Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7465 by Tyrus – Saturday Prize Puzzle 18 September 2010

Posted by duncanshiell on September 25th, 2010


I solved most of this on a long car journey and didn’t find it too difficult once the long answer at 14/29/1D had fallen.

I liked the surface for TRAVAIL and TREATMENT, and the word play for ELIZABETH

I’m not at all sure about the parsing of 18d – HYPNOSIS, but I’ve suggested some ideas, none of which convince me completely.  I don’t think the answer is HYPNOSES, as I feel the answer has to be singular.  I look forward to readers telling me the correct unambiguous interpretation.

Wordplay Entry
1 OFF (going) + (anagram of [perhaps] TEACH PE) OFF THE PACE (somewhat backward)
6 A (away) contained in (in) (SH [quiet] + H [hotel]) SHAH (former ruler)
10 TRAIL (lag behind) containing (adopting) AV (alternative vote) TRAVAIL (labour)
11 OCT (month) + OPUS (work) OCTOPUS (reference Paul the Octopus who had better success at predicting football World Cup winners than most of the British press)
12 Last letter (ending) of MARRIAGE + anagram of (unlikely) TIGER, excluding I (electric current) EGRET (bird)
13 Anagram of (prepared) SO MEAL IS containing (around) E (east) SESAME OIL (used as cooking oil in the East [and increasingly so in the West])
14/29/1D Reference to a long running Ronseal advertising campaign where ‘can’ = ‘tin’ IT DOES EXACTLY WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN IT DOES EXACTLY [WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN] (now a colloquial expression for asserting absolute reliability)
19 RETAIL THERAPY (cryptic definition relating ‘spending’ to ‘shopping in retail stores’) RETAIL THERAPY (continuing the cryptic definition with ‘therapy’ relating to ‘rehab’ )
21 SIDEBOARD (side whiskers, on the male face) SIDEBOARD (furniture)
24 AT IT (having [sexual] relations) reversed (round) + first letter of (start to) NOTICE TITAN (one’s very big)
26 V (against) contained in (joining in) A DANCE (knees-up) ADVANCE (go on)
27 PEERESS (a Peeress will have the title ‘Lady’) PEERESS (one who looks; a looker)
28 PAL (friend; china) + L (lost) PALL (oppressive atmosphere)


Wordplay Entry
2 F (female) + L (left) + AIR (look) [the Down nature of the clue means ‘L’ + ‘AIR’ supports ‘F’] FLAIR (talent)
3 HEAR (listen to) + first letter of (original) TRAVIS + FELT (material) HEARTFELT (deep)
4 -PHILES (used as a suffix in many combinations to indicate ‘lovers of’ e.g., the English and all things English [Anglophiles]) excluding (not) H (hot)  PILES (complaint)
5 Anagram of all but the last letter of (endless) ROCK + (ISNT containing [entertaining] SA [sex appeal; it]) CROISSANT (roll)
7 POLY (polytechnic; old college) contained in (in) (HIP [cheer; hip hip hurrah)]+ TA [cheers; thankyou]) ‘In’ must be used as a verb here, to mean ‘put in’ HIPPOLYTA (legendary Queen, of Greek mythology)
8 Anagram of (enigmatic) SLEUTH HUSTLE (TV show)
9 I + MET (came across) reversed (mounted) ITEM (romantically attached couple)
15 Anagram of (solved)  RIDDLE EVA DAREDEVIL (unreasonably rash and reckless; taking risks)
16 E (energy) + (BRAZIL [country] excluding R [king] reversed [lifted]) + anagram of (bastard) THE ELIZABETH (Queen)
17 Anagram of (doctor) all but the last letter of (greatly) MATTERS + ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat; hospital department) TREATMENT (what the Doctor provides)
18 HYP (sounds like [reporters] up-to-date) + NOS (sounds like reference to reporters having a ‘nose for a story’?) + IS (it’s)  Alternatively NOS is a sound alike for ‘knows’ = ‘knowledge’, but I really have little confidence in either interpretation.  Perhaps IS is part of NOSIS and the whole thing sounds like ‘hip noses’ meaning up-to-date knowledge. HYPNOSIS ([it’s] mesmerising)
20 SCAR (mark) contained in (in) (P [soft] + E [earth]) reversed (around) ESCARP (the side of ditch beside the rampart)
22 BAND (sounds like [on the radio] BANNED [not allowed]) BAND (musicians)
23 D (daughter) + TOPE (drink regularly) reversed (served up) DEPOT (store)
25 Hidden word in (with) MUST HE TAMPER THETA (letter of the Greek alphabet)

