Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,137/Eimi – Knowing Eimi, Knowing You, A-ha!

Posted by Ali on September 1st, 2009


A very entertaining puzzle with a lot of across answers connected to Steve Coogan’s finest creation (who can be seen at 1/3A). I spotted the name early on and, having seen I’m Alan Partridge far too many times for my own good, immediately went looking for related answers. I can definitely link BILL ODDIE, MICHAEL, TRAVEL/TAVERN, MONKEY/TENNIS, NORWICH and LYNN, but could have missed some others.

Great stuff, and thanks to Eimi for affording me the chance to write a blog full of Partridge clips. Back of the net!

Music of the day – after Wuthering Heights on ITV last night, it’s got to be a Kate Bush medley

1 ALAN – I think that this is [-cat]ALAN[-s], and possibly a football reference?
9 BILL ODDIE – ODD in BILLIE (HollidaY) – Everyone’s favourite twitcher, and friend of Partridge. He gave Alan a dressing gown as a Christmas present, but has difficulty contacting Alan because the travel tavern staff think he’s a crank caller
10 TESSA – SS in TEA
11 TRAVEL – [-quarte]T,RAVEL – Linton Travel Tavern (see 24A) is where Alan lives after his wife leaves him for a fitness instructor
13 MICHAEL – Double def. (ref. taking the Michael) – Michael is the Travel Tavern’s “work Geordie”, whose accent Alan rarely understands
14 ETA – Double def.
17 TENNIS – SIN,NET rev – which, along with….
18 MONKEY – K in MONEY – ….is the idea for a TV programme that Alan pitches in desperation to the BBC. The phrase has passed into common usage to refer to any lowest common demoninator programme
19 SPECIE – EC in SP + I.E.
21 CAM – Cryptic def.
23 NORWICH – NOW RICH with R (Labour finally) moving left – Alan’s stomping ground
24 TAVERN – V + E in TARN
28 INVERNESS – (Jules) VERNE’S in INS – I couldn’t remember if Inverness was the place to which Alan drove in his bare feet after being ‘clinically fed up’ and gorging on Toblerones, but a quick Wiki reveals that was Dundee!
31 LYNN – [-kings] LYNN – A nice double reference. Lynn is Alan’s long-suffering, underpaid assistant. He was born in King’s Lynn
1 ABBOTS – BO[-a]T in ABS
2 AWL – “All”
3 PODS – [-i]PODS
8 BORE – Double def.
14 EASY CHAIR – Cryptic def.
16 TAKE ISSUE – Cryptic def.
20 ENCASH – ENC.,ASH – ‘Get ready’ is a nice definition here
22 UNISON – S[-cab] in UNION – These people
25 ACRE – Double def. – This place
26 OVID – This must be VI in OD[-e], but not sure why VI is ‘his sex’?
29 ELY – Alternate letters of rEpLaYs

15 Responses to “Independent 7,137/Eimi – Knowing Eimi, Knowing You, A-ha!”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Ali
    The theme completely passed me by, never having seen any of Steve Coogan’s programmes, but I can help with 1a and 26d.

    1a Catalans Dragons is a French Rugby League team.

    26d Ovid was a Roman and ‘sex’ is the Latin for six so ‘his sex’ = VI (in Roman numerals).

  2. IanN14 says:

    Thanks Ali,
    I was ready with a full list myself, but I think you have everything covered.
    (Except perhaps 21ac. and 29d. may have been mentioned at some point…?).
    Anyway, here’s another link…
    Thanks, Eimi.

  3. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, Ali. This was very enjoyable throughout, although I’m a bit embarrassed about not having noticed the theme!

    Could someone possibly explain why PODS is “Grooves from groups”; I see from Chambers that a pod can be “a groove along an auger or bit” or maybe a “group” of whales, but it still doesn’t quite make sense to me.

  4. NealH says:

    I had that as a triple definition. One of the definitions of pod is “The lengthwise groove in certain boring tools such as augers.” and obviously there are also pods of whales.

