Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7107 by Monk

Posted by NealH on July 27th, 2009


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

I found this very difficult, although having finished it, the clues don’t seem that hard, so maybe I was just completely off form. Most of the clues were sound, my only quibble being that the two-word CDs didn’t have enough detail to narrow down the options easily. For example, 8 down could just as easily have been fly papers and 19 across could have been any type of cold weather hat (there didn’t seem to be any direct skiing link). 24 across was the only one I didn’t understand.

There was a NINA hidden in the middle letters of the gird across and down. This is either a culinary speciality of the compiler or, more likely, a reference to the Fast Show Sketches.

1 Moonscape: CD. It’s a reference to lunar maria.
6 Quaff: Quiff with the i replaced by a (“slightly altered by a”).
9 Spinach: Spin + ach[e].
10 Academy: Ac + made* + y.
11 Shako: Shak[e] + o.
12 Relief Map: DD ref to the Siege/Relief of Mafeking.
13 Sickbed: CD.
14 Toccata: O CC in ta ta. “Take care” here is being used here as a way of saying goodbye.
16 Rosette: Set in rote.
18 Genesis: DD.
19 Bobble hat: CD.
21 Epsom: (Composed – cod)*.
23 Erewhon: (Now + here) < and slightly altered – a work by Samuel Butler.
24 Emanate: “Discharge from bottom of sea cow found by its head”. Discharge=emanate, I suppose, but the rest ?
25 Shtum: H[alfwi]t in sum.
26 Essayette: E set around say + te.
1 Moses: Hidden in Amos + Esther. Interesting variation on the hidden words clue with an extra instruction to join the two words together.
2 Oligarchs: (lash corgi[s])*.
3 Star of Bethlehem: (h leaf bother)* in stem.
4 Adhered: Ad + HE in red.
5 Epaulet: Paul in tee<.
6 Quartercentenary: (a recent rent)* in quay.
7 Abeam: Bea (short for Beatrice) in AM.
8 Fly sprays: CD.
13 Scrubbers: S + c + rubbers.
15 Assistant: Ass ant around ist.
17 Enhance: He< + ace with N inserted in two different places.
18 Gutless: DD/CD.
20 Brest: hom. of “breast”.
22 My eye: Odd letters of “maybe typed”.

11 Responses to “Independent 7107 by Monk”

  1. IanN14 says:

    I think it’s definitely a reference to the Fast Show.
    As is, I think, 19ac. and maybe the Paul (Whitehouse) in 5d.?

  2. IanN14 says:

    24ac. Manatee with E moved to front.
    And I think you’re meant to read skier as “one who skis” in 19ac.

  3. nmsindy says:

    I too found this tough, but Monk usually is, I think. I liked SICKBED and GUTLESS.

  4. Colin Blackburn says:

    6dn is the slightly odd looking QUATERCENTENARY, ie no R. It’s the 400th anniversary apparently.

  5. Mick H says:

    Might it be the quatercentenary of ye Faste Showe?

  6. IanN14 says:

    Mick H,

    Maybe I’m reading too much into all this, but the show also features the “Suit You” shop 15d’s,
    And 25ac. could be referring to “You ain’t seen me; right?”.

    No? Oh, OK.

    (I was also desperately trying to work in an (Caroline) “Aherne” nina in the seventh column)…

  7. IanN14 says:

    …I’ll get me coat…

  8. Uncle Yap says:

    The trouble with this puzzle, in my opinion, is that it sadly lacked a sense of humour. Yes, very challenging but no occasion when I can sit back and have a chuckle about the clever word-play (like for example PIGEON LOFT in today’s Guardian). All so strait-laced and not much fun.

  9. eimi says:

    I’m not sure that’s a legitimate comment about a crossword that has CHEESY PEAS as a Nina. Perhaps it’s just a style of humour that doesn’t travel well.

  10. Paul B says:

    Well indeed: and today’s Paul, if I’m right, represents something of a return to form in the humour department. For has he not been accused (in a very gentle way, though even by his most ardent admirers) of dread seriousness over the last few offerings? So perhaps it’s not, even in oft-schoolboyish Paul’s mind, as if puzzles need to be funny or smutty to be good.

    To be pedantic, in the particular clue Yap mentions (which contains a joke that’s been used before IIRC), what’s ‘has’ doing in the anagram fodder? It’s not the only one that takes a liberty that might have been written around, and there are certain ideas – say Pyramus and Thisbe, Preston – that an uncharitable person could quite easily pull apart. Whereas Monk’s style would be to get things nice and tight.

    The above para serves only to make a point however, as in my view, the perpetrators respectively of high coos and cheesy peas are among the very best British crossword compiling currently has to offer. To be able to appreciate the work of either is a proper treat.

  11. mhl says:

    It’s amazing the things one learns from this blog – if it’s available I always order mattar paneer as a side-dish at a curry, and to this day had no idea why so many people thought that ordering “cheesy peas” was so hilarious…  :)

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