Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7525 (Saturday Prize Puzzle 27 November 2010) by Bannsider

Posted by duncanshiell on December 4th, 2010


I am a fan of complex wordplay rather than cryptic definitions, so I always find Bannsider’s puzzles stimulating .  There were some excellent wordplay examples here – e.g. EGGS BENEDICT although I have some small doubts over GB for ‘good-bye,  IRAN-IRAQ WAR, GOLDERS GREEN, DENNIS THE MENACE, CLOSE-KNIT, THE OLD BAILEY, TOASTING FORK, and SCOOBY-DOO

There was also excellent misdirection by the use of  ‘plump’ in the clue for OPT, linking ‘Tate’ and ‘impressionists’  in the clue for BREMNER and linking different parts of Mr Murdoch’s empire ‘Sky’ and ‘Times’ in the clue for LOBBY.  Mr Murdoch, I feel sure, is not averse to indulging in a bit of lobbying himself.

I thought this was a wonderful puzzle with smooth surfaces and plenty of smiles as the pennies dropped throughout the time I spent solving it.  As usual for a Satrurday puzzle, I don’t have an accurate time for solving, as I was watching sport on the box whilst I solved it.

Wordplay Entry
1 EG (for example; say) + ([GB {goodbye} + EN {'in' in French}] containing [hugging] S [son]) + EDICT (order)  Note: I can’t find GB as an abbreviation for ‘goodbye’ in any of Chambers, Collins or the Shorter Oxford.  G as an abbreviation for ‘good’ is common.  I can only find B as an abbreviation for ‘bye’ [cricket] in the Shorter Oxford. EGGS BENEDICT (food)
8 HOLD (place for cargo) + ONE (I) + SOWN (scattered) HOLD ONE’S OWN (don’t fail; not sink)
9 O (zero) + PT (physical training; exercise) OPT (plump, in the sense of ‘choose’)
11 O (zero, FA as in Sweet FA [Sweet Fanny Adams], or there is, of course, a coarser interpretation of FA) + anagram of (corruption) ACT ALONG OCTAGONAL (having 8 [several] sides)
12 Hidden word (pockets) reversed (back) in CLEANER INSPECTING IRENA (a girl’s name; Miss)
13 DES (reference [Archbishop] DESMOND [TUTU], shortened (short) to DES) + PAIR (reference pair of pants [for one person]) DESPAIR (be without hope; give up)
15 SAT IN (i.e the opposite of ‘stood out’; not oustanding) + ET (extraterrestrial; being out of this world) SATINET (a thin satin material)
16 AMOS (Old Testament prophet) containing (pens) (U [univeristy]  + NT [New Testament; books]) AMOUNTS (figures)
18 W (with) + HEAT (warm) + EN (in printing terminology ‘en’ and ‘nut’ are interchangeable to refer to a space that is half an ‘em’) WHEATEN (made of wheat; like some bread)
19 LOB (to lift a ball in a high slow ark; sky) + BY (multiplied into; times) LOBBY (seek to influence; petition)
20 Anagram of (shifts) EXTRA + LIE (rest) +F (following) TAX RELIEF (reduction induties)
22 Hidden word (receiving) in TOKYO DOCTOR YOD (tenth letter of the Hebrew [Tel Aviv] alphabet)
23 RAN IRA (organiser of Irish Resistance; reference Irish Republican Army [IRA]) contained in (involved in) IQ (intelligence) + RAW (not prepared) reversed  (back) IRAN-IRAQ WAR (conflict)
24 GOLD (or) + ERS (Emergency Room; casualty departments in America [New York]) + GREEN (needing practice) GOLDERS GREEN (part of London)


Wordplay Entry
1 Odd letters reversed (upset the odds) of TEAM LACKED ÉCLAT (showy splendour; brilliance)
2 Anagram of (exercise) MID-MORNING YOGA containing (involving) E (energy) GEORGIA ON MY MIND (song [number] written by Hoagy Carmichael in 1930)
3 Last letters of (what ends) HUBBUB OVER SEPARATE ROOM IN TATE FOR BREMNER (reference Rory Bremner, impressionist)
4 N (North, player with a hand in the game of Bridge) + OODLES (lots of; bags) NOODLES (fools)
5 SINNED (went astray) reversed (turns) + (MEN [people] contained in [THE ACE {the buff, where buff means 'expert' or 'ace'}]) DENNIS THE MENACE (Strip cartoon in the Beano)
6 Anagram of NOT LIKE and the first and last letters CS (heart taken) of COMMUNITIES CLOSE-KNIT (reference close-knit communities; communities would not be close-knit if they had their heart taken out) &lit
7 ([TOLD {ordered} + BAIL {security}] containing [protect] HE [His/Her Excellency, the form of address for an Ambassador]) + YE (you) reversed (recalled) THE OLD BAILEY (court)
10 T (troy weight) + ([STING {barb} + FOR] contained in [piercing] OAK [wood] ) TOASTING FORK (cooking utensil)
14 S (small) + CO (company; firm) + anagram of (twisted) BODY + O (round) + O (round) SCOOBY-DOO (an animated dog in a series of  cartoons)
17 SET (some tennis reference point, game, set, match]) + FAIR (blonde) SET FAIR (settled and secure; laughing)
18 WAXING (reference, giving the carnauba or Brazilian wax, a palm or the yellowish wax obtained from its leaves) containing (guards) first letter W of (at the start) of WAVE

