Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7132 by Punk

Posted by nmsindy on August 25th, 2009


A themed puzzle on the punk group  SEX PISTOLS (2 down).   The associated answers are titles of some of their best-known hits.   I found it very tough indeed.    Solving time, 70 mins.    Perhaps a favourite of the setter’s in the light of his pseudonym.

Like anyone who was around during their heyday in the late 1970s, I’d heard a lot about them though not personally familiar with their music.    It was clear from early in solving that a lot depended on 2 down and its associated answers.    Once I got the first breakthrough (21/20), it got a little easier.   Very good puzzle and I find Punk one of the finest clue writers around.   One or two wordplays I’m not quite sure of.    I got the answers from the definitions and crossing letters and I’ve checked on the website that they are right.

* = anagram    < = reversed

8/7  SOMETHING ELSE   ie not this

10 TROPHIES   “Run in game, towards first position – to win these?”    First position might be ‘top’ run could be ‘r’ or ‘hie’ perhaps, can’t see the ‘game’ so far.    Any help appreciated.


12 TEASER    “Puzzle from China, short of a gripping thing?”    Not understood.   Definition: puzzle, maybe ‘China’ has something to do with ‘tea set’.    Again, any help appreciated.

13 VAT    A in (TV)<

14 FU (LL TO) SS     Cricket

15 FORGE T (ME-N) OT     Tot = short

18 GNUS    cf guns  guts = centre

19 NEE    Hidden

21/20  PRETTY VACANT    I got this when I’d some crossing letters and it revealed the theme.

23 UNCL (OTH) E    (hot)*


25 CLUB   Excellent double definition    suit (cards)



2 S (EX PIS)TOLS    sip<  slots<     Made hard, I guess, not to give the game away.   For a while from the enumeration I thought it might start with ‘the’.    I also thought for a long time ‘my’ was part of the wordplay, but think it’s part of the definition ie my group = punk group

3 GOD SAVE THE QUEEN    Once I discovered the theme, this came straightaway.

4 SEC (RET SE) R (V) ICE   (trees)*

5 SHED   Amusing double definition.

6 ONESELF   Hidden reversal.

9 NITROGEN CYCLE   (relying on C etc)*   C = carbon (atomic symbol)

14 FRO (M CH) O ICE    (roof)*  ice = diamond   arches = M (from shape of letter, I think)

16 A (N ARC H (Y) IN T  HE)  UK     y = “why”   arc = line    hint = clue   auk = seabird.

9 Responses to “Independent 7132 by Punk”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    10a HIE (run) in SPORT (game) reversed (towards first position)

    12a TEA SER[vice]

  2. Conrad Cork says:

    10 across is ‘hie’ in ‘sport’ backwards (ie moving towards first position.

    Darned if I can sort out 12 across though.

  3. Conrad Cork says:

    Thanks Gufrid.

  4. Mick H says:

    OK, I’ve just worked 12ac out (couldn’t see it at time of solving).
    It’s TEA SER(vice).

  5. Ali says:

    Another very entertaining puzzle. I too made slow progress as I couldn’t initially work out 2D from the wordplay, but I had a lightbulb moment with the ‘my group’ link and then it clicked. Most of the related answers then went in without much consideration to the wordplay, though I’d never heard of SOMETHING ELSE and was convinced the second word must be BLUE, so fell short of a complete solve.

    Am loving Punk’s current batch of music puzzles. Hope there’s more to come.

    Absence of fortnightly Virgilius also noted. Maybe we’re in for a treat later in the week.

  6. Draig says:

    14d – I think the golden arches refers to the M for McDonalds.

  7. petero says:

    There’s more than one way to skin a cat. My entry was God save the Queen, which I got essentially from the enumeration (I had the e of the, and the v provided quick corroboration). Then for 2d, I guessed mead for the old drink, which suggested Daemons. A google of “daemons “god save the queen”‘ might well have been off beam, but turned out to be close enough to throw up several references to the Sex Pistols, which fit, and had the initial s that I was looking for. I knew nothing of the Sex Pistols beyond the title which is in Cyclops’ territory, but Wikipedia filled the gap. Incidentally, I had summarily rejected ‘the’ as the first word of 2, because of the references to ‘the 2′ in the clues.

  8. Wil Ransome says:

    This was about the most difficult puzzle I’ve ever done in the Independent (strange, because sometimes Punk is fairly easy. I wonder if he was deliberately making things tricky). Not being a fan of the Sex Ps wasn’t a help and I couldn’t be bothered to google 8/2 (never heard of it and I guessed SOMETHING BLUE) or 21/20 (again never heard of it and my guess was correct). But I had heard of GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.

  9. kurwamac says:

    It took quite a while for the penny to drop, but what gave it away was when I was staring blankly at 2 down with nothing but the O in it, it occurred to me that ‘Sid Vicious’ would fit. Which was wrong, of course, but I got the right answer immediately afterwards. I don’t suppose that was intentional, though.

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