Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,606 / Klingsor

Posted by RatkojaRiku on March 3rd, 2011


I hadn’t had the opportunity of blogging a Klingsor puzzle until today, and I think that I’ve only ever solved a handful of crosswords signed Klingsor, although perhaps this setter masquerades behind other pseudonyms.

I enjoyed this puzzle immensely, and indeed I was beaten by it in the sense that I needed to finish it for my blog but 23 and 28 continued to elude me. I found both answers by searching Chambers and then confirmed the entries via the wordplay. Alas, I was deceived by “dish” into thinking that SYLPH was the entry at 23, while I was sure that 28 would be PLUS: I can only hope that I would have worked out the correct answers for myself if I had had the luxury of time. Incidentally, although Chambers gives “advantage” in its definition of 28, I am struggling to imagine a context in which that would be used.

Apart from that, I appreciated the surface reading in 10, the wordplay in 15 and 27, not to mention my first ever reference in a crossword to the modern device that is part of 14 or the excellent & lit. in 22, the latter being my favourite clue. The word at 5 was new to me.

*(…) indicates an anagram

1 POSSESSED SS (=a couple of bends, i.e. S-bends) in *(SPEED SO); the anagram indicator is “recklessly”; good misleading definition in “under the influence of spirits”, i.e. evil spirits, not alcohol.
6 COCK C<l>OCK (=time, as a verb, as in to clock a lap of a track, with a stopwatch; “not having left” means the letter “l” is dropped); the definition is “turn up”, of a rifle or dog’s leg, etc.
9 EVICTOR E (=European) + VICTOR (=winner); the “letter” in the definition is not a piece of correspondence, but an agent noun, i.e. “one who lets”, a landlord.
10 ANNABEL AN + NAB (=arrest) + <polic>E <patro>L (“finishes off” means that the last letters only are used); the definition is quite simply “she”, i.e. a girl’s name.
11 IFFY Hidden in spIFF –Yes; “partaking of” indicates a hidden answer.
12 FLEA-BITTEN BITTE<r> (=beer; “endlessly” means the last letter is dropped) in [F (=female) + LEAN (=skinny)].
14 TRIPOD T<rumpete>R (“case” means only outside letters are used) + IPOD (=something that can store music); this is the first time I’ve come across the word iPod in a crossword.
15 MODERATE [O (=round) + D<unstable>E ("ouskirts of" means only outside letters are used)] in [M (=motorway) + RATE (=speed)]; clever splitting of “speed traps” into two separate elements in the wordplay, as in 19 and 28.
18 LITURGIC *(I CUT GIRL); “out” is the anagram indicator.
19 FEDORA FE (=iron, its chemical formula) + DORA (=Lady, i.e. a girl’s name); interesting splitting of “Iron Lady” into two separate elements in the wordplay, as in 15 and 28; the cryptic definition is “capital investment” to indicate an item of headgear.
22 GO STRAIGHT <rejectin>G (“finally” means the last letter only is used) + O (=old) + ST (=way, i.e. abbreviation of street) + [A in RIGHT (=morality)]; brilliant & lit.
24 OAKS A (=American) in OK’S (=approval’s)
26 CALYPSO C (=Charlie, i.e. the letter “c” in international radio communication) + [<n>Y<m>P<h> ("regularly" means only alternate letters are used) in ALSO (=too)]; “this one” refers back to “nymph”; Calypso was a nymph that detained Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey.
27 CORDIAL CO (=company, i.e; an abbreviation) + R (=Regina, when referring to a queen) + DIAL (relaxed = laidback; back is cleverly used to indicate a reversal of “laid”, hence DIAL)
28 ODDS [D (=democratic) + DO (party); "backsliding" indicates a reversal)] + S (=second); interesting splitting of “Democratic Party” into two separate elements in the wordplay, as in 15 and 19; Chambers gives “advantage” as a possible definition of “odds”.
29 HAIRSTYLE *(HYSTERI<c>AL); “when caught out” means the letter “c” is dropped; “could get” is the anagram indicator; a DA is a “duck’s arse” when referred to a hairstyle.
1 PREDICT PR (=spin doctor’s, i.e. public relations) + EDICT (=decree)
2 SKINFLINT [F (=fellow) + L (=pound) + IN] in SKINT (=poor); “which poor boxes”, i.e. surrounds, indicates a container-and-contents clue; & lit.
3 EFTS <l>EFTS (=port’s, i.e. left-hand side of a ship; “not opened” means that the initial letter is dropped); the cryptic definition is “part-time swimmer”, since efts (or newts) are amphibians.
4 SURELY S<eville> (“heading for” means that the first letter only is used) + U R (=”you are” speaking, i.e. acoustic representations) + EL (= in Spanish “the”) + Y (=year).
5 DIAPASON DIA (aid=help; “up” indicates a reversal) + PA (=old man) + SON (=his offspring); according to Chambers, a diapason is a foundation-stop in an organ and can be open or stopped in nature).
6 CANTILEVER L (=lake) in CAN’T I EVER (=am I always unable); according to Chambers, a cantilever bridge is constructed of beams of cantilevers built into piers at each end of the span and connected together in the middle of the span.
7 CABOT TOBAC<co> (=Virginia, for instance; “going north” indicates a vertical reversal; “avoiding Colorado” means that the letters “Co” (=abbreviation of Colorado) are not used; John Cabot was an Italian-born English explorer (1450-1499), hence “he explored”.
8 PLUNGE LUNG (=breathing apparatus) in PE (=exercise, i.e. physical education)
13 SOUR GRAPES *(SO + PRAGUE + <tou>R + ‘S); “touR ultimately” means that the last letter only is used; ‘S is an abbreviation of “is”; “awful” is the anagram indicator; & lit.
16 AMORALITY A + MOR<t>ALITY (“timeless” means the letter “t” is dropped)
17 VISIGOTH VISI<t> (“short” means the last letter is not used) + GOT (=became) + H (=hard)
18 LEGACY LEG (=on, i.e. side of a cricket field) + AC (=account) + Y (=unknown, i.e. in algebra); the definition is “what’s left”, i.e. bequeathed.
20 ABSOLVE AB (=Jack, i.e. sailor) + SOLVE (=to do a crossword); the definition is “clear” of responsibility, as a verb.
21 CHICHI CHI (=Sophoclean character, i.e. a letter of the Greek alphabet; “appearing twice” means that the word double up”); the definition is “pretentious”, affected.
23 SALAD DAL<l>AS (=soap, i.e. the US soap opera from the 1980s); “half-heartedly” means one of the central letters (an “l”) is dropped; “mounts” indicates a vertical reversal; the definition is quite simply “dish” in the culinary sense.
25 KRIS SIR + K (=two knights; i.e. two ways of clueing knight); “arise” indicates a vertical reversal; according to Chambers, a kris is a Malay dagger with a wavy scalloped blade”.

