Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7588 by Anax

Posted by flashling on February 10th, 2011

flashling.

Thursday fun with Anax, this is a nod to us at fifteensquared. That, however, really has nothing whatsoever to do as a help in solving this crossword. It’s an Anax so it’s tough in places – well I found it so – but fair.

.

.

.

The real first names of the various Independent / IOS bloggers appear in the grid – I’m not going to say who’s who or where, I’ll let whoever wants to, out themselves. Some of the bloggers have moved on, more recent crew miss out due to when it was set I guess.

For me it made a niggly solve with dismay, erratic cluing [joke - payback time for Anax :-) ]. Bonus gold star if anyone spots the other hidden reference to the site. Anyway, enjoy, I did.

Across

1 ALPHA A (alpha) – LP in AHA
6 DIVISIBLE An eye = DI (Detective Inspector = i.e. an ‘eye’) + VISIBLE (open)
9 OPINION O + PIN + I + ON
10 LIP-READ (1 + PR) in LEAD
11 RIO DE JANEIRO I in (JADE IRON ORE)*
14 PROMPT PRO + M(ilitary) + PT
16 GENIALLY (IN EG) rev + ALLY
18 ANNEALED ANNE + A L.E.D.
19 WILIER W1 (Mayfair’s postcode) + LI(v)ER
21 PARSIMONIOUS PA (father) + (OUR MISSION)*
25 LINEAGE (feature)E in NAG all in LIE
26 ANTONYM (MANY NOT)*
27 PAPETERIE PA (Personal Assistant) + PETER + IE http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/papeterie
28 DWELL W(ith) in DELL
Down
1 APOCRYPHAL (CAROL HAPPY)* Definition is a bit odd here but I think it’s this http://www.forgottenbooks.org/info/Sir_Thomas_More
2 PHILOPOENA OK this is me, I’m a Phil. PHI + LOP + ONE* + A – An American children’s game.
3 ALIKE I(mitate) K(egs) in ALE
4 DUNCAN DUN (torment) + CAN Dun and torment are synonymous apparently http://www.synonym.com/synonyms/dun
5 VOLLEYED LOVELY* + (mr) ED (Sullivan)
6 SUPERMINI SIN + I about (UP + ERM)
7 BEEF BEE + F
8 ENDS sEeN + (nintendo) D(evelopers) S(ystem) – a game console
12 FLUID OUNCE U(niform) + I’D in FLOUNCE
13 HYDROSOMAL (MY ROD SHOAL)* Relating to these things http://www.encyclo.co.uk/define/Hydrosoma
15 PLAY A PART PLAYA + (sand) TRAP rev
17 MENSWEAR ME (as in ‘give it to us’ meaning me) + ANSWER*
20 IMPALE I + PAL in ME
22 NOTED NOT ED(itor)
23 FLOP L in FOP
24 SNIP (par)SNIP

28 Responses to “Independent 7588 by Anax”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, flashling. Gosh, this was hard (for me anyway), but with a bit of perseverance and a good deal of online help towards the end, I did manage it. A bit odd today: there were a number of clues where I got half the wordplay, which allowed me to enter a good few of the letters; but even then I couldn’t see the answer because the clue was so cleverly misleading.

    I liked LINEAGE when I finally saw it; and was pleased to get PHILOPOENA from the wordplay. A lovely gesture from Anax to give a name check to the bloggers – and cleverly done, since it didn’t really get in the way of providing an enjoyable puzzle. I share Mr B’s first name at 27ac, so I’ll bask in the reflected glory. Good job that RatkojaRiku has only just joined the team … or perhaps he/she’s in there somewhere.

    Anyway, probably an opportune moment to thank all the Indy bloggers for their work. I wouldn’t have got anywhere near solving this twelve or eighteen months ago, and in large part that’s because I come here most days to find out what it was all about.

  2. Gazza says:

    1d SIR is the name of an apocryphal book of the Bible (also called Ecclesiasticus).

  3. Conrad Cork says:

    Though I should blush to say it, ‘supermini’ is one of the words where I made a contribution to the definition in Chambers. (Retires demurely.)

  4. Ali says:

    Well this was very nice indeed. I’d caught a glimpse of the first line of the blog before solving, so knew to expect something. Whether or not I would have picked up on the theme without that pointer, I’m not quite sure. My name appears quite regularly in puzzles, but as this one was intentional, I’m a happy chappy. Cheers to Anax for the nod! Aside from the numerous name references though, I didn’t spot anything else.

    As for the puzzle itself, I found it tough – very in places – but let’s face it you don’t build a grid crammed with so much thematic info without having to accept one or two lesser-known words. There were some crackingly sly definitions here and lots of typically nice Anax wordplay. Great stuff all round!

