Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7604/Raich

Posted by John on March 1st, 2011


A very pleasant crossword from Raich today. It took a while to get started because of all those clues that refer to some other clue, and none of the Across clues fell at first reading.

But at some point the pattern became clear and then it was just a matter of getting 7ac, which was my last in. The wordplay is easy enough, but the phrase wasn’t clear to me: it refers to this poem by Browning (in which he berates Wordworth) and of course provides the theme: all the across answers are words where the first letter of a longer word is removed (apart from 11/13 and 30, which explain the theme). They are all very similar: a definition of the longer word, a definition of the shorter word, and a reference to the fact that 7ac is applied. A nice bit of grid-construction: Raich has managed to avoid bad checking and also unusual words.

(sorry, I can’t get rid of this unsightly gap)




7 (thanks Rodders) LOST LEADER — l{audable} (so altered)*
9 [H]AVERS — or is it wavers?
11/13 ROBERT BROWNING — (borrowing rent)* around b
29 [S]NAGS
1 workS OF Art
2 ET CETERA — (tea tree)* around C{hina)
3 BEDSIT — (bidets)*
4 ADVERB — (braved*; “stoically” and “courageously” are both examples of adverbs
5 TRUE — truce without c{ontingent}
6 ECHO — part of the NATO alphabet where Echo is a code word for E
8 EATEN — “Eton”
12 fLAT COntradiction — hidden reversed — just as decimal (based on ten) is the usual number system, octal (based on eight) is another one. It appears in computing.
14 MajORCa
15 N{eedlewoman} IN ON
17  TWI — (wit)*
19 KInG iNsIsTs I gO oN
21 G{rass} ASPS
23 ACCUSE — “a cue’s” (I had arraign, based on “a rein” until I saw that there wasn’t enough room) [yes obviously you’re right scchua — it’s “queue’s”]
25 M(E)AN
26 I 0 WA
28 YETI — ({d}eity)*

13 Responses to “Independent 7604/Raich”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks John for the blog, and Raich for a nice tidy puzzle.

    I think 23A ACCUSE could be A + CCUSE(“quoted” or sounds like queue (=”line”)’s).

    Favourites were 4D ET CETERA, 15D NINON, and abovementioned 23A.

  2. scchua says:

    PS. Sorry, I mean 23D ACCUSE of course.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, John.

    I thought this was an inventive puzzle and really enjoyed it. The poem was completely unknown to me, but ROBERT BROWNING was very clearly signposted, which led to 1ac. I tackled all the downs for the clues crossing with this, and appreciated the fact that they again were all straightforward, which allowed you to fill in LOST LEADER from the anagram.

    Then I was up and away with the theme, but I can’t say it was that easy in terms of processing the clues – some head-scratching required, for me at least.

    NINON was new to me. I also had ‘queue’ as the ‘line’ in 23dn.

    Two very entertaining puzzles in a row this week so far in the Indy. Thanks to Raich for today’s.

  4. walruss says:

    This was today’s second for me, and another excellent bit of work. As usual a little something extra from the Independemt team, which I thought Raich handled very well. Congrats to him, and big thanks to Johnfor his insightful blogging! Fave clue 11/13.

  5. flashling says:

    I found this astonishingly easy I guess getting the lost leader quickly sort of blew the puzzle away, and finished it under 5 minutes, perhaps I was just on Raich’s wavelength today.

    Thanks to John for the blog and Raich for the diversion from the commute.

  6. michael says:

    Sorry Flashling … I enjoyed this puzzle for much longer than your five minutes :)

  7. rodders says:

    Thanks for the blog – sorry to be picky but you mean 7 across not 1 across in your summary.

    Agree with flashing not quite under 5 minutes ( can’t write that fast ) but a quick solve today !

  8. Raich says:

    Many thanks, John, for the excellent blog and to all for their comments. Sensing that solvers might not be able to get any across answers straightaway because of the theme, I made some of the down clues very easy so they could be solved blind. That might explain the quick solves for some, tho, flashling, 5 mins seems v fast by any standard! I’ve certainly never solved a crossword that quickly but I’d never have been in the running at Cheltenham (referring to its crossword persona of course).

  9. flashling says:

    I agree Raich was just silly for me but once I understood the lost leader, I’ve not had a indy fall apart on me so quickly since the days of Aelred. Not a criticism at all, just that for me I just saw everything straight away, been a while since I did one that quickly – surprised rather than disappointed. Just my lucky day I guess, except for the lack of crossword to do over lunch. Thanks N I’m sure I’ll fail miserably in your next one.

  10. Scarpia says:

    Thanks John.
    Super puzzle from Raich with a very nicely worked theme.Even once I’d worked out what to do some of the across clues still took me a while.
    Flashling – 5 minutes!Even Rightback would be envious of that!
    I know what you mean though,sometimes I’ve sailed through a puzzle only to read here that others have struggled.
    Not totally free of unusual words for me,my knowledge of Ghanian languages is somewhat poor.

  11. Sil van den Hoek says:

    And, Scarpia, the ‘problem’ with rightback was/is that he really did a crossword in 5 minutes when he said so.
    I have evidence of that, even though I always thought it was a gimmick – but it wasn’t.
    But we do miss him, don’t we?

  12. Scarpia says:

    Sil,I wasn’t expressing any doubt,I have read that he is in training to become the Times crossword Champion and I wish him all the best for that.

  13. Allan_C says:

    Pace scchua, it could very well be “cue’s” in 23d, a cue being the line that an actor takes as his/her cue.

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