Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,457/Morph

Posted by Ali on September 9th, 2010


Always a pleasure to get a Morph puzzle, and I don’t say that just because I know he’ll be reading this. There’s always a good dose of humour in his puzzles and some very clever surfaces, 13D and 17D being good examples here.

There is a mini theme with 14A 15 linking to other entries and I made heavy weather of these by struggling to solve 14A until well past half the grid was filled. I always seem to overlook PEAR and LIME when it comes to trees too! There are one or two clues where I’m close but not quite there, but all told this was a great puzzle.

1 SPINE – S + PINE – The first of the 14A 15s!
4 LAST STRAW – LASTS + [-sea]T in RAW
9 BILTONG – BIL[-l] + TONG[-ue] – I’ve seen this stuff hanging in bags near the counter of my local CostCutter, but have never been tempted
10 AVERAGE – AVER (to say) + AGE (how old you are)
11 TIDEMARK – This could either be T + IDE + MARK or T + I + DEMARK. I can’t work out where the socialist party fits in.
12 BREWER – REVERB rev. – The ‘volume doubled’ changes the V to W. Not seen this device used before, but I see no problem with it
14 SOUTHERN – SOUR about THE + N – Lovely clue
15 TREE – [-s]TREE[-t]
18 LOPE – [-e]LOPE
19 DEEPNESS – (S + END’S + PEE)*
21 GROUSE – ROU[-t] in G(eneral) S(staff) + E (Spain)
26 RETSINA – [-c]ANISTER rev.
28 HORSESHOE – SESH + O(ld) in (HERO)*
29 SPECK – Another 14A 15, but not sure how PECK is a ‘cut’ tree
1 SABOTS – ST(reet) + OB + vAnS rev.
3 ENORMOUS – I think this is En OR MOUS[-se], though not sure how EN is ‘nut’
5 LOGORRHOEA – LOG “a rhea”
5 SOAK – S(outhern) OAK
6 SPEAR – S(outhern) PEAR
7 ROADWORKS – which it doesn’t if there are some!
8 WEE FREES – “Wee freeze” – Or possibly “we freeze” I guess. And ‘wee’ could have more than one meaning!
13 TROPHY WIFE – H[-ubb]Y in (FIT + POWER)* – Clue of the day for me!
17 DEAD LOSS – O in (SADDLES)* – A very nice clue
22 SLIME – S(outhern) LIME
25 SASH – S(outhern) ASH

9 Responses to “Independent 7,457/Morph”

  1. Shirley says:

    Ali – thanks for the blog.
    29A is S TEAK. I’m afraid we can’t help you with the others you are stuck on though

  2. nmsindy says:

    EN = NUT is given in dicts. Thanks for the blog, Ali, as you say, some great clues in this.

  3. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for the blog, Ali, and Morph for another great puzzle.

    I can’t get any further than you, Ali, re 11ac and 3dn but 29ac is S TEAK.

    I agree re 13 and 17 dn and would like to add 12 and 21 [brilliant!] ac. As you say, lots to amuse. :-)

  4. Ian W. says:

    Perhaps 11a is TIME without ME, on the dubious notion that socialism is selfless.

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Ali
    11a is SIDE (party) with the S (socialist) changed to T (time) MARK (draw). I cannot find S = socialist in any of the usual references but it is used in the likes of USSR, SDP etc.

  6. walruss says:

    You get a lot of trees, and birds, in the Independent, it seems! Great stuff though, as all have said. Well done to Morph and The Indy.

  7. scchua says:

    Thanks Ali and Morph.
    What I call an educational crossword.
    Now I know an alternative for “verbal diarrhoea” (4D – logorrhoea).
    12A, most satisfying when I got it, Double V = W: clever and original (notwithstanding W = Double U).

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Morph, and Ali. As often on a Thursday, too hard for me to finish, or in fact even get half way through. Struggled to get the gateway clue at 14/15, so was never going to make much progress after that. But there was some clever stuff in there and others have obviously enjoyed a good challenge.

    The double V = W thing is indeed very clever. Scchua, Morph must have some French genes in him, because the French, much more logically, say ‘double V’ (‘doobler vay’) for the letter W.

    Who’s entertaining us tomorrow, then?

  9. flashling says:

    Very nice, struggled for quite a while, loved 21 for the sheer misdirection a single capital letter can bring to a clue.

    Terry Pratchett uses the Wee Free men in a few of his stories – they are a bunch of very drunken larcenous blue coloured folk of tiny size also known as Pictsies (who despite the red hair and Scot’s accent aren’t from Scotland at all, honest).

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