Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7461/Tees

Posted by John on September 14th, 2010


An incredibly difficult offering from Tees today. Incredibly difficult, so far as I’m concerned, anyway. I can just imagine all those people logging on to this blog in the hope that they can be helped. I’m afraid I’m not offering much. There are some very good clues here, but too often for my liking they become impenetrable.

No doubt it will be explained to me how stupid I’ve been, should have seen it all along, etc.  Oh yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer. but whether or not there’s anything else I’m not sure.

8 I(SOBA)R — had never heard of soba, which is a thin noodle used in Japanese cookery: Chambers says that soba is a singular and doesn’t give a plural, so is it really noodles?
9 HACIENDA — (each 1)* (and)* — a nightclub in Manchester with which I wasn’t familiar
11 GINGER TOM — can’t see this at all: there is apparently a famous cat called Ginger, and the word ‘Manx’ suggests that something is curtailed, but I’m lost
12 CAME L — at last, a simple clue, and a good one
13 CRIM SON — though why ‘crim’ is ‘most unlawful act’ (obviously it’s short for ‘criminal’, but …) I don’t know, and suspect there’s something I’m not seeing
15 RIPPLES — (slipper)*
17 A ME ER — A is very good, the writer is me, ER is the letters that make up the abbreviation for our queen (‘letters to’?)
18 YES — eYESight
20 I(N P.U.)T
22 GENESIS — (seeing)* {len}s
25 EMERSON — E ME(RS)ON — I think the reading and writing are two of the three Rs
26 G(IAN)T
27 TOM SAWYER — OK Tom Sawyer is a bookish hero, Wye River is the last four letters, but why Tomsa is ‘alpha feminist’s direction perhaps’ I just can’t see
30 NAINSOOK — (as onion)* k, and if you’re wondering where on earth the k comes from then so am I
31 GEN(T{ranquil} L{ife})E
1 KING — presumably this refers to Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, and ‘in’ separates K and G
2 MOONRISE — a CD using the fact that Diana is goddess of the moon
4 PAL(M)E R — I think ‘in white married’ is to be read as ‘in white, married’
5 DISC I P{lay} LINE — a very good clue
6 ANIMAL — (lamina)rev.
7 CAR L — the wordplay is pretty obvious, but why Carl is a rude man… your guess is as good as mine; probably one of Tees’s sophisticated literary references
10 STINKY — (nit)rev. in sky
14 S TRESS TEST — a stress test is not something of which I’ve ever really been aware, but I suppose it’s fairly obvious and Google gives nearly two million hits
16 SATIN — yet again why on earth? It’s not a reference to Ayn Rand because then it wouldn’t be rand. It’s an anagram of the last five letters of ‘obtains’, so …?
19 S(T{ory})EAMY
21 PUSEYITE — use in (piety)*
23 NI AC IN — niacin is a member of the vitamin B complex, which explains the complex thing
24 SITCOM — (Stoic)* M
26 G O N.G.
28 A(P.E.)X — Sam’s chopper is the American spelling of axe
29 {Is}RAEL — you always learn something from Tees’s crosswords: the reference is to Claude Rael

33 Responses to “Independent 7461/Tees”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Morning John.

    Thanks for the blog, and don’t beat yourself up about it! This was certainly one for those who like a tough weekday challenge. I managed about half of it and there were some good clues among the ones I solved. I too am unable to parse the ones you’re struggling with – except SATIN, which I took to be SA (South African) and TIN, which is one of the country’s big mineral exports; and rands will buy you South African tin. I think.

  2. Eileen says:

    Phew! Many thanks John – I agree with Kathryn’s Dad! [to whom thanks for 16dn; I, too, too was working on the anagram].

    My two penn’orth:

    in 13ac, I read it as CRIM: most [of] CRIME
    27ac: ‘in alpha female’s direction': TO MS A
    7dn I did know: CARL is a variant of ‘churl’.

  3. walruss says:

    It’s just ‘South African money’ for SA TIN, isn’t it?

  4. Conrad Cork says:

    Ginger Tom is mogg (manx moggy) + in tre (in tree not completely) as anagram fodder.

    The late Ted Ray in Ray’s a Laugh used to worry about the activities of ‘that ginger tom from next door’.

