Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent Saturday Prize Puzzle 7590 / Scorpion – 12 February 2011

Posted by duncanshiell on February 19th, 2011


A quick glance at the clues for this puzzle showed that the solution to 8 Across was going to be important as five other clues made reference to it.  In fact, the five clues that referred to 8 Across as the town of birth of the names generated by the clues, could all be solved from the wordplay without really knowing that 8 Across was the hometown.  

STOCKPORT was the answer to 8 Across and the five ‘celebrities’ born there were FRED PERRY, NORMAN FOSTER, JOAN BAKEWELL, PAUL MORLEY and DAVID DICKINSON.  The Independent General Knowledge crossword on the same day made further reference to someone born in STOCKPORT when it clued the actor Peter Butterworth.  I am not quite sure why STOCKPORT featured so strongly.  I can’t find any reason why February 2011 should be a major anniversary for STOCKPORT.  Perhaps Scorpion, the setter, has strong STOCKPORT connections.  I had heard of all the celebrities except PAUL MORLEY, but the wordplay was quite clear.

I found this puzzle to be at the easier end of the Saturday Independent spectrum   The clues had good surfaces, except perhaps for 6 Across which seemed to me to be slightly odd.  It was good to see a pair of clues linked by an ellipsis, where the second clue did depend on words in the first (4 and 5 down).

I note a few bloggers recently have been including clues in the blog to help explain the wordplay, so I’ve followed the lead in this blog to see if it generates any comments.


Clue Wordplay Entry
6 Deliver a speech, concealing file (4) Hidden word (concealing) in DELIVER A SPEECH RASP (a coarse file)
8 Family left English town (9) STOCK (family) + PORT (left [side of a ship, looking to the bows]) STOCKPORT (English town, South East of the centre of Manchester, now one of the 10 metropolitan boroughs of of Greater Manchester)
10 Crows about Grand National winner (3,3) The collective name for a group of crows is a MURDER of crows; reversed (about) this becomes RED RUM RED RUM (Grand National winner, 1973, 1974 and 1977.  He also came second in 1975 and 1976)
11 Small print, on note baffled auntie (8) MI (note in the tonic sol-fa) + anagram (baffled) of AUNTIE MINUTIAE (small print)
12 Mostly red and yellow jersey prominent in this green activity (9) First two letters of (most of) RED + CYCLING (the leader [prominent] of the Tour de France [and some other cycle races] wears a yellow jersey)  The green jersey is also important in the Tour de France, but I think the ‘green’ here refers to environmental issues rather than cycling. RECYCLING (an environmentally friendly [green] activity)  
13 / 7d Bloody parking disrupts transport for 8-born sportsman (4,5) (RED [bloody] + P [parking]) contained in (disrupts) FERRY (transport) FRED [PERRY] (English tennis [and table tennis] player, born in STOCKPORT [answer to clue 8 across] winner of 8 tennis Grand Slam singles titles between 1933 and 1936.  The last British male to win Wimbledon)
15 And French follows debut of Lenny Henry it’s devastating (6) First letter of (debut of) LENNY + ET (French for ‘and’) + HAL (Henry) LETHAL (deadly, mortal, vicious; devastating)
17 See 3 Down See 3 Down [NORMAN] FOSTER
19 / 1d 8-born female broadcaster taking road out of country here in Derbyshire (4,8) JORDAN (country) excluding (taking ….. out of) RD (road)  +  BAKEWELL (town in Derbyshire) JOAN [BAKEWELL] (Female broadcaster born in STOCKPORT)
21 Joiner’s orbital sander used on current unit (9) AMP (unit of electric current) + anagram (orbital) of SANDER AMPERSAND (the character ‘&’ representing ‘and'; joiner [of words])
25 Present guards active right at the back (8) REWARD (present) containing (guards) (A [active] + R [right]) REARWARD (at the back)
26 See 28 See 28 Across [PAUL] MORLEY
27 See 24 Down See 24 Down [DAVID] DICKINSON
28 / 26 8-born arts critic to talk about German city on circuit (4,6) PARLEY (talk) containing (about) (ULM [German city] + O [circle; single circuit; lap]) PAUL MORLEY (music and arts critic, born in STOCKPORT)


