Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7608 Tyrus (Sat 05-March-2011)

Posted by beermagnet on March 12th, 2011


A puzzle curiously centred on “Rear Window” – not only the Hitchcock film, but also the various signs and items that may be seen in the rear window of a car.

While solving I wondered if Fuzzy dice and Bongos would appear – but they are normally cluttering up the windscreen. (Not to mention items such as a plastic brontosaurus found hanging in my girlfriend’s car instead of a rear view mirror when I first knew her.)

NINA: Can I see one?
With this grid design and its perimeter unches I was on the lookout for a perimetrical Nina but I can’t see anything. My suspicions were aroused when “RANSOM” appeared up the left hand side (and I mistakenly thought it was a Hitchcock film). So I believe this grid is only more directly themed on 23A.
Hold on – Now seen it! it’s TRANSOM which is a type of window (above a door), Rear-ing, on the left as defined in the bit Of 23A’s clue I didn’t take any notice of till doing this blog. What’s the chances I’ve missed something else?

Most important transom window I’ve ever seen is that in the Newgrange burial mound in the Boyne valley. Magical.

6/21/22 MOTHER-IN-LAW IN BOOT Forced horrible woman into compartment at back? Not right – it’s a joke (one hopes) in 23 (6-2-3,2,4) [23=Rear Window]
Hmm. An example of a “fun car sign” eh?  Definitely an example of a clue I can’t parse so I think it is just a charade of MOTHER-IN-LAW (horrible woman) IN BOOT (into compartment at back). But that leaves “Forced” and “Not right” unused?
Thanks to Anax at comment 1 we now know this wordplay is
(HORRIBLE WOMAN INTO [compartmen]T – R)* AInd: Forced
7 PRINCESS Alternative to 25 when 17 is included in crowd (8) [25=Baby; 17=On board]
INC[luded] inside PRESS (crowd)
9 OKRA Partly cook raw vegetable (4)
Hidden in coOK RAw
10 GRACE KELLY Hurry – King stops explosive performer in 23 and 7A (5,5) [23=Rear Window; 17=Princess]
RACE (hurry) K[ing] inside GELLY (explosive) plus two definitions for the former Princess of Monaco
11 SWAT Thailand at first was badly hit (4)
(WAS)* AInd:badly, T[hailand]
13 MOODY Sullen doctor taking overdose – hear why (5)
MO (doctor) OD (overdose) Y (“why”)
14 TAHR Animal teacher’s regulars (4)
Alternate TeAcHeR. Know your Asian ungulates: No 1. The Tahr
15/16 NODDING DOG Agreeing to follow inhabitant of 23 (7,3)
NODDING (Agreeing) DOG (to follow). Another inhabitant of the parcel shelf – often as a free gift from an insurance company?
20 AGOG Highly excited, turn Georgia over (4)
GO (turn) GA (Georgia) all reversed
22 ITCH Longing to throw leader out (4)
23 REAR WINDOW Coded word in English war film giving clue to what’s left (4,6)
(WORD IN E[nglish] WAR)* AInd: coded
25/17 BABY ON BOARD ‘Bad boy!’ baron delivered warning in 23 (4,2,5)
(BAD BOY BARON)* AInd: delivered. The classic rear window sign.
27 TSARISTS Harry sits with star supporters of royalty (8)
(SITS STAR)* AInd: harry
28 ERODED Journalist travelled in, the worse for wear (6)
RODE (travelled) inside ED (Journalist)
1 COCK Largely arrogant bird with 22A, EastEnders’ 23 director (4)
COCK[y] with 22A (Itch) gives ‘Itchcock which is the “cockney” H-dropping way of saying Alfred Hitchcock, director of Rear Window.
2 THWART Stop woman being derogatory about husband and wife (6)
TART (woman, being derogatory) about H[usband], W[ife]. Def: Stop
I marked this as my favourite clue – great surface, an &Lit really?
3 DRAGOMAN Guide 6 into 6/21 traditionally (8)
MA (6 – mother) in DRAGON (6/21 – mother-in-law)
4 LIVERY Be extremely rowdy in uniform (6)
LIVE (Be) R[owd]Y
5 ACHE Master’s beginning to howl in pain (4)
H[owl] inside ACE (Master)
7 PLAY ON Mountain climbing – that’s one way to get out (4,2)
ALP< (Mountain climbing) YON (that) Def: one way to get out. This is where the batsman accidentally knocks the ball onto the stumps.
8 SULPHURIC Henry positive about taking one form of acid or another (9)
(H[enry] PLUS)< (Henry positive about) URIC (one form of acid) Def: another (form of acid). I see by international convention in the scientific literature it is now spelled sulfuric.
12 WRONGNESS Grown unreliable, head’s not the right quality (9)
(GROWN)* AInd: unreliable NESS (head)
14 TOO In shtook? Extremely (3)
Hidden in scTOOk
18 NEWSWEEK Cutting modern look for women’s magazine (8)
W[omen] inside NEW (modern) SEEK (look)
19 GLADYS German woman’s name (6)
G[erman] LADY’S (woman’s)
21 ICIEST Parisian here is extremely distant (6)
ICI EST (here is – en Francais)
24 RARE Unusual poison copper missed (4)
26 BOER Old farmer’s dog showing no sign of affection (4)
BO[x]ER Remove x = Kiss from the Boxer dog

