Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,265/Tyrus

Posted by Ali on January 28th, 2010


We haven’t had many Tyrus puzzles, but he is for my money by far the hardest setter on the Indy team. I spent an hour tackling this online last night and managed to solve all but 10 clues. I was very pleased with that, but I then spent a further 50 mins on the bus with it this morning and got absolutely no further! So, in the interests of there actually being a blog, I’ve had to resort to the Reveal button.

Having now gone through the ones I couldn’t get, I’m consoled by the fact that I would simply never have got some of them, but equally baffled by some wordplay, so I’ll need to open this up to the great and the good for help.

Overall, this was very, very tough for a weekday, but what I managed of it was a really good, enjoyable challenge.

Oh, and there seems to be a bit of a theme with Only Fools And Horses here and it certainly helped me crack some of the clues, but not sure if there’s something bigger I’m missing.

1 MUPPET – UP + P in MET – Waldorf being one of The Muppets
5 DIPSTICK – DIP + S + TICK – Ref. OFAH. I’m no expert, but was he ever referred to as Rod? I thought it was either Rodney or Rodders
9 CHAPPELL – First one I couldn’t get. Have heard of Greg and Ian the cricketers, but who are/were the printers?
10 LOOFAH – FOOL rev. + AH!
11 UNDREAMT OF – I think this is an anagram of DATE FROM, but not sure where the UN comes from
13/17 PLAY HOOKEY – PLAY (work) + K in HOOEY
14 SEDATION – A in SED[-i]TION – I suspected this might be SEDATIVE, but couldn’t piece it together!
15 STREET – (SETTER)* – Ref. the OFAH theme song
19 GEORGICS – A quite ridiculously hard clue, not least as I’m not familar with Virgil’s work. The wordplay is GE[-t] for ‘become timeless’, then C in place of E in ORGIES for ‘unrestrained celebrations for English Conservative’
21 TIER – Hidden reversal in theatRE IT’s
23 CHANDELIER – (DELHI CRANE)* – I guess this is another OFAH reference
24 YARDIE – RAY rev. + DIE
26 NIJINSKY – Can’t quite get this one – “Jack Black is briefly captivated by popular backing dancer’
27 HEROIN – Struggling here too – ‘It’s hard to take, as Darling possibly suggested’
2 UNHINGE – Guessed this from checking letters, but can’t get the wordplay – ‘Publish complaint: ‘without leaders there’s disorder”
4 THE FAMILY – (THIEF MAY + L[-ook])
5 DEL – LED rev. – which with 25D gives is OFAH’s main character. Didn’t know that DEL was another word for NABLA, the vector operator!? That makes 2 of us
6 PILAF – L in (Edith) PIAF
7 TROOP – POO + RT rev.
8 CHARADE – DA rev. in CHAR + E[-xpress’s]
12 TANAGRA – NAG in TARA – Wikipedia doesn’t list TARA as a village in Co. Meath, so I was never gonna get this. Oh, and I’d never heard of TANAGRA either!
15 SWORDFISH – ([-di]D FOR)* in SWISH – Is Swordfish an online game?
16 REGULATOR – GUL[-l] in (TO REAR)*
18 ORIGAMI – A (one) in I’M (setter’s) GIRO (cheque) rev.
20 CHENNAI – Guessing that ‘boy upset’ gives us the NAI (IAN rev.), but can’t see the singer-songwriter connection for CHEN
22 RADII – RADI[-o]+ 1
25 BOY – Not sure here – ‘Drunken Australian let out exclamation’

13 Responses to “Independent 7,265/Tyrus”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Ali
    You picked a very tough one today! I can help to fill in some, but not all, of the gaps.

    9ac a ‘chapel’ is a printing office or an association or trade union of printing workers
    11ac ‘un’ is a dialect form of ‘one’
    26ac is IN reversed J (Jack) S (is briefly) in INKY (black)
    1dn I think is [r]UN [w]HINGE
    20dn the singer/songwriter is Leonard Cohen

    1ac and 5ac are both fools and 26ac was a horse as is 27ac (the credit for spotting this must go to Eileen, I had missed it).

  2. Gaufrid says:

    I’ve just seen 25dn – BO[oz]Y

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Finally (thanks Google) 27ac is a homophone. Grace Darling was a Victorian heroine.

  4. UncleAda says:

    25dn Bo(oz)y. But if ‘boy’ is an exclamation, anything could be.

    12dn see:-

    I gave up..

  5. Jake says:

    Good old Tyrus!

    I’m glad you blogged Ali. I’d of had no chance with this even if my
    life depended on it. I actually find Azed easier.

    This puzzle made me laugh in insane madness for being so tough.

  6. IanN14 says:

    Wow, this was difficult.
    I had to use the reveal letter option here.
    I’d NEVER have got TANAGRA, CHENNAI or GEORGICS without.
    I did spot “cushty” as a nina, but nothing else

    Well done though, Ali. The hardest daily I can ever remember…

    Here are some thoughts:
    9ac. See HERE.
    (Sorry Gaufrid, but I’d already made the link…).
    15d. Is it maybe that swordfish is a type of “game” (as in venison, say), on the end of a line?

    Sorry just checked before sending, and edited out ones already mentioned…

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Glad in one way to see all the previous comments from experienced solvers. In terms of difficulty, this wasn’t so much over my horizon as on another planet entirely. But hey, it’s only a crossword, other important stuff is happening in the world, and there’s always tomorrow’s puzzle to look forward to.

  8. nmsindy says:

    Very tough indeed with some very intricate wordplay but all stacked up in the end.
    Favourite clue, CHARADE. I missed the Fools and Horses connections of the answers in the top and bottom rows which was a nice idea.

  9. Mick H says:

    I was held up all morning by SWORDFISH and HEROIN, and would have given up had the blog been up by then, but I got there in the end. Unfortunately, by the time I saw the theme (at DIPSTICK) there wasn’t much more thematic material to add, so I just wasted time looking for somewhere to put ‘trotters’, ‘lovely jubbly’ etc.
    I can only sum this puzzle up in this scene from OFAH:
    Del Boy: One of my most favouritest meals is Duck à l’Orange, but I don’t know how to say that in French.
    Rodney: It’s canard.
    Del Boy: You can say that again bruv!

  10. walruss says:

    I also resorted to ‘reveal’, but although I found it very hard, the way the clues are put together is quite fascinating. I expect Tyrus is a ‘special treat’ for the connoissuers.

  11. Derrick Knight says:

    I, too,found this very hard. The clues are all fair but many are difficult. I found it a satisfying crossword to complete. Not too up to date with my Geography so only got CHENNAI from the wordplay, which does lead those of us who spent our teenage years sharing Leonard Cohen’s misery to the solution. I think IanN is right about 15D

  12. NealH says:

    I managed to finish this apart from the SE corner, which I just couldn’t get anywhere with (apart from chandelier). I’m not entirely sure why heroin is “hard to take” (why are there so many addicts then ?) or is it something to do with both heroin and hard being abbreviated to an H ? I probably would have got that with a slightly less cryptic def, since I had heard of Grace Darling.

  13. 4across says:

    5A dipstick could also relate to dips – takes and tick – second ??

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

eight + 6 =