Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7579 by Crosophile

Posted by nmsindy on January 31st, 2011


This is, I think,  a new pseudonym for the Indy so maybe a new setter.    If so, welcome!     Quite a difficult puzzle, I found, solving time 43 mins, but I got there in the end.

No Nina/theme that I can see but as always happy to be advised otherwise.

* = anagram


1 CARDAMOM      Got this only very near the end – a plant used as a spice    card= maybe Jack  m = married containing a mo (second)

6 GAMING    better = gambler    urchin = gamin  leader of gang = g

9 RACEHORSES    Clever definition ‘fleet mounts’.    (across here)*

10 ROWS   Double definition with clue dividing at scraps/boat

11 COASTS    a in costs

12 PROCURER       cure = fix in pro (in favour of)  r = right

13 ESPALIER    This is a word I learned from crosswords so I got this early on   lie (stretch) in (pears)*.    Excellent surface reading gives the clue a nice &lit touch

15 ARISEN      Takes the letters of pine away from Parisienne – this was my last answer     definition = happened

16 SWATHE     w = with a  t=temperature   in she

18 HOTPLATE    (pot)*  l = left   in hate (can’t stand)

20 VACATION      ill removed from vacillation (unsteadiness)

22 PRESTO     rest (interval) in first and last letters of panto

24 SHOE    definition = maybe trainer   shove less v = victory as in VE day for example

25 GUILLOTINE        definition:  heads off here    lo (look) in guilt  in evidence finally (last letter)

26 PROSIT      Another word I’ve learned from crosswords    (tripos)*    Good health ie a toast originally from German

27 NUTHATCH    A type of bird that creeps    nu = name unknown (abbrev)   thatch = layer of straw


2 AMAZONS     (Samoa NZ)*    One of the easier clues today

3 DREGS     Dr (doctor)   legs = limbs less l = length

4 MOONSHINE      (soon)* h = first letter of hidden in mine = tunnel

5 MISAPPREHENSION    When I got this long answer v early on, I thought it might be an easy puzzle but it did not turn out that way (more happiness in)*

6 GUSTO     gust = bit of wind   o = nothing

7 MARSUPIAL      Very clever misdirection here with ‘playing possum’ in the surface but the division of the clue between wordplay and definition being between those two words.  pi = prig in (alarm us)*

8 NOWHERE       My joint favourite clue today   now here (at this time and place) with definition ‘out of the running’ !  I did not see this for ages.

14 ANTEATERS     as (like)  containing   nt (edges of nest) and (a tree)*

15 AUTOPILOT     My other joint favourite clue with great misdirection using ‘map’     car = auto and plot (map out!) containing I

17 WEATHER    the (article) in sport (wear) ie wear (clothes).    Weather forecast is often just ‘the weather’

19 TITANIC     Meaning ‘big’ and referring to the very successful film of that name about the 1912 sinking – might we see themed puzzles relating to this next year?

21 INGOT     hidden in makING OThers indicated by ‘clasps’

23 EXTRA    (tax re)*   free with no frills = take away outer letters

13 Responses to “Independent 7579 by Crosophile”

  1. NealH says:

    I found this quite tricky and messed up 6 across. Unfortunately, I’d only heard of the feminine version of gamin, gamine, so thought this must be the answer with some wordplay I didn’t quite follow.

    If it is a first effort, it was pretty tricky and well constructed. I liked 18 across with the “can’t stand around” construction. The only clue I thought was a bit weak was 19 down.

  2. beermagnet says:

    As it is a new setter I might’ve given this a bit more effort, but found it suitable for a monday lunchtime pint & a half, with clues falling steadily. In particular I see that there is no obscure vocab in any clues or answers – just slightly offbeat and interesting wordplay.

    Just to show what a diverse we all are, ARISEN was my first answer!

    I noted that I had 12 in after the first pass – mostly bottom left. I think I must’ve got a feel for the wordplay by then. Towards the end some of the clues that looked tricky on first reading became clear with a few crossing letters.

    Last in RACEHORSE

    Favourite clue VACATION – one of those where you feel good when you spot the wordplay.

    Certainly happy to see more from Crosophile like this on a Monday.

  3. scchua says:

    Thanks for the blog, nmsindy, and new setter Crosophile for an enjoyable puzzle that I solved from start to finish at a steady pace.

    Favourites were 9A RACEHORSES, definition and anagrind combining to mislead, 13A ASPELIER and 5D MISAPPREHENSION, both with unusual anagrinds that also had connections with the definitions.

  4. Eileen says:

    I found this very enjoyable. Welcome, Crosophile, and thanks, nmsindy, for the blog.

    I, too, admired the misdirection in RACEHORSES, MISAPPREHENSION – brilliant double use of ‘barking’ – and ‘playing possum’ in MARSUPIAL.

    I also thought 6ac was ‘gamine’ – G[ang] + AMINE / A MINE??

  5. rodders says:

    As said above we are all different. My last answer was also ARISEN. Solving time 40 minutes so not the most difficult !

  6. walruss says:

    Yes, a pleasanr run-out from the new boy or girl. I am sure the confidence will grow, but a very good start in any case.

  7. Lenny says:

    This was quite a quick solve, perhaps too quick as I am also a member of the Gamine club. Other than that I had a few problems with parts of speech. I did not know Pi or Swathe as nouns. Presumably Gusto is also a noun and the preceding to is filler. I also thought that Arose rather than Arisen should be the synonym for Happened but, since Happened is both past tense and past participle I suppose it is OK.

  8. Quixote says:

    Welcome to a new colleague. I particularly liked RACEHORSES and a nice hidden clue for INGOT. A promising start.

  9. Richard says:

    I also put “gamine” in for 6 across, but got the rest after quite a bit of effort all told. A good puzzle, and just right for a Monday.

  10. flashling says:

    Fantastic debut for Crosophile and thanks NMS. Another struggle here but good fun and several ah-ha moments, again last in was racehorses – very nice misdirection to hide the definition.

    Do wonder if this is a blogger turned setter.

  11. Scarpia says:

    Thanks NMS.
    I thought this was a super puzzle,some of the definitions I thought were brilliant,9 and 25 across in particular.I also entered GAMINE at first and spent a few minutes trying to make the wordplay fit before the penny dropped.
    Hadn’t come across the NU abbreviation before,nor PI = PRIG but will remember them for future reference.
    Favourite clue for me,13 across.

  12. Allan_C says:

    This took quite a bit of working out, but if Crosophile becomes a regular setter no doubt one will get used to his/her style. Thanks, nms, for the blog – there were quite a few entries where I didn’t follow the wordplay, but all is clear now.

  13. ele says:

    Thanks for the help. I got most of it except got sent completely down the wrong track with 6 down which I worked out as PESTO (pest as a bit of TEMPEST and O). As a longtime Indie xword solver (or try to) but only recently come across this blog, thank you all so much for the helpful and entertaining comments.

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