name violinist dropped”. Is that some reference to the fact that Nigel Kennedy doesn’t use his first name any more or something like that ?

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi again: yes, that’s the way I took it.

  4. Richard Heald says:

    10Ac refers to Elgar’s Enigma Variations, and the fact that one variation (i.e. anagram) of ENIGMA could be IN GAME! Shades there of Brian Greer’s classic: “Wonderful score bringing me gain in game? (6,10)”.

  5. Chunter says:

    Probably not relevant in view of Richard Heald’s comment, but it’s revealed at Elgar’s Football Chant that he supported Wolverhampton Wanderers! (A long page – scroll down a bit.)

  6. IanN14 says:

    Nice one, Chunter.

    I think Richard’s is more likely, but the “we hate Nottingham Forest….” chant is possible? (Maybe not).

    I doubt the setter is a Wolves fan, though; Middlesboro would be my guess (in which case, commiserations…).

  7. Chunter says:


    Yes, as a native of Leicester (though a fan of rugby rather than roundyball), I was amused to see the reminder of “we hate Nottm Forest”!

  8. Eileen says:

    While we’re off-topic, Chunter, talking of ‘commiserations’ … :-(

  9. Chunter says:

    Thanks Eileen! Not a bad season, though, all things considered.

  10. nmsindy says:

    Very tough puzzle, with some very imaginative clues. Two minor points – in 23 ac i thought it was meet (reversed) = come together over and that the town in 19 down was HACKETT. Definitely a puzzle for a bank holiday with unusual words and literary references.

  11. Shirley says:

    Yes, quite a toughie, but I didn’t mind as I agree with you NMS about the suitability for today. (A bit different to the Rufus, which I also solved!) There were some really good clues, with ELGAR among the best, but the two biggish anagrams I thought were amazing. The Beckett one was close to &lit, or semi (?), and the Sterne one I can’t believe. I haven’t seen one that good for ages, nor with the indicator actually a part of the letters to be angrammed. The meaning of the surface was a pretty accurate description of the book, and even told me who the author was. I wonder how one goes about doing something like that.

    I thought the NIGEL one was a dig at the voilinist formerly known as Nigel Kennedy?

    Thank you to Neal for the blog, especially on his days off.

  12. Barbara says:

    The long answer is: “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy Gentleman”

    13 is: map-read

  13. NealH says:

    Bit of a rush this morning. I didn’t check what I’d written as thoroughly as I normally do.

  14. Richard says:

    Tough puzzle, yes, but very satisfying to complete.

  15. Tees says:

    Thanks indeed for the comments, and to NealH for the blog. I hope the Bank Holiday status excuses the extra toughness!

    For Richard Heald, I wasn’t aware of Brian Greer’s excellent clue – honest guv – but thanks for sharing it. He’s very good, that bloke.

    And for IanN14, I regret to say that there are worse things even than being a Middlesborough or a Newcastle fan.

  16. Al Streatfield says:

    “Genius on pitch who might have scored in game?” seems to me to be a classic example of a clue that, although it has a nice idea behind it, tries slightly too hard to be clever.

    For instance, “in game” has no explicit anagram indicator to it.

    Would you describe Elgar as a “genius on pitch”?…

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