Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,367 by Yorick

Posted by Simon Harris on May 27th, 2010

Simon Harris.

Cursory research suggests Yorick to be a new setter for us to lock horns with, though I say that with some caution as we’ve seen familiar setters use unfamiliar pseudonyms in the past. This was an interesting puzzle, with two very long answers – anagrams of each other – forming the bulk of the across entries. Fortunately there were enough quite easy down clues to help things get going.

I’m a little surprised this one wasn’t saved for next Tuesday, which is the anniversary of the release of the album in question.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

11 BALEFUL – LAB< + E + FUL[l].
13 PAGER – (RE GAP)<.
15 ACROSS – not sure about this one. The thematic clues are both across ones, but is the setter suggesting that irate readers will be writing in? Perhaps, but that wouldn’t explain the A.
18 POM – dd. Short for “Pomeranian”, I think.
26 NOTCH – [pia]NO TCH[aikovsky].
28/30/32/1/4 SGT PEPPERS LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND – I assume this is a reference to the cover photo, which famously involved many noted individuals. There’s presumably a bit more than that going on though, with “noted” doing double duty for “famous”/”musical notes” for example.
1 HABITUAL – (AB + IT) in HAUL*.
3 TULIP – L[ook] I[nterested] in PUT<.
7 AFFABLY – FAB in (A + FLY).
8 DELUDE – LUD in DEE[d].
10 SAGA – SAG + A[pproach].
17 SOP – SO[a]P.
19 SOOTHSAY – SO + 0 + HASTY*.
20 CONCORDNCO in CORD. I’m not too well up on the armed forces, but Sergeant-Major/NCO seems like the sort of definition-by-example that riles some solvers.
22 AUSTERE – Au + TREES*. “Gold-plated” was quite nice for “it has gold (Au) on it”.
23 TROWEL – [weathe]R in TOWEL.
24 STOP – POTS<.
27 HIPPO – HIP + PO.

24 Responses to “Independent 7,367 by Yorick”

  1. Conrad Cork says:

    New? I knew him, Horatio.

  2. NealH says:

    …but you didn’t know him well.

    I struggled on the long ones with this. Unfortunately, I just took 20/17/12/31/9 to be a CD, so even after getting to “Crap lp sung by the l?d ?r?n? Beatles”, I was still scratching my head. I’m not a big fan of puzzles dominated by two or three long clues and tend to find them a bit discouraging on the grounds that the answer may be something I’m not terribly familiar with. In this case, you were obviously at an advantage if you’d heard of the anagram before.

  3. Conrad Cork says:


    No I didn’t know him well, but neither did Hamlet. ‘I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest’. (Act V Scene 1).

    The anagram is apparently quite famous. Not in my circles though. :-((

    More seriously, a Yorick is always a joy – as well as a challenge. And today’s was a virtuoso performance, getting the album and the anagram in. I’m glad nobody ever asked me to attempt anyting like it.

  4. Derrick Knight says:

    I’d never heard the anagram, but I’ll certainly remember it

  5. sidey says:

    I didn’t get, or realise it was an anagram. Shame. Apart from that rather good.

    I think 15 is simply how the thematic answers are written in the grid, weakest clue.

  6. Ali says:

    I’ve never seen the anagram before and also didn’t even spot that it was one. I was also thrown by the enumeration for SGT. for ages.

    That aside, I thought this was an impressive debut. I wonder if the setter is lurking on here?

  7. walruss says:

    Hardly a ‘crap LP’! But then I suppose this setter did not really mean that. Apart from this strange pair, some clues to enjoy here.

  8. Conrad Cork says:


    Emphatically not a debut. And he is well known to this community, but my lips are sealed.

  9. walruss says:

    I had my suspicions about this one! See under ‘entertainment’ here:

  10. NealH says:

    Conrad Cork,

    Yes, I did know that and it was the point of my joke, but obviously it didn’t entirely work.

  11. Conrad Cork says:


    Alas humour evaporates all too easily in text. Mea culpa. Should we ever meet I’ll buy you a drink. (No joke.)

