Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7533/Raich

Posted by John on December 7th, 2010


Raich’s puzzles are always good and he does not disappoint here. Some of the clues are excellent, although one or two I’m not quite sure about. Now that I look I can see the Nina.

(polite gap)

ELVIS is across the central unches and there are various Elvis references, such as Alamo, Wooden Heart, Now or Never, Are You Lonesome Tonight. All this is off the top of my head and no doubt there are more, which regular Elvisophiles will find.

4 NOW OR NEVER — (new {g}overnor)*
10 REPLETE — (Peterle{e})*
11 HEAR{s}T — referring to William Randolph Hearst
12 OILFIRED — fir in (oldie)*
14 NEUTRALITY — (Truly anti-E)* — not quite sure here: is this the state of neutrality, in which case why is it State not state, or is it referring to a neutral State, in which case it’s the wrong part of speech. Or so it seems to me.
16 FAR EAst
17 I(GO)R
19 ALIENATION — (a loan tie-in)*
21 L(ONES)OME — the African port of Lomé
23 SHOUT — stout with the (first — perhaps we should be told) t replaced by h — “turn” as in “it’s your shout”
27 SEAMAN — 2 defs, referring to Dave Seaman, the ex-England goalkeeper, whom I can never see in the same light again after an awful story about him told by Rory McGrath; I was listening to the cricket (brilliant) and my mind went to Prior or Knott or Richards or some such England wicket-keeper, but no such luck
28 ACTIONABLE — a (lab notice)* — here Raich has made the effort (“as such”) to make the answer the right part of speech, which is further evidence that I have failed to see 14ac
29 {firs}T {dat}E EN — the en-dash, which I can never confidently distinguish from an em-dash — what you have just seen is I think an em-dash and an en-dash should be this: “–” as opposed to a mere hyphen “-“
2 TR OCH EE — a trochee is a foot of two syllables, a long followed by a short, and troch is not a Scottish word for surprising — it’s tr for translated and och
3 PO(D CA)STER — def “He prepares material for internet”, very nice clue
4 NO NET — a little joke here
5 WAR{m} — or is it war{y}?
6 R AP — ap is ante prandium, the Latin term for before a meal
7 EL({th}E)M I
8 EX EG {P}ETE{r} — I’m never that happy with ex=old, but perhaps it’s acceptable
13 L(AY)IN{e} — I suppose that in a military sense a line is a fortified position, but this seems a bit odd; I can’t see what else it is
15 A LA MO{de} — and the unfinished comes from the previous clue — rather a vague definition I think: simply “here, perhaps”?
16 ASTRONAUT (taunts a ro{okies})*
18 gettinG NO STICk
20 OU T{uto}R AGE
23 S US IE — i.e. below Southern US
25 GI N
26 TUB{a}

13 Responses to “Independent 7533/Raich”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Many thanks, John, and Raich for the puzzle.

    Raich is now well-established on the Indy and I’ve gradually got better at his puzzles and have finished the last few. This one was harder, I thought (perhaps because of the nina which of course went straight over my head).

    But lots of good clues: I liked ASTRONAUT, NOW OR NEVER and WOODEN in particular. I was okay with NEUTRALITY; I think the capital S in State is just a piece of misdirection.

    And if Raich refers to an England keeper, then I think you’d get good odds that it’s one catching a big white ball with small gloves rather than a small red ball with big gloves. Dontcha just love it when we grind the Aussies into the dirt?

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Btw John, with the England keepers I think you mean Russell not Richards!

  3. scchua says:

    Thanks John for the blog and Raich for a puzzle one can gets one’s teeth into – lots of clues which require a bit of thought.

    14A NEUTRALITY with K’sD that State is a piece of misdirection.
    15D ALAMO I think it’s ALA = “in style of” + MO = “moment” as “in a mo”, and therefore not requiring the “unfinished” from the previous clue.
    20D OUTRAGE By coincidence the clue works almost as well (just have to add an anagram indicator) without the “university”: [TU(t)OR]* (“heartlessly”) + AGE.

  4. scchua says:

    PS. Oops, it’s A LA of course and not ALA

  5. Mordred says:

    I liked this one. Didn’t spot the song titles until after the Nina which came very late on. Enjoyed the joke at 4D and the original hidden indicator at 18D.

  6. Mick H says:

    And of course there’s Elvis’s little-known experimental number “Gnostic Ennui”.
    Good stuff as ever from Raich. Podcaster had me trying for ages to find a word for ‘he prepares material’ with POPUP (internet advert) round the outside!

  7. NealH says:

    I found this quite enjoyable with a nice mixture of clues and cultural references. The top left corner was the most difficult, probably because trochee is not a word I’m particularly familiar with and, like Mick H, I was convinced for a long time that pop-up must come into 3 down somewhere. Neutrality was also quite tricky because I was looking for the name of a state.

  8. Ramasamy says:

    Hello people

    Could someone please explain the Anno for ENNUI? I understand NUN’s anagrammed, but what’s the relation between Spain, Italy and EI?

  9. flashling says:

    E is the Spanish car plate, I italu around an anagram of NUN.

    Didn’t spot the Nina until I’d finished but appreciate it now. Thanks Raich/John

  10. John says:

    No, K’s D, I do mean Richards and don’t mean Russell. Jack Richards (of Surrey I think) played a few matches for England in the late 80s or so. Good batsman, even scored a century on at least one occasion, but was dropped fairly early on because his keeping wasn’t thought to be good enough. I think all this is true, but you can check him out on cricinfo. Like my remarks about Elvis, off the top of my head.

  11. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Okay, John, I stand corrected! He shares a surname with a more famous Test cricketer, mind you … although I don’t think Sir Viv ever donned the gloves.

  12. Allan_C says:

    Thanks, John, for the explanation of 6d which I didn’t understand (the clue, not your explanation). I should have known it with the number of medics and pharmacists in my extended family; a.p. is used as a shorthand on prescriptions for things to be taken before meals.

  13. Colin Blackburn says:

    I enjoyed this one though missed the theme until I had finished it and saw ELVIS. I spent too long trying to justify POETASTER in both definition and wordplay. Despite downloading many a podcast I didn’t consider PODCASTER existed until desperation took hold. I also missed the wordplay for RAP but guessed AP must be an abbreviation for something meal related.

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