Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7490 by Hypnos

Posted by NealH on October 18th, 2010


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

An enjoyable puzzled themed on American TV series. How you got on probably depended on how many of the series you’d heard of. I haven’t watched very many of them, but had at least heard of them all.

1 Hip-hop: [C]hip [s]hop.
4 Escargot: &lit. Est (East in French) around cargo.
10 Letterbox: Lett (=European) + ER (US series) + b(ook) + ox.
11 Terai: Hidden in “site raised”.
12 Sense: Senate with S(un) replacing a [fla]t.
13 Chevrolet: Chevro[n] + let.
14 Rameses: Ram + ESES.
16 Trojans: Sort< around Jan.
17 Entrant: Entr[ee] + ant.
20 Modicum: Mum around odic (= of verse).
22 Boulevard: B duo< around Ravel<.
23 Merit: [H]ermit*.
25 Cherubini: Cherub + in I.
26 Scrawled: Crawle[y] in S D.
27 Jet Lag: Not sure about this – possibly jag around E(=European) + lt<, where lt is an abbrev for loot.
1 Hill Street Blues: (Truths lies belle)*.
2 Puttnam: Putt + man<.
3 Obese: OBE + s(ingular) + E(arl).
5/24 Six Feet Under: (Fixture needs)*.
6 Afterword: Afterward with a replaced by o.
7 Gorilla: Grill around [mo]o[rs] + a.
8 Thirtysomething: CD (40 being supposedly when life begins).
9 Abacus: I think this is Ab[b]a + cus[p].
15 Scarecrow: Not sure about this. “A park” looks to be a rec, but I’ve never heard of a county called scrow.
18 Thunder: Hidden in “smooth understudy”. Def is claps (of thunder).
19 Tranche: T(ons) + ran + Che.
20 Mad men: M(arried) + m[ariner] in Aden.
21 Cordial: DD.
23 Mauve: UV in Mae.

21 Responses to “Independent 7490 by Hypnos”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks NealH and Hypnos. An enjoyable crossword with an easily discernible them.

    15D SCARECROW It’s A REC (a park) in SCROW = WORCS taken “northerly” = Worcester county. One of my favourite clues.

    Others include 22A BOULEVARD which was cracked once I decided which end of the clue was the definition, and 9A ABACUS. (A subtheme seems to be pop media culture with references to hiphop, Abba, Mae West, Chevrolet, David Puttnam.)

    Not sure re 27A JETLAG, that LT = “loot” is a common enought abbrev. A longer stretch of the imagination is LT = lieutenant = lootenant as pronouced in those American TV series = loot.

  2. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks NealH.

    First time I’ve done an Indy. Thought it was only the Grauniad that had an interactive online version. To continue the popular culture theme, “I’ll be back”.

    3d and 23d were the picks for me. But I share reservations about 27a – unless I’m missing something, which is quite likely.

  3. scchua says:

    PS. Correction. Sorry, of course the county is Worcestershire and not Worcester.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Well, this one woke you up on a Monday, didn’t it? I was pleased to finish it, but found it pretty hard and needed online gadgetry. There were probably half a dozen where I couldn’t understand the wordplay, so thanks for your explanations, Neal. There’s a bit going on in LETTERBOX, mind you – and a fairly obscure definition as well.

    Didn’t mind the theme, although I’ll confess to never having watched any of the dramas.

    I liked ESCARGOT especially – a very clever clue.

    What is the definition in 23 across, please? Can’t see how ‘desert’ equals ‘merit’.

    There’s a tiny typo in your 12ac, Neal – it’s the last two letters of fl[at] that need replacing, I think.

    And finally, welcome to Dad’sLad on this side – any more Dads and we’ll have a quorum.

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Hi K’s D
    Regarding 23ac, under ‘desert’ Chambers has “anything that is deserved; claim to reward; merit”.

    There is no typo in 12ac, Neal is correct with S replacing A [fla]T.

