Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7131 by Mordred

Posted by duncanshiell on August 24th, 2009


I am standing in today for a regular blogger who is on holiday.  I am not a regular Independent solver and my dictionary of choice tends to be Chambers.  It is clear however that The Independent uses Collins as its ‘bible’  There were a number of definitions and abbreviations used in this crossword that I confirmed in  Collins when I couldn’t find them in Chambers, at least not directly.  For example, Hebrew=Israelite, withered=abashed, t=tempo, and definitions of spiritualism and large.

You will note that I have struggled with the wordplay on a couple.  I will be grateful for clear explanations.

A pleasant and fairly challenging start to the week.

Wordplay Entry
1 SMALL FRY – double definition, at least one cryptic – children (nippers) and very small fish. SMALL FRY
5 HE (children’s game also known as tag) + BREW (plan) HEBREW (Israelite)
10 RAF (serviceman) + FISH (search, grope) RAFFISH (vulgar)
11 PROP (support) + HET (anagram [spinning] of THE) PROPHET (spokesperson)
12 BLAN(d) (suave, endlessly without the D) + C (first letter, opening of cupbearing) BLANC (French wine)
13 BIRTH RATE (cryptic definition, birth=delivery) BIRTH RATE
14 TOIL (labour) + ET (2nd,4th letter [at intervals] of seat) + anagram of (could be) ITS USE TOILET TISSUE (cryptic definition, &Lit clue)
18 HAT (pork-pie hat) + CHET (reference Chet Baker, jazz trumpeter) + FACED (confronted) HATCHET-FACED (lean and hungry look)
21 SCAR (mark) + (T (time, tempo) contained in [between] LA and TI [musical notes]) SCARLATTI (Italian composer)
23 RHINO – double definition – African animal and slang for money (bread) RHINO
24 CHER (star of the film Moonstruck) containing V (first letter [initial] of vamp) +ON (performing) CHEVRON (shape)
25 TRACH (sounds like [according to announcer] track [line]) + EA (first letter of East and Acton) TRACHEA (tube)
26 L (line) + IS + TEN (reverse of [going back] NET [clear]) LISTEN (hear)
27 ELECT (choose) containing C (conservative) + IC (in charge) ECLECTIC (preferring a range of ideas)


Wordplay Entry
1 STROBE (cryptic definition, reference stroboscopic or flashing ight) STROBE
2 A + FF (very strong) + RAY (beam) AFFRAY (disturbance)
3 LO (see) + (INCH [short length)]containing [covering] LOT [biblical character]) LOINCLOTH (covering worn in olden or biblical days, &Lit clue)
4 Anagram of (could be) A BLAIRITE THING REHABILITATING (returning to office) touch of the &Lits here too, reference Peter Mandelson et al.
6 HOPE (reversed [raising]) containing (about) C (cold) EPOCH (period)
7 SE (South and East are opponents at bridge [leading opponents]) and HEAR is ‘catch’).  I can’t get RE from the clue, unless ‘about’ is doing double duty as a containing indicator and a definition of ‘re’, but even that doesn’t seem to work REHEARSE (train)
8 WITH (in spite of) + CRED (credibility, confidence) but then it breaks down.  I can’t see why the C goes and is replaced by an E WITHERED (abashed)
9 SPI(n) (PR without the last letter [endlessly] + RITUALISTIC (about ceremony).   SPIRITUALISTIC (not sure about the definition here, possibly to do with seances and sitting around tables to contact the afterlife, but a LIST is a table and I am not sure whether LIST is involved in the wordplay)
15 Anagaram of (brew of) BEER I AINT INEBRIATE (drunk)
16 PHYSAL (sounds like [reported] fizzle [failure]) containing [entered] IC (the ‘text’ I see) PHYSICAL (examination)
17 STEERS (pilots) containing (detaining) AM (American) STEAMERS (cooking vessels)
19 THAT containing (protects) IN (batting, at the crease) TIN HAT (helmet)
20 Anagram (arrangement) of first letters of each of Stone, Artists, Make, In, Clever, Order MOSAIC (arrangements of bits of stone) &Lit clue
22 Anagram (variation) of ELGAR LARGE (showing a greater breadth of understanding)

5 Responses to “Independent 7131 by Mordred”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Duncan
    I parsed 7d as RE (about) HEAR (catch) in front of (‘leading’) SE (opponents).

    For 8d I had WITH (in spite of) [confidenc]E RED (left)

    I think the definition in 9d is simply ‘involving table turning’ ie relating to a seance

  2. nmsindy says:

    I found this quite tough, esp NE corner. Some excellent clues, my favourite being LOINCLOTH. Re dicts, I think Chambers is used for ‘advanced’ puzzles whereas the dailies would rely more on Collins, Concise Oxford, or Oxford Dictionary of English. Column 2 may be more than coincidence and the puzzle had a number of references to prophets and the Bible.

  3. duncanshiell says:

    Indeed – I now see MALACHI (Hebrew prophet) in the second column unches

  4. Ali says:

    I found this pretty tough going, but a nice challenge for a Monday.

    Re: 3D – as I understand it, to be a true &lit, the whole clue has to be the wordplay and definition. In this case, the definition is ‘short length covering bilblical character’. The ‘see’ is – I would argue – misleadingly superfluous. In fact, having missed the ‘&lit’ aspect of the clue, I presumed that LOINCLOTH must be the name of some odd diocese!

    20D on the other hand, now there’s a good &lit!

  5. nmsindy says:

    In LOINCLOTH, I think the see in the overall reading might mean you see LOINCLOTH here so it would be an &lit OK. In any event, full and partial &lits are all valid clues.

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