Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,443/Raich

Posted by Ali on August 24th, 2010


I was expecting a Virgilius after recent absences, so seeing Raich was a pleasant surprise. And a very pleasant puzzle it was too.

I spotted the mini Beatles theme fairly early on after cold-solving SCARAB and then saw LET IT BE emerging clockwise in the outer unches. Guessing at HELP certainly, erm, helped with the SE corner, but it took me a while to spot that the other title (SHE LOVES YOU) was running anticlockwise. The 4 members of the group also appear in clues for good measure.

Fab clues too. Bravo Niall!

6 STRADDLE – DARTS rev. + [-ende]D + LE
8 SCARAB – SCAR (mark) + AB (seaman) – Scarab being a “Beatle”
10 HUMERI – HUME + RI[-b]
11 TILLITOE – TILL + IT + O(ld) E(nglish)
12 ENDANGER – ([-s]AND)* in (GREEN)*
14 Y-LEVEL – [-c]LEVE[-r]LY rev.
15 PEWTER – W(ife) in PETER
19 LADDER – I think this is ADDLER with L (Paul’s last) promoted, but not sure how ADDLER relates to Hamburg if so
22 TARTRATE – TART (lady of the night) + RATE (what she charges!)
25 CYMBAL – “Symbol”
26 VESTAS – V(ersus) + alternate letters of wElSh TeAmS
2 EDGING – ED + GIN + G[-eorge]
3 TESTER – TEST + E + R[-ingo’s]
7 TOURNEY – T(ime) + [-j]OURNEY
9 ALOFT – Hidden in capitAL OF Tibet
15 EERINESS – IRE rev. in (SEEN)* + S(chool)
17 TIRIMASU – IT(alian) rev. + (I AM SUR[-e])*
18 RETRACE – E (Spain) + TR (Turkey) in RACE
20 AGREE – AGREE[-ment]
21 DONATE – DONATE[-llo]
22 TWEELY – T(hailand) + WE + ELY (see)
23 ROCOCO – Initial letters of Rangers Or Celtic + O(ld) + CO (firm)

26 Responses to “Independent 7,443/Raich”

  1. NealH says:

    Are you sure it isn’t Sillitoe? Sill seems to make more sense for ledge than till.

  2. NealH says:

    And I had teaser rather than tester, although tea for drug seems a little odd.

  3. NealH says:

    19 down is [Pau]l + ad (= promotion) + der (the in Hamburg). I thought that was the best clue, just for sheer devilish deceit.

  4. NealH says:

    And a final one (should do this as one message really, but at this stage of the day I’m expecting 6 people to jump in ahead of me if take too long), 17 down is normally spelt tiramisu.

  5. Gaufrid says:

    I agree with you regarding 11ac and 3dn, and the spelling of tiramisu. According to Chambers, tea is an old US slang term for marijuana.

  6. RayFolwell says:

    Chambers has TEA:Marijuana (old US slang).

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Ali. The second Raich I have finished in a row, so feeling slightly proud, not least for the fact that I SAW A NINA BEFORE I FINISHED THE CROSSWORD! I know using capitals is like you’re shouting, but in fact that’s what I want to do.

    Super puzzle, with the usual very precise clueing getting you over the finishing line eventually. 11ac is indeed Alan SILLITOE; one of my favourite novels is ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’. TARTRATE was very funny; Raich and Eimi obviously have a side bet on having at least one footie clue in each of their puzzles; and I though VESTAS was particularly good.

    I took LADDER to be L (last in Paul) AD (promotion) and DER (in Hamburg the) – also referencing the Beatles’ early gigs there.

    Happy bunny, thank you Raich.

  8. jmac says:

    Thanks, Ali. A fine puzzle with some lovely clues,a fun nina, and a good deal more testing than I anticipated. Agree with Neal re Alan SILLITOE and TEASER. Thought Tea was a used in a slang sense, rather than the drink. Also thought 20dn was AGREE [- able].

  9. Eileen says:

    Hi Kathryn’s Dad

    I feel like shouting, too – for the same reason! I liked all the clues you mention, too. Many thanks, Raich.

    22ac reminded me of the [very] old joke about copper nitrate being what policemen earn for late shifts.

    A third :-) interpretation of 20dn: AGREE[ting] [welcome]

  10. Eileen says:

    Sorry, Ali – thanks to you, too!

