Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,078/Tees

Posted by Ali on June 23rd, 2009


I struggled with yesterday’s puzzle, so was glad that this was easier to get into and finish. I can’t claim a 100% score though as I plumped for an incorrect guess at 23A. Pah! Nevertheless, this was enjoyable stuff from Tees, with some great anagrams. I liked 6D a lot.

1 POSTING – T (the Ford car) in POSING
10 ELITE – Hidden in comparativE LITErature
12 ALLOA – ALL (everything) + O (nothing) + A (close to Boudicca)
17 SIGMA – S[-t]IGMA
19 COME UP TO SCRATCH – Double def, as in ‘what the devil/dickens…?’
22 AD-LIB – A D + 1 in LB
23 CANTONESE – I guessed at CONGOLESE before looking up Guangdong on Wikipedia. Still not sure on the wordplay though – “Action peripheral to theatre complete with ties to Guangdong?”
3 IMAGINARY NUMBER – Cryptic def.
4 GETTING ON – Double def.
5 HINDI – Hidden in magwitcH IN DIckens
6 THE GLOVES ARE OFF – (LEAR VS GOETHE)* – A very nice anagram
7 ERICA – Nicely hidden in ledgER I CAlled
16 ACCLAIM – I think there’s an error here. The wordplay suggests A (leader to admonish) + CC (City Council) + MAIL rev., but that would give ACCLIAM, no?!
20 MILES – ref. Miles Davis
21 TACIT – A/C in TIT!

16 Responses to “Independent 7,078/Tees”

  1. Richard Heald says:

    Wordplay to 23Ac looks like NT ([National] Theatre) + ONE (complete) all in CASE ([legal] action).

  2. Gaufrid says:

    19a rather than a dd, I had this as COME UP TO (approach) SCRATCH (Dickens), both ‘dickens’ and ‘scratch’ are defined in Chambers as ‘the devil’.

    23a is NT (theatre) ONE (complete) in CASE (action).

  3. Mick H says:

    Thanks for the blog, Ali. I read 23ac as NT, ONE in CASE, the definition being ‘with ties to Guangdong’ (the modern Chinese name for what used to be called Canton).
    Not sure about 16dn – as you say, on the face of it something looks wrong.

  4. Colin Blackburn says:

    I think it is worth pointing out that 6d is a reverse cryptic with OFF as the anagrind and THE GLOVES ARE as the fodder leading to LEAR VS GOETHE.

  5. Conrad Cork says:

    It is also worth saying that that is one of the best anagrams of recent times. Congratulations are due.

  6. Al Streatfield says:

    Why’s Lear Vs. Goethe “one of the best anagrams of recent times”? They’re not exactly authors you would set to fight each other. (I assume Edward Lear is being referred to here. “Lear” as in “King Lear” wouldn’t work as they aren’t both authors).

    I’m tempted to say “O tempora, O mores!”.

    Mistake, as has been pointed out, in the ACCLAIM clue.

    In the ANNOYANCE clue CAN does double duty both as part of the material to be anagrammed and the anagram indicator. To make proper cryptic (although not normal) sense, it should be “ANYONE CAN can”…

    I finished the puzzle fairly quickly although didn’t particularly enjoy it. Too many mistakes, and some meaningless surface readings, e.g. “Everything and nothing close to Boudicca’s town” for ALLOA… Also didn’t understand the CANTONESE clue… Why does SCRATCH equal DICKENS? Thought the clue to IMAGINARY NUMBER was too vague… High level of subjectivity and lack of crypticity in clue to MILES: “How far ahead was composer and trumpeter?”

  7. Ali says:

    Thanks to all for the corrections and clarifications

    Re: the ANYONE CAN anagram, I see ‘produce’ here as an imperative, much as I would if it read, say, ‘anyone can change…’. The word order’s maybe not perfect, but I think it’s still cryptically sound.

  8. nmsindy says:

    I found this quite an easy puzzle with CANTONESE the trickiest. I read the ANNOYANCE one as “ANYONE CAN produce” i.e. implying the ‘produce of ANYONE CAN’ so indicating the anagram.

  9. Wil Ransome says:

    Some excellent clues, not desperately difficult, and few of the doubts I sometimes have with Tees’s crosswords. 6dn was beautiful. Pity about 16dn, which I’m sure is a mistake that slipped through the net. Agree that 3dn is a bit vague (unless there’s something there I can’t see). In 8dn how is either “fearful appearance” or “gives fearful appearance” an adequate definition of “tremble”?

  10. nmsindy says:

    I thought 3 dn was OK “It’s supposed (i.e imaginary) to be a factor in the reckoning” i.e. calculation so NUMBER. Without going too deeply into it, I thought the imaginary number might relate to complex variables i.e. the square root of minus one. Once I filled the answer in and it fit with the intersecting entries, I’d not much doubt.

  11. Fletch says:

    If you appear fearful you tremble is how I read it.

    The elementary error in 16d came as a bit of a surprise but it goes to show all setters (and eds) are fallible.

  12. Colin Blackburn says:

    Mathematically an imaginary number is a multiple of the square root of -1, i (or j if you are not a mathematician). Complex numbers comprise a real part and an imaginary part (which is a multiple of i). That probably doesn’t help much but for a cryptic def I thought it was okay given that supposed = imaginary (by extension from suppose = imagine).

  13. Al Streatfield says:

    Re.8: nmsindy says he read the ANNOYANCE clue as “ANYONE CAN produce” meaning the produce of “ANYONE CAN” indicating an anagram which produces ANNOYANCE.

    To me this doesn’t make sense. “The produce of” doesn’t cut it as an anagram indicator. For example, you wouldn’t regard “the produce of a farm…” as meaning that “a farm”‘s letters have been rearranged to make another word…

  14. Tees says:

    It’s simply ‘A (and) B produce C’, for those worried about the cryptic grammar. Two elements warrant a plural usage as far as I’m aware, so it shouldn’t grate. (Anagram fodder is subjected to all kinds of invisible twisting before the clueing is finally settled upon, at least it is by me, and I’ll probably size it up as singular or plural, in the latter case citing either ‘more than one element’ or ‘string of letters’ as reason.)

    16dn of course does grate, which is more or less entirely my fault as (a) I put it there, albeit unwittingly, and (b) it’s very hard indeed to spot.

    Apologies all round for that one, but many thanks indeed for the positive remarks.

  15. AMB says:

    In Northern Irish however, a perfectly reasonable clue.

    To be absolutely honest I didn’t even see the mistake in this otherwise superb puzzle. Extremely good clues, with Lear and Goethe making pretty good opponents as far as I could see.

  16. eimi says:

    Sorry I missed the faulty reversal in 16 Down. It’s perhaps not surprising that these errors by setters get through because we’re not accustomed to reading backwards. I wasn’t able to acknowledge the error earlier as I’ve just returned from a blissfully internet-free weekend in Italy.

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