Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7509/Raich

Posted by John on November 9th, 2010


A pleasant — pretty easy even I thought — crossword where the four books appear three times as answers (so for a while I was puzzled by the repeated ‘one of four here’) and once in the unches to the left and at the bottom. Their author appears in the unches along the top and down the right. Raich does well to fit the words in without needing any weird ones: the occasional less than 50% checking may have helped, although we only see it twice. Very clever and satisfactory. This link tells you about

(gap so that passers-by don’t see)

George Eliot, although I notice that the Wikipedia author chose ‘The Mill on the Floss’ rather than ‘Adam Bede’.

7 INTER — Inter Milan and bury=inter — at first I feared a football-related theme, knowing Raich’s interests, but mercifully no
8 SP{at} ICILY
9 M(ORAL)E — I’d have thought that morale implied either high morale or low morale, not necessarily high morale, but Chambers suggests that Raich is correct
10 A DAM BEDE — one of the four books by George Eliot
11 ICE WATER — I{rate} (we react)*
14/16 DANIEL DERONDA — (a red dandelion)* and another of the four books
18 DETTORI — (tried to)*
20 DOUBLE — 2 defs, one of then arguably by example since a double can also be things other than an actor
22 SOMBRE R{etr}O
24 LITTORAL — “literal”
30 LEAVERS — v in (resale)*
31 EXITS — exist with s moving to the right — excellent clue
1 GIRO — (orig{inal})rev.
4 fRIGAtes — we’re getting rather a lot of hiddens all at once, aren’t we?
5 GIBBON — 2 defs
6 E(YE)D
12 C(RED)O — and again rather a lot of the same type
13 Win Out Of
14 DUE{l}
15 {t}ERROR
17 DEE — “d”, the fourth letter of the alphabet
19 TA R
21 BOTHAM — tha{t} in (mob)rev. — the sad thing is that the very young generation will see Botham as a rather overweight cricket commentator, just as they tend to see Gary Lineker as a television front man, without realising how much they have both brought to their sports
22/23 SILAS MARNER — (sails)* mar{i}ner, and the third of the four books
25 IDLE — (deli)* — if you’re idle you aren’t working
26 R HE A — I don’t like the exclam: quite unnecessary, in my opinion
28 C HIC — in Rome, i.e. in Latin, here=hic (actually I thought hic=this, but Dr Smith’s Smaller Latin-English Dictionary put me right; and complicated it was too)
29 S{nooker} A SH

15 Responses to “Independent 7509/Raich”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks John, for the blog, and Raich for a relaxed mini-themed puzzle.

    Spotted the “one of four here” quite early, confirmed at first by 10A ADAM BEDE, an easy enough wordplay, and completing the theme with the author and the fourth around the perimeter.

    Favourites were 22A SOMBRERO, 31A EXITS, a smooth linkage to 30A, and 22D 23D SILAS MARNER with its linkage to 19D.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Blogging yesterday, setting today – it’s been a busy week so far for Raich.

    Probably the easiest of the half dozen or so Raich puzzles that we’ve had in the Indy so far, but none the less enjoyable for that. Even I spotted the theme, and while Eliot is an author I’ve never really got into, the titles are pretty well known and it was a big help to solving. Don’t think there’s any special George Eliot significance in today’s date.

    As you say, John, no obscurities needed to fit in all the themed answers. My favourites today were RHEA, STAIR, and the nice link between LEAVERS and EXITS – a rare example of the ellipses actually serving some purpose.

    Thanks to John and Raich.

  3. Mordred says:

    An enjoyable, straightforward post-op puzzle for me. (Nothing to worry about – successful hip replacement). I like the simplicity of the clues here – not difficult, but pleasing, my favourite being that for SASH.

  4. eimi says:

    John’s preamble reminds me of a famous limerick by W H Auden, which probably bears repeating here, despite not having particular cruciverbal significance:

    T S Eliot is quite at a loss
    When clubwomen bustle across
    At literary teas,
    Crying: “What, if you please,
    Did you mean by The Mill on the Floss?”

    T S Eliot should be a crossword setter’s favourite poet, providing as he does anagrams of both toilets and litotes.

  5. Peter says:

    Sorry if I’m being a bit thick, but why is the word “red” in 14/16 in italics? I’ve always wondered.
    Enjoyed the puzzle.

  6. eimi says:

    Italics are often used to indicate titles, sometimes misleadingly, but at other times the setter just wishes to stress a particular word. I don’t think it’s crucial, but in this instance Raich wished to stress that the dandelion was red, as opposed to the expected yellow.

  7. Peter says:

    Thanks Mike
    Still seems a bit arbitrary,
    Hi-Ho Silver Lining

  8. NealH says:

    I’ve had a copy of Middlemarch on my bookshelf for about 20 years. One day, I might actually get round to reading it.

    This was one of my quickest solves for some time, but it was very good all the same. I was impressed when I saw after completing the puzzle that both George Eliot and Middlemarch were on the outer edge. The fact that only three novels appeared in the normal solutions nicely encouraged you to go looking for the NINA.

  9. Colin Blackburn says:

    Very enjoyable.

    One I had GEO on the top line and pencilled in GEORGE but wasn’t sure what the them was until I had ADAM BEDE in. Filling in the perimeter helped with the rest which fell into place quickly. So an easier than usual puzzle for me but some nice cluing nonetheless.


  10. flashling says:

    Grid shape alone put me on NINA alert, but others have said, a lot was quite easy, leaving the perimeter completed very early on, perhaps unfortunately it rather gave away the rest of the crossword. Probably the quickest solve for months on this. Makes a change from some recent Tuesday puzzles.

    @Eimi TS Eliot -> Toilets, I used to have a manager who was AV Taylor -> Lavatory

  11. Lenny says:

    The grid also prompted me to make a mental note to look for a nina, then I promptly forgot it. This meant it took me longer than it should to get Double, Botham and Dettori. But, finally I noticed the …eorge Eliot staring me in the face so I was able to use the G to get the final Giro.

  12. NealH says:

    It occurs to me that Raich needed have put Middlemarch in. He could just have said that Middlemarch was any of the Rs on the grid!

  13. walruss says:

    Nice puzzle, in which I don’t mind the italics in RED! Also I agree with John about the fact that Raich doesn’t use obscure words to fill in his themed grids. This seems to be what’s expected in the Indy, and I am glad to see it.

  14. kloot says:

    A nice and simple puzzle that was nevertheless satisfying to complete.

  15. Raich says:

    Many thanks, John, for the excellent blog and to all for the comments which are much appreciated.

    In particular for the points made in relation to the use of common words because I think that is important in a daily cryptic puzzle and I worked very hard to try to achieve it here.

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