Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,124 by Anax (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 15/08/09)

Posted by Simon Harris on August 21st, 2009

Simon Harris.

I haven’t blogged an Anax puzzle before – in fact I’m not sure that I’ve even seen one in the Independent. That said, the name is of course more than a little familiar to frequenters of this site.

Well, this was a wonderful crossword with some great clueing and an interesting theme. Progress was steady and satisfying, apart from the NW corner, which put up something of a fight and needed a second session to finish off.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

Across
1 NUDISTNUT “admit” DIS.
4 MARZIPAN – (MA + RAN) “to swallow” ZIP.
9 COAXIAL – COAX + 1 + AL.
11 TONE ROW – (ON TOWER)*. I got this from the anagram, but was unfamiliar with the term, GCSE music classes being as distant as they are.
12 OVOID – 0 + VOID. This one took a lot of staring at before the penny dropped.
13 UNSELFISH – [co]UNSEL + FISH.
14 EXPRESSWAY – EXPRESS WAY.
16 KILN – L with KIN around. “Firing range” is a wonderful and misleading def. here.
18 ACNE – [hidd]EN CA[mera]<.
19 CURMUDGEON – ((C + URGE) “sandwiches” MUD) + ON. “Mud” as in someone’s name being mud.
22 UNADAPTED – U[nivers] + NADA + PT + [baskervill]E + [bol]D. A quite wonderfully-worked font-themed long charade.
23 OUGHT – [n]OUGHT.
25 FARRIER – FA + (IE in RRR). “Basic education” being the three Rs.
26 CANZONI – CAN + (IN OZ)<.
27 RAMPAGES – PAGE “breaking up” RAMS.
28 EDBERGE + DB + ERG.
Down
1 NICE ONE – NONE “conceals” ICE.
2 DRACO – (0 + CARD)<.
3 SKIN-DEEP – (SEE + P) “gripping” KIND.
5 ANTISPASMODIC – (DIPSOMANIACS + T)*.
6 ZANILY – (LAZY IN)*.
7 PARTITIVE – PRIVATE* “nurses” (T[reat] + 1).
8 NOW THEN – NOWT + HEN.
10 LOUIS QUATORZE – L + OUI + SQUAT + OR + ZE. Another quite splendid charade.
15 PENTAGRAM – PEN + TAG + RAM.
17 ADJOINED – A DJ + (ONE I’D)*.
18 AQUIFER – FEAR* “about” QUI[p].
20 NOTHING – NOG with THIN “content”.
21 MANILA – (A NIL) in MA.
24 GLOVE – G + LOVE. “Kid on hand” is another wonderfully misleading definition.

7 Responses to “Independent 7,124 by Anax (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 15/08/09)”

  1. Eileen says:

    Hi Simon

    Nothing to add to your great blog, except to say that I enjoyed this puzzle immensely. I admired all the clues you mention particularly and 13ac made me laugh. I got the theme earlier than I might have done at one time, before I learned to look up words that I thought I knew the meaning of. [I got it from 4ac - I didn't know 'zip' meant nothing.]

    Many thanks, Anax – I hope it won’t be too long before the next one.

  2. Conrad Cork says:

    Ah Eileen, you haven’t read as much American trash fiction as I have, hence your knowing zip about zip. (Sorry, I’m leaving now.)

    Thanks to Anax.

  3. IanN14 says:

    I liked this one too, but was a bit disappointed anax couldn’t have tried to use “diddly-squat” somewhere in the wordplay…

  4. Ali says:

    A very nice puzzle, and certainly helped that I’d blogged Virgilius’ similar take on the same theme late last year:

    http://fifteensquared.net/2008/12/09/independent-6911dac-placeholder/

    Interestingly enough, SQAUT, which is one that Virgilius didn’t use, was my way into this puzzle.

    Am enjoying Anax’s puzzles muchly. A great addition to the fold.

  5. Fletch says:

    I was delighted to see Anax’s name again and the puzzle lived up to the high standard of his debut. A masterpiece of setting and an absolute joy to solve. Lots more please!

  6. nmsindy says:

    I agree with all the praise above, a theme exploited to the full.

  7. Alberich says:

    A terrific puzzle. Very difficult, as the clues are seamless and require a lot of grey matter to solve. Although I got “nothing” quite quickly (actually I got nothing for quite a while!) I found that the thematic clues were still hard to crack. Liked 1d and 7d particularly. It took me a long time to realise how the definition for “curmudgeon” worked or why card = book.

    The best thing about this puzzle is that despite being very hard, the clues were absolutely fair so it was a joy to keep at it, rather than a slog. Great stuff, well done.

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