Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7500 / Anax

Posted by Gaufrid on October 29th, 2010


As usual from Anax, an enjoyable solve but for the first time I have a few quibbles about one of his puzzles (though this may be down to my not understanding the relevant clues correctly).

In 6dn ‘doe’ does not equate with ‘spay’ and in 7dn I question the containment indicator ‘allows’. Parsing 14dn defeated me and I think this clue was taking misdirection a step too far (there would have been less of a problem had nonpareil not been a type of 5).  Edit: I withdraw my comment about 6dn as it was a case of mea culpa and also about 14dn which was a clever clue now that it has been explained (see comment #1). Sorry Anax for suspecting that you might have made an error in 6dn.

However, to compensate there were several clues that received ticks, for example 24ac and 4dn.

My thanks to Eileen for sending the link and to dialrib for providing a plausible parsing for 14dn.

7 FLOOR  L (line) O (old) in FOR (supporting)
8 TOODLE-PIP  spoonerism of ‘poodle tip’ (dog advice)
9 SHAMBLE  MB (storage unit {computing}) in SHALE (clay rock)
10 BRAMLEY  B[ob] *(MARLEY) – a variety of large cooking apple.
11 LEG-UP  U (acceptable) in LE (the French) GP (Grand Prix)
13 CODLIN  L (lake) in COD (fish) IN – a variety of elongated apple.
16 GOLDEN DELICIOUS  *(COULD GO IN DIESEL) – a sweet eating apple with a yellowish-green skin.
18 RUSSET  RU (game {Rugby Union}) *(SETS) – a reddish-brown variety of apple.
20 SEPIA  PI (very good) in SEA (deep)
23 COOKING  COmING (on the way) with the ‘m’ (Mass) changed to OK – cooking apple: an apple specially suitable for cooking.
24 OESTRUS  O (over) *(RUSSET) (18 fancy)
26 INELEGANT *(LINE) EG (say) ANT (soldier)
27 ONION  ON (working) I (electric current) ON (connected)

1 ROYAL GALA   A LAG (prisoner) LAY (put down) OR all reversed – a New Zealand dessert apple of a variety with red and yellow skin.
2 CRAB  C (Celcius) BAR (except) reversed – a wild apple (tree or fruit).
3 FORBID  BI (swinging) in FORD (cross)
4 FLEA CIRCUS  CIRC[a] (about to close early) in *(AS FUEL)
5 APPLE  A PL (place) in PE (training) – a reference to Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple Inc.
6 SPAYS  dd – the first ‘does’ refers to female deer. Unfortunately a ‘spey’ is a male deer in its third year so it is not a doe.  cd – Edit: I got this one wrong, see comment #1.
7 FUSELAGE  S (son) in FUEL (nourishment) AGE (grow up) – ‘allows’ as a containment indicator? It can mean ‘accepts’ but not in the sense of ‘takes in’ (at least according to my reading of Chambers).
8 TIERCED  TIE (match) C (roughly) in RED (burning)
14 NONPAREIL see below – a fine variety of apple.  Edit: see comment #1 for the correct parsing.
15 ASSASSIN  AS (when) SAS (commandos) SIN (fall)
17 LETS OUT  S[carce) in LE TOUT (all, in French) – job: to hire or let out (esp horses) – I was initially unsure about the validity of ‘le tout’ because tout, toute and tous are adjectives or adverbs, but Eileen kindly sent me this link.
19 SIGNAL  dd
21 ACRID  C (cold) in ARID (desert)
22 COXES  CO (business) SEX (union) reversed – Cox’s orange pippin: a sweet-tasting variety of apple with a brownish-green skin tinged with orange when ripe (in pl often shortened to Coxes), hence ‘5s’ in the clue.
25 SNOW  N (November) in SOW (broadcast) – a white-fleshed variety of apple.

I have tried many ways of parsing this clue but cannot make any of them work. For example:
NON (0) PAR (norm) E (English) I (first) L[eg-up] but then ‘stuffing’ is redundant and ‘first’ has to do double duty.
PAR (norm) in NONE (0) but then what about the IL?
ON PAR (the norm) E (English) in NIL but that doesn’t account for ‘first 11′.

Whilst writing this coda, an email from dialrib has come to my rescue. His parsing is:
NO (5 {number}) PAR (norm) E (English) in NIL (0) with the definition being ‘first 11′.

If this is the case, I think the definition is unreasonable and that perhaps another number should have been used instead of 5 to provide a little less misdirection.

