Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7513 by Math (Saturday 13 Nov)

Posted by petebiddlecombe on November 20th, 2010


Solving time: 17:13

It was fairly obvious from the grid that a theme was likely here – the puzzle is about Civil Rights in its US meaning, with CIVIL RIGHTS and four associated people appearing in the grid.


1 RU(g)BY
3 BRIDGES = (big red’s)* – this gives us RUBY BRIDGES in the top row – the first African American to attend an all-white school in the South.
8 see 20
9/13 CIV = 104,IL RIGHTS = (this girl)* – with “supported by some seen here” as the def.
10 NEST – hidden – nicely done to get the “home is where the heart is” surface
11 SC(O.R.,P)ION – scion=shoot – nicely done indication of the “left of centre” insertion
12/22/28 MARTIN LUTHER KING – (Alert ink might run)*
15 SEMIT = (item’s)*,ONE – A to B being a whole tone step
17 A,R,KANSAS – I’m wondering whether this was intended to be part of the theme too. One important event in the Civil Rights Movement took place at Little Rock, Arkansas, and ROCK is already in the grid, so I’m guessing that LITTLE would have been included if possible.
20/8/30 NORMAN ROCKWELL = (on warm rollneck)* – also thematic, for his painting of Ruby Bridges. The trick of splitting ROCKWELL into two grid entries gave me a surge of Guardian crossword nostalgia.
24 H(ALF,P)AST – HAST = have, and ALF = old man – presumably just because “Alf” is an old-fashioned name
25 R(O.S.)A – rosa = the rose genus
27 PARKS = commons (as in Wimbledon or Clapham) – Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama
29 SADDLES – +/- = “add less”, with the final S moved to the front
1 RHO’N'CHI – two letters of the Gk. alphabet give us the plural of rhonchus – “a bronchial sound, heard in auscultation”, says Chambers. “auscultation” isn’t a condition of the lungs, but the act of listening through a stethoscope
2 BIKER – the clue’s “too tired” needs to be heard as “two-tired”
3 BO(VINE)S – lowers = things that low = cattle. With the initial B in place I wasted time on banyans and baobabs, though one of these exotic trees is from Africa rather than Asia. I forgot the important rule about always considering the shortest possibilites first – the Bo tree or sacred fig was what I needed. The external BOS means “cattle” too, and that could have caused other distraction
4 ISLAM – S = saint, in rev. of Mali
5 GENERA = (A Green)*,TOR = hill
6 S(ESS(o))ION
7 ECLIPSES = “when Sun’s coverage is reduced” – CLIPS = cuts in rev. of SEE – some will be tutting about “oversee” but I didn’t mind it.
14 HEAT=warm (vb.),H(L)AND
16 MONA LISA = (No., ISLAM)*,A
18 R = recipe, AU, COUS(-cous) (cous-cous is made from semolina wheat)
19 SPHERES = provinces – (the press – T)*
21 ARSENAL – cryptic def requiring you to know about this stadium. Watch out for “Area with Emirates” = HOLLOWAY
23 REPEL = rev. of leper
25 PEK(O)E – Concise Oxford confirms that you can have plain “pekoe” tea as well as orange pekoe

3 Responses to “Independent 7513 by Math (Saturday 13 Nov)”

  1. Allan_C says:

    Nice one, not too taxing. Thanks Math, and Pete for the blog.

    One minor point re 19d – “the” in front of “provinces” doesn’t seem really necessary. Just there to make the clue read better?

    Thought SEMITONE was brilliant!

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Peter for the blog and Math for a nicely pitched (in other words, not too difficult) prize puzzle, made a bit more difficult by a number of “additional” words which no doubt helped the surface reading, but were also meant (I guess) to misdirect.

    Favourites were: 29A SADDLES, 2D BIKER, and 7D ECLIPSES with “in the Times” a clever misdirection.

  3. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    Allan_C: no, the “the” isn’t necessary for the wordplay. But I’m used to inserting or deleting “the” and “a” when travelling from indication or def to a part-answer or answer, so didn’t notice it as an issue in this case.

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