  5. Ali says:

    Well this was very nice indeed. I’d caught a glimpse of the first line of the blog before solving, so knew to expect something. Whether or not I would have picked up on the theme without that pointer, I’m not quite sure. My name’s simple enough that it appears quite regularly in grids, but as this one was intentional, I’m a happy chappy. Cheers to Anax for the nod! Aside from the numerous name references though, I didn’t spot anything else.

    As for the puzzle itself, I found it tough – very in places – but let’s face it you don’t build a grid crammed with so much thematic info without having to accept one or two lesser-known words. There were some crackingly sly definitions here and lots of typically nice Anax wordplay. Great stuff all round!

  6. walruss says:

    So good you commented twice?!

  7. rodders says:

    No sorry – very vague clues to me and not acceptable. Can anyone really explain 28a – blog says w in dell – don’t get it still and I am not usually thick when it comes to understanding……………. !
    DI for an eye ? No thanks, there has to be more logic than that – I would rather do Beelzebub !!!

  8. Ali says:

    Yes, sorry about the double post!

    28A is perfectly sound – DELL (hollow) walls (i.e. surrounds) W(ith)

  9. rodders says:

    OK Ali – get the point but still think it is not good.
    If every setter is going to use the initial letter of a word to be encompassed in another – well……….!
    We will have to agree to differ – no problem – perhaps you are just better than me at crosswords !!

  10. Gaufrid says:

    rodders
    Anax is not using an initial letter, ‘w’ is a standard abbreviation for ‘with’ (see Collins, Chambers or COED).

  11. flashling says:

    @Gazza #2 Anax emailed me this, this morning: The only ‘ouch’ moment in the puzzle, I think; at 1d the sneaky bit is ‘Sir’, the abbreviation for Sirach aka (the Apocryphal Book of) Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sirach… aka Ecclesiasticus for those who like long words.
    So you’re spot on there.
    I’d hidden the setters real name in my last line – Dean Mayer – and F(ifteen) S(quared) appears symmetrically in the 7/8 & 23/24 answers.

  12. Klingsor says:

    Flippin’ ‘eck! I saw Anax was on today so went through the laborious process of making a printable copy, and I’ve just finished after just over 60 minutes – probably the longest any 15 squared puzzle has taken me in the last 10 years. Congratulations to Anax on an absolutely superb puzzle. I think what made this special was that just as I was about to give up, another one fell into place and reminded me that this was one puzzle seriously worth persevering with. DWELL, for example – I knew that had to be the answer but it took ages for the wordplay to sink in. When the penny finally dropped and I realised how cleverly I’d been duped, I was torn between the desire to insist that Anax is made setter of the year and the desire to hit him very hard with a blunt instrument. FLUID OUNCE, GENIALLY and WILIER were also clues whose brilliance made the effort worthwhile.

    The best thing here is that any trouble solving this is entirely down to the solver. It’s all there in the clues – unlike some puzzles where clues are very hard simply because they are a bit dodgy. Wonderful stuff, and I’m surprised this wasn’t a prize puzzle. I’m also surprised and disapppointed that a puzzle like this doesn’t get as many comments as some of the more mediocre offerings from the Guardian.

    I still don’t get 8 Down – I know zilch about video games – and would appreciate further explanation if anyone has the time or the patience.

  13. nmsindy says:

    Many thanks, Anax, for referring to us 15 sq bloggers. Thanks, flashling, for the blog. As others have said, a very difficult puzzle with some very cleverly concealed definitions. My favourite clues were PROMPT, PARSIMONIOUS, MENSWEAR, WILIER – I’m afraid (reference Klingsor’s comment at #12), I failed though to solve 8 down.

  14. flashling says:

    @Klingsor #12 The [Nintendo]DS is a computer games console for home use. I don’t have one nor any other type however. Anax had wanted this to be a prize puzzle published the day of the sloggers and betters (Derby) but apparently Eimi felt it gave an unfair advantage against those folks who don’t come here – misguided fools they may be – to be a prize puzzle. I completely agree about the blunt instrument bit!

  15. Klingsor says:

    Thanks Flashling – I get the wordplay but I can’t see why “close to cable” (presumably) defines ENDS. Is this clue an &lit? Sorry to be so thick!

  16. flashling says:

    @Klingsor It’s how telegrams and ticker tape messages and such like used to indicate there was no more. (ENDS)!

  17. Eileen says:

    Hi Flashling – lucky you, to have landed such a gem – thanks for the blog!

    Anax – what a lovely tribute! And to have managed it all without detracting one iota from the enjoyment of those benighted solvers who haven’t yet discovered the delights of 15² – a superb puzzle, as ever.

    As a Guardian blogger [as well as [most days] Indy solver] – not that I want my name in lights! – I’ll say yet again what a pity that we can’t have you over on our side!

  18. Klingsor says:

    Oh right, thanks again Flashling. I’d never have got that even though I am old enough to remember such things!

