Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7118 by Tyrus (Saturday Prize Puzzle 8 August 2009)

Posted by duncanshiell on August 14th, 2009


I struggled with this puzzle having to return to it a number of times.  With hindsight I think that the wordplay was clever but very fair.  The definitions were well disguised which made for a very challenging puzzle .

A fairly wide range of general knowledge was required to complete the puzzle and I had to do a bit of research to confirm some of my understandings.  I detected a need to know about chemistry, biology, entertainment, latin, opera, transport, horticulture, gangs, literature and sport amongst others.

I didn’t see a Nina as I worked through, but experience tells me that there probably is something hidden in Saturday Independent Prize puzzles so I had a good look at the end. Round the outside unches, starting in the right hand column, we see GOOD LUCK AFC WIMBLEDON. Tyrus is no doubt a long standing fan of the old Wimbledon club that was unceremoniously moved up the M1 to Milton Keynes a few years ago to become MK Dons. The faithful refused to follow and created AFC Wimbledon which rose like a phoenix from the ashes in London and now holds a record for the greatest number of consecutive games unbeaten in senior football. Senior Football seems to cover a huge range of leagues and divisions. Having started life in 2002 in the Premier Division of the Combined Counties League, the club has achieved 4 promotions in 7 seasons and plays this year in the Blue Square Premier (the old Vauxhall Conference) and will be looking for promotion to the Football League at the end of this season. MK Dons play this season in League 1 of the Football League. No doubt AFC Wimbledon fans look forward to the day when their club can play MK Dons.

Overall I enjoyed this.

Wordplay Entry
6 OWN (have) contained in (to stop) BRIAN (boy’s name) BROWNIAN (reference Brownian Motion, an agitation of  particles in a colloid solution caused by the non-uniform impact of molecules in the surrounding medium).  I had heard of Brownian Motion but I certainly could not have given the definition without looking it up.
9 RE (about) containing (to bite) AMI (friend in French; mate from abroad) RAMIE (a plant of the nettle family also called rami or rhea)
10 M (Mike is M in international radio communication) + AIM (plan) MAIM (lame)
11 Anagram of (about) (S [original or first letter of Sin] and ONES and RIGHT) SHOESTRING (reference Eddie Shoestring, a private detective played by Trevor Eve in a BBC television program series of 1979/1980)
12 IDOL (someone admired) + U (united) + M (head or first letter of Marketing) IDOLUM (fallacy)
13 Hidden word (contracts) in laBEL CAN’T Offer BEL CANTO ( a style of operatic singing)
14 Anagram of (is difficult) WHAT SETTER SETS TEST THE WATERS (try to assess reaction)
17 YEW (tree; wood) reversed (back) containing (outside) (AVER [state] + L [line]) WAVERLEY (Edinburgh’s principal railway station)
19 (P [power] contained in SEED [start]) + O (old) SPEEDO (indicator of speed in a car)
21 CENTRE (rugby player) containing (takes) EMIT (issue) reversed (over) CENTIMETRE (a measure)
23 ABE (reference Abraham [Abe] Lincoln; former president) + D (last letter; conclusively of richarD) ABED (lying here)
24 FR (father) containing (out of) IRE (anger) FIRER (one shooting)
25 R (take) + fOOTBALL (what you see at Chelsea, excluding [lead from] F) ROOT BALL (mass of soil around plant)


Wordplay Entry
1 FOSSIL (very old person) reversed (rising) with F (female) replaced by M (male) LISSOM (supple; not at all stiff)
2 ONE reversed (overturned) containing (round) Z (Z-bend) ENZO (reference Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the car company)
3 DRU (sounds like [on radio] drew [portrayed]) + SILLA (sounds like  [on radio] Cilla [Black], a female TV personality) DRUSILLA (girl’s name; character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
4 TREMOR (shaking) without the final (largely) R + A all reversed (up) OMERTA (the Mafia code of honour)
5 Anagram of (slap) ONE + NATES (buttocks) NEONATES (newborn babies)
7 ROD (reference Rod Stewart, singer) containing (accepted) AL (reference Al Murray, comedian) ROALD (christian name of author Roald Dahl)
8 WOMBLESS (having no womb, therefore unable to bear children) without the final (almost) S WOMBLES (reference the Wombles of Wimbledon Common)
13 Anagram of (batted) FEEBLY without the (out) L (left) BEEFY (reference cricketer Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham)
14 Cryptic definition – RATED could be clued as the answer – TRADE OFF where ‘off’ is the anagram indicator TRADE OFF (compromise)
15 TELE (television set) + MARK (record) TELEMARK ( a skiing term for a type of turn)
16 (MALE [man] containing WifE [without the middle letters {gutted}]) reversed (about) + B (book) EWE LAMB (treasured possession)  Chambers has this hyphenated; the SOED has it as 2 words.  I can’t find it in Collins at all which seems surprising.
18 ARÈTE (ridge) reversed (climbing) containing (round) N (north) ENTERA (alimentary channels; guts)
19 CU (Chemical symbol [briefly] for copper) expressed as words that sound like (said) C and U SEE YOU (goodbye)
20 (LEWD [blue] + L [first letter of {a bit of} Luck]) all reversed (turning) DWELL (live)
22 (C [about)]+ ROT [rubbish]) all reversed (upset) TORC (metal band)

4 Responses to “Independent 7118 by Tyrus (Saturday Prize Puzzle 8 August 2009)”

  1. Indywatcher says:

    Oh how these silly ninas tire us!

  2. nmsindy says:

    Very good puzzle – I saw the Nina fairly early on, which helped me. Puzzle appeared the day AFC Wimbledon started their season in the Blue Square Premier, as you say, just one tier below the Football League. They drew 1-1 with Luton, who’d just been relegated after 89 years in the FL, thanks to a massive points deduction for financial irregularities.

  3. Paul B says:

    I expect my good friend Nicole H, a long-standing (so to speak) fan who might even have been a supporter the first time AFC came up from the deep, and a very keen crossword-solver (yes, even the ones that contain those naughty old Ninas Mr F****s so loathes), would be delighted to hear from Tyrus at one or other of the games she attends regularly. Or at one of the wacky gigs at old King’s Meadow.

    Myself, I prefer Comment 2 to Comment 1: a challenging puzzle of course – as they should be at weekends! – that’s full of fun, and very nicely-written.

  4. johnson says:

    Did we do this one? We did. Lots of hard words really, but we are grown-up almost, and it was the Saturday one. Not enough gags though.

    Can we have a Stockport County “Nina” next time please?

    The Lads.

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