Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7090/Tyrus

Posted by John on July 7th, 2009


Phew! I think that was about as difficult a crossword as I’ve ever done. After nearly an hour less than half of it was completed, so I resigned myself to the full panoply of aids, short of actually looking up the answer on the website. It still took over two hours, and 7dn was wrong. This, as well as several others, leaves me bemused. From reading blogs of Tyrus’s other puzzles I see that he has been considered too hard for weekdays and has appeared almost completely on Saturdays. He’s certainly at the limit of this solver.

7/8 PAULA RADCLIFFE — (dull affair pace)*
10 RAN(SAC)KER — for a long time I thought sack was the bag and couldn’t see how a raner was a private soldier
11/19 GREAT NORTH RUN — (g turn no rather)* — a marathon, so 2. As pointed out below, I missed the word ‘half’ — yes, of course, it’s a half-marathon
12 ICE SHOW — ref. Torvill and Dean, but although they took part in ice shows I can’t see the college reference — presumably ‘who is away?’ simply is (who)*
13 IN STIL{l}
15/25D NEW(YO){a}RK — Bush once famously greeted Blair with “Yo, Blair” when he thought he wasn’t being recorded
17 NONAGON — though I can’t see why: the ‘on later’ gives the final ON and a nonagon is a figure, but …
20 writinG UNsatisfactory
23 AERO BIC — an Aero bar is an alternative to a Snickers bar
25 Y(E)ARN
26 RACEHORSE — explanation please
27 REED ORGAN — o in (gardener)*
28 UNITS — (tin)rev, in US
1 NU(is}ANCE
2 MARATHON — Martha on with the girl’s rear moved — the Marathon chocolate bar was renamed Snickers
3 KRAKOW — (a k) in (work)rev.
4 ALI G N{ervou}S — ref. Ali G. and the Staines massive
5 OFFERING — of (ref)rev. in g
7 PERSIANS — they were unsuccessful at the Battle of Marathon, but the rest of it defeats me
14 S({know}N)ICKER S — with two definitions in case you didn’t know that the Marathon bar was renamed
16 WAR-GAMER — (mara{thon} grew)*
18 NOSE RAG — (reason g{olfer})*
22 LON{e} DON
23 ARCANE — “R Cain”
24 BERLIN — for some reason — all I know is that there is a Berlin marathon

16 Responses to “Independent 7090/Tyrus”

  1. nmsindy says:

    This was very tough and very good – the theme v well integrated. Some of your points. ICE SHOW (c e who is)* RACEHORSE RACE HO R(i)SE PER SI (AN) S NO NAG ON BER (LIt)N

  2. IanN14 says:

    Thanks John, sorry it was a struggle.

    24d. LI(T) in BERN

    I really liked this one, especially clues 12ac. and especially 9d.
    Not difficult, but very tidy and satisfying.
    (These clues, I mean: I thought it was quite tough too, generally).

    Also the double definition at the end of 14d. was excellent.

  3. IanN14 says:

    Sorry nms,
    I spent so long typing my explanations, I thought I’d better check no-one had got there before me.
    Had to delete them all before sending, but 24d. escaped my notice…

  4. nmsindy says:

    PS GREAT NORTH RUN is a half marathon – the clue said this. Seeing that was how I broke into these puzzle.

  5. Ali says:

    Thanks to all for the explanations. This was very, very tough indeed. I was getting nowhere fast until AEROBIC opened up GREAT NORTH RUN and then the theme fell into place, which is just as well as I’d have never got MARATHON from that clue alone! I’d be interested to know if anybody got the Radcliffe anagram straight up too.

    It’s been a head-scratching start to the week. I’m half-expecting Scorpion, Bannsider and Nimrod before the week’s out!

  6. Jake says:

    Thanks for blog, I really enjoyed my first Tyrus puzzle. Brilliant stuff. I managed to break into it quite quickly by instantly spotting 18dn, 6dn, but took some time over the marathon theme but when figured out opened the grid somewhat.

    Ali – Radcliffe anag came quickly after 2dn was solved and with intersecting letters I entered Paula Radcliffe without spotting the anag.

    Good stuff Tyrus. I like the level difficulty. 5/5

  7. eimi says:

    I really enjoyed this one. Apologies to those who found it too tough for a Tuesday. So how about a Nestor to go with Scorpion, Bannsider and Nimrod to complete the week? Actually, only one of that quartet will appear this week and Saturday’s will be slightly easier than some weeks, I think.

  8. Simon Harris says:

    This completely beat me, second day running. I’m becoming anxious about what might be coming my way later this week!

  9. IanN14 says:

    Nimrod for me, please, eimi…

  10. Rick says:

    Much too hard for my amateur brain…

  11. Tyrus says:

    Thanks for the blog and comments.

  12. NealH says:

    I had a go at lunchtime and in half an hour managed just two clues. I reconvened in the evening and eventually managed to get enough letters to solve the Paula Radcliffe anagram, after which I was able to make good progress and finish it. The number of clues I guessed but didn’t fully understand was frustrating, so this site has been very helpful. I’m not used to the way this compiler breaks the clues down into lots of small parts which are strung together.

  13. mhl says:

    It’s a certainly a comfort to hear that other people found this very difficult! Thanks for the post and the other explanations…

  14. Richard Palmer says:

    I found this very hard going until I got 2D.
    I don’t understand the NONAGON clue at all and no-one above has offered an explanation.

  15. Gaufrid says:

    17a is NO NAG (person not going on {nagging}) ON (later).

  16. AMB says:

    I didn’t get along with this puzzle at all well. Very contrived, and precious little to smile on the way to – eventual – completion. Today’s Dac, from a different school, was a far better demonstration of the art.

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