  19. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, this was a magnificent crossword, but I am not so sure whether Anax’ style is compatible with the usual Guardian stuff.
    Joining their team would, IMO, mean: being instantly their hardest setter.
    Not sure whether the posts at fifteensquared would be favourable all the time, too.
    In my perception, Guardian solvers are very different from Indy solvers, as are the puzzles in both papers.

    Just like you , Eileen, me myself I would welcome Anax from the bottom of my heart ‘over on our side’, but I do think it is a tricky one.
    As perhaps thought Mr Hugh S. – that is, if he thought about it.

    Clues of the Day (plural), for me today: APOCRYPHAL (1d) and 28ac (LINEAGE).

  20. anax says:

    Hello friends

    A rather late post from me I’m afraid – not been at the computer much today. Huge thanks for all your kind words.

    And a special message to Rodders; I’m really glad you didn’t like this crossword – honestly! Some setters receive almost blind praise and it’s great that someone is willing to say that a puzzle just didn’t work for them. That’s the way of cryptics. Everyone has different solving needs and it’s impossible for any setter to please every taste; I commend you for coming forward to say this wasn’t of a type that appeals to you.

    I’m glad that Eileen used the word ‘tribute'; that’s exactly what this was meant to be. 15sq has long been my first port of call for reviews of the day’s puzzles and the often meticulously prepared blogs are amazing in their depth. Casual visitors possibly don’t appreciate how much time goes into these blogs and it’s a shame that some – especially those for prize puzzles – get so little response. I hope that will change.

    My gratitude and affection to you all.

  21. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for that explanation of ENDS definition, flashling, I missed that as well as the wordplay. Now that you’ve given it, I remember it all clearly from telegrams of old.

    Re Anax’s point at #20, I think the problem with comments on prize puzzles is just that by the time the post is due, people have forgotten the details of solving them – also the few extra days may have given them more time to work out tricky answers successfully so help is no longer needed.

  22. BertandJoyce says:

    Thank goodness we can check things on FS! We completed it apart from 8D, although there were a few where we couldn’t fully explain the answers. Glad to know that we were in good company! We thought it was an enjoyable challenge.

    Thanks flashling, Anax …… and the Indie – much better than the Grauniad!

  23. Simon Harris says:

    Goodness, how humbling. I must admit I struggled with the puzzle so didn’t come close to spotting the theme. I should probably have persisted, in retrospect!

    Anyway, thanks Anax – it’s not every day one gets a mention in a national paper, however cryptic it may be!

  24. Scarpia says:

    Thanks flashling and Anax(I think :))
    This was HARD.Like Klingsor,I think this took me longer than any normal daily puzzle has done for years.
    Which is not a complaint.
    Some unfamiliar vocabulary here but all clued in such a way as to be solvable.So many misdirections that I feel like I’ve been led up the garden path as far as the tree only to find it’s the wrong one to be barking up.
    The definition for 1 down was obscure but the anagram was pretty obvious,so I can live with that.

  25. Uncle Yap says:

    I had 8Down unsolved as E?D? and even with the explanation, still think the clue is unfair, if not flawed. A blot of indigo in an otherwise pail of pure white milk.

  26. beermagnet says:

    Thanks Anax.
    I’m here to echo Simon and others in feeling far too menial to be honoured with a mention in a grid like this.
    No way did I finish despite giving it a fair old bash – must’ve been more than an hour – it was the top left corner that did for me.
    A-ha are not a pop band that springs to mind (not in my ken); didn’t get Apocryphal and while kicking myself for not fiddling it out of the anagram there is no way the definition would’ve meant anything to me. Similarly Philopoena, where I had pencilled “Phi lop” in the margin but never heard of the “game”. I
    t is the offbeat definitions in many of the clues that make them hard, and we all know by now that is your trademark. Thus I was so pleased to thrash out some of the other words I didn’t know – e.g. Hydrosomal and Papeterie.
    A lot’s been said about 8D ENDS but that was one of the few I got on the first pass(!), I guess I just happened to see the wordplay and know these references (Nintendo + the “cable” Def. itself), but I can see others might class this as an offbeat definition. What it has got is a lovely natural surface reading. It is the high standard of the surface reading to these clues that makes the whole thing such a polished offering.

    So thanks again to Anax, and flashling for the blog and tipping us off earlier to look out for something special.

  27. Allan_C says:

    Phew! Got there in the end with a little help from Chambers and remembering that in 11a it’s ‘Janeiro’, not ‘Janerio’ as many mistakenly think. But failed to spot the theme.
    A slight quibble though with the definition of 13d: unless I’ve missed something hydrosomes are found in fresh water so, strictly speaking, aren’t marine life.

  28. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Dear beermagnet (#26,
    “A-ha are not a pop band that springs to mind (not in my ken)”.

    Well, they were very popular in the 80s/90s. Remember ‘Take On Me’ or the Bond theme for ‘The Living Daylights’?

    My objection to the clue for ALPHA, though, is Anax calling them ‘former pop group’ – they are still making records !!

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>


five − 2 =