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Hi John
    In 30ac the K comes from ‘bits’. In computing, K is the abbreviation for Kilobyte(s) and a byte is eight bits.

  6. jmac says:

    I really enjoyed this and although it was full of Tees’ clever, deceptive cluing, found it pretty straightforward.

    There seems to be a mini theme of 70’s progressive rock bands – Yes, Crimson King, Genesis, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. No Deep Purple, but that’s no bad thing.

  7. jmac says:

    Meant King Crimson. Memories of the Hall of the Crimson King intervened.

  8. IanN14 says:

    I think the theme continues with Camel, Gong and Gentle Giant. Any more? (My knowledge of such music is very distant…).
    And Palmer’s a Carl.
    Is it a coincidence there’s two Tom’s in there?

  9. jmac says:

    Hi Ian, well spotted. I did wonder about Greg. It all seems so long ago, but I can’t see any obvious Tom link. I do see that my previous correction needs a correction: it should have been “court” rather than “hall”.

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    That’s why I did so rubbish at it then: I’m too young to remember the seventies. Not.

  11. sidey says:

    “In 30ac the K comes from ‘bits’. In computing, K is the abbreviation for Kilobyte(s) and a byte is eight bits.”

    That really is pushing things! Far too hard for Pooh today. Sorry Anax, I can’t say anything positive about this.

  12. walruss says:

    No according to Chambers, which has K inter alia as ‘1024 bits’. It doesn’t appear to be indirect. What’s Anax got to do with it Sidey?!?!

  13. Thomas99 says:

    Thank god that’s over! Thanks for the blog and all the illuminating comments. I wasn’t going to get “To Ms A” in a million years; I had somehow convinced myself of the existence of the great feminist writer Alice Toms. I mainly put in Ginger Tom because it fitted, and I put in nainsook more or less as a joke and pressed check. Nainsook?? Sorry, don’t want to be carlish(?), there were some very clever clues…

  14. Tokyo Colin says:

    Well that’s the second time today I’ve missed a blindingly obvious theme. I cannot believe that I entered EMERSON, LAKE and PALMER and didn’t twig!

    I was going to have a moan that clueing HACIENDA as a “Manchester club” was excessively parochial but I assume now it is part of the theme as all of the groups would have performed there.

    As was pointed out by someone else recently, there is no plural form in Japanese (at least in the form of modifying the noun) so soba, udon, ramen, somen etc, are all Japanese noodles in the plural.

    Nainsook crops up often enough that I guessed it easily enough but I still object to bits = K. K is an abbreviation for the number 2*10 or 1,024 which is close enough to 1,000 for most purposes and so is pronounced as “kilo”. So Kb is 1,024 bits and KB is 1,024 bytes. It is like having “eggs” in the clue to mean DOZEN. (They come 10 to a carton in Japan.)

  15. sidey says:


  16. walruss says:

    Thanks Sidey, I see what you mean! Thanks for directing me to a site I don’t know, too. For K Chambers Online has K as, in computing, ‘a unit of memory equal to 1024 bits, bytes or words’. That’s why I didn’t mind it!

  17. Derrick Knight says:

    I,too, found this difficult, but then I like my crosswords hard. I also learned a few more words. Thanks, John for RAEL. It had to be that but I had never heard of him. I also missed the theme – I don’t remember the seventies, so perhaps I wasn’t there. I have enough trouble these days remembering which decade (even century) I’m in. Incidentally, I think the Indy is becoming harder, but the clueing is much more accurate than some rivals, thanks to our excellent editor.

  18. Paul B says:

    Thanks chaps. You’ve cracked nearly all of ’em. I’ll come back later to tidy up.

    Meantime, here’s a link to a site from which you can download a file containing an experimental mix of a song by my proggy lot (hope the link works):

  19. Paul B says:

    And chapesses! Sorry.

  20. Aguers says:

    There’s one more, of a kind – Rael is the lead character in *The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway*, Peter Gabriel’s last album with Genesis before Phil Collins wheeled in his drum machine…

  21. NealH says:

    Very tough and general knowledge-heavy today. I thought of isobar straight away, but it took me ages to work out why it was the answer. I kept thinking it was something like I(rish) so bar (noodle bar), but that didn’t make any sense. In general, I found the top left corner very difficult – kept thinking 1 down was kink or ging. The simple device of using two different letters for a thousand had me stumped. However, 11 across was the only clue where the wordplay completely defeated me. I didn’t spot happy as the anagrind – it must be in the sense of a euphemism for drunk, I suppose.

