Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7550 by Math

Posted by flashling on December 28th, 2010


Math today, don’t often see but pleasantly solvable.

Eric and Ernie theme today

1             PREVIEW             (VIP WE’RE)*
5             PORTICO             OR in PT + 1 + CO
9             ERNIE    N in ERIE
10           MORECAMBE     MORE CAME around B
11           SUNGLASSES       (SUSANS LEGS)* Company called Police make sunglasses.
12           ERIC       Hidden in thE RICh
14/16    GRIEG’S PIANO CONCERTO           (ICONIC ARPEGG(I)O + E)* I changed, quote from Eric M
18           OF THE MOMENT             THEM OMEN in OFT
21           CHIC      C(urtis) + HIC here in Latin. Tony is synonymous with chic apparently
22           HAPPY EVENT     HAPPY (one of Snow White’s dwarves) + sEVENTy
25           REPAIRERS          REP(cloth) + AIRERS
26           SPURN  SPUR + muffiN
27           OARLESS              O + ARLES + seaSide
28           ARSENAL             (COUGH!) A + (LEARNS)*
1             PLEASE  PL + EASE
2             EL NINO               (One nil)*
3             IDEOLOGIES        (GOODIES LIE)*
4             WIMPS  WI + MPs
5             PORBEAGLE        POR(t) + (the) BEAGLE
6             RACE     hidden rev in peoplE CARrier
7             IMMORTAL         I’m MORTAL
8             OVERCOOK         OVER + (Captain) COOK
13           APOTHEOSIS       SO EH? TO PA rev + IS
15           IDOLATERS          I DO + “LATERS”
17           STRIPPER             ST + RIPPER
19           TEA URN              AU in TERN
20           ATONAL               LA + NO TA reversed
23           PASTA    after A
24           WISE      Hom of YYY to complete the theme

23 Responses to “Independent 7550 by Math”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, flashling – and Math, for a puzzle that I found hugely enjoyable, despite not having been a huge fan of the themed duo in the past.

    I did remember a sketch involving Mr 1ac [great clue!]

    but, although I remembered the ‘not necessarily in the right order’, I’d forgotten that the piece of music involved was, actually, GRIEG’S PIANO CONCERTO, making this clue, for me, one of the very best I’ve ever seen. [The wordplay is [ICONIC ARPEGG[i]O R NOTES*].]

    Devotees will probably find several more [eg APOTHEOSIS and IMMORTAL!] but I spotted ARSENAL [as you indicated] TEA URN [‘More tea, Ern?’] and STRIPPER as being thematic.

  2. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thanks Flashling. This took me a while but I got there. Only now do I realise how much I missed. I don’t know Eric and Ernie and so all the references and in-jokes passed me by. I was pleased to get Eric from Idle, not realising I had the wrong Eric!

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi Tokyo Colin

    “I don’t know Eric and Ernie and so all the references and in-jokes passed me by.”

    In which case, please take time to follow my link and watch the sketch, which shows how brilliant 1ac and 14/16 are!

  4. Tokyocolin says:

    Hi Eileen. I did watch it, thank you, and it was indeed funny and clever. It also made me realize that I have seen the bespectacled one of the duo before. And the surnames “Morecambe and Wise” ring a bell that Eric and Ernie did not. I blame growing up without a TV in the house. But I suspect I gained more than I lost.

  5. flashling says:

    Thanks Eileen for the links. Thanks for noticing and correcting the missed bit in my write up for 14/16. Silly, solve ok and then mess up the blog.

  6. Eileen says:

    Hi flashling

    “Silly, solve ok and then mess up the blog.” I know all about that. ;-)

    But where is everyone? As I said, I was not a fan of this show but I thought the clues were brilliant! There must be some devotees who really appreciated it?

  7. Duggie says:

    I’m here, Eileen and I agree with you. I was really impressed by some of the devices and surfaces in this puzzle. I also have to admit I used the REVEAL more often than I should have. I couldn’t fathom the police link with SUNGLASSES at all. And SPURN completely bamboozled me.

  8. Eileen says:

    Good to hear from you, Duggie – I was feeling lonely in my admiration of this excellent puzzle.

    [I admit to having to google police sunglasses, too. :-) ]

  9. nmsindy says:

    I think the lack of comments, Eileen, is no reflection on the puzzle. It’s that it is effectively a holiday in the UK, exactly the same happened yesterday, when there were also relatively few comments on the Scorpion puzzle I blogged.

    I too thought there were some excellent clues eg MORECAMBE, OF THE MOMENT, HAPPY EVENT, SPURN, WISE. And I solved it all despite not seeing the theme at all. I have heard of the duo of course, but must admit I’ve never watched their TV shows.

