Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,439 by Tees

Posted by Simon Harris on August 19th, 2010

Simon Harris.

A characteristically challenging and inventive Tees puzzle, that was far too hard for me to complete in the time available. It feels like there’s a theme here, goddesses perhaps, though I can’t quite put my finger on it.

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

10 NEIGH – not sure here, this reads as a homophone, perhaps of “nay”, but I’m not sure how that’s “yet more”.
13 WASTE – WAS T.E. (Lawrence).
19 SHORT-LIST – L in SHORTIST, I guess.
21 ANGER – [b]ANGER.
22 DEBORAH – (ROBE in HAD)<. The Internet tells me that Deborah was the only woman to be a Judge of Israel.
23 COAL TIT – CO + (L in AT IT).
24 RATIO – (OI + TAR)<.
1 EMPTY WORDS – the “WS” in the clue is therefore W[ord]S.
2 ANDERSEN – AND + ERSE + [catala]N. Hans Christian, no doubt.
4 NIKE – (E + KIN)<.
6 ANTIPHON – (PIANO + TH[e])*.
7 VIRAGO – V + IRA + GO.
8 THEL – THE + L. The Book of Thel is a poem by William Blake.
17 WATERLOO – (ATË + R + L) in WOO.
20 ORBITS – OR + BITS. Tethys is a moon of Saturn.
22 DART – dd. A tapered seam of fabric/dash or hurry.
23 CORK – dd.

17 Responses to “Independent 7,439 by Tees”

  1. Rishi says:

    “from mine” suggests “from my mouth”. The homophone is ‘nay’ as you have indicated. Chambers gives the meaning “yet more”.

    Other meanings: “not only so, but; in point of fact”.

    Suppose someone says something and stops. When we think that’s not all and want to add more details, we probably say “Nay, blah blah”.

  2. jmac says:

    As you say, Simon, very inventive. Well worth tackling. Thought EMPTY WORDS was particularly good. Thank you Tees, and also thanks to Simon for clearing up a handful of queries. However, in 18 down, whilst I see “ration” for “helping” and “go” for “try”, is it that “heavenly course” means “orbit” and so means “go” round? Can you clarify this? Thanks.

  3. Simon Harris says:

    Hi jmac, I read that one in the sense of “ascending to heaven”, thus going upwards, which works with it being a down clue, I think.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the excellent blog, Simon, and esp for explaining “shortist” which I did not see and is very good. I also found it quite hard, esp liked RENEWABLE ENERGY, EMPTY WORDS, NORTH POLE, LAY BROTHER (excellent anagram fodder), and RATIO.

  5. Myrvin says:

    Thanks Simon. Some explanations I didn’t know.
    Took me ages to get 16a. At one point I was sitting with the R at the front and the Y at the end.
    So that’s who Deborah was.
    I was quite pleased that I knew the Book of Thel.
    An abigail is also a lady’e maid.
    The temple of NIKE is a lovely small one on the Acropolis in Athens.

  6. Stella Heath says:

    I actually didn’t find this too challenging – or my new method of working Indies is giving fruit. I didn’t bother to look anything up, as words fell into place quite nicely, so thanks, Simon, for the info on 8d and 20d.

    I assumed Deborah must appear in the Book of Judges, but was surprised to learn she was one. I must read a little more of the OT.

    Re the 10a homophone, this sounds to me like a rhetorical resource:

    “In my opinion…, consider…, nay..”
    ie. “what’s more..”

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Hurrah! First Thursday puzzle I’ve finished for a bit, and like Stella, I didn’t struggle too much with it: seemed to go in nicely with clues falling at the right time. Needed a couple of explanations (NEIGH especially), so thank you Simon.

    Was I the only one looking to slap in something about Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan fame in 1dn?

  8. jmac says:

    Re 3. Thanks Simon – that makes sense.

  9. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, Simon. I thought this was very enjoyable – lots of excellent clues, with nice touches like “ascending to heaven”…

    I wasn’t sure about “Unproductive” for WASTE – is there a better example than “waste ground” / “unproductive ground”? I’m sure I’m missing something.

  10. Myrvin says:

    WASTE: Chambers has: ” rejected, superfluous; uncultivated, and at most sparsely inhabited; desolate; lying unused; unproductive; devastated, ruinous (obsolete); in a devastated condition (as in lay waste); empty, unoccupied; useless, vain (obsolete).”
    So it’s in the list.

  11. Myrvin says:

    NAY: the OED has “Used as an introductory word, without any direct negation.”. And one of the citations is interesting, especially for those who’ve done the Guardian today: “1960 J. BARTH Sot-Weed Factor III. xix. 760 Stir thy stumps, there, Nicholas me ladnay, what is’t, now? “

  12. Tees says:

    Think you guys and gals got it bang-on today (except maybe the clue for DART, which was intended as a 3D with dressmaker’s fold, belt and zip as the defs).

    Many thanks for great blog and, as mentioned, perceptive comments.


  13. Sil van den Hoek says:

    First this: at times [on this site] Tees is a bit critical about fellow setters when it comes to precision and/or sloppiness, and perhaps some people don’t like that. While I do understand that, there is the other side of me that likes his flamboyance. Because? Well, because Mr B is completely true to his principles in his own crosswords – in the end you can’t fault him.
    So, a Rover or a Tees today? Tees.

    We ended our Search in the NE today, filling in NEIGH and THEL – only understanding part of it [so thanks, Chambers and SH].
    We needed the blog for the explanation of SHORT-LIST, and were a bit uncomfortable with the ‘maybe’ in the clue.
    We thought ‘in’ was superfluous in 21ac, and had a ‘discussion’ on 23ac (COAL TIT):
    me: “AT IT is ‘up to some criminal behaviour’ ”
    she: “usually AT IT means ‘having sex with someone’ ”
    me: “that’s criminal … !”

    Great puzzle, Paul.
    Hard to decide – probably, 6d (ANTIPHON) and 17d (WATERLOO)

  14. flashling says:

    Struggled on 5d last one in. Saw strain fiting at the start and wasted ages trying to think of a word to fit. I liked the heavenly bit for reversed a good twist I’d not seen before.

    Me to blog tomorrow. Hope it’s a Phi I can understand.

  15. flashling says:

    Also Short-list I thought Short was labour not liberal :-) Nice clue though.

  16. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Simon.
    Excellent puzzle from Tees.
    Took me a little while to get going but once a few answers were in place the rest followed without too much of a struggle.
    RATIO made me laugh. (BTW isn’t there usually a complaint from mathematicians that it doesn’t mean relationship).
    Didn’t know VIRAGO as a heroic woman only as ‘ill-tempered/shrewish’.Might be useful as a back handed compliment!
    Didn’t know who DEBORAH was but quite gettable from the excellent wordplay.
    Top clues for me 1 and 14 down.

  17. Wil Ransome says:

    It took me ages to work out how RENEWABLE ENERGY (16ac) worked, and suspected a mistake from Tees because the number of letters was wrong. But of course he didn’t make the mistake: it was in the blog, Simon, I think ‘by’ should be included to make it up to 15, and I missed that eco-source just gave e. Didn’t like WASTE, although it’s just about OK I suppose. Is effort the same as attainment (5dn)? On the other hand very much liked some of these clues, such as 16ac already mentioned, and EMPTY WORDS, MANNERIST and ANTIPHON.

    I know it’s common usage, but how does one justify ‘reversible’ when what is meant is ‘reversed’ — 22ac? Reversible suggests to me that it is palindromic.

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