    Quite enjoyable overall, but next time give me a warning when something like this is coming up, so I can take the day off work.

  22. flashling says:

    Ripples is a song by genesis as well, and animal was inspired by keith moon of the who, took a while to get going and failed on Moonrise. Tees is a musician though isn’t he. I’m sure there’s more from the prog rock era in this, coincidentally which was an answer quite recently I seem to remember but have thrown that indy away now.

  23. Sil van den Hoek says:

    And “Discipline” is a highly praised album from 1981 by King Crimson.

  24. flashling says:

    Tees just listened to your track, very nice, reminiscent of early 70’s Genesis and Marillion but I assume that’s the intent.

  25. flashling says:

    And of course rush did tom sawyer, (nights in white) satin perhaps? OK Tees end this now please, pretty please?

  26. Scarpia says:

    Moonrise is a Polish prog artist

  27. eimi says:

    Tees is a drummer and I suggested that 6 Down might be a reference to his role model, the drummer from those prog rock legends Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem:

  28. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Paul (sorry, Tees), just listened to your Joy 2.
    That sounds amazing, although I think your clues are far better than the lyrics of the song – but that’s progrock :).
    Good drummer, btw.
    But that guitar player, blimey, is even better – completely up to the genre.
    As flashling said, Marillion and (early) Genesis spring to mind.
    I do know what I don’t like about it, but I’m not gonna tell you.

    Oh, and very good crossword!!

  29. Tees says:

    Many thanks. There’s more where that (music) came from, but we’re having a slight financial problem in getting it all mixed to the standard of the one you can hear. Drat. Thanks for listening btw – much appreciated.

    Think you’ve got the lot now. Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Gong, Gentle Giant, Camel, Emerson Lake and Carl Palmer, Ripples by Genesis, Discipline by King Crimson, Tom Sawyer by Rush, and Rael the hero of The Lamb (Lies Down on Broadway). Ghost themed, as hardly anyone knows or cares about prog, except me.

    I hadn’t deliberately included Moonrise to be honest, as I’ve never heard of them: Riverside is one of the only two Polish prog bands I know about. But Ginger Tom? Well now, that’s a cat and no mishtake.

    NB HACIENDA was the Factory Records-run nightclub, so not a prog reference: confirm SATIN was indeed the joke about rand = South African money, using the crosswordese masterpiece TIN = cash.

    Bed. Knackered.

  30. Colin Blackburn says:

    I enjoyed this very much despite being stumped by a few clues and not getting all of the theme. I had YES, GENESIS and CAMEL in but it wasn’t until I got GIANT followed by GENTLE a clue or too later that I twigged. CRIMSON then led to looking for KING and LAKE led to looking for the other too.

    As an aside it’s a genre of music for which I don’t share Tees’ passion, though I did live through and survive the era represented here. If Tees hadn’t already have mentioned it I was going to point out that none of these bands would ever have played at the HACIENDA—I was there most nights so I’d have noticed! (Though it is possible that Fripp popped up there in some guise?) Early in the club’s life it was a post-punk venue and later a dance club championing (acid) house music.


  31. Jake says:

    What a great crossword!
    I liked 23d – rather clever using the ‘complex’ as seen on the back of vitamin pots!
    All rather great, I only just spotted the theme (which I highlighted) to make the grid look cool. I hadn’t heard of Camel, so thanks for pointing that out.

    Nice one Tees.

  32. John says:

    I clicked on your link Paul. As I’m sure you’re well aware, this isn’t really my cup of tea but even so it’s very impressive. Indistinguishable from “the real thing”, insofar as I know it.

    Thanks to all who helped. I really should have seen SA tin. Also perhaps k for ‘many bits’, also perhaps ‘most’ = ‘most of’ in 13ac. Although soba may be a Japanese word, it’s in Chambers so I still rather feel that, since we are not told otherwise, its plural is sobas.

  33. Paul B says:

    Many thanks Wil, and cheers for the blog too.

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