Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7142 (Sat 5 Sep) Bannsider

Posted by beermagnet on September 11th, 2009


I’m looking very hard but I can’t see a Nina in this one (I completely failed to see the Nina in last Saturday’s). Nevertheless, a pretty tough puzzle which is what we expect to get from Bannsider.

Help requested with 8D, and analysis may be lacking elsewhere.

1 DAVID MILIBAND D[ead] AVID (keen) MILI[tary] (fighting banishing right wing)? BAND (party) Not sure about the MILI wordplay. I certainly needed a few crossing letters to spot this but the keen/avid synonym was the key
9 COBBLESTONE COBBLE (mending at last) (SET ON)* AInd: running
10 FOE Reverse hidden in hugE, OFfensive. First answer I got
11 WHALER W[eight], HALER (comparatively fit)
12 JIGGERED G[rand], GERE (Hollywood actor, Richard Gere) replacing the HA (a bit of a laugh) in JIHAD. Jiggered brings to mind exclamations by characters like Captain Haddock
13 ROISTS (IS SORT)* AInd: to crash. Roist is an unusual word more well known in the term roister-doister
14 ENTRY FEE ENTRY (Log) FE (Iron) E (point) Slangy definition: Causing damage to contestants. Damage as in “what’s the damage?”=”How much must I pay for that comestible?”
17 HOGSHEAD HOGS (takes up all space) HEAD (in van) As may be expected, I am very familiar with this both as the container and the pub chain, but suffered self-inflicted trouble by writing in HOGHEADS and not noticing for some time
19 SQUINT SQUIT (contemptible person) around (protecting) N[ame] Definition: Peer, initially had me thinking of House of Lords and “pee-er” (the sign of a surfeit of Cyclops and Paul?)
21 ENGENDER ENG (tongue) ENDER (closer) Last answer entered as I was very unsure how engender it means bear till I looked up engender to be reminded about its sense of procreate, thus bear children
23 GANDER G[ood], ANDER[s] (Swede cut) I supposed Anders to be a stereotypical swedish name
25 IDE IDE[s] IDES (Time to finish off Caesar) without (lacking) S (salad starter) That damn fish again
26 SCHMALTZIER (ZILCH MASTER)* AInd: gets fixed. Delivered a great fillip when I cracked this anagram after tentatively setting aside the trailing letters IER expecting an answer that is a comparative and starting at the unlikely single-vowelled collection of remaining letters
27 RUN A TIGHT SHIP RUN (effectively manage) A TIGHTS (a pair of leggings) HIP (with it)
1 DUCKWORTH-LEWIS WI (West Indies) inside DUCK (batting debacle) and all but last letter of (virtually) WORTHLESS (useless) For those who don’t know it is clearly defined in the clue as a: way to get a result.
2 VIBRATING VI (sex, in latin!) B-RATING (less than top marks) One of the last answers I put in – and even after I had I was unsure till I saw this wordplay, thinking that it was some sub-Cyclopsian CD:
Swinging sex getting less than top marks (9)
3 DILBERT Def: Character in strip. (TRIED)* AInd: exotic around (clothing) LB (cLuB regularly) Famous in IT offices world-wide
4 IN SE Hidden in cousINS Effectively. A simple hidden which is just as well for a term I had never encountered before but findable in Chambers given “I- S-” where short def. given as: In itself. Which fits the def in the clue: apart from relations
5 IVORIANS IVOR (Welshman) IANS (Scots) Not the first Africans to spring to mind but again the wordplay is classic crosswordese clarity
6 AVENGER AVENGER[s] Ref the old 60s TV series Steed and Emma Peel etc. Is an Avenger the personification of Fury? Because “Fury, perhaps” appears to be the only definition.
8 DEAD-LETTER DROP Help please. I can see this is defined by the first phrase but can’t decode the rest of the wordplay:
In place of secret messages, very permissive chap takes miss out (4-6,4)
15 FRIEDRICH DD/CD FRIED and RICH are “food types avoided by weight watchers” Could of sworn I’d seen a similar clue based on Friedrich/Fried-rice but can’t find it on Fifteensquared search
16 TAKE THAT DD/CD Take That are a hugely successful boy band from the 90s, 80% reformed after a 10 year break.
18 HANDS-ON HAND (help, as in lend a hand) SON (youth)
20 QUARTET QUARTER – R, T[eam] Take That are a Quartet since reforming without Robbie Williams
22 GREER [a]GREER Adding an A (an article) results in “one concurring”. The feminist referenced is probably the most well-known: Germaine
24 YANG Final letters of lovelY PamelA StephensoN BiG Probably the easiest clue of the bunch but my favourite:
Tips from lovely Pamela Stephenson – Big Yin’s partner (4)