WAXWING (a small bird with red horny appendages)

21 IR (Irish) + WIN (success) IRWIN (reference Dennis Irwin, Manchester [and Republic of Ireland] full-back  1990-2002.  The Irish connection makes this an &lit clue, although there were, of course,  other Manchester United footballers who played for the Republic or for Northern Ireland))

8 Responses to “Independent 7525 (Saturday Prize Puzzle 27 November 2010) by Bannsider”

  1. anax says:

    As ever, Duncan, a stunning piece of comprehensive bloggery – there really should be some sort of award for efforts like this (like, er, comments?).

    And, as ever, a testing and utterly satisfying crossword from one in the upper stratosphere of setters. IRAN-IRAQ WAR is just the sort of seemingly impossible-to-clue entries Bannsider relishes; and how smoothly he’s pulled it off!

    I’m very grateful for your explanation of 6d because until now I thought it was an unusually characterless clue. Turns out it was another example of brilliantly concealed wordplay and I’m annoyed with myself for missing it.

    Marvellous puzzle, marvellous blog – thanks both.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Duncan for the blog, and thanks to Bannsider for an enjoyable puzzle. As mentioned many clues which were a pleasure to parse.

    Missed out on one, 3D BREMNER, for some reason, I applied the “What ends” indicator to only “hubbub” and didn’t continue from then on.

    Personal favourites were 23A IRAN-IRAQ WAR, 4D THE OLD BAILEY, and 14D SCOOBY-DOO.

    By the way re 18D WAXWING, I felt that “giving, say, Brazilian” pointed rather more to “waxing” than “wax”, and you might be (or not) be familiar with “Brazilian waxing”.

  3. Duncan Shiell says:


    It was only whilst writing the blog that I realised that CLOSE-KNIT had the wordplay described.


    The full wordplay from BREMNER also came late to me.

    Thanks for the comment on 18 down. I was vaguely aware that ‘Brazilian’ had a another meaning. My wife tells me that I have led too sheltered a life.

  4. Allan_C says:

    Thanks, Duncan, for the explanations. There were several entries which I got because they couldn’t be anything else but didn’t completely understand; BREMNER and WAXWING aforementioned, also TOASTING FORK.
    I wasn’t all that happy with GB as an abbreviation for “goodbye”, either – though I recall a feeble schoolboy-type joke many years ago: What does GB on the back of a car mean? – Goodbye!

  5. Bannsider says:

    Thanks to Duncan for an amazing blog. These blogs enrich the experience for solvers and setters alike.
    I don’t have the puzzle in front of me, but the clue for 1 across should have read “…good bye” or “good-bye” indicating that two separate abbreviations were called for, for “good” and “bye”. Also, in the DESPAIR clue, “for one” indicated “for example” as pants are an example of a PAIR of something, but I guess it could read equally validly the other way.

  6. nmsindy says:

    I found this v hard, v inventive and original – favourite clues HOLD ONE’S OWN, OPT, OCTAGONAL, LOBBY (best of all), THE OLD BAILEY,
    Thanks, Bannsider, for the puzzle and Duncan for the excellent blog.

  7. redddevil says:

    Apologies for resurrecting this thread but I have just had the most pleasant experience of the receipt of an Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus for having been drawn out of the hat as ‘winner’ for this crossword. Given that barely 6 months ago I was telling my better half not to bother buying the Indie if the crossword was by Bannsider “because they were too hard” it shows how far I’ve come with the help of the blogs and comments on this site.
    So thanks to all the bloggers here and maybe you could tell me if there is somewhere whence I could retrieve the original puzzle itself as it has been ‘tidied’ here and I’d like to have a copy of it as a reminder.

  8. Gaufrid says:

    Hi reddevil
    Congratulations! I should be able to send you a copy of the puzzle. Just give me half an hour or so.

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