Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,401 by Math

Posted by Simon Harris on July 6th, 2010

Simon Harris.

An all-too-rare visit from Math today. I’m not sure if the date carries some significance, but there’s a strong theme here, based around 1/4 and of course 4dn. I must admit I missed a lot of the references at first, but having had a second read-through of the answers, there’s a bumper crop of thematic material here. Good stuff.

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

Across
1/4 THE SEX PISTOLS – THE[y] “de-tailed” + (EXPLOITS* in SS). Malcolm McLaren was the manager of this particular group. The def. initially seems pretty oblique here, but within the context of the theme I guess it’s fine.
9 SLITS – LIT in (S + S). Another punk band, an all-girl group, I believe.
10 HANDLEBAR – BLEND* in HAAR.
11 EPILEPSY – (PEPYS LIE[d])*.
12 ROTTENR + NETTO<. I had to check, but it turns out that Netto is in fact Danish. This is from the famous Hamlet quote, Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Obviously a reference to Johnny as well.
13 JONESJ + ONE’S. Steve Jones, guitarist in 1/4.
15 UNBRIDLED – (BRUNEL DID)*.
17 RECEPTION – (CREEP INTO)*.
19 GIVESG + I’VE + S.
21 STAIRS – hom. of “stares”.
22 CHOC-ICES – from CHOCCIES, with the I “knocked back” a position.
26 LITHESOME – (ITEM + HOLES)*.
27 AIOLI – (I + 0) in Muhammad ALI, the self-proclaimed “Greatest of All Time”.
28 MATLOCK – (T’ + LO) in MACK. Glen Matlock was the original bassist in 1/4, later replaced by 20dn.
29 THESIS – THE + SIS.
Down
1 TASTE – [dissec]T AS TE[st] &lit.
2 EDITION – (DIE INTO)*.
3 ENSUE – ENSU[r]E.
4 PUNK – [cli]P UNK[empt]. An Indy favourite, and our theme for today.
5 SALLOWING – ALL in SOWING.
6 ORBITAL – (I ABORT)* + [trave]L.
7 SERENADES – (A D in SERENE) + S.
8 THESAURI – (A SURE HIT)*.
13 JERUSALEMJ + SURE< + MEAL*.
14 SUPERHERO – (OUR SPHERE)*.
16 BANSHEES – (HAS BEENS)*, and no doubt a reference to “Siouxsie and the”.
18 COAL TIT – (LT + I) in COAT.
20 VICIOUS – ICI in VOUS. Sid Vicious was the second, and probably the better-known, bassist in 1/4.
23 CLASH – dd. and another punk band.
24 SKIDS – S + KIDS. The band whose “Into the Valley” inspired this classic ad.
25 COOK – dd. Paul Cook was the drummer in 1/4.

15 Responses to “Independent 7,401 by Math”

  1. Colin Blackburn says:

    Excellent puzzle and a theme very close to my heart. Maybe it’s just a delayed tribute to McClaren?
    The band Orbital make a guest appearance though perhaps incidentally.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Simon, this was indeed good stuff as you say. I really enjoyed this one from Math – just the right level of challenge and some very entertaining clueing; STAIRS and COAL TIT were among my favourites.

    The theme passed me by, but then so did the punk era. However, it was one of those where if you spotted what was going on, you’d have a smile, but if you didn’t, then it was still perfectly solveable and no less enjoyable.

    Spookily, Kathryn’s younger brother is playing in a junior cricket match at MATLOCK tonight. Not quite as spooky as JET and PENTAGON appearing in a crossword on 9/11, though – or have I made that up? Seem to remember it was on that TV programme about cryptics with Don Manley and others.

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    Oh, and although the connection at 13 is undoubtedly the intended one, it’s worth mentioning that a 13 was in the 24.

    I was trying to worked in more connections: Budgie drummed in both the Banshees and the Slits. Vicious drummed in the very earliest Banshees incarnation. I’m sure there are other links between all of them though the Skids seem to be slightly apart from the rest, not being a London band. Even then Rusty Egan drummed with the Skids and was in the Rich Kids with Matlock. That said, maybe they were simply Math’s favourite punk bands?

  4. Ali says:

    Great puzzle. I solved 1/4 immediately and was hoping we were in for another Math music offering, then totally failed to spot every other thematic answer and just presumed it was a red herring. D’oh!

    Loved the misdirection in VICIOUS.

  5. Simon Harris says:

    I did spot Orbital in fact, and was undecided whether to mention that, plus the fact that Taste cropped up at 1dn. Much more to my own, um, taste, that one.

  6. Stella Heath says:

    I too missed out on punk, and therefore some of the references, but as KD says , that’s no obstruction to completing the puzzle. Very satisfying, and even more so after your clarifacations.

    Thanks Simon and Math

  7. walruss says:

    I regret to say that I did NOT miss out on punk, and that this puzzle, no matter how good, brought back some irritating memories.

  8. nmsindy says:

    The theme here passed me by completely, but, as others have said, the puzzle was still readily solvable. Favourite clue, ORBITAL.

  9. rrc says:

    first independent crossword Ive looked at. Thought this very straightforward, although was not impressed with the on line facility

  10. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Simon.
    Spotted the theme pretty quickly,which made this very easy to solve.Just looked for the correct enumeration and was able to fill in Cook and Vicious without having to work out the wordplay.Didn’t know Matlock as a place but again,because of the theme solving was made easy.
    Which leads me on to my usual moan about themed puzzles – if you’re familiar with the theme they’re too easy,if your not they’re too obscure.
    In all fairness,as others have pointed out,this one was solvable without spotting the theme,but familiarity with the theme made a lot of the answers too easily guessed.

    rrc.@ 9. Have only recently started solving Indie puzzles on line as well and I agree,the facility is pretty poor,I usually have to reload the page a couple of times to get a workable grid and as for the ads …!

  11. Richard Palmer says:

    I solved this without much trouble despite missing the punk references.
    Two quibbles:
    In 13 “My” seems redundant
    In 22 The I is knocked forward (towards the beginning of the word), not back.

  12. flashling says:

    Started this late, but got almost all but 1ac reasonably quickly. Got the answer to 20d but for the life can’t see a def although yes I get the link. I took 22ac to be I knocked back as the I was sent back to the start.

  13. Eileen says:

    Hi flashling

    In 20dn, the definition is ‘mean’.

  14. Victor says:

    Good grid and theme.

    Worth mentioning for 1/4 that as well as the wordplay the clue also references a sex pistols song – the somwewhat crude offering “frigging in the rigging” about drunken exploits on a ship

  15. Richard Heald says:

    Victor, I assumed the surface reading of 1/4 referred to the Pistols’ infamously debauched boat ride along the Thames to coincide with the release of ‘God Save The Queen’.

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