Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7328 by Mordred

Posted by NealH on April 12th, 2010


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

A solid rather than spectacular puzzle which I finished fairly quickly, although there were a couple that lost me completely and some others I didn’t feel entirely confident of. I found one or two of the clues a bit convoluted (e.g. 20 down), but there were also some nice ones like 1 down and 27.

1 Protract: P + tractor*.
5 Strive: Tries* around v.
9 Adjutant: A[ttack] + d[evour] + jut + ant. Termites and ants belong to completely different orders of insects, although termites are sometimes called white ants.
10 Trip up: Up after trip.
11 Moccasin: (Man Cisco)*.
12 Missis: Miss + is.
14 Ocean liner: (No reliance)*. It looks as if “on” is used as the anagram indicator, which is a new one for me. Apparently, it can mean “on the way to being drunk”, so perhaps that’s the intended use.
18 Double Take: Not totally sure on this, but seems to be a CD.
22 Entrap: Partne[r]<.
23 Optimism: Tim is in [d]op[y] m.
24 Idiocy: Even letters of “Kinda in Orczy”.
25 Anathema: Hidden in “ban a thematised” and I suppose also an &lit, since there’s no other definition.
26 Ersatz: ‘Ers ‘Ats (a titfer being tit-for-tat i.e. hat). Does anyone still talk like this in London ?
27 Eyestalk: Nice CD – what crabs use to look out from.
1 Plasma: L in Pa’s ma.
2 Object: DD.
3 Ritual: Hom of writ + initial letters of under age lad..
4 Confiscate: Con + (fit case)*.
6 Terrible: T + ere (poetic version of before) around rib + l.
7 Imposing: I’m + posing.
8 Exposure: Expo + sure.
13 Hanky-Panky: Han + ky (Kentucky) twice around Pan.
15 Adhesive: I suppose the def must be “Means by which poster is put up” but don’t follow “when replacing central character of cast ?”.
16 Sustains: Stains around US. Fox can mean to leave brown marks on paper.
17 Clean-cut: Lance* in cut.
19 Hiatus: I at U in HS.
20 Cinema: This seems to be * of [W]a[lt] + N (= bearing ?) + mice, although I’m a bit unsure of the precise dynamics of the clue.
21 Embark: “Airman receiving qualification from examination board”. The def must be board and the qualifications could be MBA or BA, but I’m lost on where the airman appears. Update – it’s ERK around MBA, erk being a term for an aircraftsman of the lowest rank..

19 Responses to “Independent 7328 by Mordred”

  1. SimonG says:

    Thanks NealH.

    I didn’t understand 21dn – I thought the clue referred to an examination board but, on reading your blog, I think it’s ERK around MBA and I have a vague memory that ERK is slang for an airman or someone in the RAF?

  2. NealH says:

    Yes, you’re right. It’s in my old Chambers dictionary – I should always remember to look there rather than at online dictionaries.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Neal
    My take on 15dn is: AD (poster) IS reversed (put up) replacing the ‘a’ in HEaVE (cast).
    I think 20dn is: [w]A[lt] below (bearing) *(MICE) containing (entertaining) N (and).
    21dn is: MBA (qualification from examination) in ERK (airman).

  4. NealH says:

    Hmm…as I said in the blog, 20 down is a touch too convoluted.

  5. NealH says:

    So 15 down must be an &lit – that too seems a bit too convoluted for my tastes.

  6. Simon Harris says:

    Seemed to get through this in reasonable time, though also with a few I didn’t fully understand, so thanks for the explanations.

    It looked for a while like the grid was going to be pangrammatic, which helped a lot with 2 and 9…but the Q and W didn’t arrive after all.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks for the blog, Neal. Finished this apart from EMBARK and EYESTALK, but got a good percentage of the answers from crossing letters and definitions rather than understanding the wordplay, which makes it a bit less enjoyable.

    A few niggles. Since ban doesn’t mean anathema, I can’t see the definition in 25ac; surely ‘aim’ and ‘goal’ aren’t separate definitions in 2dn so it’s not really a dd; ‘up’ as an anagrind didn’t work for me. Someone will no doubt put me right.

    There are still clues I don’t understand, although I got them: DOUBLE TAKE, for example. And not sure where JUT fits into 9ac or where the UP in TRIP UP comes from.