33 Responses to “Independent 7500 / Anax”

  1. anax says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    Many thanks for standing in and my apologies if some of the clues caused confusion – I’d hoped none of them would.

    I actually didn’t know about ‘spey’ in your interpretation of 6d. The intention was based on ‘do’ as in “Has your cat been done?”.
    14d is admittedly a nasty one but not quite as tortured as it seems. NIL (0) ‘stuffs’ PAR E (the norm + English) for N(PAR E)IL but, first, you have the reversal of ON, shown as LEG UP at 11. Damn these cricketing references.

    As for ‘allows’ as containerind – the only justification I can offer is that it’s been used before. Whether that makes it right or not I don’t really know!

  2. dialrib says:

    6D Is the first ‘Does’ a form the verb ‘do’ in a coy reference to spaying (a neutered animal has been ‘done’) and ‘does?’ a noun refering to the end result of spaying (are neutered female rabbits stiil does?)

  3. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for standing in, Gaufrid.

    I don’t know which Homer is nodding, Anax or yourself! I still can’t make 14dn work for me, I’m afraid.

    Initially, I jibbed at COXES [a case where the greengrocer’s apostrophe is actually required!] but hadn’t taken into account the ‘s’ on ‘5’ and Chambers does give COXES as the plural – but I don’t like it [not Anax’s fault!].

    Lots of good clues, as usual, including 7ac [very typical – I’m getting used to these now but had to think whether the containment indicator was ‘walls’ or ‘line’] and 24ac – this really made me laugh – 1dn and 15dn. What an original clue for the overworked ASSASSIN – and not even one fool in sight, let alone two!

    21 and 25 dn were simple enough to get but both, especially 25, have lovely surfaces.

    Hurrah – while typing this I’ve seen that Anax intended my interpretation of 6dn [I didn’t know about the deer] – I was too embarrassed to mention it!

    Many thanks, Anax, for yet another great puzzle. You’ve certainly caused some head-scratching today! :-)

  4. Eileen says:

    And thanks, too, Anax, for the explanation of 14dn.

  5. anax says:

    Hello Eileen

    COXES did cause a bit of confusion as I originally had it as singular. Chambers Crossword Dictionary, under ‘apple’, lists Cox, Cox’s and Coxes. No others are shown in plural form but Chambers shows Coxes only as plural.

  6. Eileen says:

    Thanks again, Anax. Come to think of it, I have heard the apple called a Cox, so there’s no problem with COXES. I’m happy now.

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Anax
    Thanks for dropping by. I did say in my preamble that the quibbles could be down to my misinterpretation of the clues and so it has proved! :-(

    I’m still not convinced by ‘allows’ as a containment indicator as one must convert it to ‘accepts’ and then use a different meaning of ‘accepts’.

    I was obviously trying to read too much into 6dn but I didn’t think it would be a case of a simple cd (not your style!) so I went for a dd even though the sex was wrong. Mea culpa.

    Now that you have explained it, 14dn is a very clever clue. Had I not been blogging at short notice, I might have been able to spend more time sorting out the parsing but even then I’m not sure I would have seen the 11 = leg-up = NO as I was continually thinking ‘first 11′ = L[eg-up].

  8. flashling says:

    I thought that 6 down was a CD for being done, glad Anax has confirmed that. Codlin was the only apple I didn’t know, I expected to have more problems after getting 5 straight away.

    Anyway thanks Anax and Gaufrid for the emergency stand-in. I’d written up a blog and was tidying it up when I saw Gaufrid had beaten me to it, oh well.

  9. anax says:

    Hey Gaufrid, no need for apoligies friend. The job of a setter is to indicate things as fairly as possible and if his attempts result in confusion it’s he who’s at fault. 14d in particular had a lot of bits and pieces to string together and if I had my time over again I’d have gone for something simpler.

  10. anax says:

    PS: Does anyone know how to spell ‘apoligies’? ;o)

  11. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    A super puzzle, I thought, but I found it hard even after getting APPLE first thing and then BRAMLEY immediately afterwards with help from the crossing letter: earwig-o, earwig-o, I thought … but it didn’t turn out quite so simple.

    Got there in the end but the last few required a bit of online help. I especially enjoyed LETS OUT, TOODLE-PIP, and SIGNAL for its very succinct surface.

    I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned OESTRUS at 24ac. I had a bit of a snort just reading the clue, and an even bigger one when I solved it.

    We’ve been spoiled a bit in the Indy this week, I reckon. Thanks to Anax for today and others for their earlier contributions.