    Still a bit lost on Cam though. What is the cryptic def about exactly ? Is it something to do with punting ?

  5. anax says:

    Thank you Eimi for acknowledging comedy genius – great puzzle, great theme. Dan! Dan! Dan!

    The YouTube clip I haven’t found yet is the classic “lights out” bedroom scene where nervous Alan makes silly small talk while receiving his lady’s attentions. Never have the words “Dixons” and “wheelchairs” been delivered to such side-splitting effect. Dan! Dan! Dan!

    Great stuff. Dan! Dan! Dan! Dan!

  6. Ali says:

    Anax – try here:

    Not a video clip, but given that the lights are off…..!

    Thanks for the pointers on 1A and 26D, Gaufrid. And thanks Ian for the BBC link, which has the Oddie crank call clip.

  7. anax says:

    Thanks Ali. Absolute classic.

  8. mhl says:

    NealH: the “from” made me think it wasn’t a triple definition since as a link word it tends be used as “from [susidiary]” rather than “from [definition]” (or “from [definition] [subsidiary]” as you’re saying here…) Fair enough, anyway – the subsidiary was easy to work out and the surface reading’s excellent.

    I think the cryptic part of “Rolling river?” is that the surface suggests the rolling of water while the action of a cam creates a rolling effect. (This reminded me of Charles Dodgson’s idea for carriage with out-of-phase elliptical wheels to create the pleasant sensation of a sea voyage :))

    Ali: thanks, that’s completely hilarious :)

  9. Mick H says:

    Am I the only person still using the dead tree edition? The clue for PODS in the paper was “Groups I deleted from MP3 players”, which works fine. I missed the theme too – 1ac was the only one I didn’t get.
    Personal faves today were 13 and 14ac.

  10. Paul B says:

    I saw CAM as a CD. I also saw the theme, but didn’t clock its depth due to ignorance – AP and NORWICH were as far as I could get until I had a quick delve about. A-ha, I said, repeatedly.

    Excellent puzzle with some very nice clueing, including use of Holiday – which really is spelt Holiday, Ali!

    Thanks for a great blog, too.

  11. nmsindy says:

    If it had been my blogging day, I’d have been writing “There must be a theme here but I’ve no idea what it is except it may be something to do with Alan Partridge. Please help me out.”

    Suspected before even starting that there must be some reason for the unusual grid.

    Good that, despite that ignorance, puzzle was not particularly hard to solve and I did so successfully. Esp liked MICHAEL, ETA, AIDES and AWL.

  12. eimi says:

    Thanks to Ali for an excellent detailed blog – I didn’t spot the headline opportunity using my pseudonym, so that was very nicely done. I’m extremely lucky to have got a blogger who is an AP aficionado. For men of a certain age, role models don’t come much better than Alan Partridge and Homer Simpson. I also think the ‘sex scene’ is the funniest piece of TV I’ve ever seen/heard and must have been a nightmare to film without corpsing.

    Thanks to all for the kind comments. Apologies for not being able to fit in Inner-City Sumo or Dave Clifton.

    I’m glad there are still some dead tree edition solvers, as if people don’t buy the paper there won’t be an Indy crossword to solve anywhere. I needed to cut the printed clues to fit them on the page, so I cut the PODS clue, which possibly made it better, but I couldn’t resist the two definitions of pod that were so suitable for an MP3 player.

  13. IanN14 says:

    Hello eimi,

    Aah, “Dave Clifton”…
    I suspect you’re a podcast subscriber? One that mentions Woolwich quite a lot?

  14. Mike Laws says:

    “Hello Amy” was the B-side of an Everly Brothers single in 1964.

    Agree with the treeware point – but then I’m old-fashioned – I prefer to solve with a pen and a pint, and my local doesn’t have an internet connection!

  15. IanN14 says:

    Hello Mike,
    Don’t know the song, before my time.
    But I think it is time I joined you for another pint soon?
    You need to speak to the manager and get wireless put in….

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