Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7413/Tees

Posted by John on July 20th, 2010


A nice crossword from Tees. Having solved 7ac and 9ac first and had a good idea about 20/23ac I feared a football-related crossword. Mercifully, apart from one or two answers, apparently no. Perhaps this is the very small Nina, perhaps there is something bigger that as usual is staring me in the face but which I’m missing.

A bit late partly because of a hospital appointment, then computer problems — I had the whole thing done, then it went all cloggy on me and failed to post and I wasted ages doing it all again.

7 SIXTY-SIX — referring to our somewhat doubtful and perhaps over-hyped victory then (I’ve read that the team of 1970 was actually better) and nicely linked with the following answer. The style of the two answers overcomes the criticism that perhaps there needs to be the usual def and s.i.
9/10 NINETY-NINE — referring to the make of ice-cream
12 ST(1 C K)Y
14 EX AMPLE S — good misdirection, since ‘cases’ suggests inclusion
15 RIALTO — (tailor)*
17 FE(L LO)W
20/23 FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT — (Man U total Bolton ref)* — rather a good and possibly accurate set of letters to be anagrammed — I can imagine the poor ref being abused
22 Sorry, missed this. K’s D has it all below at 3
24 BODY — 2 defs, although body = build seems a bit odd: I suppose build is a noun, as in ‘the build of this Aston Martin’
25 ASSORT — (rossa)rev. t
26 AUGUST US — lovely clue, nothing to do with me but referring to the painter Augustus John (John who had a brush)
2 weST YElverton’s
4 IN CREASE — if this is crease next to in, then it seems to go against the Indy dictum that in a down clue A on B must be AB, but perhaps it can be seen as ‘in crease’, i.e. where the striker stands when he is batting
5 INTERPOLAR — very clever anagram indicator, sheik, which sounds like shake — my difficulty here was that I pronounce ‘sheik’ as ‘sheek’, which is OK according to Chambers but may be a bit odd — perhaps Tees ought to have somehow signposted the fact that not everyone pronounces ‘sheik’ as ‘shake’
6 ATTLE E — I was a bit surprised by this: surely if the start is delayed then the start still appears but comes a bit later, like atbtle, so is ‘delayed’ the right word here?
8 XYSTER — (try sex)*, obvious anagram (particularly when you knew the word started with X), less than familiar word (to me, anyway): a xyster is a surgeon’s instrument for scraping bones
13 CHATTERBOX — two rather fanciful ways of describing a telephone kiosk and its possible occupant, so 2 defs
16 TEA PARTY — (pate)* arty
18 WORLD CUP — (l crowd)* up
19 S(LIE M)A — s.a. for it may be dated but is a boon to setters — Sliema is a town in Malta
21 OBOIST — is in (boot)*
24 BEST — referring to George Best, his name, and the fact that some feel him to have been the best ever

26 Responses to “Independent 7413/Tees”

  1. Lopakhin says:

    And 22a?

  2. Lopakhin says:

    Sorry – that was a tad curt! But it was the only one I got stuck on, however easy it may prove… Rest of crossword most enjoyable, as was Tees’ contribution.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Lopakhin, 22ac is PAR (par for the course) and the river URE. PARURE (I learned today) is a word for a collection of jewellery. I did get it, but had to verify it in the dictionary.

  4. Lopakhin says:

    Many thanks, K’sD!

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Nice crossword, indeed, John, and certainly not too hard.
    Many thanks for blogging it so full of detail.
    I needed it to understand 26ac (AUGUSTUS) which I do now.
    4d had to be INCREASE, but was a bit of a mystery to me, too – thought that it had to be like in your second suggestion (in crease).

    Some might be happy to see the name of George BEST appear today, as they wanted to fit him in already a week ago in anax’s crossword (instead of Theo).

    The football clue 18d (WORLD CUP) was extremely easy, almost a giveaway. Found ‘milled around up’ a bit laboured, I think I would have gone for the simple ‘turned up’ [in which case you have the extra ‘misdirection’ of having to unlink the two].

    I particularly liked the indirect anagram indicator in 5d.

    At first, I thought ‘ex’=’without’ (in the EXAMPLES of 14ac)?
    But it surely is when you read ‘without’ as the old word for ‘outside’.

    Which brings me to the ellipses [if that’s what it’s called?].
    I clearly remember [only recently, in a Guardian blog] this setter, in one of his other disguises, fulminate against a colleague about the Sense & Nonsense of linking two clues together.
    Today I can’t see no other merit than the answers having a similar structure. There’s no other connection between the two, and I think it isn’t cryptic either.
    To be fair to Tees, it looks nice this way. But if that other setter would still have been alive, he could have had reasons to be critical, too.

    Nevertheless, a fine, rather even crossword.
    No clues really stand out for me, no bad ones either.

  6. Scarpia says:

    Thanks John.
    Like you I feared a soccer themed puzzle,but fortunately there were not too many references and those were gettable,with only a small amount of knowledge.
    I remembered XYSTER from a previous puzzle (Azed possibly?) and had to look up SLIEMA -Valetta being the only place in Malta that I could remember.
    5 across – please don’t start us off on regional accents again!

    Top clue for me – 26 across.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Yes, thanks John for producing a blog – under trying circumstances, by the sound of it. I remember really enjoying the last Tees we had in the Indy, but this one … hmmm

    It’s by no means a bad puzzle, but setters and editors always say they like constructive feedback, so here goes…

    Augustus John could barely be described as a well-known artist, at least not in a daily cryptic. And ‘august’ as a definition of ‘awe-inspiring’? Not for me, anyway. SLIEMA is a bit obscure and not easily gettable from the wordplay.