  11. jmac says:

    Retract my interpretation of 20dn in favour of Eileen’s.

  12. Fletch says:

    My first stab at this setter in The Indy and it didn’t disappoint. Nice idea cleverly executed.

  13. Stella says:

    Hi Eileen

    I agree(ting) :)

    I didn’t spot the theme, but then I never see Ninas, being relatively unfamiliar with the Indy style, so your blog sheds new light on the puzzle, Ali.

    I quite enjoyed this, anyway, though I had to cheat on a couple, having forgotten that Vestas is a brand of matches, and never having heard of ‘lockstep’. I was also unsure of the spelling of ‘tagine’ – I thought it was with an ‘h’. My Chambers gives ‘tahina, or tahini’ as an oily paste made from sesame seeds, but no mention of ‘tagine’. – Not that it makes any difference. :)

  14. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Afternoon Stella

    Tagine is different from tahini, I think – it’s a cooking pot used in the Maghreb, as clued in the puzzle, but is also used as the name of a meal cooked in said utensil, essentially a meat/fish/vegetable stew with North African spices. A favourite in our house!

  15. Eileen says:

    Hi Stella

    Nice one!

    Re tagine – KD beat me to it but this what it looks like!

  16. Colin Blackburn says:

    Excellent puzzle and, for a change, I saw the them part way through – LET IT along the top was the give-away. In this case it helped with the last few answers.

    Oddly I am going to make a tagine tonight having got some North African spice mixtures last weekend at a country show. I don’t have a tagine to make it in though so it’ll not be perfect!


  17. Stella says:

    Thanks for clearing that up. You’d make me want to try one, except I made a delicious couscous a couple of days ago, so I’ll give Arab a rest for a while :)

    On the other hand, if anyone has the recipe – whoops! I thought I was stil on Jamie Oliver’s blog! 😆

  18. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Okay, in an attempt to get a further off-topic remark in before Gaufrid gets exercised, I will just further compliment Raich by saying that when contributors go off on one it’s usually an indication that the puzzle was tip-top and there’s nothing to complain about …

    Colin, and others, it’s ras-el-hanout that you need. Which would form the basis for a cracking clue for any lurking setter.

    I’m out of here for the rest of this evening.

  19. flashling says:

    Failed on Tagine, suspected anag but it could easily have been tanige – I had no idea, spotting the nina certainly helped me otherwise finish. Tartrate – loved it.
    Certainly took ladder as per KD and Agree as per Eileen.

    Good ‘un Raich, a few smiles on the way and thanks Ali.

    So what’s happened with virgilius? Has he stopped supplying the indy?

  20. Ali says:

    Thanks all for the corrections. I blogged this one in a bit of a hurry and so didn’t check all the answers online!

  21. Raich says:

    Many thanks, Ali, for the excellent blog and to everyone for their comments which are much appreciated.

    The theme forced an unfamiliar word or two into the grid, I tried to give straightforward clues for these.

  22. Wil Ransome says:

    Very good crossword, as we have come to expect from Raich. Only one quibble, if that is what it is: in 20dn how is grant = agree?

    Liked TARTRATE but I’m sure I’ve seen it somewhere before.

    Was thrown by 9ac, missing a simple hidden. Was sure that capital of Tibet was T. How dreadful.

  23. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Ali.
    Super puzzle from Raich with plenty of smiles along the way.I must be getting used to the Indie style,as soon as I saw the blank grid I thought – Nina! Still managed to miss the names of the ‘Fab Four’in the clues.
    TARTRATE was an excellent clue,very funny.Also liked LADDER, and ROCOCO which,despite it’s surface,needed no knowledge of soccer to solve.

  24. Allan_C says:

    Wil, one can say ‘I grant you…’ meaning, roughly, ‘I agree with you in that respect…’. – usually as a preliminary to disagreeing about something else. But I’d agree(!) with you that it is a bit of a vague clue.

  25. Colin Blackburn says:

    K’s D, ras-el-ranout is exactly what I bought! I also got some sumac for a middle-eastern salad tonight. I could feel a theme puzzle developing here if enough of these spices where in Chambers.

    GRANT and AGREE both mean concede though as Allan_C suggests they are used slightly differently.

  26. NoddyBankie says:

    Loved the Rangers & Celtic one, 23D. Collectively they are known as the Old Firm, so clue works on 2 levels. Very clever.

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