Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,210 by Tyrus

Posted by Simon Harris on November 24th, 2009

Simon Harris.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

My patchy records suggest that I’ve never blogged a Tyrus before, so this was an interesting experience for me. The theme is clubs of one type or another – mostly of the London-based gentlemen’s variety, but also some football ones and some miscellaneous club-related terms for good measure.

I found this close to impossible myself, so it’ll be interesting to hear how others got on. There’s a couple I can’t fully explain.

Across
1 GROUCHO – hom. of “Marx”.
5 REFORM – RE FORM, and also hom. of “four” in REM. This one was of course immortalised by Jules Verne.
8 PRATT’S – hom. of “prats”.
9 SHALLOTS – ALL in SHOTS.
10 SILO – OIL’S*.
11 CLASS – presumably a reference to “Club Class” flight.
13 IVAN – [d]IVAN.
14 SKINHEAD – KIN and A, both in SHED.
16 DRIVER – [arthu]R in DIVER, the relevant diver being Tom Daley.
17 JAZZ UP – cd/dd.
20 ENCUMBER – C in E NUMBER.
23 WHAM – W. HAM, the football club.
24 CASTE – [los]T in CASE.
26 CLUB – CLU[e] + B. “One going after A” = B.
27 MILE HIGH – M1 + (H in LEIGH).
29 HEARTS – dd. Heart of Midlothian, another football club.
30/31 STRING FELLOWS – no idea here, though maybe I’m confused, because “Stringfellows” is really one word. I should stress that I only know that from working nearby.
Down
1 GARRICKDavid Garrick.
2 OUTWORN – (RUN TOO + W)*.
3 COSEC – C[l]OSE + C. A mathematical function.
4 OPS – SPO[t]<, Ops being a goddess.
5 RHAPSODIC – hom. of “rap” + some other stuff that I haven’t figured out.
6 FELLINI – (ELL in FIN.) + 1. Federico Fellini.
7 RETRACE – RAC in (RE + TE).
12 ADDRESS – A D DRESS.
15 EXPECTING – EXACTING, with PE for A.
18 ATHEIST – T in ([f]A[gin] + HEIST).
19 ZAMBEZI – (MB + E) in [p]IZZA[s]<.
21 MECCANO – MECCA + NO.
22 ELUATES – not sure, something to do with [c]LUES*, I imagine.
25 ETHELLETHE with the L shifted to the end.
28 HOF – H + OF.

18 Responses to “Independent 7,210 by Tyrus”

  1. nmsindy says:

    I found this the most difficult Indy puzzle of the year. Tyrus is generally very hard and includes a Nina or theme. This was really impressive, I’ll have to say. Re some queries, in 5 down SODIC = related to sodium, element no 11 in periodic table. In ELUATES, I thinks it’s ATE in (clues)* less c = about.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Simon. You had a tough one today.

    30/31 RING (band) FELL (dropped) in S (son) TOWS (pulls)
    5d RHAP (homophone of rap) SODIC (the adjectival form of sodium/soda, atomic number 11 in the periodic table)
    22d ATE (upset) in *([c]LUES)

  3. Peter says:

    Very very difficult. Managed 5 clues in 1 hour between Horsham and London Bridge, then most of the rest at lunch time but still at least 7 short.

    Seeing the answers, it all seems fair though. It’s nice to have a real toughie every now and again.

  4. nmsindy says:

    I think 30/31 is RING FELL inside S (son) TOWS (pulls)

  5. IanN14 says:

    I wasn’t sure about this one when I did it late last night, but looking at it again, I think it’s clever, but also quite difficult.
    Never heard of Pratt’s, for example.
    I think a question mark might have helped in 12d.

  6. diarib says:

    Too hard for me but interesting to see it explained.

    I would be grateful for more explanation of 2 solutions:

    14a Is the A a relative or does A=are?

    12d I can see this might be something to do with cross-dressing. But I can’t quite work out exactly how it works.

  7. Mick H says:

    Very very hard. Some excellent clues, but I fear many solvers will have got stuck less than half way as a result of not cracking the theme. A slightly kinder clue for CLUB would certainly have helped – I finally got it after guessing GARRICK, but still didn’t see the wordplay till I came here (I thought ‘this drug’ meant ‘club drug’, continuing the precedent set by ‘disco biscuit’ yesterday!)

  8. Mick H says:

    Oh, and 12d is D wearing A DRESS – very nice.

  9. nmsindy says:

    It’s a duke (D) in A DRESS, I think.

    In 14 it’s KIN (relatives) and A (are) separately in SHED, as I saw it.

  10. diarib says:

    Thanks. How is A=are justified please?

  11. IanN14 says:

    diarib,
    “a” is an abbreviation for “are”, metric measure (100 sq m).

  12. dialrib says:

    Thanks again.

  13. alanjc says:

    Beyond convoluted to be in any way enjoyable. Looking for redeeming features and can find few (learnt OPS is about it). Totally thrown by 9A for being so straightforward.

  14. Ali says:

    Well I’m glad I didn’t draw the Tuesday blog this week. This was my most humbling solve of the year.

    I managed 4 clues in my 45 minute trip to work, one of which was DRIVER, so I suspected that 26A might be CLUB, but couldn’t find any link in the wordplay. Having got no further after lunch, I gave in and came here.

    I can’t deny it’s a fine puzzle, but way too much for a weekday (though I’ll concede I doubt I’d have got much further on a weekend!). As Mick has said, a more solveable clue for CLUB would have helped. The theme clue in puzzles like this doesn’t have to be a gimme, but this one seems wilfully hard in a puzzle that’s not exactly giving much else away.

  15. Wil Ransome says:

    Quite ludicrously difficult, I thought. Some very good clues, like 12dn, but some that were gratuitously hard. And I still don’t really understand 26ac: Where does ‘clue’ come from? Simply from ‘This’? And is it that the e in the word clue is being replaced by b? Since I got this one wrong (I had MACE) it all seemed very odd.

  16. nmsindy says:

    I think you’re right about 26, Wil. Clue = this etc. Expect it was made very hard so the theme would not emerge too quickly. I guessed it after finding a few clubs.

  17. Jimbo says:

    I’m sorry, but not enjoyable at all, even knowing the answers. When you’re getting answers, but not putting them in as they still don’t make any sense, it all becomes somewhat pointless, in my ever so ‘umble…

  18. Mike Laws says:

    Far too hard for a daily crossword. After getting about ten answers in over an hour, I turned to Gordius for consolation – desperation, or what?

    26 across – I confidently put THEM in, on the grounds that 26 (Club) was the “them(e)” and Them (with Van Morrison) was a hit band.

    29 across – ref suits in playing cards. Hearts is “of a kind” with clubs.

    19 down – reversal of IZZA gives AZZI, not IZAZ, as would be required. I took “delivered” to be a seriously dodgy anagram indicator.

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