Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7445 by Anax

Posted by flashling on August 26th, 2010


My heart sank a bit when it was confirmed that it was Anax today after last Saturday’s offering. This is nowhere near that hard.

There is a very strong Indian theme to this crossword, Anax trying to curry favour perhaps.


1 Gossipy – expansive I guess. work(GO)+S(ecret)+agent(SPY) aroung I(ndia)
5 Impeach – I am (a) peach
10 Rein – Hidden in whe(RE IN)dians
11 Dehydrated – (They’d dread)*
12 Sehwag – Indian Cricketer (He was)* + havin(G), he made 319 against South Africa in 2008
13 Idahoans – Ugly looking word, but (A danish)* with o for egg/zero in it.
14 Stalwarts – Starts arounf A L(ong) W(ave)
15 Tamil – Tail for shadow around M(aiden)
17 Patna – Indian City, Ready (Pat) + N(ame) + A
19 Palm Beach – (Intimate) PAL + EACH around MB (Doctor)
22 Bhelpuri – Indian dish it’s a new one on me though, I RUB reversed around HELP (serve)
24 Gamges – GANGS (crowds) around (her)E
26 Vikram Seth – Indian writer (Mr Keith Vas)* Nice anagram
27 Hint – HIT around N
28 Berserk – Bjork dropping Jo and ERSE taking her place. Bjork certainly has done some strange things.
29 Strudel – St(one) + RUDE + L(ady)

2 Overeat – O(ld) + Vat about bErRiEs
3 Sinew – Sine (trigonometry function) + W(ith)
4 Podagra – More commonly called Gout. Pod school) + Agra
6 Madras – MAD (Out to lunch) + R(upees) + AS (when)
7 Elaborate – Can’t really justify this, there’s ELATE (lift) around ABOR? Ideas anyone? EDIT: It’s Elate around Bora, a NE Adriatic wind, thanks all
8 Chennai – He in CNN + AI (A-one – Capital, great)
9 Christianised (India’s Richest)*
15 Landlords Pub Bosses. ROLL (Wrap in food sense reversed) around AND and (Nintendo) DS (Games console).
18 Atheise – Deny God, A(nswer) + THEE around IS.
20 Mug Shot – Mugs (attacks) + HOT (Nicked)
21 Cleanse – Leans in CE
22 Summer – As in Indian Summer, unexpected later year warm spell, which would be nice after the recent weather.
25 Nehru – Former PM, Hen (reversed) + R(ugby) U(nion)

27 Responses to “Independent 7445 by Anax”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, flashling.

    Perhaps not quite so hard as last Saturday’s but challenging, nevertheless!

    I found it hugely enjoyable, with far too many fine clues to mention.

    Re 7dn: it’s BORA [the North wind] in ELATE

    And a small elaboration on 28ac: Jo was one of Louisa May Alcott’s ‘Little Women’.

  2. Eileen says:

    And it’s worth pointing out, for non-UK solvers, that the MP’s name is Mr Keith VaZ – one of the best clues, I thought.

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, for me this wás hard.
    In the past I have only solved a few crosswords by Anax [including some on the Alberich website, to get more into his style].
    Perhaps, nobody at this place is waiting for a lecture on Anax, but the thing that I find hard about his puzzles, is not just the abundance of original indicators, but also his very intuitive use of the English language. His descriptions can be found in Chambers et al, but often under #5 or lower (or even just in the Thesaurus).
    For example, if you’re not familiar with PATNA (17ac), then – at least for me – to get from ‘Ready’ to PAT is quite difficult.
    Other examples:GOSSIPY = expansive, ELABORATE = fancy, STARTS = is surprised and A1 = capital.

    But I got there in the end – yes, I had to use the Internet, but didn’t cheat on the Indy site.
    Last one to go in was BERSERK (28ac), which was initially a problem because of me filling in ATHEISM in 18d [which couldn’t be it – ‘you’ isn’t ‘them’, obviously.
    I knew Bjork had to be part of the clue, but I saw ‘Mad’ as an anagrind and was looking for an (Indian) language. When the penny dropped, it seemed all so simple.

    I needed the blog for the DS part of 15d, and to fully understand MADRAS and NEHRU [I saw it as (UR + HEN)upwards, ‘hen’ being the ‘game’ and therefore looking for a female connection – wrong].

    7d is ELATE around BORA [which is “a strong-north east wind in the upper Adriatic”]

    Very rewarding.

  4. Rishi says:


    If you look at ELABORATE as ELA(BORA)TE and not EL(ABOR)ATE you will see that ‘bora’ is a strong NE wind in the upper Adriatic (Chambers).

  5. Rishi says:


    I don’t know if Anax was trying to ‘curry favour perhaps’ as you note in the preamble, but it might interest you to know that I live in CHENNAI that was MADRAS. This Anax would know as I often bruit about it. I speak TAMIL.

    Shuchi, a blogger on this site, hails from PATNA, a fact that Anax might not know.

  6. Richard Palmer says:

    A challenging puzzle but very enjoyable. Regarding Sil’s comment surely using words in unusual senses is what crosswords are all about.
    The only thing I didn’t ubderstand before reading the blog was DS in 15D as I’m far too old for Nintendo.
    Incidentally Vikram Seth is a great crossword enthusiast. I wonder if he has done this one.

  7. scchua says:

    Thanks flashling.
    Obviously Anax was easing up a bit after last week’s Prize puzzle.

