Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7337 / Tyrus

Posted by Gaufrid on April 22nd, 2010


Some rather tricky clues today which meant that this was far from a quick solve for me.

With hindsight everything was fair (if you have a good knowledge of Scottish geography, the first book of the Bible etc.) and any obscurities were compensated for by the final dénouement resulting from 26/3 and the left- and right-hand columns.

7 UNSTERILE  UNST (Shetland island) E[radicate] RILE (bug)
9 AMBLE  [g]AMBLE (punt’s no good)
11 GIANT  GI ANT (soldiers)
12 HOBGOBLIN  GO (work) in HOBBLIN (limpin’)
13 REBELLED  BELLE (beauty) in RED (looking embarrassed)
15 AROMA  A (one) ROMA (gypsy)
18 HOMERIC  HOME (house) RIC[h] (most wealthy)
21 GONERIL  *(ONE GIRL) – I assume the ‘thankless child’ is a reference to King Lear’s daughter.
22 MOCKS  [s]MOCKS (blouses head banned)
26/3 FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES  *(CHIEF H[ope] PALS RISING END) – the ‘(on left and right)’ refers to a synonym for friend appearing at 16dn and 17dn in the left- and right-hand columns of the grid with the rest of these columns giving Jungfrau and Pennines, the overall result being ‘friends in high places’.
28 RABBI  RABBI[t] (no time to chatter)
30 ACTON  ACT ON (don’t leave the 8 {stage})
31 AMENDABLE  D (department) in AMENABLE (open to suggestion)

1 JUNG  [tur]N in JUG (can {prison})
2 CENTRE  EN (nurse) in CT (court) RE (about)
4 SERB  S[up]ERB (ace not up)
5 MAROCAIN  *(CAN MOIRA) – a dress material finished with a grain surface like morocco leather.
8 STAGE  A in *(GETS)
10 BALFOUR  F (female) in LABOUR with LAB reversed (party half turned up) – an ironic clue because Arthur James Balfour was a Conservative politician.
14 DOG’S DINNER  DOGS (follows) D (daughter) INNER (close to 2 {centre}) and 17 {chum} is a brand of dog food (may have been 17).
17 CHUM  dd
20 RESONANT  ONAN (one at congress interupted) in REST (sleep) – a reference to Onan, the biblical character who performed coitus interruptus when having sex with Tamar.
24 LAREDO  RED (revolutionary) in LAO (Asian)
25 NABOB  BOB (Hope) AN (article) reversed
26 FRAU  FRAU[d] (endless cheating)
27/6 SEAN PENN  homophone of ‘shorn pen’ (stripped cage)
29 INES  hidden in ‘busINESsman’

16 Responses to “Independent 7337 / Tyrus”

  1. Ian says:

    Thanks Gaufrid and yes, you’re right. Quite a work out from Tyrus today. Hard wordplay throughout and seasoned with references to a Scottish footballer cum ex game show captain, a King Lear character and a less well-known Prime Minister. Something for everybody!

    Good attempt at misdirection with 13ac with ‘Re(Belle)d’, lovely wordplay for ‘Acton’ via the 8d link as well as an excellent c/ref between ‘Chum’ and ‘Dogs Dinner’

    I seem to remember a particularly difficult puzzle from this setter several weeks ago.

    52′ solving time.

  2. Derrick Knight says:

    I don’t know which I admire most here, the setter or the blogger. Sperb efforts from each.

  3. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, Gaufrid and Tyrus.

    This was a delight – with the jaw-dropping dénouement the icing on the cake. I hadn’t been able to work out the wordplay of 26,3 but, otherwise, I didn’t find it particularly obscure. I even knew the Scottish footballer, which was a surprise.

    There were far too many great clues to single any out for praise but 21ac is a superb &lit and 13ac a nice reminder of Sandy Balfour’s book ‘Pretty girl in crimson rose’, which I’d warmly recommend.

    [I knew the phrase ‘dog’s dinner’ as in ‘dressed up like a dog’s dinner’, i.e. ‘smart’ and ‘dog’s breakfast’ as a mess – but I see Chambers gives this meaning too.]

  4. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was a marvellous puzzle with some really tip-top clues, eg UNSTERILE, GONERIL, ACTON, etc etc, and the integrated theme underlying it.

    While a little harder than Indy generally is, I thought it was a little less difficult than some Tyrus Indy puzzles of the past.

  5. pat says:

    27D I always think of Sean BEAN, not Sean PENN….

  6. Richard says:

    Brilliant puzzle. It’s turning out to be yet another highly challenging (but extremely enjoyable) week in the Indy.

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Eileen
    Thanks for the reference to the book. There was an opportunity here to use the book title as the clue for 13ac and a link to its author at 10dn. It is just as well this wasn’t implemented since, though I know of the PM, I am not familiar with this author or his works and so the puzzle would have become even harder for me.

  8. Balfour says:

    Oh how I wish I’d noticed that in my youth, would have upset my parents ;)

  9. NealH says:

    After my workout yesterday, I must be in good form because I got through this in fairly reasonable time, although I did make the same mistake as Pat in putting Sean Bean (I thought there must be some obscure type of bean called a cage bean). A very enjoyable puzzle with a nice mixture of easier clues and clues that required a bit of thought.

  10. Merlyn says:

    Completely impossible for me – I got about 2, but wasn’t sure of them at all.

  11. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Apart from CHUM at 17dn (which are two pretty obscure definitions for a dd, if I’m being picky), I managed this after a lot of brain-searching. As usual, the FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES reference to the outside columns went way over my head – but it’s certainly clever, and it was a good if challenging puzzle.

    We had SEAN PENN similarly clued recently either here or in the Grauniad, when I made the same mistake as Pat and Neal; but this time put the correct answer in.

    Since Macaroni is also an anagram in 5dn I flirted with entering that, but then remembered that the clue is usually a good indication of the answer.

    Some tough ones this week in the Indy. And since we’ve got a bit more space for the puzzle, I’ll add my voice to the campaign for a bigger font size (or whatever the technical term is) for the clues. I’m happy to strain my brain doing a crossword, but not my distinctly middle-aged eyes.

    Thanks for the comprehensive blog, Gaufrid.

  12. eimi says:

    “Font size” is correct, KD, and I’m working on it from within, but the more people from without that request the same by contacting the newspaper, the more easily it will be achieved.

  13. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, eimi, I’ll fire off a green-inker to the E-in-C. As a quid pro quo, can we have a comparatively easy puzzle tomorrow, please?

  14. flashling says:

    Another vote for a larger font please Eimi, although my real bugbear is the IOS magazine, tiny font on a grey background, it’s a real struggle to read that at times. Surely the EIC realises it’s the better earning older readers who do the crosswords and our eyes need a bit of help, surely the advrtising space lost could be found elsewhere.

    Anyway good tough one today, about an hour, well plus check for guess for 5d when I got home.

  15. Allan_C says:

    Why “another actor”, not just “actor” in the clue for 27/6? Or have I missed something?

  16. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Allan_C
    I think this was an attempt to mislead the solver by getting him/her to think that ‘Cage’ referred to the actor Nicolas Cage rather than providing the homophone of ‘Penn’.

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