Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent Prize Puzzle 7405 by Tyrus – Saturday 10 July 2010

Posted by duncanshiell on July 16th, 2010


As I don’t solve the Independent blocked crossword on a regular basis, Tyrus is a new name to me.  A bit of research on Fifteensquared however shows that he is also Lato, a frequent contributor to the Inquisitor series which is my regular weekly dip into the Independent. Indeed, I blogged one of Lato’s Inquisitor puzzles yesterday.

I was solving this and skipping between a wide variety of sport on the telly, so I didn’t time myself.  I felt it was at the easier end of the Saturday spectrum in terms of the Saturday Independents that I have blogged, – once I had sorted out the ‘theme’.

I expect the sitcom ‘One Foot in the Grave’ has by now had world wide exposure, but if anyone hasn’t seen it, the references to VICTOR Meldrew and ‘I DON’T BELIEVE IT‘ will be unfathomable.  

Tyrus must have been in a slighlly cynical mode when he compiled this with "THE CHEQUE’S IN THE POST" and "YOUR CALL IS IMPORTANT TO US".  I hope he is not referring to his experiences a setter trying to get paid.   There must be times though when a call centre employee’s life is equally frustrating.  I was renewing an insurance policy on the phone this morning and had to listen to the standard script read out on these occasions by probably the most bored call centre employee I have ever encountered.  These poor souls must read out the same script at least once every 5 minutes for days on end.  I didn’t have to wait long to get through so was therefore spared the ‘your call is important to us’ bit.

I haven’t seen reference to a GOBSTOPPER for many years.  They used to cost 1d when I was a lad.  I wonder what they cost now, and I bet they aren’t as big either.  

An enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Wordplay Entry
1 GO (try) +  (BOPPER [dancer] containing [across] ST [street/road]) GOBSTOPPER (sweet)
7 MISLAY  (lose, excluding the container [around] MY [yours truly]) ISLA (girl’s name)
9/11 YOUR CALL IS IMPORTANT TO US (A common phrase heard when held in a telephone [phony] queue for a call centre.  Considered to be insincere drivel by many [I don’t believe it!{7D, 13}]) YOUR CALL [IS IMPORTANT TO US]
10 NOOKIE (sexual intercourse [undertaken by those who bonk]) NOOKIE (reference Nookie Bear, the performing dummy of ventriloquist Roger De Courcey)
12 MALI (African country) + BUM (excluding the last letter M – shortly) MALIBU (reference Malibu Beach, California)
14 US (American) reversed (turning) + L (50) + LIED (wasn’t being truthful) SULLIED (spoilt)
16 Anagram of (affected) LAURAS + E (reference Ecstacy tablet) AS A RULE (ordinarily)
18 EVICTOR (possibly cruel landlord) excluding the first letter (to take lead from) E VICTOR (one who’s first; reference Victor Meldrew, lead character in BBC Sitcom ‘One Foot in the Grave’, best known for the catchphrase ‘I don’t believe it!’)’
21/26 THE CHEQUE’S IN THE POST (phrase often used a s an excuse for late payment – usually treated with cynicism by those waiting for payment [I don’t believe it! {7D, 13}]) THE CHEQUES IN THE [POST]
24 FRIEZE (sounds like FREES [releases]) FRIEZE (decorated band along the wall of a room)
25 HOLLOW (depression, excluding  [killing] W [wife])  + WAY (means) HOLLOWAY (reference Holloway Prison, London – closed category prison for adult women and young offenders)
27 Anagram of (determined) (RESIDENTS and N [last letter of {close to} TOWN]) TRENDINESS (what’s fashionable)


Wordplay Entry
2 OPOS (OOPS [I’ve made a mistake] with the P [quietly] moving one to the left) + SUM (problem) OPOSSUM (animal, small marsupial)
3 SC (scene) + RAMBLER (walker) SCRAMBLER (motorcycle, reference motorcycle scrambles)
4 Hidden reversed (raised) word in INTERROGATOR  Opposite of  (quite the reverse) clue to give ‘NZ’ raised in interrogator’ OTAGO (region of New Zreland)
5 POE (reference Edgar Allan Poe – author) containing LIT (settled) POLITE (refined)
6 Anagram of (problem) (U [first letter of {initially} of UNCOVERED  and IN NUCLEAR) excluding (short of) E (energy) RANUNCULI (plants)
7/13 I DON’T BELIEVE IT (catch phrase [refrain] used by Victor (18 across) [Meldrew] – see 18 across – when discontent, i.e. almost all the time. I DONT [BELIEVE IT]
8 Anagram of (stupid) LIE + SURE (certainly) LEISURE (not work)
13 I DON’T BELIEVE IT (see 7/13 above) [I DONT] BELIEVE IT
15 Anagram of (for replay) (N [north] +and LN [first and last letters of {gutted} LONDON and TWO OUT) LUTON TOWN (reference football team in what used to be known as the Vauxhall Conference – the league immediately below Football League 2.  However, I don’t think the League  has been known as the Conference since the start of the 2007-08 season when sponsorship changed to Blue Square.)  As the airport is now known as London Luton, to the north of London, I guess this qualifies as an &Lit clue.
17 SCHERZO (sounds like [they say] SKIRTS [border] SO) SCHERZO (a lively busy movement in triple time)
19 Anagram of (training) AS THERE REHEATS (warms up)
20 HUG (embrace) + HIE (hurry) HUGHIE (boy’s name)
22 C (cold) + HEAT (warm, quite the opposite of cold) CHEAT (fleece, in the sense of charging too much)
23 ALAS (sadly) reversed (knocked up) + D (daughter) SALAD (dish)

7 Responses to “Independent Prize Puzzle 7405 by Tyrus – Saturday 10 July 2010”

  1. Mike Laws says:

    The one that annoys me most nowadays is the exhortation to visit the website. If I’d wanted to, I’d have done so. I chose to phone.

    Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this Tyrus. Some of his previous have seemed a bit too hard for a comfortable “daily” solve, but not in this case – only one and a half pints to finish it, and I was thirsty!

  2. jmac says:

    A very enjoyable solve. GOBSTOPPER (as well as being nicely clued) brought back memories.

    Thanks for the blog, Duncan, particularly for the parsing of HOLLOWAY – it was easy enough to get the answer with the crossing letters but the device of removing a “w” and then adding another “w” in the same place fooled me.

    One query: in 10ac., where does “with me” fit in? Is it just to help with the surface or is Tyrus really Roger De Courcey?

  3. Allan_C says:

    I wouldn’t have said it was the easier end of the Indy’s Saturday offerings; it took me ages to get started although I got there in the end. Never thought of “skirts” for “borders” in 17dn as one usually hears “scherzo” pronounced as “scare-tso” so thanks for that explanation and some others that I got from crossing letters without understanding the wordplay.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Duncan – your blog is as entertaining as the puzzle was! Needed your explanations for a few, but I did manage it, so it must have been at the easier end of the Saturday spectrum. Enjoyed the theme with the two long answers: YOUR CALL IS IMPORTANT TO US was very clever. NOOKIE was my last one in, which brought my solving of the puzzle to an end with a smile.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Great fun puzzle from Tyrus, which I found hard but not exceedingly so.

  6. Duncan Shiell says:

    I think the ‘me’ in 10ac refers to ‘Nookie’ to give ‘Nookie Bear’, but I am guessing a bit. Setters often have have interesting backgrounds but I don’t think Tyrus is a professional ventriloquist.

  7. Tyrus says:

    Many thanks for the blog and comments. Duncan’s right about 10ac. ‘Me’ is sometimes used in reference to the answer.

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