Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,244 by Raich

Posted by Simon Harris on January 4th, 2010

Simon Harris.

Well, well! I wonder how familiar Raich will be to Independent-solving Fifteensquareders ;) I’ve tackled a few barred crosswords by Raich, including an Inquisitor that earned me a nice bottle of champagne, but I believe this is a debut as far as the weekday Independent is concerned, so congratulations to Raich.

I found this quite hard, though apart from a couple of clues I can’t really see why. Perhaps just the unfamiliarity of blogging on a Monday morning!

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

8 BASS VIOL – BASS + VIOL[ence].
9 MANQUÉ – [show]MAN QUE[stions].
10 LHASA – HAS in LA. Capital of Tibet.
11 GUNNERS – NER[d] in SNUG<.
12 POOL – dd.
13 RUT – dd.
14 AFLOAT – 0 in A FLAT.
15 MELODY – DOLE< in MY.
20 LAPSED – PS in DEAL<.
22 POT – P[ro] O[n] T[able].
23 STEP – hom. of “steppe”.
25 BLUES – BLUE + S[avings]. For me, the hardest one here. “Blues” as in “Blues and Royal”, and “blue” also being a verb meaning “to squander”.
26 UNREAL – (LEARN + U)*.
27 SERGEANT – dd., I think. Not sure who the “fabric worker” in question is.
3 GIZA – hom. of “geezer”.
4 FLIGHTYF + LIGHT + [part]Y.
5 OMENTA – OMEN + T[h]A[t].
7 RUSSIAN DRESSING – def. + cd.
13 RED – [c]RED[o].
18 EAT – E + A + T.
19 APPRISE – hom. of “a prize”.
23 SAUCER – (USE A + C[oppe]R)*.
25 BIRO – RIB< + O[xford].

23 Responses to “Independent 7,244 by Raich”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Oh, eimi,
    What have you let happen here?
    Last season’s “Big Four” in nickname form…
    Hopefully this will need to be updated in future similar puzzles?

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Simon
    27a SERGE (fabric) ANT (worker)

  3. IanN14 says:

    27ac. Serge is fabric, Ant is worker.
    Def: One in charge of private…

  4. IanN14 says:

    Sorry, G…

  5. eimi says:

    Hi Ian, yes, of course I couldn’t hold on to this puzzle for too long, as I doubt Liverpool will be in the Big Four at the end of the season, despite tomato-face’s “guarantee”.

  6. Quixote says:

    Congratulations to my loyal IOS blogger on his daily debut, with a tricky little puzzle!

  7. IanN14 says:

    Oh, well done nmsindy,
    I didn’t realise it was you.
    Just a quick word of advice if you want to re-use this puzzle in future…
    You could have sure, spry or sort for 25d., leaving 25ac. easy to fill.
    (You might also have to do something about 12ac. and 11ac…).

  8. Ali says:

    Well well indeed. Congratulations, Niall! Thoroughly deserved after some excellent thematic offerings in the last couple of years (many of which got the better of me unfortunately)

    A nice dayboo this, I have to say. Lots of short answers, many of which I found pretty tricky, but all perfectly fair. Looking forward to more in the future.

  9. walruss says:

    Well done Mister Poacher-Gamekeeper.

  10. Rishi says:

    I would think that 26ac is better annotated as
    U + (LEARN)*.

  11. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    Well done Niall – I was going to whinge slightly about the collection of three-letter answers in mid-grid but I guess the theme forced this – as usual I missed it completely, despite my “bloke” in 3D being “Gazza” for a while – bad geography leading in turn to “BASS what?” bafflement at 8A.

  12. Jim T says:

    Very nice debut. Really liked 1d.

  13. Alberich says:

    An excellent 15 x 15 debut from Raich. It was very much on the difficult side and a challenge well worth taking on. Favourite clue was 1 down, with 26 across, 4, 23 and 25 down closely following. As someone who is indifferent to football, the theme was lost on me, but that didn’t spoil it. Great stuff, hats off to Raich.

  14. Tees says:

    So many times it seems I have been on the receiving end of very kind and encouraging words from NMS, but no need for either from me today: a very strong debut, with some excellent clueing, that speaks for itself.

    Congrats and very well done, Niall.

  15. Hypnos says:

    Excellent debut and congrats to Niall. Only twigged the theme after solving OMENTA. Favourite clues: MANQUE, BALLROOM DANCING and BIRO.

  16. Raich says:

    Many thanks to Simon for the excellent blog and to all for the comments which are very much appreciated.

    Raich is not a supporter of any of the BIG FOUR clubs, but allegiances of close relations mean there is no way he could be associated with banter addressed at a team from a NW port…

  17. Bannsider says:

    Congrats on your debut Raich. I also found this tough and like others could not really see why by the end. I was stuck on 21 down for ages, even though I was looking for the fourth of the Big Four.
    Fave clues those to BALLROOM DANCING, UNREAL and MANQUE. And of course 7 down for the reference to the little Russian maestro…

  18. davey b says:

    Anyone cre to explain 7 down RUSSIAN DRESSING?

  19. Simon Harris says:

    Hi Davey – I no longer have the clue to hand, but I seem to recall it was a reference to one Andrei Arshavin. He’s a Russian footballer currently playing in the UK. After a game, he would presumably be getting dressed, so that’s the cryptic def. I think the other side to it was simply a reference to something you’d put on your food, so that’s the straighforward def.

  20. davey b says:

    Thanks Simon.

  21. bill says:

    Got anagrams and a couple more but a long way to go with these crosswords.If there is a theme no idea what it is!

  22. Simon Harris says:

    Aha. I’m guessing this must have been in the “i” today!

  23. bill says:

    Simon Yes

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