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Actually I notice on re-reading the blog that people have indeed highlighted 24ac. I’ll go back under me stone for the weekend now.

  13. Eileen says:

    Hi Kathryn’s Dad

    See my comment 3 “24ac – this really made me laugh -” – my favourite clue of all!

  14. Eileen says:

    How is it that, so often, comments can be there for half an hour and only then further comments cross in the post?

  15. Eileen says:

    Hi again, K’s D

    Apologies [sic ;-)]for seeming to hog the blog but I agree about 19dn – &lit, surely?

  16. nmsindy says:

    I found this quite tough, esp as I did not see APPLE quite as soon as some others. But I got there in the end and there were some excellent clues, my favourite being TOODLE-PIP. Re comment 12, K’s D, I guess you’ll emerge by 1 30 PM Sunday anyway.

  17. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Evening Eileen

    I still don’t fully understand just exactly what the qualification is for an ‘&lit’, but I’m happy to believe it is one. It’s just one of those clues where you work out the answer (and it wasn’t one of my first) and then enjoy it afterwards – to clue something self-referential like that in only two words deserves a ‘good work’ sticker, I think, if you have any left over from your teaching career … or if you’re feeling very generous, a gold star!

  18. nmsindy says:

    19D was a great clue, and one that was a major help to me on solving the puzzle. I did not see it as an &lit tho, thought it was a double definition as the blog says.

    Going back to Don Manley’s book which is a great reference work, the first example he gives of an &lit clue is “No fellow for mixing”.
    This is LONE WOLF (No fellow)* and the whole clue gives the definition i.e. “and literally”.

  19. flashling says:

    Fantastically fruity crossword, obviously there’s apple but there’s so many sex related clues 24across being a work of genius, I’m sure Anax is rather pleased with that one. Wot no Phi today? I was expecting some i answers in among the 5s.
    NMS don’t start K’s D off again if the black cats win we’ll never hear the last of it. :-)

  20. flashling says:

    that should have be iSomething like iPod/iPad/iPhone

  21. nmsindy says:

    “NMS don’t start K’s D off again if the black cats win we’ll never hear the last of it” – comment #19.

    Ah well, if it happens, so be it.

  22. Kathryn's Dad says:

    flashling, I don’t know where you live, but if it happens, you’ll hear the screaming from me and the boys (and Kathryn) in front of the TV in Derbyshire, let me tell you …

    A good weekend to all.

  23. flashling says:

    @kd 22 Kent coast so you’ll need an amp I suspect. As a Leicestershire lad will be looking for Sven to earn his wages.

  24. Eileen says:

    Hi again, Kathryn’s Dad @ 17 [sorry, I’ve been out]

    If I can tear you away from football, my understanding of an &lit clue is one where both the definition and the cryptic parts are the whole clue itself. Several of us have judged 19dn as being a pretty good clue so, for me, it’s an &lit.

    So, flashling, you’re a Leicestershire lad! That’s where I live too, but I’m more interested in a different-shaped ball. My son in Copenhagen, however, is a fanatical member of the Blue Army and persuades the landlord of the [Irish!] club he frequents to show all City matches!

  25. Eileen says:

    I meant ‘pub’, not ‘club’ – yet more apologies!

  26. flashling says:

    Eileen, from Melton Mowbray but been away since the university days at some Fenland college. Go and watch the Tigers whenever I can, however they seem to have lost whenever I’ve been recently, must stop going! While I’m on this contract I’m not going to be able to go games so we should win the league. Again.

  27. flashling says:

    Eileen Club/Pub no difference really

  28. nmsindy says:

    Yes, Eileen, comment #25 and flashling #27, that would count as a Freudian slip for sure…

  29. Eileen says:

    Thanks, nms, but are you willing to concede 19dn as &lit?

  30. eimi says:

    Before Gaufrid wakes up perhaps this is a good time to put on record that my dad was Leicester born and bred and that one of the last times I spent with him in this world was the play-off final at the old Wembley against Swindon Town. Not a happy outcome for him, but a fantastic game all the same.

    Just to get slightly back on message, the puzzle number was very slightly significant.

  31. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Gaufrid.
    Great puzzle(as ever) from Anax.14 down being especially sneaky.
    I think there are,supposedly 7,500 different varieties of apples.

  32. nmsindy says:

    Re comment #29, not really, Eileen but def regard it as an “Outstanding clue”! When I saw Phi was not in this Fri, I did wonder if the clue number was significant, I’ll have to admit, without actually understanding why.

  33. Richard says:

    Hugely enjoyable puzzle – a pippin, in fact!

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