  10. 4across says:

    yes, still holiday time, so I hope people don’t miss this puzzle. Excellent with many enjoyable clues, but 14/16 takes some beating.

  11. Martin H says:

    A well-handled theme (PREVIEW is another reference to the piano sketch), but some strangely obscure definitions (police and tony!) and some unconvincing wordplay – ‘later’ for ‘see you’,ok, but not ‘laters’ – ‘muffin in the end’ for N; what am I missing about ‘Cann’ before the Ys in 24, and what’s the definition in 18? Some clever and enjoyable clues as well though.

  12. Martin H says:

    ….right, I’ve got ‘canny’ – still blank on 18 though.

  13. BertandJoyce says:

    Our contribution comes late on as usual – no reflection on the puzzle or the holiday! Could someone explain the “laters” bit of 15D please?

    Great puzzle although the theme seemed to fizzle out after 14A (except for COUGH – Arsenal and 24D.

    Thanks to flashling for keeping up the blog during the holiday period and to Math whose puzzles we always enjoy!

  14. Scarpia says:

    Thanks flashling.
    Really enjoyed this one,even if I didn’t spot all the thematic entries.I did know the Grieg reference so was disappointed to have missed PREVIEW as thematic.(Super clue BTW).
    I didn’t understand the definition in 11 across – fashion is definately NOT my strong point!
    Still don’t understand the definition in 21 across,is it the name Tony or just Tony Curtis that is synonymous with CHIC?

  15. nmsindy says:

    Re some of the comments here, I think TONY = CHIC (classy) originally North American usage. In 18, which I did like, the definition is, I think, simply “IN” (ie fashionable just now) with the rest of the clue being the wordplay.

  16. sidey says:

    It’s tony not Tony as in having tone.

  17. Wil Ransome says:

    Tony: this is a rather doubtful adjective from ton, which means fashion.

    18: The definition is ‘in’. It’s ‘oft’ round (as indicated by ‘entering’) ‘them (= these people) omen (= sign)’. Another wonderful clue. I thought this crossword was full of them and my only very slight grumble is that ‘on’ arguably puts rep and airers in the wrong order in 25ac.

    I didn’t see what ‘laters’ meant in 15dn.

  18. Martin H says:

    ‘in’ as the definition in 18 – thanks for that, Wil at 17. Yes, that is good.

    ‘Ideal’ for ‘apotheosis’, though? Literally ‘deification’, so ‘ideal’ – well sort of – by quite a stretch. It’s to be found by googling, to be sure, but then what isn’t?

  19. Scarpia says:

    Thanks all – I said fashion wasn’t my strong point!
    Can’t find it in any dictionary,only TONISH,probably in Collins,which I don’t have.

  20. Martin H says:

    ‘laters’ in 15 – you can say just, “Later” when you mean ‘see you later’. I guess this is what’s being done here, but, as I said above, the plural doesn’t seem to fit.

  21. flashling says:

    Laters is Yoof speak round here for see you later.

  22. Dynamic says:

    Agree that “Laters!”, derived from “later”, itself a shortening, means “see you later” among the young crowd. It is to be heard on TV and written, doubtless as dialogue, in numerous works of fiction, so I’m quite sure it’s in the latest dictionaries.

    I thought the puzzle was superb, and very OF THE MOMENT (18a), given the imminent broadcast (BBC1 or 2) of the fictionalized story of when the double-act in question got together and found success, much in the style of Frost/Nixon, The Queen, When Harvey (Goldsmith) met Bob (Geldof), and topical of course because they, like the Two Ronnies were Christmas stalwarts for decades.

    Thanks for pointing out that The Stripper is also thematic, Eileen, referring, of course, to the Breakfast Sketch.

    14/18 with 1 was magnificently done, Math, and with the double act’s forenames and surnames very fairly clued plus Tea Urn, Stripper, Arsenal (gesundheit!) and (Andrew) Preview you put just the right amount of themed clues, to my mind, without having to go for very obscure solutions to fill the grid.

    A real joy to solve, though I admit cheating on 21a, which was new to me.

    If anyone missed it and has the crossword solver software (formerly at, the puzzle can be downloaded from
    (I’m not posting full links as I’ve used my quota and don’t wish to trouble a moderator)

  23. Tokyo Colin says:

    Too late to be relevant I know, but I have been reading the comments and following links and now realise that what I thought was a good, slightly puzzling crossword was in fact a tour de force for anyone familiar with the comedy duo. I hope Math produces a puzzle of this quality again based on someone I know next time.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

× eight = 64