  6. Gaufrid says:

    scchua @1
    Under ‘loot’ Chambers gives “short form of lieutenant” and it also has Lt as an abbreviation for lieutenant.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid – as in ‘just deserts’, I imagine? And of course I overlooked the A in ‘a flat’. My brain was hurting a bit when I first commented.

  8. scchua says:

    Thanks Gaufrid@6. So it wasn’t that much of a stretch of the imagination! I knew that LT is commonly accepted shorthand for “lieutenant”, but the other part sort of surprised me. Wonder if the origin of that Chambers entry is American, or is there another place (Scotland perhaps where Chambers originated?) where the word “lieutenant” is pronounced that way. (Though of course, that pronounciation is closer to its French root viz. “lieu”)

  9. Gaufrid says:

    Chambers doesn’t give the origin. It only says ‘informal’.

  10. scchua says:

    Thanks Gaufrid@9. Over and out.

  11. nmsindy says:

    Not being familiar with the TV series apart from “Hill Street Blues” I found this very tough but got there in the end. Some excellent clues, my favourites were ESCARGOT, OBESE, and THUNDER. Thanks Hypnos for the puzzle and NealH for the blog.

  12. walruss says:

    Yes quite knotty for a Monday with some clue-parts that while correct are not too well-known.

  13. Lenny says:

    This was a tough one, particularly at the end staring at all the checked letters of Thirtysomething. My problem was having Cherubino for the angelic figure in Italy. I managed to finish eventually when I changed it to the composer Cherubini. I still did not see the wordplay until I saw Neal’s explanation. Thanks for that and thanks to Hypnos for a challenging puzzle, I really must watch more television.

  14. flashling says:

    Didn’t half struggle to get going on this, only getting 4 on my first run through.
    4 ac very nice &lit that. Thanks Neal for explaining somethings I couldn’t see.

  15. Simon Harris says:

    Another slow start here too. In fact I thought this was going to be a trouncing, but with persistence, managed to finish unaided, much to my satisfaction. So thanks Hypnos and NealH!

  16. Aguers says:

    Not sure I see the uncertainty about Jet-lag – surely ‘Jag’ is the ‘car’…

  17. Hypnos says:

    Thanks to Neal H for the blog and all for comments. I thought all the US TV drama series featured were fairly well-known – esp the award-winning and highly acclaimed Mad Men that has been running on BBC2 and BBC4. Rest assured any “knottiness” was entirely unintentional!

  18. flashling says:

    @aguers I think the loot bit is what confused, it did me certainly

  19. Wil Ransome says:

    Enjoyable, tough. How Hypnos can be described as easy in the Setters tab at the top of this page I don’t know (isn’t it about time this was updated? Quite apart from the inaccuracy of the assessments there are several new setters and perhaps some of the old ones have gone).

    I didn’t realise that Aden (20dn) still existed — I’d thought it had changed its name. Are gorillas (7dn) really hunted creatures? Surely not after that David Attenborough programme. I suppose in 27ac loot = lieutenant = lt, hmm…

  20. Mike Laws says:

    I’m a reasonably experienced solver of daily cryptics (38 years – all-time PB for the Times 4 mins 40 secs, although that was a long time ago) and was put out when this took me longer to solve than it took to finish the bacon and egg sandwich I started munching at the same time. And I’m a very slow eater.

    Quite a few Inquisitor setters have recently (in terms months rather than days) been spreading their wings in the daily series, and quite often import clueing techniques from the former which aren’t really appropriate for the latter.

    Somtimes I feel that the average cryptic solver who just wants a comfortable relaxing solve is being unfairly neglected.

  21. Allan_C says:

    Difficult, but I got there in the end. Took ages to get the 5-letter words in the NW and SE corners and then thought “how obvious!”, particularly MERIT/MAUVE. That held me up for a bit with 27a, thinking the car reference was MG and trying to find M– LEG, possibly a slang expression for DVT (aka economy class syndrome).

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