Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7256 by Math

Posted by NealH on January 18th, 2010


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

An excellent offering from Math with some great clues. I particularly liked 12 across and the 4/13 combination was very amusing. The NINA, which appears down either side, helped me with a couple of clues that I needed to finish the puzzle. Not sure if it’s just a topical transport-related message or a reference to this group. Given there were a few other groups mentioned, that seems a possibility.

1 Sabbatical: Abba + it< in S Cal.
7 Left: Let “drinking” f.
9 Offset: DD. Offset is a botanical name for a type of shoot and the other bit is “off set”.
10 Chutzpah: Putz* in cha + h.
11 Rest: Hidden in “dire straits”.
12 Predecease: Pr[ic]e dec[r]ease.
13 Ramparts: DD/CD. Def=”encircling mounds”, butter=ram, parts=balls.
16 Tie rod: Editor*. The cryptically phrased definition made this more difficult than it first appeared.
17 Youths: Out in shy<.
19 Absentee: (Be seen at)*. Resort as an anagram indicator might be a bit of a stretch.
21 Franz Liszt: (ZZ T[op] snarl if)*.
23 Abel: &lit. A=first + be + l[iquated].
25 Opium den: U[ser] m[ay] in (dope in)*.
26 Acacia: AC(current) + ac (account) + I [p]a[y].
27 Rand: I think this is R and R shortened. Def=ready (money) in South Africa.
28 Pulled away: (A wad)< in pulley.
2 Alfie: If< in ale.
3 Bus stop: (Pots sub)<.
4 Tot up: To tup, tup being another word for a male sheep.
5 Cachets: C + [s]achets.
6 Laureates: A + R in (et al use)*. Not a reference to the singer Duffy but to the current poet laureate and her predecessor, Andrew Motion.
7 Lazy Eye: CD.
8 Flagstone: This was the only one I didn’t really follow – “Possibly set colour of colours”. Looks as if it might be something like “flags tone”, but it doesn’t quite add up.
14 Apocrypha: Pop about cry in A-ha. The apocrypha were books that never made it to the Bible, hence “bible books for some”.
15 Rustled up: D (denarius) in (pure lust)*.
18 Tongued: (got nude)*. Another great clue, although fairly easy to solve.
19 Arsenal: Arse + NA + l.
20 Niagara: Again< + odd letters of rear.
22 Trace: Charade of T + TT (=race). Def=touch.
24 Erica: Hidden in “Ledger I can’t”. Def=heath, which can refer to an Erica plant as well as an area of moorland.

11 Responses to “Independent 7256 by Math”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Thanks Neal,
    19ac. I thought resort (as in “sort again”) was an excellent anagram indicator.
    I don’t know the reason for the Nina either, is it that it’s been ages since a Math puzzle?
    Didn’t like the inclusion of 19d.
    (eimi, have the setters got together with some sort of bet?).

  2. IanN14 says:

    8d. Is, I think, “flag” = colours, “tone” = colour, therefore “flag’s tone”.
    Def: “Set” = paving stone.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Neal, as you say a good offering. Finished it, but with mistakes (had PRERELEASE at 12ac and guessed TEASE for 22dn).

    I don’t understand the wordplay for FLAGSTONES in 8dn either. And why can I never spot ninas? (Discuss.)

    Ian, I don’t have a problem with 19d. However, if the seven-letter solution had been CHELSEA, then I may have had to consider a formal complaint to eimi on the grounds of cruel and unusual punishment …

  4. IanN14 says:

    …my commiserations, K’s D.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Some excellent clues here in what I found quite a hard puzzle. I saw the Nina when I’d about 8 or 9 letters, my guess at to what it meant was the same as in comment 1 above. TIE ROD was my last and was very good, was looking for ‘ed’, also esp liked YOUTHS and LAUREATES.

  6. Ali says:

    It has been a while since we saw Math (July I think), and there were fewer puzzles in 2009 than 2008, so I’m guessing it’s a message to solvers (and possibly Eimi!). Either way, well worth the wait. Any puzzle that has music-related clues always gets my nod of approval. I found it tough though.

    I’ve no issue with it, but is missing punctuation (i.e. the comma between Motion and Duffy in the LAUREATES clue) generally acceptable?

  7. jetdoc says:

    Very enjoyable puzzle. I hadn’t spotted the Nina until I saw it mentioned here. Thanks to the Indy again for providing something a bit more challenging than the rest on a Monday.

  8. walruss says:

    Very refreshing indeed. Well done to Math.

  9. Bill says:

    Didn’t get bottom left.28a too obscure as is 13a and 22d.Other than that pleased.What is Nina????

  10. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Bill @9
    “What is Nina????”

    See the FAQ page for an explanation.

  11. Bill says:

    Thanks Gaufrid.Nina today Fireworks!
    I did this in 35 minutes which was an achievement for me.Last one I guessed was “perse” Persian Blue?

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