Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent Prize Crossword 7051 by Monk (23 May 2009)

Posted by duncanshiell on May 29th, 2009


A tricky challenge from Monk that took me a little while to solve.  The clues were fair and the surfaces were excellent, but some of the answers or definitions were fairly obscure – e.g. NURR, FLABBY, FABIAN, FESS, CLEAVE and NEAR THE BONE.

I am not clear on the wordplay for 12 down BABY BUGGIES and would be grateful for an explanation. I am also not 100% sure of the wordplay for 7 across NURR. I may have parsed 21 across EXEMPT wrongly, but if I haven’t, I would take issue with MP being a definition of ‘Minister’, as explained in the table below. Again, if I have got the wordplay wrong, please tell me. I would also query ‘old’ meaning ‘classic’ in 2 down OLD GLORY. Chambers Thesaurus does give this association, but I can think of a lot of ‘old’ things that could never be described as ‘classic’.

Once I had finished the puzzle I had a look at the grid for any hint of a theme or message.  I discovered LEFT OFF down the column 1 unchecked letters and RIGHT ON in the unches in column 15.

I expect you will all have noticed that the address for entries for both the Saturday Prize Crossword and The Inquisitor changed from Marsh Wall to Derry Street three weeks ago, but I must have sent at least two Inquisitors to the wrong address!

Wordplay Entry
1 LOOSE (general) + W (with) + NEMO (ref Captain Nemo from Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea) reversed (brought back) LOOSE WOMEN (‘quails’ is a Shakespearean word for ‘whores’, or ‘loose women’)’
7 RUN (manage, head)  reversed (back) containing (to hold) R (last letter [end of] ‘lover’) NURR (knot [on a tree])
9 EDUCATION (instruction) without (not given) A (answer) EDUCTION (drawing out)
10 SCAMP (monkey) + I (one) SCAMPI (food)
11 BB (bishops; one bishop is B) contained in (parting) FLAY (flog) FLABBY (plump, stout)
13 IN (during) + CITING (homophone of sighting [observation]) INCITING (subversive)
14 Anagram of (tangled with) LEECH + CRAB + NET TREBLE CHANCE (a form of competition in football pools)
17 BUTTER (flatter, as in flattery) + SCOTCH (block) BUTTERSCOTCH (toffee)
20 OLIG (the even letters [regularly]) of mOuLdInG + ARCH (principal) OLIGARCH (one of only a few rulers, ref oligarchy)
21 EX (former) + MP (MP is generally accepted to refer to a member of the House of Commons; every Department of State however has at least one Minister, or even Secretary of State who sits in the House of Lords) contained in (interrupting) ET (first and last letters [extremely]) of EloquenT EXEMPT (excuse)
22 FAB (great; fabulous) + IAN (guy, a man’s name) FABIAN (cautious)
23 BORO (Football team [eg Middlesbrough]) containing (touring) DELL (valley) BORDELLO (a place where ‘loose women [see 1 across] may work)
25 FE (iron) + SS (ship) FESS (a simple, or ordinary heraldic form)
26 ON and ON (back numbers [no]s) containing  (found in) (THE [article] + WAG  [wit]) ON THE WAGON (not drinking, dry)
Wordplay Entry
2 OLD (classic) + (L [last letter (finally) of ‘generaL’ contained in (wrapped in) GORY (bloodstained)]) OLD GLORY (The Stars and Stripes, the flag of the USA)
3 SIC (first letters of [to begin] ‘Second In Command’) SIC (Latin [language of Caesar] for ‘thus’)
4 WINY (of wine; Canary is a wine from the Canary islands) containing (having swallowed) H (hard) WHINY (crying)
5 MONKFISH (swimmer) without (avoids) F (fine) MONKISH (like Monk,  the crossword setter [me])
6 NOSES (beaks) containing (capturing) (E [English] + CON [felon]) NOSE CONES (tips of space vehicles which get very hot on re-entry to the earth’s atmosphere)
7 NE (a Geordie is from the North East of England) + anagram of (dicky) HEART + B ONE (B1 is a vitamin) NEAR THE BONE (poor)
8 RE (about) + PENT (shut up) REPENT (regret)
12 Not really sure of the word play here – may be a cryptic definition BABY BUGGIES (two year old children ride in Baby Buggies)
15 Anagram of (after being sacked) RETENTION ENTER INTO (participate)
16 AC (about) reversed (to be served up) + A + PUL (half of ‘pulled’) + CO (half of ‘cork) ACAPULCO (port in Mexico)
18 HIB (middle of [essentially] proHIBits) contained in (stopping) EXIT (way-out) EXHIBIT (display)
19 C (about) + LEAVE (drop) CLEAVE (adhere or stick, a more obscure meaning of cleave)
21 E (European) + EIRE (republic) reversed (on the rise) EERIE (strangely disturbing)
24 ETA (Greek [foreign] letter) ETA (Basque militant organisation, classified as a terrorist organisation by many Governments)

2 Responses to “Independent Prize Crossword 7051 by Monk (23 May 2009)”

  1. nmsindy says:

    I was lucky in spotting the Nina about half way thro which helped me finish. I agree with your explanation of NURR run = head i.e. to be in charge. Was happy with classic = old. I think if it’s classic as in the clue here, it’s old, but it would not work the other way around. Had the same query as you re EXEMPT. MP is a Member of Parliament. Enjoyable as always from Monk and a little easier than some of his, I found.

  2. AMB says:

    Yes, I too found this a pleasing run-out from the somewhat rarely-seen Monk. Quite tough, in line with Monday’s offering from the equally exquisite Tees, but I’m all for a harder challenge when there’s plenty of time to meet it.

    I’m a Dac fan too, but if it were possible to see more of these in my view important contributors I’d be very happy.

    Thanks Duncan for your splendid blog.

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