9 Responses to “Independent 7608 Tyrus (Sat 05-March-2011)”

  1. anax says:

    I’ve been waiting eagerly for this blog! This was one of the most enjoyably themed puzzles I’ve ever tackled – took me a long time to see how the theme was being (doubly) used and just the concept of it – never mind the clues themselves – was a laugh-out-loud moment. Just a brilliant theme.

    For the multiple first answer I have it as an anagram of HORRIBLE WOMAN INTO (compartmen)T minus an R.

    Unfortunately, with a week having elapsed I can’t remember specific stand-out clues but I do remember enjoying this one tremendously from start to finish, and only reading your review reminds me that I noted 27a and 2d as favourites.

    A cracking puzzle, this. Great effort from Tyrus. And no – sadly I missed TRANSOM.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, beermagnet.

    I don’t normally buy the Saturday Indy, but I was pleased I did last weekend, because this was a fun, and funny, puzzle. I struggled to get the gateway clue, but to be fair, there were two cracks at it with the Hitchcock reference, and once in, the themed clues became apparent. I would wager that this is the first time that MOTHER-IN-LAW IN BOOT has been a cryptic answer.

    I thought DRAGOMAN was the cleverest, and funniest, clue, which tells you everything you need to know about my relationship with my mother-in-law.

    A fine puzzle, thank you Tyrus.

  3. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for a super blog, beermagnet – and lucky you for having drawn such a super puzzle!

    I can’t add much to anax’s comment. Like him, I took a while to see the secondary theme [I thought, of course, we were in for yet another film puzzle].

    NODDING DOG was the breakthrough – and, yes, it was a laugh-out-loud moment. Nice to see some fun to be got from those irritating signs!

    Like anax, I didn’t get the Nina [yet again :-( ]

    Huge thanks, Tyrus, for a gem of a puzzle.

  4. beermagnet says:

    Thank you Anax for Parsing M-i-L in boot.
    I forgot to mention had 2D THWART as my favourite too.

  5. anax says:

    …and actually, having just read the 6/21/22 clue again – it’s rather brilliant isn’t it?

  6. scchua says:

    Thanks beermagnet for the blog and Tyrus for a really inventive puzzle.

    While looking at the Indy category page for a previous blog, couldn’t help but notice “rear window” in your preamble. Forced myself to ignore this hint while solving and I think I largely succeeded, didn’t enter 23 until I had all it’s checking letters. The long 6 21A 22D was cracked via the 6-2-3 enumeration and the available letters in “horrible woman into”. The other solutions linked to 23 came quite easily after that. Favorites were 10A GRACE KELLY, which in turn confirmed 7A, 12D WRONGNESS and 21D ICIEST.

  7. Allan_C says:

    I spotted ‘transom’ but thought it was just coincidence, so thanks, beermagnet, for the explanation of that and of 6/21/22. Although I worked it out I was puzzled by 6/21/22 as I couldn’t place the phrase – I can’t recall having seen that one on a sticker, although I have seen those plastic ‘fingers’ supposedly trapped by the boot lid.

  8. Jim T says:

    Thanks very much for the blog and comments. Glad you liked the theme.

  9. nmsindy says:

    I think this is one of the best cryptic puzzles to have appeared in the Indy, thanks, Tyrus, and beermagnet for the blog.

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