Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7188 by Anax

Posted by nmsindy on October 29th, 2009


Anax has fairly recently joined the Indy team and also, I believe, sets for the Times and set one of the three puzzles used in the recent Times Crossword Championship won by Mark Goodliffe, known to solvers as Mr Magoo.     His puzzles are among the hardest in the Indy, this took me 55 mins.   Some really excellent clues, and, pretty much all fully understood with very intricate wordplay in places all stacking up in the end

* = anagram  < = reversed

1 H (hotel)  IGH SEASON   (has gone is)*     Definition:  Peak

6 ObservanT TO (for)

10 SI (LE) NCE     Took me ages to see why.    I think it’s because = since  “nurses” ie contains LikE skirts ie the outer letters of like.


12 L (E) EDS     One of only two I solved on first run through.   LEDS are displays on eg calculators.

15 C (clubs) OUP D’ETAT     My favourite clue   (up-to-date)*    with ‘Marshal’ as imperative vb used as anagram indicator.

14 R (OOT)ED    too<      Another tip-top clue with great surface.

15 A B (“bee”) LOOM

19 AUTUM N     Very subtle     (N mutua)<     N = November (phonetic alphabet)  connected with = mutual    “mostly” = take off last letter l.      Definition:  before December

20 PEOPLE   “peep’ll”    Definition: public

23 QUI (ESCEN)T       (scene)*


26 IN V(O) ICE      O = old “parts” ie divides  “firmly held” = in vice

27 RO MA (N) CE     Definition ‘court’    I think RO may be an abbrev for ‘room only’ eg from hotels but it’s not in dicts to hand.

28 H URL    Another excellent clue

29 CREW ELISTS   (it less)*


1 HA (SS) LE   24 is SHIP    hale = well

2 GOLD   EN RETRIEVER   (even terrier)*

3 SA (NDSTOR) M     Small roads = rds   (rds not)*    SAM = surface to air missile   Definition:  blast in desert

4 A (GEN C 1) ES     up main = sea<

5 OF F (CU)T

7 TRACTION ENGINES   (contain steering)*    Unusual presentation of anagram but completely sound


9 Poke ROD  & lit

16 BAPTISMAL   (Psalm a bit)*



21 METEOR   “Meatier”

22 (he)ATHENS    The other one I solved on first run through

24 Sea HIP    hip = in (fashionable)

16 Responses to “Independent 7188 by Anax”

  1. Simon Harris says:

    I must say that I thought this one was excellent. A good stiff challenge that required some quite creative thinking, but as you say, everything came together nicely and it was entirely possible to finish unaided some time later. Just right for a Thursday really.

  2. Peter says:

    Some great surface readings here. Like Dac but more difficult.

  3. anax says:

    Thanks for your kindnesses chaps! I’m wondering if any fans of a certain band will spot nine connected answers.

    R.O. or R/O. Hmm – unexpected. One of those abbreviations you see so often in holiday accommodation brochures you tend not to think twice about dictionary support. I’ve just looked. I can’t find. Mea culpa.

  4. Mick H says:

    Nope, sorry – the theme eludes me.
    Cracking crossword though. I loved PEOPLE, ATHENS and OVERTIME especially – your fellow setters are right behind you, Comrade Anax!

  5. IanN14 says:

    I’m hoping the band isn’t one that I know anything about; I’m completely stumped.
    Incidentally, anax, what have you got against Preston North End (central column)?

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    For those of us who have read the paper version of the Indy today, this slur on Preston North End will simply be accepted as a one in eight billion coincidence, like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acrostic abuse against his Democrat opponent which is discussed on page three.

    Or maybe anax knows something we don’t? Does the band come from Preston?

  7. eimi says:

    Hmm, come to think of it, he doesn’t live a million miles away from PNE.

    I couldn’t find RO either, other than on the internet, but didn’t think it would cause too many problems.

  8. anax says:

    I know nothing – the central column is pure coincidence although it’s raised a giggle now it’s been pointed out.

  9. IanN14 says:

    Oh, come on anax. The Band, The BAND!

  10. IanN14 says:


  11. anax says:

    Pretty (coincidental) please? There’s something rather appropriate about the timing of the second of those two messages!

  12. IanN14 says:

    anax, I’m in this far too deep now…
    Another clue? Initials, “birthplace”, dates?
    10 to 6? 5:42? Pretty?…
    But, yes, if you insist; pretty please…

  13. anax says:

    To be honest Ian it’s quite esoteric – you’d have to be a fan of the band to spot all nine, as several are album tracks. The band is very well known (they’ve been doing their thing since the late 1970s) but not at Rolling Stones / Who / er, Abba level, hence the theme being unannounced; it just happens they’ve written a number of songs with single, dictionary word titles (the grid also includes a common two-word phrase, one of their album tracks). When I was learning to play bass guitar – 1980-ish – their frontman was a huge influence, and I was delighted when Eimi gave this puzzle a slot just a week after the great man’s birthday.

  14. Mick H says:

    OK, well from your reference to the timing of the comment and mention of the bassist I’ve tracked it down to Level 42. I saw them once, but don’t really know the songs, but I’ve found OVERTIME and AUTUMN. Anyone else? I wonder whether Mark King does the Indy crossword – and if so whether even he spotted it!

  15. IanN14 says:

    Oh, thanks Mick.
    I’ve just checked wiki and it’s all falling into place.
    I remember the band, but, I’m afraid, was never a big fan, so I’m quite relieved, really…
    Thanks too, anax.
    By the way, do you still play the bass guitar right up high like that?

  16. anax says:

    Playing the bass like that – no, not really. It helps a lot when you’re playing slap/pull, but is awkward for fingers-over-strings playing. My memories of 1980s pop include many bassists copying Mark King’s playing position even though they weren’t playing slap/pull, which I always found rather sad and amusing.

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