Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7424 by Morph

Posted by NealH on August 2nd, 2010


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

Some very nice clues here that were mostly very accessible and didn’t require much general knowledge. 15 and 20 were my favourites overall. There were a couple that I didn’t entirely follow. Morph often does have a NINA but I couldn’t see one here.

1 Calves liver: Calve + sliver.
8 Moussaka: Didn’t entirely follow this. Definition is “main course in Greece”, but I don’t know what “Fail to finish dessert” is all about.
9 Cellar: &lit. Care* around ll.
10 Knead: Hom of need.
11 Ignobler: Boring* around L E.
12 Anything: An + nighty*. Def is “ought”.
14 Lolita: LOL (internet/text abbrev for “Lots of Love”) + it + a.
15 Udders: [R]udders. Steer here used in a cattle sense to give a double meaning.
17 Ulterior: (L R route I)*.
19 Egg Rolls: CD.
20 Hunch: Un + c[haracter] in HH. &lit ref to the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
21 Reggae: Eager* around g[uides].
22 In denial: In deal around NI.
23 Detonations: Hom of debtor nations.
1 Cloak and dagger: Dag (Australian slang term) in danger* under cloak.
2 Lushest: She in lust.
3 Eland: E[ng]land. Another one for the footie fans.
4 Vacant lot: CD/DD.
5 Leading Question: DD.
6 Relabel: (All beer)*.
7 Have it both ways: Don’t know what this has to do with Whittington and haven’t got time to research it.
13 Insolvent: Solve in inn + [pin]t.
16 Enraged: E + nr (near) + aged.
18 Run into: DD.
20 Had it: DI in hat.

21 Responses to “Independent 7424 by Morph”

  1. scchua says:

    Dear Neal
    8A: Dessert without finish = mouss(e) + or/also known as = aka.
    7D: Probably alludes to Dick Whittington – poor boy made rich.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Neal, for the blog.

    Just needed your explanation for 1dn, which I got but couldn’t parse. Reasonably gentle start to the week but with much to appreciate and enjoy. I liked EGG ROLL and CALVES LIVER; and REGGAE for its nice misdirection.

    Can’t quite see the (presumably Dick) Whittington reference – maybe something to do with ‘Turn again, turn again’ implying going both ways? Not sure. Given England’s lamentable showing in South Africa recently, 3dn is half way to an &lit, I fancy.

    Very tiny quibble at 14ac. ‘It’ as ‘sex appeal’ (SA) is established if rather worn; but I don’t think you can have ‘it’ as just ‘sex’, can you?

    Good puzzle.

  3. TokyoColin says:

    Thanks NealH. This was enjoyable for me.

    For 7dn, this is one case where it helps NOT to be English. Without knowing who Whittington is or was, I can see that his name has two “IT”s, one in each direction.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Well spotted, Colin, of course that’s what it is. Or as the line in the pantomime goes: ‘Well spotted, Dick!’ (With apologies if your lack of Englishness means you don’t get it.)

  5. scchua says:

    Thanks Colin, for setting us straight.

  6. Conrad Cork says:

    Shouldn’t there be a homophone indicator in 1 across? Calve/Carve. Or am I missing something?

  7. Gaufrid says:

    When a piece of ice breakes off a glacier or iceberg it is said to ‘calve’. Chambers has “to detach (a glacier or iceberg)”.

  8. Conrad Cork says:


    Thanks as ever for the elucidation. I’ll file that under ‘me missing something’ then, cross referred to ‘you never know when you will need it’.

  9. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Neal.

    You need a T [end of pint] in 13ac. I thought this was a great clue, along with 12, 14, 15 and 21ac.

    K’s D, I think ‘it = sex’ is fairly common. I had the same thought about 3dn – and what a nice new take on an old crossword word!

    Many thanks, Morph, for a very entertaining puzzle, as usual.

  10. Myrvin says:

    Finished with some hiccups.
    Last in was UDDERS. Never heard of DAG, but I had the answer anyway.
    KD: I hear some like to have it as just sex. I hope K isn’t too young.
    5d rather clever if rude to thickos.

  11. walruss says:

    Thanks Neal H and Morph for the blog and puzzle. Good stuff, with it little bit moree to it than today’s Guardian, and good invention to have IT both ways!

  12. Myrvin says:

    Nice to know the setter found something to do after Tony Hart.

  13. nmsindy says:

    Enjoyable puzzle, about average Indy difficulty, favourite clue INSOLVENT.

  14. dram says:

    Thanks Morph and Neal, I rarely manage to finish, GK not being my strong spot, but I did today and was thrilled.

    Particularly enjoyed 15 and (after reading Colin’s helpful explanation) 7

  15. flashling says:

    Lovely little crossword, thought the surface for 13dn excellent as I was finishing my pint. Certainly brought a smile and the marvellous misdirection in places eg Whittington which brought forth a minor curse when it twigged, I didn’t spot the or=aka although the answer was fairly obvious. Well done Morph.

  16. Morph says:

    Thanks Neal for the blog and all of you for your comments. I try to avoid SA=IT as being too far from normal usage – ‘it’ as in ‘doing it’ seems much more in tune with ordinary parlance to me.
    Interestingly, two clues that went down well – 15A AND 13D – were late adds after our esteeemed editor rightly nixed an obscure clue to an abstruse word. Anyway, time for an udder pint – cheers!

  17. Simon Harris says:

    Quite straightforward, I thought. Enjoyable though, with a few chuckles along the way.

    I must admit a double take on seeing LOL clued as “lots of love”, but a bit of research shows that to be perfectly fine, dating from a time when people actually wrote letters!

  18. Simon Harris says:

    I should say “manageable” rather than “straightforward”. The latter perhaps suggests a lack of invention, which would wouldn’t be a fair comment at all.

  19. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Neal.
    Super puzzle from Morph – very inventive and with a few laughs along the way.
    So many lovely clues it is difficult to pick out favourites but 1 and 15 across and 7 down particularly stand out.

  20. Barbara says:

    Re: Lolita
    I’ve always found LOL to be computerese for Laughing Out Loud.
    Also, we tournament bridge players also use LOL to mean Little Old Lady or Ladies.
    So, that’s three different meanings for LOL.

  21. Morph says:

    LOL – I think from texting rather than letters – can mean laughs out loud or lots of love, showing our ability even in relatively new forms of language to introduce ambiguity, the crossword compiler’s stock in trade.

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