12 Responses to “Independent 7,606 / Klingsor”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks for the blog RatkojaRiku, and Klingsor for a healthy and enjoyable bit of mental exercise. Hope to see more from you in future.

    Practically no obscurity here, but lots of enjoyable devices – cryptic definitions eg. “capital investment” in 19A, and misdirections, around familiar words – clues I couldn’t short circuit to the answer. Favourites were 19A FEDORA, 27A CORDIAL, liked “relaxed” = laid back = DIAL, and 6D CANTILEVER.

  2. flashling says:

    Couldn’t see why salad so thanks for that, struggle today. Pride fall etc. 5d a new word on me too but wordplay was a gimme. Cheers all for the entertainment.

  3. Thomas99 says:

    Excellent blog – clear but also enthusiastic enough to recreate some of the fun of solving.

    Re 28a I think “odds” meaning advantage survives in expressions like “it makes no odds”, though I could be wrong.

    What with this and Boatman in the Guardian it’s been quite a day – and quite tiring!

  4. scchua says:

    Re odds=advantage, I think that besides measuring probability, odds also means the difference in advantage that one has over another, eg. as in “He’s the odds-on favourite”.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was excellent, and not too difficult compared to some earlier Klingsor puzzles, all of which were also v enjoyable. My favourites clues were SOUR GRAPES, GO STRAIGHT, EVICTOR. The surface readings were as always of the very highest standard. Thanks, Klingsor, for the puzzle and RatkojaRiku for the blog. With regard to ‘other guises’ of Klingsor, they very much exist. The recently established Best for Puzzles website (sorry not too good at pasting links) run by Michael Curl gives a lot of info on setters.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Most enjoyable puzzle. I found it quite tough, but gettable with perseverance.

    I too liked SOUR GRAPES, and the duck’s arse in HAIRSTYLE made me laugh when I twigged it. I could handle another crossword from this setter in the Indy soon.

    Excellent and full blog, thank you.

  7. ele says:

    Found this one difficult to finish – and I couldn’t see why salad or hairstyle – so thank you for the excellent blog. 19ac (which I gave up on in the end) was very good as the clue is so misleading.

  8. Scarpia says:

    Thanks RatkojaRiku.
    Super puzzle from Klingsor.I found the left hand side a lot more difficult than the right and although it had to be SALAD,I couldn’t see why.TV shows are not my strongpoint.
    Spent some time trying to work the anagram at 1 across with U instead of S for the bends.
    Loved the DA definition and also the use of i-pod in 14 across.

    The excellent website recommended by nmsindy can be found here

  9. Paul B says:

    ‘Excellent blog’ seen in almost every post. Excellent puzzle too!

  10. scchua says:

    Btw I deduce that there is a difference in the online vs paper version of the clue for 19A. The former says “capital investment”; the latter (to which I don’t have access) seems to say “capital embellishment”, which phrase is just as fitting.

  11. RatkojaRiku says:

    @ scchua – no, a slip of the “pen” on my part: the online version, which I use, also says “capital investment”, which is much better as far as the the surface reading of the clue is concerned. I’ve changed the blog accordingly.

    @ Scarpia – thanks for a very useful link.

    @ all – thanks for the feedback and for sharing your experiences of this puzzle with me – glad I wasn’t the only one who struggled with salad ;)

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Klingsor is the A of my ABC of favourite setters.
    So, dear RatkojaRiku, a puzzle for you to find out. :)

    Your blog was splendid.
    And just like you I failed on 23d and 28ac, which I thought had to be the incompatible SALAD and PLUS.

    SALAD wás right, and I should have seen that (although I never made any effort to see Dallas – one of those silly American soaps that were very popular at the time).
    ODDS was beyond me, but perfectly alright.

    Great puzzle, easier than recent Klingsors (so I agree, nms #5).
    Liked the device for ‘dial’ in 27ac, even though I know that when I did a thing like that a while ago, some well-known person said “it might be amusing to the setter, but they will infuriate the average solver”
    It wasn’t hard to find HAIRSTYLE (29ac), but I didn’t understand the definition – I do now.

    Seeing UR in 4d clued by “You are speaking” did explain why a certain clue in my Dalibor crossword was particularly appreciated by Klingsor’s Alias [which btw, RatkojaRiku, does nót reveal the A of my ABC :)].

    Stand-out clues for me: 26ac (CALYPSO) and 7d (CABOT).

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