13 Responses to “Independent 7465 by Tyrus – Saturday Prize Puzzle 18 September 2010”

  1. Polly says:

    18 down: HIP + GNOSIS. Altogether a very satisfying puzzle: 11 and 19 across were particularly pleasing in a gently chuckleworthy way.

  2. eimi says:

    I thought the trio of topical clues (10, 11 & 12 Across) were brilliant, with 11 Across my clue of the year so far.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Duncan, for the blog and Tyrus for the excellent puzzle. That long answer came only near the end, some excellent clues, my favourite was the wonderful one for RETAIL THERAPY. I agree with Polly about HYPNOSIS.

  4. scchua says:

    Thanks Duncan, first time on your blog, and must say, it’s impressive in its completeness.
    Yes, another nice Saturday puzzle that I could solve, and thanks to Tyrus for that (don’t often see him do we?).
    Liked 19A for its cryptic-ness, 27A for its conciseness, and the long 14,29,1D which was the last but one to go in for me.

  5. sidey says:

    Superb blog, and I really try not to use superlatives.

    Paul the octopus eh? Some of us have no idea who won that pointless tournament, let alone that obscure detail. Sorry eimi and Tyrus, but the enthusiasm for foopball in Indy puzzles is incredibly boring.

  6. Lenny says:

    This was my first attempt at a Tyrus and I found it challenging and entertaining. I finished with the tricky intersection of Octopus and Croissant. I got Octopus from the wordplay, not knowing the name of the oracular cephalopod. I got croissant from the definition with the wordplay defeating me. Thanks, Duncan, for disentangling it.

    I raised an eyebrow at L for loss in Pall but I have previously been taken to task for complaining about the Independent’s cavalier attitude to abbreviations so I checked the dictionaries and, although I cannot find it in Chambers or Collins it is in the Oxford in the sense of those WWLDWL sequences that you get next to football teams’ names. Perhaps I’m agreeing with Sidey about too much football.

  7. nmsindy says:

    Yes, you see L in those sequences, Lenny, but much more commonly it’s in the league tables in every newspaper W D L. Minor typo, it’s ‘lost’ rather than ‘loss’ that we’re referring to here.

  8. Allan_C says:

    I read 7d as HYP (homophone of “hip”=up-to-date=popular=”in”) + POLY + TA. But where is the homophone indicator? Both Duncan’s reading and mine need one.

    Otherwise all pretty straightforward though I didn’t understand the football reference in 11a and, like Lenny, demurred at L for lost, not having access to the OED – should have looked at the sport pages!

  9. Polly says:

    No homophone indicator is needed for 7 down: Duncan’s reading uses the correct spelling HIPPOLYTA. The tendency to transpose I and Y in the name is a common howler (in the circles I move in, at least).

  10. Duncan Shiell says:

    Allan_C, unless I’m missing something, HIPPOLYTA is not spelt with a Y between the H and the P, so HIP in this case is a direct reference to hip hip hurrah or cheer, without need for a homophone – see hip (3) in Chambers. I think HYP, as part of HYPNOSIS in 18 down is in homophone country.

    Thanks to Polly for pointing me in the direction of GNOSIS meaning knowledge

  11. Aguers says:

    Are we seeing the much-discussed of late prog-rock theme popping up again here? I’m thinking of all those Pink Floyd album covers designed by Hipgnosis…

  12. Allan_C says:

    Thanks, Polly and Duncan, for the correction. Mea culpa. Must have been confusing the HIP and HYP of 7 and 18. I should have looked at my Shakespeare (MSND) as well as at the sports pages!

  13. Tyrus says:

    Thanks to Duncan for the blog and to everyone else who commented.

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