Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,176/Scorpion

Posted by Ali on October 15th, 2009


I found this one a pretty tough challenge, but was very pleased to get there in the end after a slow start. There are some really nice clueing devices here, though a few may need some clarification.

1 RUTHLESS – Got this from the checking letters, but don’t understand it beyond H for Henry – “Henry’s imprisoned in half of castle in Conway – it’s brutal
9 POLY – This was the last answer I wrote in, and I got it wrong (guessing POLO). The wordplay is O in PLY I think, though not sure why ‘some of sandwich’ would be PLY if that’s the case
9 UNWRAP – [-men]U + (PRAWN)* – Loved the ‘prawn crackers’ idea here
10 NON-IRON – I think this is just NI in NORON, where NORON is ‘something’ reversible, i.e. a palindrome.
11 GREY SEAL – GEYSER with R coming back + AL[-l]
12 EXUDED – “Eggs you did” – Very nice
16 ARCTIC CIRCLE – [-b]AR][-s] + C + TIC + CIRCLE – ‘Parallel’ is a very neat definition here
19 LET OFF – L[-ov]E + TOFF
22 TRADE UP – DEU[-x] in TRAP
24 TYRE – Hidden reversal in mysERY Trip
2 UNNERVED – [-r]UN + R V in NEED
3/23 HARDY ANNUAL – Cryptic def.
4 ESPRESSO COFFEE – (SPREES)* + COS rev. + OF + FEE – Took me a while to write this in even though I suspected it as soon as I saw the clue!
5 SINGLET – SINGLE T, removal of which makes MATTERS into MATER’s
6 PRESUADER – RED,AUS,REP rev. – Great clue
7/18 LANDED GENTRY – LANDED + (ENG.)* + TRY, where ‘it’ refers back to the touchdown
14 ELABORATE – BORAT in (A[ng] LEE)* – Another fantastic clue
15 FLAPJACK – I get the F L and JACK parts here, but not sure how ‘a meal’ is A P
17 IGGY POP – PIGGY with P ‘degrading’ + OP
21 TENSE – TENS + [valentin]E

11 Responses to “Independent 7,176/Scorpion”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    1a is H (Henry) in [cas]TLE in RUSS (Conway) – Russ Conway was a popular pianist in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

    In 6a, PLY means a layer or thickness (think plywood) and a layer would be one part of a sandwich.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    15d AP is the abbreviation for ante prandium, before a meal (on prescriptions).

  3. nmsindy says:

    I think I’m getting used to Scorpion’s clueing style which is tortuous in the best sense of the word. So not exceptionally hard today. In UNNERVED, I thought it was (r)UNNER VED(vehicle tax).

    And DERRY used for the second time this week!

  4. IanN14 says:

    Some nice clues here, but 10ac. wasn’t one of them.
    “Noron” = “something reversible”?…

  5. Ali says:

    Cheers for the pointers all. And Niall’s explanation of 2D makes more sense than mine, so let’s go with that.

    10A might actually refer to this….

    …but my head hurts when I read Wikipedia articles like that, so I’m not sure!

  6. IanN14 says:

    Wow, well spotted Ali.
    I hope you’re right, but how on earth are we expected to know that?

  7. Mick H says:

    Amazing. Looks a bit like this theory being put about yesterday re the Hadron collider.

  8. eimi says:

    My brain hurts too, after that. But Scorpion’s intention was to have Northern Ireland treated as two words, so it’s N Ir in noon.

  9. IanN14 says:

    I had thought of that too, eimi, but I couldn’t justify “noon” either, (even though I have heard of noon)…
    (I think he should have lied, and gone along with Ali’s suggestion).

  10. NealH says:

    I only fell down on exuded, which I was convinced had to be something like eguméd. I can’t quite accept exuded for “eggs u did” – the eggs part is OK provided you don’t pronounce it with a hard X sound but I can’t really see how “ded” can sound like “did”. Perhaps it’s just my lack of Received Pronunciation.

  11. Mike Laws says:

    Far too covoluted for a daily puzzle.

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