Clue Wordplay Entry
1 See 19 Across See 19 Across [JOAN] BAKEWELL
2 Deposit spy article for museum (9) ASH (deposit) + MOLE (spy) + AN (indefinite article) ASHMOLEAN (museum of art and archaeology in Oxford)
3 / 17a 8-born architect redesigned seafront below standard (6,6) NORM (standard) + anagram (redesigned) of SEAFRONT NORMAN [FOSTER] (internationally renowned architect, born in STOCKPORT)
4 Strapped family into vacant seat…. (5) KIN (family) contained in (into) the first and last letters [vacant] ST of SEAT SKINT (suffer from scacity of money; strapped [for cash])
5 …..which worked in Causalty, trouble-free (2,4) anagram of (worked) SEAT (reference last word of previous clue, hence the ellipsis) contained in (in) (A & E [Accident & Emergency; casualty]) AT EASE (free from anxiety; trouble-free)
7 See 13 Across See 13 Across [FRED] PERRY
9 United following start to overreact to match, getting hammered (3,2,2) First letter of [start to] OVERREACT + U (United) + TO + FIT (match) OUT OF IT (unable to control oneself normally because of drink or drugs; getting hammered)
14 Dog’s birthday? Different manner adopted (9) DOB (date of birth; birthday)  + anagram of (different… [adopted] MANNER) DOBERMANN (breed of dog)
16 Sort of sex worker runs one through Terms and Conditions firstly (7) (ANT [worker] + R [runs] + I [one]) contained in (through) (T & C [first letters of {firstly} each of  TERMS and CONDITIONS) TANTRIC (reference ‘tantric sex’ – not defined in Chambers, Collins or the Shorter Oxford, but the internet has a vast array of relevant material)
18 Long narrow carpet excited bridesmaid (6-2) RUNNER (long narrow strip of carpet) + UP (excited) RUNNER-UP (the one behind the winner; reference ‘always the bridesmaid never the bride’ describing someone who never attains the recognition they crave)
20 Burn old Queen tracks – five – before party (6) O (old) + V (five) + ER (Elizabeth Regina; Queen) + DO (party).  The word ‘tracks’ implies that ER follows V, with everything ‘before’ DO OVERDO (do too much; burn out))
22 Monstrous woman marks science sternly perhaps daughter states (6) M (marks) + last letter E of (sternly, perhaps) of SCIENCE + D (daughter) + USA (United States) MEDUSA (a female monster in Greek mythology)
23 Pair of trousers grabbed by cohabiting partner? Paddy (5) First two letters TR of (pair of) TROUSERS contained in (grabbed by) SOP (significant other person; cohabiting partner) STROP ([a fit of] bad temper; paddy)
24 / 27d 8-born antiquary eager to discuss Victorian novelist in lecturer’s company (5,9) (AVID [eager] + DICKINS [sounds like {to discuss} DICKENS {Victorian novelist}]) contained in (in …. company) DON (lecturer) DAVID DICKINSON (a [slightly eccentric and remarkably bronzed] ‘expert’ in recent antiques [antiquary] seen regularly on daytime television programmes, born in STOCKPORT)

13 Responses to “Independent Saturday Prize Puzzle 7590 / Scorpion – 12 February 2011”

  1. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thanks Duncan. I realised fairly early on that this one was not for me and gave up. A fairly pointless exercise for someone who doesn’t know the towns or most of the people referred to. I didn’t even know the abbeviations A&E or SOP. I did get Ashmolean and Murder this time, so I am learning.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Duncan for the blog, and Scorpion for an enjoyable prize puzzle.

    What a pleasant surprise – a Saturday puzzle that’s easier than a couple of the weekday ones. The top half (except 1D) was completed quickly (faster than the usual Indy crossword). The bottom half took just a bit longer. Penultimate one in was 28 26 PAUL MORLEY, for which I had to search the references – if I were to go for the prize, it would be fair game to use references, so surely, this is not cheating?! Last one was 23D STROP, got the “Paddy” and TR bits but didn’t know the SOP = “cohabiting partner” bit.

    Favourites were 12A RECYCLING, 21A AMPERSAND and 3D 17A NORMAN FOSTER. As you mention, didn’t need to know the birthplace in order to solve the related clues.

    Btw, good to have the clues repeated in the blog.

  3. Allan_C says:

    As scchua says, easier than a couple of the weekday ones – but still requiring some effort. I don’t class searching references as cheating; that’s all part of the attraction and sometimes leads to “oh, of course!” moments. Cheating is looking up the answer, which of course you can’t do for the prize puzzle until the following week.
    I too solved the names without knowing they were natives of Stockport – but had to confirm 28/26 by googling the name.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Enjoyable puzzle and not too difficult. Tho not familiar with the names managed to work two of them out from the wordplay when I’d some crossing letters and came v close to a third. Cheating? This is not the Times speed-solving competition, remember. Guess it must be Scorpion’s home town, did he use its postcode once in a puzzle? Favourite clue, MINUTIAE. Thanks for the blog, Duncan, and Scorpion for the puzzle.

  5. kloot says:

    Thanks Duncan. I always appreciate your blogs. I found this easy once the theme was uncovered and made steady progress.

  6. Lenny says:

    I’m afraid I found this rather tedious. I did manage to finish without using references and all the Stockport glitterati were vaguely familiar to me apart from Paul Morley. I managed to get him from the wordplay because I remembered being tripped up in a previous puzzle by the German city of Ulm. Twinned with Stockport by any chance? I enjoyed the clue for Tantric.

  7. flashling says:

    Found this easy, the Stockport link irrelevant and got the linked answers anyway. Thanks Duncan. today’s Bann man has me beaten all ends up.

  8. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Duncan … and congratulations on your Inquisitor win!
    I found this quite easy for an Indy prize puzzle even though I didn’t know the home town of the named people.
    Liked the ‘sternly perhaps’ device in 22 down.

  9. rodders says:

    Thanks Duncan for the blog and more thanks for typing the clues which is great but I guess time consuming for you bloggers !

    As for yesterday – agree flashling – in real trouble I am but got a few more days to work at it ( not optimistic though in truth ).

  10. Kaggsy says:

    What’s interesting about this is that it’s a common misconception that Paul Morley was born in Stockport. Even though his Wikipedia and every other entry says so, a reading of his wonderful memoir “Nothing” makes it quite clear that the family moved to Stockport when he was young – he wasn’t actually born there!

  11. Rosso says:

    Feel sorry for us in Adelaide. We get the “Independent” three weeks after you do in the UK, and by then Duncan’s blog is on the web. Furthermore, we are not quite so familiar with the English literary or arts scene. To complete the crossword, we use Google, of course, and have to avoid peeking at the answers in Duncan’s blog. I really liked MEDUSA. What did I not get out? TANTRIC, STROP (although I guessed it must be that), and (blush) REARWARD. Hah: but I got yesterday’s crossword out completely, for a change.

  12. Gai says:

    Also from Adelaide, but no sympathy for bloggers or googlers. Favourite clue was red rum. (I remembered the collective term from a book by Raymond Briggs.)

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