Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7203 by Hypnos

Posted by NealH on November 16th, 2009


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

A bit of mixed bag with some very nice clues but a couple of slightly weak CDs. It took me a while to understand one or two of them.


1 Cut off: C + u + toff.
4 As well as: I think this is “swell a” inside [S]AS.
9 African Elephant: CD.
11 Sarcastic: &lit. [Contemptuo]s + as in arctic.
12 Use up: I assume this is USP about EU, where USP stands for Unique Selling Point.
13 Souk: So UK.
14 Iron Maiden: Iron (de-crease) + maiden (over in cricket).
17 Andy Murray: Mu in (a dry yarn)*.
18 T-bar: R[a]bat<.
21 Uteri: I assume it’s ET< in Uri, where Uri refers to spoon-bender Uri Geller.
23 Salerooms: I thought for a while this might be some variant of auctions but that seemed too obvious. However, the actual answer hardly seems much more cryptic.
24 For Your Eyes Only: DD referring to the James Bond film.
25 Relieved: Eli inside Rev + Ed.
26 Heckle: Hidden in “check legitimately”.
1 Chassis: Took me a while to see this one – it’s Chas (Charles) sis(ter) i.e. Princess Anne.
2 Turnround: Turn + round.
3 Facial: A CIA in Fl.
5 Silicon Valley: &lit. (Lively l[o]ca[t]ions)*.
6 Espousal: ESP + o u + sal[t]. Definition is support.
7 Lease: Lee around a s. Lee is Robert E Lee, US civil war general.
8 Set upon: Set-up + on.
10 Nature Reserve: Treasure* in nerve.
15 Dubrovnik: Br in U (Unionist) v(ictory) in kind<.
16 Omnivore: A better CD.
17 Aquifer: A quir[e] about Fe.
19 Restyle: R[ac]e + hom of stile.
20 Wrasse: (Waters with t replaced by s)*.
22 Errol: ER rol[e].

7 Responses to “Independent 7203 by Hypnos”

  1. nmsindy says:

    I found this quite tricky esp SW corner. Favourite clues SILICON VALLEY and ERROL. In DUBROVNIK I think it’s just u = unionist with the D coming from kind (reversed) as indicated. Enjoyable puzzle.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Enjoyed it; some clever clues, especially 5dn, but couldn’t finish the SE corner. 15d was a step too far for me, I’m afraid, and I didn’t help myself by putting SALESROOM for 23ac.

  3. Wil Ransome says:

    As I often find with Hypnos, all went smoothly and then I met a brick wall. It didn’t help that I had TIE UP for 12ac (makes sense: EU in tip) and so had to invent the word expatiae for 6dn.

    I can’t see why advance = set-up in 8dn.

    9ac struck me as in the same league as those teatime teasers Damian Eadie produces on Countdown.

  4. Allan_C says:

    I hit the same brick wall as Wil, thinking 12a ought to be ‘tie up’ so that ‘expatiae’ (to expatiate can be to wander around – hence unususal beliefs???) would fit 6d except there’s no such word and the wordplay didn’t make sense apart from ‘ex’ for ‘old’. So I had to admit defeat and look it up here this morning. Doesn’t help that USP isn’t in my everyday vocabulary.

    23a was one of those barely cryptic clues that make you think your answer can’t be right until you’ve got a few checking letters and when you realise it is right it’s a bit of an anticlimax.

  5. NealH says:

    I agree with you on tie up – I had exactly the same thing for a long time.

  6. Richard says:

    I had tie-up as well – hence couldn’t get 6 down.

  7. pennes says:

    i found this tricky and was not helped by having christies instead of salerooms for 23ac; it is a bit of a weak clue. no chance on dubrovnik then but “Split’s associated with this” is a very good and deceptive definition

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