    Just as a constructive suggestion, it would be a big help to me if bloggers felt inclined to put a bit more detail in their explanations. You all do a great job – you’ve helped me loads to get better, and I know it must be time-consuming for you. But most people who blog here are clearly pretty competent solvers and will understand complicated wordplay without much clarification. Me, on the other hand … I know that folk are only to keen to explain individual questions, but there are probably lurkers who might appreciate a bit more detail as well, which just might encourage them to de-lurk.

    Just a thought – thanks again for the blog today, Neal.

  8. Gaufrid says:

    Hi K’s D
    Did you mean ‘on’ as an anagram indicator in 14ac? If so I agree with all the comments in your first paragraph.

    In 18a a ‘double take’ is a ‘delayed reaction’ and the wordplay is DOUBLE (lookalike) before TAKE (exact).

    In 9ac to ‘beetle’ means to ‘jut’. The only time I have come across this meaning is in the term beetle-browed.

    10ac is: TRIP (hallucinogenic experience) UP (high)

    Regarding your suggestion, the degree of comment/explanation in a post will usually depend on the time available for writing it. Bloggers who have a full-time job, or other commitments, will not be able to spend as much time preparing a post as those who, like myself, are retired.

    If anything is unclear just post a comment and either the blogger or someone else will almost certainly provide an explanation.

  9. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, Neal.

    I found this a mixture of some very easy and some very difficult clues with some excellent exploitation of the different meanings of words. Favourite EMBARK, also esp liked CONFISCATE.

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you Gaufrid @ no 8 for the explanations. I really appreciate the fact that you can always ask for, and get, clarifications of clues if you’re unsure.

    And yes, I did mean ‘on’ rather than ‘up’. I think after struggling with the puzzle, brain fade had kicked in …

  11. daveandtanya says:

    As regular visitors to the site – usually to get those last one or two obstinate unsolved clues – we very much appreciate the contributions from all the bloggers and commenters and are hence ‘de-lurking’ as suggested. Sometimes a little more explanation in the original post would be useful, but almost invariably any queries are addressed through comments anyway… The humour and passion from all these crossword people really makes us smile.

    And we didn’t like up as an anagram indicator in 4d

  12. Derrick Knight says:

    A note re anagram indicators: ON is used in the sense of playing; UP in the sense of rioting. Did anyone spot the Nina in the top left to bottom right diagonal?

    I am grateful to commentators for the work on some of the more difficult clues. Perhaps 20Down was rather convoluted, but I couldn’t resist the &lit.

  13. BertandJoyce says:

    We’ve been thinking of contributing for sometime now, partly as a ‘thank you’ for explanations of some of the more obscure clues. We’ve been doing Indy crosswords since the start, having migrated from the Grauniad! We have also have enjoyed Kathryn’s Dad’s contributions and thought about joining in so that he is no longer ‘the new kid on the blog’. Hence the de-lurking. We don’t start the crossword until 10pm so we can’t contribute earlier in the day.

    We really do appreciate the blogs from everyone. Thanks.

  14. eimi says:

    Welcome to the delurked lurkers. I’m very keen to have more feedback on the crosswords, much as I appreciate the contributions of the regulars.

  15. Testy says:

    OK, so ON and UP have synonyms which would make good anagram indicators (playing and rioting are both suggestive of movement) but I don’t think that means ON and UP pass muster themselves. I could almost justify UP as it creates an image of the letters being up in the air and who knows what order they may land in, but ON…? In its playing sense, to me it just implies “on stage” or “on the pitch” but doesn’t itself indicate movement in the same way that playing does.

  16. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Probably too late to be noticed, but to Dave, Tanya, Bert and Joyce, welcome to the club. Nobody will eat you for breakfast here, so keep the comments and questions coming in – good to have company on the Indy blog from other improving solvers.

  17. nmsindy says:

    Re comment #12 from Derrick, I did not see this tho I routinely look for Ninas in Mordred puzzles. Looking again now, think it may be JACKIE hidden in there.

  18. Moose says:

    Pleased that I finished about 3 quarters of this.I understand Tim in 23a but not the rest.16d Foxes meant nothing sadly but got it through synonym of bears! 6d got because it fitted but “grasping wife left?”

  19. Nick Corney says:

    Re 23ac, ‘essentially’ dopy means the contents of dopy, plus the M for maiden (cricket) , gives the OP M which ‘takes’ the TIM IS given by ‘Henman is’. Sorry but I thought these clues were mostly either too easy or too hard to be fun. I feel like Goldilocks.:(

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