Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7499/Klingsor

Posted by John on October 28th, 2010


Klingsor is a fairly recent addition to The Independent team and I know I’ve done his crosswords before, but I couldn’t remember what they were like and didn’t know what to expect. This turned out to be a very pleasant offering, with some excellent clues. Often the definition is cleverly concealed, as in “Could be Indian cricket side”, when it’s simply ‘Could be Indian'; what the great Mark Goodliffe I think calls ‘lift and separate’.

It seems that Tuesday is the new Thursday. This didn’t seem like the usual Thursday difficulty. Convenient, as I have to go out later in the morning and if my computer doesn’t play up this will be posted at a reasonable time.

1 H{ostilities} ARM FUL{l}
9 PEN(T{ournament})ANG {athl}LE{tes}
10 VENOM — v (one)rev. m
11 O(C EA)N — the Indian Ocean
12 SWEAR WORD — two words meaning ‘promise’ and some newspapers replace such words with asterisks
13 SELF-ABASEMENT — (false)* then men in (BA set)
17 ALPHA CENTAURI — (a clue Parthian)*
21 DOCUDRAMA — {provide}d (co)rev. u dram a
24 {re}DOUBT
26 BADMINTON — baton with admin replacing a
27 ELEANOR — E{l}a{i}n{e} in (role)*
28 EGGHEAD — lost here: is it a reference to Klingsor, a character from Parsifal?  Not a very sensible link I see, now that I look a bit closer: it mentions that Klingsor is in Parsifal, though
1 HYPNOS — (n {philo}sophy)* — no, I don’t think the theme is Indy setters because I can’t find any others. Anyway it’s been done before and presumably Klingsor knows that
2 RUNNER (S) {J}U{m}P
3 FLANNEL — 2 defs
4 LEGISLATE — {typica}l {styl}e {boastin}g I (least)* — not quite sure about the boasting: where does it fit in? Is it just a link-word? [silly error as pointed out below]
5 SIEGE — (is)rev. e.g. E
6 INVERSE — (e versi{o}n)*
7 LENTO — L ((one)rev. around t)
8 TIM 1 DI{r}TY
14 A S(TR{y})ADDLE — is ‘most’ really the abbreviation of ‘almost’, in which case should there not be an apostrophe at the beginning, which would ruin the surface? Alternatively perhaps ‘Most try’ and ‘Most of try’ are to be seen as the same, which seems a bit wrong to me
15 ETIQUETTE — (quiet)* in {s}ette{r}
16 SADDUCEE — “sad you see”
18 ANDIRON — I suspect I’m missing something, because it seems simply a rather weak CD that is given away by the word ‘burning’
19 {f}UND {g}OING
20 ST O(N)ED
23 chAMBERpot

17 Responses to “Independent 7499/Klingsor”

  1. walruss says:

    I think most can equal ‘the greater part of’ as in ‘most people’, so could be alright. A pleasinf puzzle on the lightweight side for me.

  2. anax says:

    Must be me – I found this quite tough. The SW section fell reasonably quickly but the rest of the grid, despite having a decent number of answers filled, took a long time to fall. Funnily enough, some of the last to go in were some of the easier clues in retrospect.

    Klingsor does have a way of brilliantly disguising the definitions so there were a great many self-kick (and slightly giggly) moments when the penny dropped. Despite being an easy one, the observation at 23d is outstanding. I also thought the ‘sides splitting’ device at 15d was inspired.

    For me this was a challenging and very entertaining puzzle.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi John
    I think 28ac is EG[o] (I mostly) G (good) HEAD (brain) &lit

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, John. Just right for me today – hard enough to have to come here to understand a few, but eminently gettable. I liked STONED and AMBER in particular; OCEAN was also good and there were some clever pieces of misdirection elsewhere.

    I’m not sure about EGGHEAD either, but it could be EG (EGO, I mostly) plus G for good and HEAD for brain, and a bit of an &lit? Somebody will have a more elegant explanation, I’m sure.

    And sorry if I’m being an annoying four-year-old this week who won’t stop asking questions, but can someone explain DOUBT at 24ac, please?

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Or maybe not! I won’t say great minds think alike, because Gaufrid’s is the size of a planet and mine is the size of a pea most days …

  6. Conrad Cork says:

    KD re 24ac, a redoubt is a fieldwork (see Chambers):remove the ‘about and you have doubt, as the blog shows.

