Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7597 by Hypnos

Posted by NealH on February 21st, 2011


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

I found it extremely hard to get going with this and, with no chance of being able to look at it later today, was forced to cheat to finish it in time. There appears to be a NINA around the edge, but being from “Up North”, it means little to me.


7 Hispania: His pani[c] + a.
9 Innuit: In + unit*.
10 Thirteen: Thin around R + + een, but not sure why een is support.
11 Splash: DD.
12 Uproot: Up(=in court) + rot around o.
13 Ridicule: Lucid< in rie?, I assume, but don't know what the republic is.
15 Octa: Co< + ta.
16 Rhomb: Rho + mb.
18 Tang: Tag (as in tag-line, I suppose) around N.
19 Spy story: Spy + [treacherou]s + Tory.
21 Anoxia: A no + XI + a[ddress].
22 Emceed: Deeme[d]< around c. One of those I didn't get – it's one of those annoying words like Dee Jay that you nearly always see as an acronym.
24 Twilight: [B]ligh in twit.
25 Havers: DD, referring to Nigel Havers.
26 Overshoe: Over + hose*.
1 Bishops Cap: Bis (which I’ve seen from other crosswords means again, but can’t see it in the dictionary) + hop’s (= spring’s) + cap (=better).
2 Ancestor: CD (family tree).
3 Lawn: Hom of “lorn”.
4 Hissed: H is se[e]d.
5 Anglo Catholics: (Casting alcohol)*.
6 Miss: DD.
8 Personal Stereo: (A solo presenter)*.
13 Roomy: Hom of “rheumy”.
14 Linlithgow: (In low light)*.
17 Boadicea: Don’t follow this – “Person inspiring a race of Britons, one used to represent province”.
20 Oddest: Des + t after do<.
23 Meat: Meat[h].
24 Troy: Tro[ph]y (outsiders of pitch= ph).

19 Responses to “Independent 7597 by Hypnos”

  1. Prolixic says:

    This was tricky in places with some helpful starter clues. Spotting the nina helped. It is the title of a Peter Sellers’ sketch/record.

    In 10a it is Thin around R + Tee (support).

    1d – Chambers gives Bis as twice – from prescriptions I seem to recall.

    Many thanks to Hypnos for a tricky start to the week.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Neal
    13ac is LUCID in EIR[e] reversed.
    17dn is A in BOD (person) ICE[ni]A (race of Britons with A {one} replacing {used to represent} NI {province}).

  3. Eileen says:

    As usual, I didn’t spot the Nina [but remember the sketch now] ]

    but I enjoyed the puzzle a lot – thanks for the blog, Neal.

    Thanks for the explanation of Boadicea, Gaufrid – very clever, since Boadicea was, of course, queen of the Iceni.

  4. scchua says:

    Thanks Neal for the blog, and Hypnos for a tricky challenge.

    Got all at last (without the help of the Nina), including 17D BOADICEA which was the only clue I couldn’t explain – very tricky &lit indeed with definition and wordplay totally wrapped into one.

    Favourites were 13A RIDICULE, 24A TWILIGHT and 4D HISSED.

  5. Conrad Cork says:

    Thanks Neal, I needed you today. And thanks Eileen for the link. The piece was written by Denis Norden I understand.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Yes, I too found this very difficult, but got there in the end, with the help of the Nina tho I did not know what it referred to. It forced some slightly less familiar words into the grid and this made it harder. My favourite clues were THIRTEEN and ANCESTOR. Thanks for the blog, NealH, and Hypnos for the puzzle.

  7. rodders says:

    Hi Neal and thanks for the blog.

    When you / he says he cheated can you / anyone explain how you can cheat ( without ringing up for the answers of course ) as reference works seem fair to me – lets face it we all use a dictionary !

  8. nmsindy says:

    Rodders at #7, the answers can be found on the Indy website by using Reveal.

  9. NealH says:

    I was using the online version, which for some bizarre reason works at home but not at work. That’s why I have to try to fit solving the puzzle and doing the blog into an hour or so before I leave for work. The online version can be accessed from the Independent web site (go to Life & Style/puzzles and games). There is a button marked cheat by the side of the grid.

  10. jmac says:

    RE Independent on-line, you can now simply scroll down the right- hand column of the home page and there you will find a link to crosswords.

  11. scchua says:

    Or you can go directly to the cryptic for the day using:

  12. jmac says:

    Thanks Scchua.

  13. rodders says:

    Thanks nmsindy I did not know that and really wish I didn’t now – might get tempted on a difficult day.

    Still making hard work of Saturdays prize puzzle but have got 1down now so might help a bit !!

  14. flashling says:

    Struggled to get going but finished in about half an hour, didn’t spot the Nina until I’d nearly finished.

    Regarding the on-line version, I’d installed the release candidate of Internet Explorer version 9 on two different computers and the Indy crossword site crashes completely, it was fine in earlier versions – ho hum.

  15. Wil Ransome says:

    Very good crossword as we have come to expect from Hypnos. Pity that the title of the Peter Sellers sketch is ‘Balham — Gateway to the South’, with no ‘the’ before ‘Gateway’. There are many people who only know Peter Sellers as the foolish Inspector Clouseau, when he had sold out at the end of his career. Some of his early stuff (particularly Fred Kite in ‘I’m All Right Jack’) is much better (although, having said that, I don’t think that Balham — GttS is one of the best bits of ‘The Best of Sellers’ — The Trumpet Volunteer is quite magnificent).

    Getting off-topic. I thought 17dn was an outstanding &lit.

  16. uncle yap says:

    Very enjoyable puzzle as usual from Hypnos and I did not spot the nina until I came here. Thanks

    Inked in Boadicea without fully understanding … thank goodness for these blogs

  17. Allan_C says:

    I too found it hard to get going, but spotting the nina helped. I was wondering if there was any particular reason for the nina on this date, but it doesn’t seem to have any significance in terms of anniversaries relative to Sellers or the release of the Best of Sellers record. Pity about it being misquoted.

  18. Hypnos says:

    Thanks to Neal for the blog and all for comments.

    Re Wil@15, thanks for the complimentary comment. I was aware that the Sellers sketch omitted the definite article but included the latter (1) as it allowed for neater symmetry in the unchecked squares around the grid and (2) Balham is now often jokily described as “The Gateway to the South” which is of course a slight adaptation of the original Sellers title

    Re Allan_C@17, the puzzle did not mark an anniversary or significant date – just a celebration of Balham which is a lovely part of London in which to live!

  19. Jack Aubrey says:

    Enjoyed this one but got grumpy about 25a. “Havers” does not mean “dithers” and it is principally a noun form and not a verb. It means “palpable nonsense”, as in the response “Ach man, that’s a’ havers and well ye know it.”. The sense of hesitation and indecision in action which Hypnos was seeking here is conveyed – and so much more poetically – by the verb “to swither”.

    I know Chambers has succumbed to the repeated verbal depredations of the Sassenach hordes and now gives “waver” as a secondary meaning of “haver”, but as long as one hundred of us is alive as the Declaration of Arbroath has it……..

    Was Canute a Scotsman? Discuss. ;-)

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