Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7277 by Punk

Posted by nmsindy on February 11th, 2010


A joy to solve from this talented setter, showing puzzles don’t have to be hard to be good.  Maybe because I saw quite a few of the answers from the definitions and emerging crossing letters, it was an unusually fast solve for me, 14 mins.

* = anagram  < = reversed


1  SE  (Kent in the SE of England)  CURER

5 SULTANA    Double definition, with a great surface reading

9 A XI (team = eleven) OM (Order of Merit)

10 DAIRYM AID    (myriad)<     Another excellent surface

11  HOT WATER    Double definition, splitting at up/trouble.    My favourite clue


14/8 S ( (LA (P AN) D) T) ICKLE    pan = hammer = criticize  T = ending in conflict

15 BR (O OMST) ICK     (most)*   Carrying ‘bad woman’ = witch

18 REORIENTED   (One retired)*

19 E PEE     1 down = SLASH

21 PUPIL    Double definition, ref  pupil in eye, I think

23 K (I LOG) RAM    mark<

26 LOINC  LOTH    (Colin)*

27 DEIGN   “Dane”  as HCA was.

28 B (EY) ONCÉ       V popular US female singer etc  ye = you (<)


1 SLASH    Double definition

2/29  CRISTIANO RONALDO    A huge step to get this straightaway from the O at the end of 2 down.

(action L R so I ran)*  do = party.     &lit also, I guess.     Portuguese footballer, maybe the world’s best player, now with Real Madrid, previously with Man Utd.

4 RED HERRING    Something that diverts attention.

5 SHIT   (this)*

6 LO (Y ALI) ST    Muhammad Ali = boxer   y = unknown      union man = loyal to the Union eg in NI.

13 COME (H I) T   HER

14 STRIP (kit)  CLUB (bash)

16 I  (island) M (P) ARTIAL


20 GO (RD) ON RAM SAY    TV chef who I think was involved in controversy over swearing and presents programme called “The F-Word”.  I’m open to correction on these details.

way = rd = road goon = heavy = thug   ram = force   perhaps = say

This was my last answer, having considered ‘London’ and ‘golden’ as possibilities for the first word.

22 PRIVY    Double definition with another very good surface

24 MANGO   (among)*

25/7 COME AGAIN    Double definition ie please repeat that, and ‘further invitation’

10 Responses to “Independent 7277 by Punk”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks for the blog, nms.

    I don’t usually manage to finish a Punk, but got there reasonably easily with this one, which was nonetheless very enjoyable, including the usual risqué stuff. CRISTIANO RONALDO was a good start, and most of the rest fell into place afterwards, although I had to get all the crossing letters before GORDON RAMSAY made an appearance.

    I put in 5dn last, not because it was a difficult clue, but because I wasn’t convinced it would have got past eimi on the grounds of taste. Doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but I can feel a few green-inkers from Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells in the post …

  2. Ali says:

    Thanks Niall. I found this one on the easy side too, but enjoyable as always from Mr Halpern. Particularly enjoyed 5D and 24D. Simple clues, but them’s often the best ones!

  3. beermagnet says:

    I particularly enjoyed this though I spent best part of a pint at the end failing to get Gordon Ramsay (stuck thinking it musty be London something).
    Unlike his Guardian offering (no fault of Paul’s) – as I was up, I tried to tackle that online overnight with inevitable consequences – so it was a real pleasure to tackle this with pen and paper and pint by a pub fire.
    Exclamation mark written by 5D though I had no doubt it was correct – good to see Private Eye quality clues creeping into the mainstream I say. Favourite clue: Slap and Tickle.

  4. NealH says:

    Thanks for explaining Gordon Ramsay. Although I got the answer early on from the reference to cursing celebrity, I didn’t quite follow the clue (could see ram, say and rd but missed goon for heavy).

    Another double dose of Paul/Punk today. Obviously the respective editors don’t check with each other to avoid him monopolising the day’s crossword output. As a big fan of this setter, I don’t mind.

    On balance, I probably enjoyed the Grauniad one a bit more because of the theme but this one was also very good. My favourite clue was probably 15 across – it conjured up quite a nice image.

  5. Ian says:

    An evening solve after doing the same setter in the Ugnadiar this morning. Thanks for the blog nmsindy & clarifying 20/3.

    As ever with Paul/Punk, a remarkably fluid wordplay throughout with lashings of wit and cunning.

    If I was to carp at anything then Kentish for SE was a wee bit loose but apart from that everything else was top stuff.

    As regards KD’s remarks, I have to say that apart from Eddie James/Brummie’s Private Eye Clues/Solutions, I cannot remember the last time I saw this in a mainstream publication.

    I, too, finished on 5dn but was sure, after the dd answer to 1dn (which I originally inserted as short till solving hot water) turned out as slash.

  6. Richard says:

    Great fun! Had exactly the same experience with 5 down. Interesting point: although “shit” appears in Chambers Dictionary it doesn’t appear to be in the Chambers Crossword Completer – perhaps that was edited in Tunbridge Wells?

  7. Moose says:

    Finished in about an hour with some internet help(not a lot).Don’t understand 5d at all but decided it fitted. Took a long time to get 1d surprisingly.

  8. Loftypops says:

    But I think 5D is “skip”.

  9. Shamie says:

    5d , my papers clue was ‘Omit container for refuse’ ie skip. Was puzzled by comments and solution but I’m wondering if clue was changed in later edition..?

  10. nmsindy says:

    Not beyond the bounds of possibility, I’d say, Shamie at #9.

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