Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7475/Morph

Posted by John on September 30th, 2010


An excellent crossword from Morph today. There are still some that I can’t see but I’m sure they will be explained by someone. As for a Nina, I suspect there is one since there are many different references (Beatles, Chuck Berry, various songs and books, cricket, the internet …) but I’m not sure what.

5 FIELDS — well it’s ‘Stawberry Fields For Ever’ (6 = strawberry and 15A = fields), but why ‘is out’ is ‘fields’ I can’t really see: surely not a cricket reference? When you’re out you have to field at some point… This seems a bit unlikely. W.C. Fields drank too much so he was always out and now he’s dead so he’s out forever — no, no, even more unlikely
9 BACTERIA — (a bit care)*
10 GOOGLY — 2 defs, one of them a fanciful one referring to Google
11 BREAKWATER — (ba{n}k were rat)* — excellent clue referring to The Wind in The Willows
12 EGGS — don’t see this
14 BLUE — “blew”
16 HILL — referring to Blueberry Hill, though why the thrillseeker I’m not sure
17 MYTH — (Humpty)* minus up in the two places where the letters occur — another very good clue, referring to Alice Through the Looking Glass
21 BRIDLE — “bride’ll”
23 1 NEX(PER{son})T
24 ESCAPEES — (pace sees)* — a very nice &lit.
25 RIPPLE — and Raspberry Ripple (22 = rasp, 15A = berry)
1 BINAURALLY — but I don’t quite get this: presumably ‘take up pen’ is (nib)rev. and ‘muster support’ is rally, but why Auntie’s third is au I can’t see; isn’t it n? Perhaps pen is ‘a nib’ but then surely it would be ‘take up a pen’?
2 F L(ATM)ATE — I wasn’t going to be caught out by ATM = cashpoint (Automatic Telling Machine) as I was once
3 G{o}ING E{a}RLY — very clever, since ‘seconds’ suggests the letter s
6 STRAW — (warts)rev.
7 SCATTERBRAINS — if you scatter ‘brains’ you get ‘in bars’ — nice clue but I’m not sure why Morph says ‘like this’
8/15A/4 GOOSE BERRY FOOL — ref Chuck Berry
13 GOLDEN RULE — a golden wedding is after 50 years, so you might say that rule over 50 years is golden
15 BUFFETED — 2 defs, using the different pronunciations
16 HOSEPIPE — (e{el} pie shop)*
18 HYDRA — the capital refreshments refer to the fact that the Hydra was a many-headed monster and every time heads were cut off more came back: and the capital of hosepipe is h, but h is an abbreviation for hydrant, according to Chambers …
20 CLEAR — 2 defs I think, although ‘clear’ = ‘make more than’ seems a bit odd: surely ‘clear’ = ‘make after subtractions’?
22 {g}RASP

24 Responses to “Independent 7475/Morph”

  1. Mark Pim says:

    1dn – Auntie’s third is surely ‘a third of auntie’ = ‘au’. No idea about the fields though I’m afraid…

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks John, for the blog, and Morph for an enjoyable crossword
    I think for 5A: It is a cricketing reference, since the side that “is out” (ie. not in, batting) will be fielding.

    Favourite clues are 16A: HILL, referencing the first line of lyrics from 14A 15A 16A, and 5A: FIELDS with references to cricket and a Beatles title, both my kind of music. Also 7D: SCATTERBRAINS, which was a reverse anagram.

  3. Derrick Knight says:

    I agree, John. An excellent puzzle with some lovely clues. Some of the wordplay is a bit difficult and I am sure Gaufrid will expand on my offerings.

    5A. I think ‘is out’ does mean on the field of play (any sport).

    12A. Homophone for EGs???

    16A. Racing driver Graham HILL?

    1D. AU is a third of Auntie! (cf.3D)

    7D. I think we are meant to scatter ‘in bars’

    20D. I think the two defs. are ‘Make’ and ‘more than evident’.

  4. scchua says:

    PS. First line to Blueberry Hill goes…”I found my thrill on ….”

  5. Derrick Knight says:

    I took so long to write my comment the others got in first!

  6. Gaufrid says:

    I get back from doing some ironing to find that all the queries have already been answered, except for one that is, 12ac (so I’m not redundant!).

    12ac needs to be split into ‘over heard by some’ so that a homophone of ‘over’ is indicated, ie ova or EGGS.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Given the comments so far, you will not be surprised to hear that I didn’t get very far with this one! But it all seems fair.

