Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7560 by Bannsider (Saturday Prize Puzzle 8 January 2011)

Posted by duncanshiell on January 15th, 2011


Another very satisfying crossword from Bannsider.  As usual the wordplay is very precise, even although it takes me a while to work it all out.

The entry that took me the longest time to establish the wordplay was 5 Down NOEL where LEO and it’s link to a male feline blinded me to other possibilities for a long time.  Eventually it was trying to bring OK into the equation that gave me the full understanding.

There was some excellent misdirection throughout the clues – e.g. ‘strain’ in 9 Across, ‘Association’ in 10 Across and ‘no reason’ in 18 Down.

At least a couple of clues required some lateral thinking; for example 4 / 22 Down for FOUR-LETTER WORD, and 17 Down SPANDAU where ‘can no longer’ referred to an old jail.  

I have blogged Bannsider crosswords fairly regularly in the Independent on Saturday because a cycle of four bloggers tended to mirror a fairly regular cycle of four setters.  Now there are five Independent on Saturday bloggers, I will probably be solving Bannsider’s puzzles more often for fun than for blogging.

I rarely time myself on Saturday crosswords as I am usually watching some sort of sport on the box while solving.

Wordplay Entry
1 (UTTER [absolute; unqualified] + F [forte; loudly]) contained in (interrupting) BINGERS (people who overindulge at eating; those at the feast) BUTTERFINGERS (one who lets the ball slip through their fingers; one who is clumsy)
9 OPPO (opposite number; colleague) + R (run) + TUNE (musical melody; strain) OPPORTUNE (suitable; appropriate)
10 TIE (football game) + IN (at home) TIE-IN (association)
11 / 20 STRICTLY’S PEAKING (STRICTLY Come Dancing [TV show] + S [is] + PEAKING [at the height of its popularity]) STRICTLY [SPEAKING] (to be exact, a phrase much loved by pedants)
12 CRUYFF (reference Johan Cruyff, Dutch International and European Footballer of the Year three times) excluding (leaving .. out) U (United), but containing (to pinch) O (ball) CRY OFF (withdraw)
14 (RT [right) + HAND [excluding {obscuring} the D]) contained in (between) two occurrence of WHITE (the colour of the cue ball in snooker, hence WHITE WHITE yields the plural ‘snooker balls’) WHITER THAN WHITE (extremely white; pure; without any blemishes or spots; not spotted)
16 Anagram of (replanted) of VIC’S OIL-SEED RAPE OVERSPECIALISED (too narrow; too small a field)
19 TEA (leaves that are drunk) + BAG (sack) TEA BAG (a bag containing tea leaves for infusion) &Lit clue or just a cryptic definition? I can’t always tell the difference.
20 See 11 / 20 Across above [STRICTLY] SPEAKING
23 HIdden answer in (clothes) BLONDE TART’S reversed (return) RATED (did judge)
24 (ERE [before] + X [kiss]) contained in (in) OVERT (public) OVEREXERT (strain [in a different sense to ‘strain’ in 9 Across])
26 Anagram of (false) TEETH PRODUCE A COUP DE THÉÂTRE (dramatic effect)


Wordplay Entry
1 / 25 BOO (I dislike that) + TEE (peg) BOO[TEE] (footwear)
2 TAMPER (tinker) excluding (confiscating) M (millions) TAPER (a long thin waxed wick, i.e. a wicked thing)
3 EARACHE (if someone nags you, you  can be said to get EARACHE) EARACHE (pain)
4 / 22 CURSE is a five letter word; 80% of CURSE is CURS, a FOUR LETTER WORD FOUR LETTER [WORD] (euphemism for any number of short vulgar words or curses)
5 FELINE with NO EL becomes FINE (OK, ie as a result of having NO EL ‘feline’ turns out OK[fine]) NOEL (a male name)
6 (ETC [et cetera; others] containing [hiding] A) + ROW (quarrel) EAT CROW (humiliate oneself)
7 SUET (fat) + (ONUS [duty; burden; weight] containing [consuming] I [one]) SUETONIUS (Roman Historian)
8 Anagram of (trained) E.G. FOR FINDS

SNIFFER DOG (a dog trained to seek out or locate illicit substances) &Lit clue

11 SAW (saying or proverb; usually old [dated {?}]) + DOCTORS (medical practice) SAW DOCTORS (people who sharpen blades; provide cutting-edge care)
13 PEST (nuisance) containing (storing) (A [indefinite article] + LIMP [floppy] + S [singular]) PALIMPSEST (a manuscript in which old writing has been rubbed out to make room for new)
15 Hidden word in (bottles it) in SENTINEL A STICKLER INELASTIC (unyielding)
17 PANDA (bear) contained in (splitting) US reversed (up) SPANDAU (old [no longer] prison [can])
18 LEAVE (holiday) + BECAUSE (excluding [no] CAUSE [reason]) LEAVE BE (don’t bother with)
21 IDES (reference the Ides of March when Julius Caesar was killed; time for killing) + T (first letter of [very little] TIME) ID EST (Latin for ‘that is'; more commonly written i.e. or ie)
22 See 4 Down above [FOUR LETTER] WORD
25 See 1 Down above [BOO]TEE

6 Responses to “Independent 7560 by Bannsider (Saturday Prize Puzzle 8 January 2011)”

  1. flashling says:

    Got all but Stenorius in the Pub (eventually!) very hard to me as is normal with the Bann Man. Thanks for explaining that/Bannsider for the puzzle.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, Duncan, and Bannsider for the puzzle which was excellent. I found it quite a bit easier than some previous Bannsider Indy puzzles. NOEL was my last too and there were some great clues eg SNIFFER DOG, SPANDAU, OVEREXERT.

  3. Lenny says:

    Thanks for the comprehensive blog Duncan. I found this very entertaining and much easier than previous Bannsiders that I have attempted. In particular there were a couple of long anagrams to get me going. I finished with Noel and Taper, both without understanding the wordplay, on the basis that they could not be anything else.

  4. pennes says:

    I thought it was easier than previous Bannsiders too. So much so I was only 4 answers short and it’s usually less than a third before I give up with a sore brain. 4/22 down four letter word was satisfying to put in

  5. Allan_C says:

    I found the NE corner most difficult until I twigged SUETONIUS from suet=fat. EAT CROW was new to me but I guessed the first word had to be ‘eat’ and found the complete answer in Chambers under ‘eat’.
    BTW there’s an additional snooker reference in 14ac in that the cueball (white) is not ‘spotted’, i.e. placed on a particular spot marked on the table.

  6. Bannsider says:

    Thank you Duncan for an amazing and fascinating blog, as indeed always.

    I am relieved many found it easier as I don’t deliberately set out to ruin people’s weekends!

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