11 Responses to “Independent 7142 (Sat 5 Sep) Bannsider”

  1. Quixote says:

    Very=dead, permissive chap=letter, miss out=drop, I reckon

  2. beermagnet says:

    Thanks for the early comment Don. I never considered a straight charade thinking the out must be a container indicator (clearly not an anagrind).
    [I’m away till next week now.]

  3. nmsindy says:

    This was a brilliant puzzle, I thought. Very hard but satisfying to finish and great misdirection all through. In 1 across, I think it may be MILItary “to banish right wing” ie the second half of the word.

  4. Duggie says:

    I’m surprised no one has commented on the general brilliance of Bannsider’s clues. With hardly an anagram in sight, he reaches his final flourish – Yang. That clue alone is worth all the rest: it tells a funny story, conjuring up an image of PS dispensing her wise counsel while flaunting her best bits, as BC stands by, banjo at the ready (yes my imagination is fertile). Nearly all the clues are like this, miniature essays painting entertainingly deceptive pictures, often with a punch line, and not a word out of place. Oh, if only …

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Regarding 1a, military does not mean ‘fighting’ but militant does so it’s MILI[tant].

  6. Eileen says:

    Hear, hear, Duggie!

    Hi beermagnet – thanks for a great blog of a great puzzle.

    Re 6dn: “Is an Avenger the personification of Fury?” It’s the other way round: the Furies [also given the propitiatory title Eumenides [Kindly ones] were the avenging deities of Greek and Roman mythology.

  7. anax says:

    Happy memories! This was solved in the pub last Saturday prior to our gathering’s interesting attempt at cricket in Hyde Park.

    This puzzle epitomises the Bannsider style; brilliantly inventive, challenging and full of humour. Well said Duggie! To call one setter “better than all the others” would be wrong, as every setter has devotees and … well, not detractors – just solvers for whom their style doesn’t have special appeal. But Bannsider is the ultimate setter in my book and I readily confess that in writing clues I often ask myself “How would Bannsider approach it?”.

    Pure genius.

  8. anax says:


    I only mention this because the name appeared in a similar context a couple of weeks ago, and it’s a sentiment I fully agree with. The next name to look out for is Alberich of the FT. A recent addition to their team, he’s a setter who consistently marries wit, challenge and originality, and I for one believe he deserves a bigger audience.

    That’ll be £10 please Alberich.

  9. Bannsider says:

    Careful Duggie, people will suspect a Norn Iron conspiracy :-)

    Anax, I think I owe you more than a tenner for that.
    I’m only sorry I had to miss the gathering last week. If it had been a month later …
    But I did have a laugh watching the cricket highlights on YouTube!

  10. Duggie says:

    Another remarkable feature of the Coleraine Cluemaster: his choice of words. When was the last time you saw David Miliband, Duck whatsisname and Friedrich Dilbert getting jiggered (not to say schmaltzier) over a hogshead, all in the same studio? And I think he’s only one letter short of a pangram. (I know that sounds like I’m questioning his sanity, but maybe that’s what makes him pretty well unique.)

    That’ll be another tenner please – oh, and another for not turning up and leaving the NI team one short. We’ll never beat the WI again with that sort of indiscipline!

  11. eimi says:

    I thought 1 Down particularly good as West Indies were the victims of a farcical defeat in which they miscalculated the Duckworth-Lewis figures. No such problem on Saturday. If there was an Indy cricket team, Radian and Tyrus would be opening the batting on last week’s evidence.

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