Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7197 by Morph

Posted by NealH on November 9th, 2009


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

This was an excellent puzzle celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall. There were some tough clues but the presence of a theme which involved the four sectors of Berlin (French, Russian, British, American) made it a lot easier.


5,3 French Cheese: Seen< around (ch ch) inside free. I assume the definition must be "in joined up fashion", although I'm struggling to find this in any dictionaries.
6 Turpeths: Turps around the*.
9 Tastleness: Pastel with p changed to t + ess ness.
10 Estate: E(ast) state.
11 Eviction: &lit. ([Ser]v[ing] i notice)*.
12 Idle: I d[o]le.
13 Pylon: P + only*.
14 Rail: Liar<.
15 Assassin: Assessin[g] with E replaced by A.
17 Crummy: [S]crummy.
18 American Dream: A + (I can) in merd[e] + r + Mae< (Mae West).
19 Sectoral: (lost race)*.
20 Sit-ins: (snit is)*. Snit is an American/Australian term for a fit of temper (pet).
1 British Disease: (Is dishiest bare)*.
2 In a state: CD/DD.
4 Defect: DD.
6 The Berlin Wall: The + R L in (=holding power) in E W in ball.
7,14 Russian Roulette: USSR* + Ian + route around let.
8 Historic Moment: (In short time com)*.
13 Peskier: PE + skier.
16 Agents: A + gents.
17 Codist: (to disc)*.

16 Responses to “Independent 7197 by Morph”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Thanks Neal.
    5,3. I think is defined as from age “joined up” (fromage).
    Liked the theme (especially the “geography”) and the allusions to it from some other answers (4 & 16d. definitely, 13 & 15ac. probably, for example).

  2. nmsindy says:

    Yes, apt puzzle for the day, impressive to fit so much thematic material in, I found it about average in difficulty by Indy standards.

  3. Ali says:

    Thanks for explaining the from-age definition. Very cheeky that one.

    Can somebody please point me to the definition in 18A though. There’s a bit too much going on for this to be &lit. or even semi &lit. if you ask me.

    Otherwise, great stuff!

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Ali, I’m glad that someone has asked that question before I did. Can someone enlighten us both?

  5. Al Streatfield says:

    Nice puzzle, but SNIT rev. in 20 across? Ouch! I thought SIT-INS was right, but never heard of SNIT…

  6. Al Streatfield says:

    Nice puzzle, but SNIT rev. in 20 across? Ouch! I thought SIT-INS was right, but never heard of SNIT…

  7. NealH says:

    I thought that 20 across maybe just about passed muster as an &lit because it was referring to the US colonists heading West (amid endless hype) to fulfil their dream. But there may be a better explanation.

  8. anax says:

    SNIT: I was quite lucky to spot this without difficulty. Some years ago, in a Dell (US) crossword magazine, one clue led to the answer IN A SNIT, which was the first time I encountered the word and for some reason the memory of it has lodged somewhere in my brain.

    Even though I latched onto the theme I found this pretty tough thanks to some clever and devious wordplay. Very nice puzzle indeed and, as nmsindy says, Morph has done very well to get so much thematic stuff in. Surface readings suffered slightly here and there but the wordplay unravelled logically so these were very satisfying to work out. Really liked the simplicity of the DD for DEFECT.

    Good job Morph!

  9. eimi says:

    Collins defines the American dream as “the notion that the American social, economic, and political system makes success possible for every individual” – so 18A is an (admittedly convoluted) &lit. I think NealH at 7 is confusing it with the doctrine of Manifest Destiny. Never mind that, at it looks like they might be heading towards a better healthcare system. Well done, Barack.

  10. NealH says:

    I realized there didn’t seem to be a direct connection, but I was struggling to work out how the mention of West is justified in the &lit.

  11. Barbara says:

    American Dream: wordplay is:
    A +
    statement of individual potential:
    i can
    endles crap = merd(e) French and Italian for crap
    right = r
    back West = Mae (Mae West)
    Put it all together and you have:
    a mer (i can)d (3) r eaM


  12. Paul B says:

    Super puzzle, in which I rather liked the &lit at 18ac! It has not met with universal approval I note, and so being a contrary type myself I chuckled the more.

    I know ‘merde’ from French and so I’m surprised not to find it listed as a foreign word in use in English: however, we find it in SOED as MERD (from Latin merda) and in Chambers as the defining element in MERDIVOROUS. Yet to debut in Collins.

  13. NealH says:

    Thanks for your contribution, Barbara, although I have to say I’m not exactly clear how it differs from what I put in the blog.

  14. Mick H (morph) says:

    Thanks for blog, Neal, and all your comments. I realised 18ac was a bit of a stretch as a +lit, but I’m glad some of you liked it (well, OK – Paul).
    As Ian N14 notes, the geography is reflected in the grid – the Russian sector in the east (aka East Berlin), American in the south west, French in the north and British in the north west (where I briefly worked as a garden labourer at the army’s Olympic Stadium base in 1982).
    I was unable to achieve all this without ‘American Dream’ punching through the wall – but then, while that may not have been the whole story, I guess it was part of it!

  15. eimi says:

    Well I enjoyed it, Morph. As you know, I had reservations about 18A, but it was well-timed and very well-engineered. There’s some other stuff going on here elsewhere that I won’t even begin to get into. Music of the day? How about something by Comsat Angels?

  16. uncle yap says:

    I do the Indy one day later and has just admitted defeat to 5/3 and when I read the blog and the explanation, I let off “Bravo Morph!” Superb trickery.

    Very enjoyable puzzle

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