Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7478 by Anax

Posted by NealH on October 4th, 2010


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

The online version had the compiler as Anaz this morning, but the printed version says Anax. I found the puzzle a bit of a struggle. There were a lot of words that were either a bit strange or were used with unusual meanings. In a lot of cases, even after getting the answer, I didn’t feel very confident about it and resorted the check button to make sure. My favourite clue was 11 across, although I did hesitate over whether the word existed or not.

1 Standing room: Stand-in groom. I assume the meaning of groom here is the verb – “to groom/coach someone”.
8 Follow suit: (To us if)* around l(ake) low.
9 Buzz: DD referring to the astronaut, Buzz Aldrin.
10 Eddo: (Odd E(arth))<.
11 Tillerless: Till (=to) + re<(=on) + le[ave] + SS.
12 Actressy: I assume this is an &lit of ([O]scars yet)* with the “without one” telling you to drop the first letter.
13 Gabby: No idea at all on this one – “What I do about X being talkative”.
16 Adder: [L]adder.
18 Massacre: Mass (= popular as in “mass appeal”) + Acre.
21 Scaffolder: S + caff + older.
23 Yoof: Again completely at a loss on this one – “Introduction to rap from today’s kids”.
24 Keen: DD (keen as in a “keen wind” and “nuts about something”).
25 Moroseness: Mess around (sandwiching) sooner*.
26 Oscilloscope: O scope(=compass) on OS cill.
1 Sell out: DD.
2 Atwitter: A tit around w + ter(race).
3 Double standards: Don’t entirely follow this, although there looks to be an anagram of “bad rules” somewhere.
4 Nutter: Must be a DD, although I don’t know in what context nutter = perfect.
5 Rubella: Rub + Ella.
6 Oozes: [B]oozes.
7 Woodland: Download*. Did think for a while it might be Scot (free) + land.
14 Bee House: Be + eh< + Ouse.
15 Espresso: Even letters of lets + “Press O”.
17 Effendi: Eff + end + i.
19 Cayenne: Aye in CNN + e.
20 Pommel: Mme in pol[o]. The unusual spelling here gave a misgivings.
22 Chess: Hidden in matches Spassky and also an &lit.

23 Responses to “Independent 7478 by Anax”

  1. Conrad Cork says:

    3 down. Do = have (in the clue) then an anagram of bad rules around stand (support).

    Dunno about gabby and yoof though. Enlightenment sought.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Neal
    I’m not sure about 23ac but I think it may be YO (introduction) OF (to). The others are:
    13ac BAG (what I do) reversed BY (X) – bag: “a person’s particular interest or speciality”
    3dn DO (to have {as in ‘con’}) STAND (support) in *(BAD RULES)
    4dn N (and) UTTER (perfect)

  3. Richard R says:

    3d. gives us the theme for the puzzle. Every answer has a double letter in it.
    I assume as well that bad rules is an anagram and that ‘stand ‘ is the support it gathers but that still leaves d and o missing

  4. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, NealH. While tricky, as Anax always is, I found this the easiest of his this year in the Indy so far. I agree with Gaufrid re YOOF tho I got the answer long before the wordplay. YO as in “Yo Blair”, I think. I did not spot the clever theme, thanks, Richard R for pointing that out. Favourite clues, BUZZ, SCAFFOLDER, WOODLAND.

  5. scchua says:

    Thanks for the blog, Neil and Anaz(?!) for a challenging crossword.

    23A: YOOF The definitioin I think it might be the alternative (hip?) spelling of “youth” (“today’s kids”). And the wordplay could be that indicated by Gaufrid@2

    Favourite (one of the best so far for me) was 17D: EFFENDI, what an economy of words in the clue! Not one word more than is necessary!

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Goodness, this was tough. I was slightly put off by the fact that it was set by Anaz (you get into a suspicious mind set with cryptics) but I managed two-thirds of it, which is good for me vs Anax.

    As Neal says, there were a number of not exactly everyday words, which made life difficult for me personally; but it all seems gettable if you’re good enough. Which I wasn’t today, although I did enjoy SCAFFOLDER and WOODLAND.

  7. walruss says:

    A bit like a Nimrod in places, this one from new compiler ANAZ. Very intersting!

  8. Stella says:

    Thanks Neal for the explanations, which were necessary at times!

    Gaufrid may well be right about the parsing of 23ac., but it seems to me it’s just a rendition (introduction to) of how today’s kids would say ‘youth’.

    Well done, Richard @3 for spotting the theme!

  9. scchua says:

    On re-reading my@5, saw I got your name wrong, Neal. Sorry, the printer’s devil got to me too!

  10. flashling says:

    Thanks for the explaination behind yoof and gabby that I couldn’t see. Actressy looks like a non-word. A reasonable solve time considering it’s Anax. Thanks Neal for the blog and Richard for pointing out the double letters.

