Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,515/Scorpion

Posted by Ali on November 16th, 2010


A quick scan of the 3 most recent blogs on Scorpion puzzles reveals ‘perfectly all right, ‘a remarkably quick solve’ and ‘a bit easier’. Today’s offering – which I found really hard – may well be due reward for the consensus that the sting in the tail might be going! This one took a couple of runs, and there are a few where I can’t quite piece together the wordplay. A very good challenge overall.

There seems to be a biscuit theme here too, with BLUE RIBAND, PENGUIN, BATH OLIVER, NICE, GARIBALDI, HOB NOB, BOURBON and quite possibly some others I’m not familiar with!

6 ALHAMBRA – BRA on [-b]ALHAM – A nice easy one to start us off!!
8 HOB NOB – BON rev. by HOB
10 SEE YOU – SEE + YOU[-ng] – This works, but some might argue that butcher’s (hook) means ‘look’ and not ‘see’
12 GARIBALDI – BALD in II(nternationals) on RAG rev.
13 UGLY – (LUG)* + Y[-orkie]
17 STATUTE – Odd letters of Up To in STATE
20 NICE – N[-ature] + ICE
21 OVERTURES – OVERT + SURE with S(oprano) at the end
23 SPALDING – SPA + D(aughter) in LING
25 IMBIBE – E(nglish) + B(aron) + 1 + BMI, all rev.
27 MARNIE – Aside from ‘film’ as the definition, not sure on this one – “Sweet biscuit held back for main film”
1/26 BLUE RIBAND – BLUE (right) + R.I + BAND
2 LAWYER – W(omen) in LAYER
3 BARRELS – BAR + R(ule) + (Ernie) ELS
4 CHILLI – CHILL (snap) + [-h]I[-m]
5 TOFU – TOF[-f] + U
7 BOURBON – [-ho]UR in BO x 2 + N[-auseate]
9 BISCUIT – BI + C(lubs) in SUIT
12 GAUDI – G[-ucci] + AUDI
14 LOTUS – (OUT)* in S[-oi]L rev.
16 KREMLIN – (MILK ERN[-ie])*
18 TATTIES – T(ango) AT (SITE)*
19 PENGUIN – No idea here: “Bird grounded sadly ending up missing date”
21 OLIVER – Ref. the film director, but no idea on the wordplay, unless it’s a cryptic def. relating to alcohol and livers!?
24 PEAL – E(cho) in PAL
26 BATH – Double def.

16 Responses to “Independent 7,515/Scorpion”

  1. flashling says:

    indeed this did take the biscuit! For Oliver i had Olive – stones often found in them + (booze)R ‘s basement. Still can’t see marnie, seems to be marine with ni reversed but don’t see why

  2. flashling says:

    Penguin is (en(D)ing up)*

  3. Handel says:

    Thanks for the blog, Ali. I found this really hard going, and didn’t manage to finish it in my lunchbreak. It all seems fair enough now that I’ve read the blog, but I just couldn’t get on the right wavelength. Didn’t twig the theme, even though I got most of the themed entries.

    19d is (ending up)* without d for date. No help on the rest I’m afraid!

  4. Pandean says:

    Thanks for the blog, Ali. Also to Scorpion for a challenging puzzle with a nice theme.

    27ac: There’s a biscuit called Sweet Marie, so I reckon it’s n ‘held’ by Marie, where n = ‘back for main’.

  5. flashling says:

    Ooh good spot Pandean, I don’t have a sweet tooth and hence not much of a biscuit person. Cheers Ali, wouldn’t have wanted to blog this. Thanks to Scorpion for baking us this crossword. A lot tougher than your recent outings here.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Ali. Prompted by your comments, I had a quick look at the recent Scorpion blogs and found that I have actually managed two of Scorpion’s puzzles; but this one was a different affair. Probably the Indy daily where I’ve managed the fewest answers before having to give up (we are talking fingers of one hand). Nothing wrong with it, just way too hard for me today.

  7. nmsindy says:

    Scorpion’s puzzles are usually very tricky with extremely intricate wordplay. This was no exception. It took quite a while but I got there in the end even tho I missed the biscuit theme – I guess this may be because I never eat them really. Many thanks for the blog, Ali, and Scorpion for the puzzle.

  8. Richard says:

    This was certainly a tough cookie. I didn’t spot the biscuit theme until there were just two clues to go, and it helped a little by confirming that “Oliver” (which I’d tentatively entered earlier) was correct and that enabled me to get “Marnie”, which was the last one for me. A very satisfying solve – many thanks, Scorpion!

  9. NealH says:

    I managed to finish this over lunch with the exception of barrels, Marnie and Oliver. I twigged Oliver after I’d spotted the biscuit theme but it took me ages to work out barrels even after I’d got to barr?l?. Somehow, barrels and trunks don’t seem synonymous to me – one is round and the other square. Marnie left me utterly defeated. Although I do eat a lot of biscuits, I don’t recall ever seeing a Marie.

  10. Gaufrid says:

    Hi NealH
    I too wondered about trunk=barrel but under ‘barrel’ Chambers has: “the trunk of a horse, etc”.

  11. Paul B says:

    I would have a tense problem with the MAR(N)IE clue, but that’s just lil ole me. Notwithstanding (as per: Shiny trousers?) I thoroughly enjoyed today’s tough challenge, as there’s always plenty to ponce from m’colleague’s fine clueing.

    Do not bother giving this man a blender for Xmas.

  12. IanN14 says:

    Nobody seems to have mentioned that 3d. is probably thematic too?

  13. Rishi says:

    Solvers must have found it DIGESTIVE.

  14. Uncle Yap says:

    TATTIES why part of lunch?

  15. Allan_C says:

    Tatties = potatoes. As in “tatties and neeps” (potatoes and turnips) eaten with haggis. It’s basically the same word – tatws – in Welsh.

  16. Colin Blackburn says:

    I struggled my way through this though I saw the theme quickly (I have an ancestor called Garibaldi born 1851) and that helped with a couple. I didn’t get MARNIE or the intersecting PEAL. Not sure why the latter foxed me. Marnie though was pretty much impossible for me even having seen the blog. I’ve not heard of the biscuit and the film isn’t that high in my consciousness.

    And, Allan_C, taters in some English dialects.I assume all stem from dropping the “po” from potatoes.

    Yes, IanN14, BARRELS and, more directly, DUNKING are theme words to some degree.

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