Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7508 by Tees

Posted by nmsindy on November 8th, 2010


Quite a tough puzzle which I enjoyed.    Made fairly quick progress at the start but then it got much harder esp in the lower half of the grid.    Solving time, 44 mins.

* = anagram


1 HIDEOUS   (Oh I used)*    This refers to the Hunchback of Notre Dame from Victor Hugo’s novel (1831)

5/13 CASTLES IN THE AIR   (Satanic Hitler’s e)*   e = final letter of manoeuvre,   definition:  unrealistic hopes

10 SPUR    hidden in lesS PURe

11 DICTIONARY     action (deed) less its first letter a, ie as non-starter, in diary (day-book)

12 MAILER     This refers, I think, to the US writer, Norman Mailer, whose best-known work is the novel, “The Naked and the Dead (1951)” about WWII in the Pacific.    mailing = posting (letters)

14 CHEVROLET     HE (the leaderless) V (against) ROLE (part), all in CT (court)

15 USAGE   man = us (human race)   age (time)

17 SCARE     s (second)  care (caution)

19 STABLE (in good mental health)  BOY   yob = hooligan (reversed)      Definition:  lad (from racing)

23 LEVELLER      A person supporting abolition of inequalities.   Eve (woman) in LLL ie 150 = three fifties in Roman numerals.  The ‘maybe’ indicates, I guess, that the actual number for 150 itself is different ie CL.    ER (Queen)

24 BUBBLY    It took me ages to get this.     The very subtle definition is “still won’t define this mood”.    Gutless tormentor = Bully less the central l.   King = BB referring to the singer BB King so it’s bb in buly.

26 UNORIGINAL     U (United) NO  RIG (no tackle) IN A L (league)

27 LIKE     L (left) IKE (US General, later President, Eisenhower)

28 BE (live)  NEAT (without added water) H (hot)     Definition:  down under      Another one that took me a long time to see

29 UNDYING      German joiner = and in German (UND) Y (year) IN (at home) G (good)


2 IMP (wicked spirit) EACH (everyone)

3 ENROL     Centre letters of Henry Holm

4 UNDERGO    Great fun clue, this

6 ARISTO     Italian poet, Ludovico Ariosto, losing the first round ie letter O

7 TENNESSEE    Model T (early car)  (seen seen)*

8 EARNING   NI (National Insurance) in (range)*   definition:  on salary

9 ACCIDENT-PRONE   (Pair connected)*

15 VERTEBRAE    E (English) in VERT (green) BRAE (Scots hillside)

18 CLEANSE   lean (gaunt) S (close to tears ie last letter) in CE (church)

20 BABYLON     Definition: corrupt society    baby = particular responsibility (project of personal concern) L (Liberal) ON  (against)

21 OILSKIN   ski = runner in (lion)*

22 ALIGHT   Double definition – looks easy when you get it but it was my last answer

25 BILLY   ill (hostile) in BY (close to)

17 Responses to “Independent 7508 by Tees”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks nmsindy for the blog and Tees for an enjoyable puzzle.

    No obscure references required except perhaps, for me, 6D: ARISTO, which was easily got from the definition.

    Favourites were 23A: LEVELLER, with the twist “150” = LLL, 24A: BUBBLY, a fresh use of “King” other than R, K and the rest, and 29A: UNDYING, I liked “German joiner” = UND.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, nms.

    This was a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. I was obviously having an out-of-body experience this morning, because I reckon I must have solved this more quickly than you. I never time myself, but I start the Indy online once the kids have been packed off to school and after three leisurely cups of tea, the last one went in. It was ARISTO, which was the only one I needed any online help with; Dante is as far as my Italian poets go, and we don’t do posh in this house.

    There was lots of stuff to appreciate. I always look at 1ac first, and when HIDEOUS appeared, it set the tone for the rest of the crossword. I especially liked UNDYING, TENNESSEE and MAILER; and the Hitler anagram was also very well conceived.

    I liked UNDERGO as well, and the way I understood it, I took it to be a bit of a ‘libertarian’ clue. But as has been said before in more than one place, perhaps there are only two types of puzzles: good ones, and not so good ones. And this was a good one, thank you Tees.

  3. flashling says:

    Took me a similar time to NMS and the top half filled very quickly. The 150 bit in 23 was a nice twist as was BB for King. Took a long time to get babylon/bubbly with me convinced 24 had an R in it. A relatively rare thing these days a crossword with no apparent theme.

    Thanks Tees for the puzzle/NMS for the blog.

  4. Lenny says:

    I scarcely managed to start the last Tees offering that I tried so I was quite pleased to finish this tough puzzle. Thanks NMS for explaining Bubbly. I think BB for King is a bit of a stretch, likewise Us for Man. At 27, I think the wordplay suffers at the expense of the surface as it would be more reasonable to see the left as in front, not behind.

    Still, these are quibbles in a very imaginitive puzzle from Tees. Unaccountably, my last in was the simple anagram at 1A.

  5. Richard says:

    I’ve not much to add to what has already been said here, except to say that I also enjoyed the LLL twist (rather than the expected CL) in the clue for LEVELLER, and, although I guessed BUBBLY from most of the clue, I couldn’t understand BB for “king” and am grateful to NMS for explaining it. Many thanks Tees, for a most enjoyable libertarian puzzle.