    To take up a couple of Sil’s points, EX in EXAMPLES just about works in the sense that ‘ex’ is defined in my Collins as ‘without’, particularly in financial circles: ex-bonus, ex-dividend (if only, frankly …)

    And talking of ellipses … this was one of those cases where you couldn’t actually ignore them, since ‘year’ appears in both clues. If you took ‘year for ice-cream’ to describe a ‘ninety-nine’ then ‘England’s glorious year’ also makes sense. But I can understand it won’t appeal to everyone.

    And BEST as a football-related solution when some of us had tried to shoehorn it into Anax’s puzzle the other day … scary or what?

    I didn’t in fact finish this, getting stuck in the SW corner. But INTERPOLAR was my favourite when I finally twigged to what was going on.

  8. pat says:

    INTERPOLAR – – please explain. Can’t see it…

  9. walruss says:

    I’m beginning to think the first two clues are double-defined. If so, very subtle indeed, and it would explain why the two clues have to be linked. Another good example of Indy crafting today.

  10. pat says:

    INTERPOLAR – I can now see it’s OILPARTNER anagramed. Sorry to be a clot

  11. walruss says:

    Internet trawl confirms quotation marks are sixty-sixes and ninety-nines! Unless I’m being a clot and evrybody already knows, that is.

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Dear walruss et al,
    if this is what Tees means (and why not, I was already wondering why the quotation marks were there), then I have to admit this is extremely clever.
    In which case I withdraw my initial reservations about this clue.

  13. eimi says:

    Tees was being extremely subtle in the opening Across clues. This was made only slightly easier in the dead tree edition – I usually change quotation marks from curly ones to straight ones, because the curly ones make the online puzzle software go doolally, as indeed do ampersands. This time however I deliberately used curly quotation marks in the newspaper, but couldn’t do so in the online version for the reason stated.

    I’m afraid this coming Friday’s puzzle is another in which dead tree edition solvers will have an advantage over online solvers, again due to online software issues.

  14. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Concerning the first two acrosses, that’s obviously what Tees intended, and fair enough, a very clever bit of clueing. Eimi, I’ll have to save up my pocket money to buy the paper on Friday – it’ll be a Phi, I presume? If you’re still around, can you clear up the NOVELLO clue that we were wondering about from last week’s Phi puzzle?

  15. walruss says:

    For SVDH I think the WORLD CUP one might be the L with ‘crowd milled’, eg anagrammed, ‘around’ it. Then there’s the UP bit.

  16. Duggie says:

    I really enjoyed and admired this puzzle for its intricacies and misdirections, the more so for having had the subtlety of the 66 & 99 clues explained to me. Thanks for that Walruss/Eimi.

    Having got the answers to those clues early on, I was on the lookout for a 69. Maybe it was censored for soft and curly reasons.

    I hope Eimi’s comment re Friday leads to higher sales.

  17. Sil van den Hoek says:

    walruss #15:
    It looks like you think that I don’t understand how 18d works, but I do. The only thing I said is that just a simple ‘turned up’ would have read better [for me, just a personal view]. In that case it would have been (L CROWD)*, but Tees chose to do (CROWD)* around L – fair enough.

  18. Tees says:

    You’re quite right there Sil – I could simply have had L (for large) plus CROWD*/ UP – with but few objectors to the indirect fodder! – so well spotted. But thanks too to Walruss for parsing the construction I had in mind. Thanks for the reminder about linked clues also, but as you now see the two had to be joined together in some way or other.

    Many thanks John, and to all for astute comments.

  19. Sil van den Hoek says:

    .. yeah, Tees, and those linked clues, that was rather clever!
    In the end, My (and probably everyone’s) Clues of the Day.
    [sometimes I am as changeable as the English weather :)]

  20. flashling says:

    Even with the dead tree version didn’t spot the quote marks bit and to be honest I can’t recall hearing them called that, very clever though. Spent far too long wondering what ossort meant for 25A. D’oh.
    Was expecting a usual themed Tuesday and the grid screamed nina. After the Eimi on Saturday perhaps Mike’s changing things around.

  21. Merlyn says:

    I did rather well on this, but missed the obscure answers [xyster, sliema] and got 7, 9, 10 A without reference to ” “. Would someone explain SA in 19D please?

    I liked 13D, but hadn’t got the answer!

  22. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Merlyn, it’s short for sex appeal – often also clued as ‘it’ – she’s got it = she’s got sex appeal. I did this puzzle online so I can’t remember the exact clue. As John said, it’s pretty dated.

  23. walruss says:

    SVDH sorry! I wasn’t trying to be horrible, and I too think you have a good way around that phrase.

  24. nmsindy says:

    Excellent puzzle from Tees, quite hard, my favourite clue was CHATTERBOX. Football knowledge proved useful as that’s how I’d heard of SLIEMA (a team from which plays in Euro comps)

  25. anax says:

    Sorry I’m a bit late – managed to solve this late last night then got caught up in other crossword stuff today.

    Any road up, smashing work Tees. The quotes device is as special as special gets and I’m guessing the drugs you’re taking are even better than mine. Can I have some?

  26. Merlyn says:

    K’sD] Ta

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