    Am not (that deep) into cricket so 12A was a bit slow in coming, and likewise 15D, as not into videogames either, though got the solution from the definition before deciphering the clue. Did a double take on 6D and 8D as they both refer to the same thing.

    BTW, is there a small typo in the online version of the clue for 25D: “….women….”; shouldn’t it be “woman” (singular) to be consistent with “hen”?

    But really a great puzzle to solve. Thanks Anax

  8. Eileen says:

    Hi scchua

    In 25dn hen is ‘for women’, adjectival, as in ‘hen party’.

  9. pat says:


  10. Colin Blackburn says:

    I have to say a big thumbs up for any puzzle featuring bhelpuri. Rice crispies for grown ups! There’s nothing better than bhelpuri followed by a masala dosa. Shame Anax couldn’t fit that one in.

    VIKRAM SETH = (MR KEITH VAZ)* was excellent whether it’s an Anax find or not.

  11. shuchi says:

    I was about to mention that Vikram Seth is a cryptic crossword enthusiast, Richard Palmer beat me to it. This page lists him as a well-known Azed competitor. Vikram Seth is also one of my favourite authors, and (Mr Keith Vas)* is a brilliant anagram – all in all 26a was my favourite clue.

    12a: The wordplay is so well-concealed, it takes a second reading to see it. Most cricket fans would have got this from the surface itself, I bet.

    24a: The whole clue gives the answer a deeper definition. The water of the Ganges is believed to be holy, to die near it is to escape the chain of reincarnation. So, crowds gather there ultimately for the water!

    6d: I loved the wordplay here but perhaps the clue needs to convey that this is an old name of the place.

    I’m impressed that Anax got so many themed words into this grid. If not in the answer, the theme was there in the clue. 9D is a another solid anagram.

    …and I’m delighted to find my hometown Patna in the grid!

  12. Colin Blackburn says:

    Hmm, missed the fact completely that it’s VAS not VAZ. Still not a bad one.

  13. Eileen says:

    But, Colin, it’s the ‘mis-spelling’ that makes the clue so brilliant!

  14. Rishi says:

    25d: I too wondered whether ‘women’ was a typo for ‘woman’ but only for a moment. Then I figured out that HEN could be derived from ‘for women’. Much joy in a crossword is derived by such thoughts and conclusions. It reinforces our own grip over the language.

  15. nmsindy says:

    I agree with the comments on this, very hard, tho not as hard as the recent Saturday one, which, as it happened I tackled only yesterday. All very clear and some really original touches. Did not understand DS in LANDLORDS till coming here. Some great clues, will mention just my three favourites, REIN, GANGES and CLEANSE. Great puzzle.

  16. PeterO says:

    Thanks for the blog. There is a lapsus calami in 3D: the wobbleyou is W(ith) not W(eak) at all.

  17. flashling says:

    So there is PeterO, will fix it thanks

  18. anax says:

    Good afternoon all, and very many thanks indeed for your kind comments.

    My biggest thanks must go to Shuchi who – once I’d mentioned the idea for the puzzle – very kindly compiled a list of suitable thematic entries, many of which I hadn’t thought of. I mention this because, as a surprising coincidence, PATNA wasn’t on that list, and I genuinely had no idea it was Shuchi’s home town; I’m over the Earth satellite that it found its way into the grid.

  19. Colin Blackburn says:

    Yes Eileen you are right. I didn’t have the puzzle in front of me when I commented. So I misremembered a perfect anagram and misforgot a well applied anagram indicator!

  20. Eileen says:

    That’s a relief, Colin – I thought it wasn’t like you!

    Many thanks, Anax, for dropping by again – it’s always a bonus when setters do this – and for another super puzzle!

  21. scchua says:

    Thanks Eileen@8 and Rishi@14. I’d missed the “for” (how the smallest word can change the whole meaning!). I was locked on to: one can have a “hen party” but not a “women party”, ditto with a “stag night” but not a “men” night, and a “ladies’ night” but not a “lady night”.

  22. scchua says:

    On second reading…scrap the “ladies night” reference…it’s actually a bad/counter example.

  23. sidey says:

    Anax seems too modest to mention this

  24. flashling says:

    Thanks for the comments, makes it worthwhile doing this and to Anax for one I could get. Too old and uncoordinated to be a games player and don’t have any games consoles but glad to help those that had never heard of it. Anax certainly introduces wordplay not seen before. I’m sorry that pat #9 comment felt that way, was that to my blog or the crossword itself which I thought was clever and well made.

    Takes all sorts on the internet I guess.

  25. Eileen says:

    Thanks again, flashling and Anax.

    Re comment #9 – I wondered if it was in response to my preceding comment? It would be helpful if pat would 7dn! :-)

  26. Scarpia says:

    Thanks flashling.
    Excellent puzzle from Anax – tough but fair and very inventive.Had to look up BHELPURI but managed the rest of the themed entries without aids.
    PODAGRA is usually used in reference to gout of the big toe,the usual place for symptoms to appear,but gout can affect any joint.
    Favourite clues for me,26,28 across and 9 down.

  27. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    Tried this late last night – ran out of puff just before the end and came here for a couple of answers, but enjoyed the rest, esp. the bhelpuri and the pod+Agra. Also liked the inclusion of Chennai which I think is where Rishi hails from.

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