Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,483 by Radian (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 09/10/10)

Posted by Simon Harris on October 16th, 2010

Simon Harris.

After drawing two Saturday Anax puzzles in a row, including one of which I barely managed half, I’ll admit to being a little relieved to see Radian appear this week. Radian has consistently produced some of my favourite Saturday puzzles, and this one was a lot of fun too.

I made a slow start, though the first two entries in, TENONS and TENANT were so similar that something interesting had to be afoot. EXTENT and TENNER seemed to confirm that each entry might contain the word TEN. But what’s this? AXON doesn’t follow suit. Of course, X is just “10” in another guise.

FORTY-TWO nearly threw me, but on closer inspection every single clue or entry here contains at least one representation of or reference to the number ten. This must be due to the fact that the Sunday following the publication of the puzzle was the 10th of October 2010, or 10/10/10.

So, all that remains is to pass on my many thanks to Radian for an enjoyable puzzle which must have been a heck of a lot of work to put together.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

5 GLUTEN – GLUT + E[uropea]N.
6 SEXTET – S + EXTE[n]T.
9 PLATEN – T[h]E in PLAN.
11 AXON – (N + OX + [aid]A)<. "Nervous conductor" is a nice humorous definition here.
12 RADIOPHONE – (HER IPOD ON A)*. The “10” here is the letters “IO”, plus the entry has ten letters, so one might say that there’s a (10) in the clue, too.
13 OSTENTATION – OS + TENT + AT + 10 + N.
21 TAXI – TA + XI.
22 FORTY-TWO – The answer to “the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 42 is 101010 in binary, whilst “tomorrow” was 10/10/10 for those of us that solved this on the day.
23 ANOXIA – not 100% sure here, the clue seems to imply ANXIO[us]*, but that leaves an A missing.
24 TENANT – ANNE* in TT.
25 ATTEND – T[i]T[l]E in AND.
5 GALAXY – GAL + X + Y.
7 TENONS – [ea]TEN ON S[unday].
8 CREDIT UNION – UNI in CREDITON. Perhaps easiest for those of us born in Devon; I’m not sure how well-known Crediton would be globally. Another “IO” in this entry.
15 OUTBOXED – (BOUT + DE[t]OX])*.
16 EXHORT – (HER TO + X)*.
17 OX-BIRD – (X in BIRO)* + D[ocument].
19 EXTENT – NEXT* in ET.
20 EXHALTS – (SEX[y] TAL[k])*.

12 Responses to “Independent 7,483 by Radian (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 09/10/10)”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks Simon for the blog, and Radian for a nice and easy (as in smooth) and enjoyable crossword, but which must have taken quite some effort to construct.

    For once I spotted the hidden theme: The SW corner was first to be filled in with those 10s (TENs and Xs), and 22A’s clue with reference to “last Sunday” (in the online version) clinched it.

    23 AXOXIA – I guess the extra A = A(rgon) gas, with the latter word doubling in the wordplay and definition?

    Favourites were 11A AXON with its finely cryptic definition, 21A TAXI nicely compact clue, and 22A FORTY TWO, in which “guide”, even without knowing what 5Down was, led to the answer.

  2. Allan_C says:

    “All the tens” – a very appropriate theme now I recognise it. Thanks for the blog, Simon, and btw some answers (13a, 24a, 8d, 19d) have “ten” in more than one form.

    Good thought, scchua, about argon to explain the extra A in ANOXIA. But although A was the symbol for argon when I learnt chemistry at school (long years ago), in modern usage it’s Ar. But I note that Chambers still acknowledges both forms.

  3. nmsindy says:

    A very clever theme, which I completely missed!

    I even had worked out ten (as tomorrow) in binary to see if that would help in some way with the wordplay for FORTY-TWO. What I did not think of was of course the two other tens.

  4. Radian says:

    Re ANOXIA: Apologies. No need to look for double duties or strange gases. It’s just plain wrong. An earlier version of the clue had the extra A.

  5. anax says:

    Hi Radian
    Glad to know you’re human! Don’t worry about it – the wordplay for ANOXIA confused me for a while but there was only ever going to be one answer and the A=Argon idea was enough to convince me it was probably right.
    Not just a clever theme but a brilliantly executed one, not least because – as you’ll know only too well – there aren’t many possibilities for indicating X in wordplay. Somehow you managed to do it without me having any “Oh no, not again” moments.
    Superbly done.

  6. Eileen says:

    What a great puzzle!

    Many thanks, Radian, for a real treat, and Simon for the blog.

    In 18ac ‘romantic Ireland’ is ERI[n], not EIR[e].

  7. Paul B says:

    Radian ‘has consistently produced some of’ something? Simon! Really!

    He has produced a good ‘un here though, that’s for sure. Loved the binary thing related to 10/10/10, and the way ’twas linked in.

    Nice one bruvva.

  8. Lenny says:

    All grumpiness about my least-favourite 26-word grid were soon dispelled when I twigged the brilliant theme and marvelled that Radian had managed to maintain it throughout the grid.

    The solver’s job was infinitely easier than the setter’s. I still managed to confuse myself at the stat by getting Ostentation, Extent, Existent and Tent Coat and concluding that Tent must be in all the answers.

  9. jmac says:

    An extraordinary example of a themed puzzle but alas I failed to spot it at the time, and have no extenuating excuse other than a slow brain on that day. Thought there were some great clues such as RADIOPHONE and EXPERIENCE. Didn’t get AXOXIA but don’t feel too bad about that in light of Radian’s post. Many thanks Radian, and also to Simon (especially for explaining the binary significance of FORTY-TWO).

  10. redddevil says:

    I did get ANOXIA but prevaricated for ages twixt it and ANOXIC with no real clue (literally) as to which was right.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the crossword but somehow didn’t spot the theme. I did think it strange that OX appeared more than once which should have rung an alarm bell but I’m still at the stage where I’m glad to finish them at the moment.
    Most enjoyable.

  11. Simon Harris says:

    Eileen – well spotted, thanks.

    Paul B – not sure what you’re getting at, old chap. Did I split an infinitive or something?

  12. flashling says:

    Got the ten/x theme seeing the date quite quickly the anoxia/anoxic bit though stumped me from what would have been a record saturday time. Still great fun thanks all.

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