  7. Eileen says:

    I was very pleased to see Klingsor’s name on this and it didn’t disappoint.

    I have numerous ticks here, for both superb surfaces and disguised definitions – sometimes both in the same clue, e.g. PENTANGLE and STONED – too numerous to mention, in fact.

    CHAIR, one of the easiest of all, made me laugh out loud and I loved 15dn, too, having often been in that position!

    Many thanks, Klingsor, for a very entertaining puzzle.

  8. Eileen says:

    PS: and thanks to John for the blog.

  9. scchua says:

    Thanks for the blog, John and Klingsor for a challenging crossword, with quite some nice and tricky definitions, which I finally completed.

    Favourites were 12D SWEARWORD the last but one in, one of the tricky definitions, 25A CHAIR, again another tricky definition, and of course 20D STONED, which brought back memories of another crossword where “high” was used as an anagrind.

    Yes, 18D ANDIRON seemed oddly out of place, even after filling it in, I wasn’t sure it was right.

  10. Klingsor says:

    Thanks for the nice comments! Just to clear up 18 down: it was indeed a simple CD and clearly not a very good one. I’m a great fan of CDs as it is this type of clue thich brought cryptic crosswords into being, and good CDs – such as the excellent ones produced by Roger Squires – can be the most satisfying clues of all to solve. The problem with them is that experienced solvers often see right through them without taking much notice of the “misleading” surface; in this case the clue was supposed to read like an advert for software to speed up making discs from computer files, but it seems nobody was fooled. CDs are often a useful device when a word (such as ANDIRON) is hard to define without being obvious or verbose, which is why I used one here. I like to think that at least it gave less experienced solvers an “in”.

    Again, thanks for the feedback – it is always welcome.

  11. jmac says:

    I enjoyed this a lot but didn’t find it particularly easy. SADDUCEE and SKILLET opened up their quadrants nicely, but I struggled with HYPNOS and HARMFUL even after spotting straightaway that they both began with H. I am not very experienced at cryptics and do like a few easy clues to get me started so thanks to Klingsor for having a few of these. Like Klingsor, I am also a fan of having some CD’s in a puzzle as I feel that they exercise a different part of the brain (as I see it – I’m no biologist) being a bit more lateral than some other cryptic devices. Particularly liked SWEARWORD and OCEAN. Thanks for the blog John, BADMINTON was the obvious answer but I couldn’t see why (to give just one example of your blog’s helpfulness).

  12. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, John, and Klingsor for the puzzle. I too found this entertaining and towards the easy end of the Indy spectrum, esp liked SWEARWORD, LEGISLATE, AMBER. In LEGISLATE, John, as your blog says, ‘boasting’ gives one of the final letters so I think it’s fine. I quite liked ANDIRON and did think of computers first of all…

  13. Eileen says:

    Re LEGISLATE: John, I wondered what your query was re ‘boasting’, since as you say, it gives us the G. The choice of that word made the clue for me, reviving memories of the irritating swots and their ‘I don’t know a thing!’, just before going into the exam room. A really great surface!

  14. Simon Harris says:

    I thought this was a nice challenge too. I didn’t get ANDIRON though; for me, the problem with a CD is that if you haven’t heard of the word (I can’t be the only one, surely?), you’ve no way of solving it. Apart from that, a pleasant lunchtime solve.

  15. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Conrad at no 6 – thank you, another word this week that I’d never come across before.

  16. flashling says:

    Good god what a day, good job I wasn’t blogging this or it would just be up now. great stuff thanks John for doubt and badminton’s explainations. Fantastic deceptive definitions at times esp chair. As for andiron yes it was weak but after the idea I can’t think how to improve it, but I’m a bit brain dead.

  17. Colin Blackburn says:

    A late comment from me as I only did the puzzle as I travelled back down to England late last night. I thought this was an excellent puzzle, particularly good was where the definitions broke. Two many clues stood out, PENTANGLE, OCEAN, STONED, EGGHEAD right through the the simple but lovely AMBER are just a handful of many.

    ANDIRON was the last to go in as it was the only word I could imagine that fitted. I quick check of the definition in Chambers (I have it on my iPod Touch!) confirmed that it was a CD, that for me didn’t quite work. The burning efficiency never quite felt like a computing term.


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