  6. NealH says:

    I found this very tough but managed to finish it with the exception of aristo. Unfortunately, it just looked too much like [D]ante around something and I don’t know any other Italian poets (never heard of Ariosto, I’m afraid). But apart from that, it was a very satisfying puzzle with the sort of answers where you’d kick yourself if you had given up early and cheated.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Having read the comments from solvers who are more experienced than me, I’ll just drop back in to say that this was definitely an out-of-body experience on my part. That white light stuff obviously just put me on Tees’ wavelength today. This cryptic solving is beyond logic, because I couldn’t finish the (supposedly easy-peasy) Rufus in the Guardian this morning.

    Maybe I just got lucky today (a bit like Mr Cattermole on Saturday).

    And I meant to say earlier that I quite liked the BB for King bit in BUBBLY.

  8. flashling says:

    Wot no Tees comment? So what next will they try on us for King, Carole, Don? Flashling is in a world of pain after putting back out doing firework displays over the weekend. Must agree with Lenny over LIKE it does seem the wrong way round.

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Good puzzle, with some unusual things.

    For example, in 2d IMPEACH is given as “everyone having wicked spirit”. Normally IMP would follow EACH – not here [‘having’ apparently meaning ‘having it on top’].

    And in UNORIGINAL (26ac) the use of ‘(Not tackle on United’s) right’ is quite misleading/misdirecting [whatever you like]. It must mean here “U+NO RIG hás on the right hand side …”. As ‘right’ is normally not a very neutral word in a clue, I found it on the edge.

    Just as others, I got ARISTO without too many problems, though not having heard of Ariosto. I was intially thinking of [d]ANTE (a)round TO – which of course leads to nothing sensible. Yet that little word ‘to’ in the clue was not something I was very keen on today – what does it mean? ‘Leading to the answer’?

    And BB for King? Well, I think it’s fine, but I know people who would surely dislike it.
    I am probably not literate enough, but I still don’t get the MAILER clue. I see ‘Man of letters’, but can’t parse the second part.

    As others, I think Tees made a mistake in 27ac (LIKE).

    Still, despite all this, the imagery of the crossword [like the great surface in 8d’s EARNING] comes to its rescue.
    Tough puzzle, but very enjoyable.

  10. nmsindy says:

    “Sending same” in the MAILER clue means, I think, someone posting or mailing, ie sending letters in the post.

  11. scchua says:

    Re 12A MAILER, I think “same” in the clue refers to a mailer, as in a publicity letter one receives in the post.

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    nmsindy @10 and scchua @11, thanks, I get it now.
    Thought it was ‘deeper’ than it actually was.

  13. Tees says:

    Hiyall, and many thanks for comments. Cheers also to NMS for his fab blog. Sorry to hear about your back Flashling – Tees gets the same problem from time to time. E.g. now.

    ‘Pon th’ clews, taken in Sil order, IMP EACH I saw as synonymous with ‘everyone having wicked spirit’. In UNORIGINAL, yes, I intended to instruct solvers to place NO RIG on U’s right-hand side, followed by the IN A L. ‘To’ in the ARIoSTO clue is used as in the phrase ‘sixteen ounces to the pound': that is, there are (in most cases) a certain number of SI or cryptic elements TO any required word or phrase. (I know some folks do not warm to this one, but I’ve always seen it as logical.) BB for King is, I must reluctantly admit, dread definition by example, as B.B. is only one of the many Kings – Mrs Billie Jean is not quite so useful to us logodaedalists – available: but how bored are we with the usual crosswordese? And how accurate is some of that anyway? Bah.

    Lastly, the L+IKE thing was the subject of debate in an online pre-publication meeting, in which I stuck up for the L being quite literally behind in any language that’s read from L to R, but also offered the alternative ‘American General left at the front’. So no, it wasn’t a mistake.

    Many thanks again, get well soon Flash.

  14. walruss says:

    Just a quickie as I couldn’t get on yesterday thanks to my internet connection going up the spout. Nice to see a plain puzzle, which in a curious way makes a refreshing change! But I think we were treated to nice clues as others say above. Liked the Hitler anagram instead of the bog standard ‘keeps up’ joke we always get, but I wouldn’t have expected anything less from the Indy’s creative team. Good stuff, as was today’s Raich.

  15. anax says:

    Another top teeser from the Teester. As the BB=King device is one I’ve smuggled into the occasional puzzle it gave me no problems, but it’s the evilly clever def that makes this my fave of a great bunch of clues.

    Thank you Tees for thrashing the drumkit of Indy creativity. I love you darling (but only ’cause you’re a fellow muso).

  16. flashling says:

    Thanks for sympathy Tees, been to quack and got some diclofenac tablets which are miracle workers for me. Can’t tell I’ve done anything to my back. Keep up the good work and hope we’ll see you soon. I notice the track you posted has expired any way to hear more of your stuff?

  17. Tees says:

    Anax you’re an absolute luvvie as always. Many thanks.

    Flash glad to hear you’re on the mend, but watch those NSAIDs – they can twist your bowel almost as much as your mind. I’m on Elastoplast and Paracetamol.

    Re the progness, we’re just about to get the .wavs (the wave files that contain the individual instrument performances) into Big Matey who – he says – will do some magick with them. Following that, I’ll post up some new links.

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