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Not my tasse de thé today. As Neal says, either you get the long clues, or you don’t. And I didn’t. We’ll be having Monster Hoax by Sir Peter S next.

  13. Ian says:

    Thanks Simon.

    My heart sank like a stone on scanning the list of clues. I found this to be a trial although I got there in the end at………………. 128′.

    Clever stuff by the setter to get both the album title and the 30 letter anagram (which obviously I didn’t actually realize was an anagram) into the grid.

    Excellent clues at “Austere”, “Plankton” & “Concord” whilst even the hidden was smart for “Notch”.

  14. flashling says:

    Didn’t realise the long anagrams of each other until Yorrick who I met at Sloggers and Betters told me. Anyway thanks to Eimi et al, nice to know who the enemy is! I’ll admit to being a little unsure when I saw the two letter word LP appear. Mike be assured I don’t work for the NOTW and your secrets are safe (for now)

  15. xanthomam says:

    I don’t know why any of you bother. Once you sort out the over-done and stinkingly boring anagramatic cliche on 20ac or 28ac the whole thing was a total bore. It’s hardly worthy of comment. So why did I bother……………God knows!

  16. Bannsider says:

    Maybe boring for some but not for me – tastes differ of course, and I am normally dubious about puzzles with lots of unclued answers, but the actual clues in this case were on the whole very solver-friendly. In particular the reference to the FAB four in AFFABLE, was very cleverly done, providing an extra hook into the denouement.
    The astonishing thing for me was how many experienced solvers I talked to were unaware that the unclued entries were anagrams of each other!

  17. Simon Harris says:

    And what’s evident is that a lot of people did bother: this is already one of the most commented, and so I assume popular, puzzles I’ve blogged in quite some time.

  18. Matthew says:

    Kathryn’s Dad: I wouldn’t expect Monster Hoax by Sir Peter S to be used in the near future.

  19. Scarpia says:

    I did enjoy this – took me back to the days of the late,great Bunthorne,the undoubted king of the long anagram. I’ll always remember – “I.e.what oil sheik said cheekily unto girl in gin palace?” – and “1,000 famous tenets that go through China?”
    The best ones always include an &lit element.
    I can understand the idea not appealing to everyone,as the long anagram does tend to dominate the puzzle and once solved, leaves little else to savour.

  20. flashling says:

    Xanthomam, well there’s no suiting some folks I suppose, wasn’t really happy with an anagram you aren’t really likely to get if you don’t know it, albeit a nice one like the MP who is “I’m an evil Tory bigot”.

    Personally I dislike this type of very long clues and “see 20/28/31/4/1/5″ but a change is as good as a rest.

    Back to Phi I expect tomorrow.

  21. Tees says:

    By George I think you’re right, flashling.

    Good to see the straggling few, including Yorick himself, who were still there by the time my work commitments allowed me to get to the Moon. Which was full tonight, I see.

    Congrats to H and El.

  22. Mike Laws says:

    No offence, frustration or anything too difficult intended.

    I felt that “dubiously recollected” was a fair suggestion to re-collect the letters in a dodgy way.

    Thanks for enjoying it, those who did.

    For the record, this was my 65th Indy daily – the first 42 were as Esau. Today’s was the first after two lengthy hiatuses.

    Sorry. I never twitter but I sometimes witter.

  23. Colin Blackburn says:

    I did enjoy it, very much so. And I did see that it was an anagram once I had a handful of checking letters in place.

    For 1d the explanation, HAUL* , doesn’t quite do justice the the subtlety of the clue hinting as it did to a minor change rather than a complete anagram. H(AU)*L perhaps :-)

  24. Pete says:

    Definitely one that I’ll remember for some time. It took up a good couple of hours of pub time for myself and a friend – neither of us having previously encountered the anagram – but left us with a huge sense of satisfaction. A cracker of a crossword, Mike – thankyou.

    It was certainly a good few notches harder than I’d normally expect to find in a mid-week paper but The Indie does seem to have raised the bar in recent times. I’m yet to look at Friday’s puzzle, but it does seem to be shaping up to be a very tough week.

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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

1 + one =