    If you’re feeling redundant, Gaufrid, there’s plenty of Kathryn’s siblings’ ironing to be done here …

  8. walruss says:

    How nice it must be to be someone’s dad, or even lad!! And how nice to solve this from the Independent today, a very nice puzzle indeed. I don’t really like the ‘is out’ equals ‘fields’ very much either, but this is about the only thing that quibbles! Well dome ‘Morph’ and The Independent.

  9. Derrick Knight says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid, for having better ears than me.

  10. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the blog, John. I enjoyed this: there was a lot of good stuff, but 3dn struck me as particularly brilliant.

  11. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, John – and to Morph for a most enjoyable puzzle, as ever.

    Rather late to the party today, so it’s all been said, really, but just to comment on the anagram indicator [messing around] in 11ac, as I can’t see it in the link that John provided – perhaps the most famous quotation from ‘The Wind in the Willows’ [Ratty to Mole]:
    “There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” Lovely.

  12. scchua says:

    Re 11A: I think the reference is simpler and more direct than Wind in the Willows. A mole at the entrance to a bay, is a breakwater.

  13. Stella Heath says:

    Yes, but the surface reading is definitely Wind in the Willows, scchua

  14. Eileen says:

    scchua, I – like John – was referring to the surface reading. Of course the definition is mole = breakwater.

  15. Eileen says:

    Sorry, Stella – I spent so long choosing my words that I missed yours! :-)

  16. scchua says:

    Stella@13 and Eileen@14, I get it, had missed the fact that it was an &lit as well.

  17. jetdoc says:

    Lovely puzzle.

    My only quibbles:

    5a: ‘Is out’ is a bit loose for FIELDS. A cricket side that batted first would field once it was all out; but it might field first.

    12a: “EX” = over, heard by some. I don’t think EX and EGGS are homophones.

  18. John says:

    As usual everyone’s been very helpful, but perhaps I didn’t make myself clear enough: I cannot explain 18dn. Or perhaps it’s just a cryptic definition and all that stuff about h and hydrant was irrelevant. Morph was at the Azed lunch and Azed doesn’t approve of them. I agree. But they are I have to admit widespread. Should have found a better link to Wind in The Willows — I missed the messing around bit.

  19. scchua says:

    Re my@16 (I presume it’s 16, since it takes a long time before the post appears).
    Before I’m taken to task again (justifiably so, I might add, and I take my lumps as well as the next person), I used the word “&lit” loosely, since I don’t know of another word for when a surface reading reference includes part of the wordplay.

  20. scchua says:

    jetdoc@17, re 5A I think your quibble might be resolved by not looking at “out” as having batted all out, but rather as the opposite of “in”. Thus if you’re not in (batting) then you must be fielding, regardless of whether your side is batting first or not.

  21. Gaufrid says:

    Hi jetdoc @17
    See my comment #6. In 12a, it is a homophone of ‘over’, ie ova or EGGS.

  22. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, John. This was very good, esp all the thematic references around BERRY. As it happened, I knew all the songs referred to very well and that would have helped me. Quite hard, but this is a Thursday, isn’t it? Favourites GOOGLY, GINGERLY, SCATTERBRAINS, RASP.

  23. flashling says:

    Found this tricky but got there. Whilst having a few birthday drinks, I met a couple trying to finish the Guardian. Having helped them do so they picked up my completed Indy, she exclaimed Morph! that’s my nephew, I can’t do his crosswords… anyway thanks john/morph.

  24. Morph says:

    Thanks for the blog and numerous comments – looks like I left some food for thought (or possibly bones of contention) to chew on.
    5ac, I intended ‘is out’ to be the opposite of ‘is in’, in cricket (as per scchua @20), but I accept this was more informed by those humorous ‘rules of cricket’ tea towels than an in-depth knowledge of the game. So apologies to those such as Jetdoc who do have such knowledge!
    12ac is (as per Gaufrid @6) using a homonym in the clue, ‘over’ for ‘ova’ rather than in the answer – so not ‘ex’ for ‘eggs’.
    16ac, the reference was to the song lyric ‘I found my thrill/On Blueberry Hill’ (as per Schhua @4), rather than to Damon.
    18dn was a cryptic definition, as explained by John in the blog – no hydrants or hosepipes. I don’t use CDs much, and if I do usually add wordplay, which perhaps I should have done here for clarity – and since many of you were looking for some anyway!
    20dn, I meant the two defs to be ‘make more than’ and ‘evident’, in the sense of ‘he clears 50 grand’, but I may have been misusing the word, so perhaps I can hide behind Derrick’s parsing @2 instead!
    Anyway, once you’ve picked out the pips, I hope it wasn’t a razzie!

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