  11. walruss says:

    I think it is ‘introduction to rap’ = YO, and OF = ‘from’. Then ‘today’s kids’ becomes the definition. I’m banking on YO being the introduction rappers use to their friends, or something!

  12. Eileen says:

    Hi walruss

    A bit of googling seems to confirm YO as a rap word. I’ve been struggling to see Gaufrid’s OF [to] – I’m much happier with the opposite, OF [from]!

    Many thanks for the blog, Neal, and to Anax for another great puzzle – slightly less fiendish than usual, I’d thought, before Richard pointed out the theme, which I’d missed completely, as so often. :-(

  13. sidey says:

    Oh dear, poor Anax, a typo in the online version and few plaudits for what must have been a difficult puzzle to construct.

  14. anax says:

    Poor me indeed ;o)
    In all honesty I can’t remember if the construction was that difficult, only that I gritted my teeth slightly after being ‘forced’ to use the answer at 26a (one of those ‘How the hell am I going to clue that?’ moments), but that was mainly because I feared any sort of rebuild would be a very major one so I decided to stick with what I’d got. And the online typo was just one of those things – it’s nice to know, actually, that there’s evidently a very human input when it comes to producing the online version.

    Any road up, many thanks to Neal for the excellent bloggery and to all of you for your kind comments; and I hope the ‘of’=’from’ didn’t cause too many problems.

  15. Gaufrid says:

    Eileen @12
    “I’ve been struggling to see Gaufrid’s OF [to] …..”

    From Chambers under ‘of': “short of, to (in giving the time, eg quarter of five; US)”. So ‘of’ and ‘to’ are interchangable.

  16. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid – I won’t say what I think of that! – but nice to have of = from confirmed by Anax. :-)

  17. Dynamic says:

    Anaz eh! Oops.

    At least they got the right clues and grid. I was speaking to a Guardian devotee yesterday who was put off the Indy on day one (possibly issue one) when the crossword and clues turned out to be completely wrong, rendering it unsolvable. He’d thought it could be good and couldn’t get his regular crossword fix due to the unavailability of the Guardian that day.

    Speaking of him, he’s a crossword nut and has a particular personal interest in Last Of The Summer Wine, so I mentioned the Indy’s themed crossword on August 30th, immediately prior to the last episode and printed out the 15² blog for him. But I couldn’t track down the crossword itself. I’d missed it on the day it came out so I was unable to have a go either, and thus hadn’t saved it using Crossword Solver unlike a few others.

    I was going to ask, “Does anyone know if there’s a way to retrieve old Independent crosswords?” but I’ve just sussed it out for myself. In the File/Download Puzzle… menu of Crossword Solver enter a URL such as
    then click OK and it will download if it’s still on the Indy’s server.
    You just need to edit the 300810 part to the date required, so yesterday’s (03/10/10) Quixote cryptic is at:

    I had done a quick google to see if there was a way to retrieve old Indy crosswords and had no luck, but that seems to work for the time being. I might even persuade him to give the Indy a try more often (he does buy other papers if the Guardian’s not available on location) if he likes the quality of the crosswords now they’re (very nearly) bug-free.

  18. Gaufrid says:

    Your comment #17 was held for moderation due to the number of links it contained. Fortunately I was at my pc when you posted the comment so I was able to approve it without too much of a delay in its appearance.

    To avoid any possible delays in the future please limit the number of links in a comment to two or fewer.

  19. Big Dave says:

    Just one small correction to Dynamic’s instructions – for weekend puzzles you need to add 7 days, so the puzzle at, for example, c_031010.bin is actually #1076 by Quixote from 26th September 2010.

  20. Dynamic says:

    Thanks, Big Dave, I hadn’t noticed that. In fact I was a little surprised a Sunday date worked at all!

  21. Simon Harris says:

    Just a quick query from me: how do we get BAG (reversed or otherwise) from “what I do”?

  22. dram says:

    Simon: ‘it’s not my bag’=’it’s not what I do’

    Very tough, I got nowhere near solving it… 17d my favourite… I enjoyed it, with a couple of clues making me laugh out loud… but the blog and the theme really made it something special. Huge, huge forehead-slapping moment (thanks Richard). Thanks for a truly memorable puzzle Anax, it’s a pity the Indy doesn’t put a note in with the solution in the next day’s paper to point out the Nina, as I think that would greatly widen the appreciation of the extra work that goes into a puzzle like this

  23. Allan_C says:

    simon@21 and dram@22 (and anyone else). I’m reminded of an anecdote from, I think, the late Frank Muir who recalled trying to make conversation, at a party somewhere in the USA, with a weird figure in sandals, beads and caftan. Asked what he did, the reply was, “Like, man, my bag is, I’m into teaching English.” No comment!

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