Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7311 by Tees

Posted by nmsindy on March 23rd, 2010


Enjoyable, themed, puzzle from Tees, solving time 38 mins.       Very impressed with how much themed material was in the grid, without sign of strain with other answers.

* = anagram    < = reversed


1 FIGHTER    (Her gift)*    My favourite clue, along with 1 down.   Really excellent misleading surface.

5 MUST   ‘ANG      British WWII plane, like many other answers in this themed puzzle

9 Mike T(h)Y SON     I think this is the one example of a ‘fighter’  that is not a plane, ie the US boxer.  H = Henry removed from THY (your old)

10 LANC (A ST) ER      lancer = cavalryman   a small way = a st (street abbrev).    Contrary means put a st in lancer rather than the other way around, I think.    WWII plane.

11 SLEE PYHEAD      (eels)<   (he’d pay)*

14 NERVE (courage)  CENTRE (heart)

18 CH (church) LO (ROPHY) LL      Trophy less t    loll = lounge      A colouring agent

21 ULNA     Deviously hidden, with misleading context suggesting WWII.    A bone in the arm, this was my last answer.

22 HIS PAN (v)IOLA      The island that includes Haiti.    Not fully sure about the wordplay here “Swing instrument losing volume on God’s isle”     ‘iola’  looks like viola less v (volume), Pan may be the god – this leaves HIS and ‘swing’ which I cannot quite see yet how it works.

25 CHEAP (poor)  SIDE (Bank)

26 TI (B) ER     banker = river

27 RA (MP) T  ON    on = going     Secure mental hospital in Nottinghamshire

28 SENORAS    (are sons)*


1 F ET(IS)H    (the)*    My favourite clue along with 1 across

2 G (ASK) ET

3 T (tense) IN-OPENERS    (pensioner)*    Punning on the Beanz Meanz Heinz advertising slogan from way back, I guess.

4 R ALPH     Imp of the print room.    Rest refers to Coleridge poem “Kubla Khan” – “where Alph, the sacred river, ran”     ie R Alph   flower = river (it flows)

5 MUN (NUM<)   DAN (and)*  ELY = see (seat of bishop)


7 A (TT) A  IN TearS      teetotaller and Alcoholics Anonymous

8 GARDENER      A cryptic definition, I think,  referring to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, a wonder of the Ancient World     hang = suspend

13 W EL (LING) TON     WWII plane     ling = heather    Elton John

15 REPTILI AN    (I let rip)*

16 SCOUT CAR   (occurs at)*    Very well concealed anagram – got this only near the end

17 B LEN HE I’M      Another WWII plane      Len Goodman from ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

19 ‘BOMBER’ HARRIS     (Hiram’s robber)*    Working this anagram out was the breakthrough to the theme in this puzzle.    Controversial because of policy of heavy bombing of German cities in WW II.

23 PRESS    Double definition

24 S (PIT FIR) E     Another WWII plane    SE = corner  pit = hollow, fir = tree

10 Responses to “Independent 7311 by Tees”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi nms
    I parsed 22ac as HIS (God’s) PAN (swing) [v]IOLA, pan=swing in the cinematic sense.

  2. IanHH says:

    The Mustang (P-51) was actually an American fighter albeit with a British (Rolls Royce Merlin) engine

  3. Conrad Cork says:

    A real treat. It provided the joyful element lacking in the Grauniad today. And he is in the FT too. Tuesdays have been known to be much worse. Cheers.

  4. Mick Hodgkin says:

    Starting in the top left I got FIGHTER and TYSON and thought for a moment we had a fortuitously timed homage to ‘arry Carpenter!
    Good stuff anyway, I liked FETISH too. Thanks nms for explaining RALPH. I guessed it but had no idea why, I wondered whether it was anything to do with Ted and Ralph from the Fast Show. Apols to Sam T. Coleridge for the wildly inappropriate comparison!

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you for the blog, nms. Got going in the NW corner, but then ground to a bit of a halt and couldn’t finish. But I did solve 11ac and thought it was cleverly clued and very funny. On a completely trivial point, I think this is the first time I’ve seen a one word answer in the Indy clued across two numbers (SPITFIRE at 24/12). The Grauniad often does it, and I have no problem with it, but for me at least it’s a first here.

  6. Mick Hodgkin says:

    I think the convention for both seems to be that it’s OK as long as both are still real words – i.e. SPIT FIRE is OK, but GARD ENER could not be split the same way.

  7. nmsindy says:

    I’ve seen it before in the Indy, esp from memory in Phi puzzles. As you say, the two parts have themselves to be real words.

  8. Tees says:

    One of the best I’ve seen is by Enigmatist, about 100 years ago in The Anagruid, where the clue seemed to be for GENERAL ABILITY. However, ’twas not given as 7/7 but as 6/8, where the real answers were GENERA and LABILITY. Can’t quite remember how it was done, but I think you were able to have either but for the (somewhat unexpected) word count.

    Many thanks for the blog and kind comments.

  9. Allan_C says:

    Got there in the end, without completely understanding all the clues, so thanks for the explanations. The Heinz advertising from way back survives today, I believe, in that can labels read ‘Heinz Beanz’.

  10. Moose says:

    Made a good fist of this like others without really knowing how.However clues like 7d never heard of the word.Never watched strictly so I was looking for a religious angle! Ralph and Wellington because they fitted! Spitfire passed me by! Top left and bottom right were good.It was a bit like the curates egg for me!

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