Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7628/Math

Posted by John on March 29th, 2011


A good crossword today from Math, themed about something that is mentioned after a polite gap.

This is to do with the book Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie. I am not that familiar with it (I read all the wrong books as a boy, Enid Blyton and then Richmal Crompton and Captain W.E. Johns, and all that sort of thing. Seldom what my headmaster referred to as ‘an improver’) and shall leave people to find all the references.  I can see ones to Wendy and to the Iron Man and to Captain Hook, but there are surely more.

1 T(RUMP)ET ER — ref the Thet offensive of the Vietnam War, whose correct spelling I’ve checked before, and although it is usually Thet it is sometimes Tet (502,000 entries on Google for Tet Offensive, 743,000 for Thet Offensive)
6 P(A N{ecromancer’s})IC — good example of ‘lift and separate’, with ‘horror film’ leading one in the wrong direction
9 IRON MAN — iron = press, man = guy, ref the Iron Man from Peter Pan
10 C (ADEN) ZA — (Zuid Afrika)
11 SHIP — “sip” said in a drunken way
12 S(LIGHT)LY — def ‘A bit of”
15 HALLO WE E N{ovember} — although hallo = good evening doesn’t seem quite right: you can say hallo at all times, not just the evening
16 havinG A PEDicure
17 CURLY — URL in C{it}y — but who is Curly? The only Curly I can think of is the character in Of Mice and Men, who is arguably a stooge, but this seems a bit unlikely. Oh yes of course, he’ll be a character in Peter Pan.
19 DISKETTES — (IT desk set)* — I was a bit misled (unfairly?) by the exclam, which suggests that something untoward is happening: it all seems quite straightforward
21 UNWORTHY — UN (row)rev. thy
22 HOOK — (KO oh)rev., where ‘oh!’ = ‘my!’
26 PAR VENU{e}
27 IN H{illary} AL ED — a reference to the statement by Bill Clinton that when he smoked pot as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford he didn’t inhale
28 DO(S)ES — does are mates for a buck and the quarter is south, very good clue
29 ESSAYISTS — say in (Tess is)*
1 T(W)INS — whiskey in tins, i.e. getting put in tins or getting canned — kind of Math to alert us to this by saying ‘figuratively’, but was it necessary?
2 U{nder} X OR(1)AL
3 PO(M)P — with ‘gets’ as a containment indicator, something that always seems to me to be a bit thin
4 TINK — a tink is a word (which I was a bit unsure of, but it’s there) for a small bell-like sound, and it’s (knit)rev.
5 RE COLON I S E — the colon in the clue is part of the wordplay (a device that has been used before and which some people don’t like, but I always rather enjoy it) and i = in, something you see more often in barred than in blocked puzzles
6 PEDAGOGUES — (use God page{s})*
7 NONSTOP — I suppose this is a rather fanciful telegram sent in French, which consists simply of the words ‘NON! STOP’ (solvers younger than a certain age may be unaware of the rather odd convention in telegrams that full stops were indicated by a word)
8 CHARY B{oar}D 1’S
13 HOLY ORDERS — a CD, which, granted that these evil things exist, is a very good one, since the Ten Commandments could be seen as holy orders
14 WENDY HOUSE — (new shed you)*
15 H (1 C.C.) UPPED — a cubic centimetre is a millilitre — def ‘had corporal twitching’, very good
20 TOOT{h}LES{s}
23 AlSO DUKe — hidden rev., must have been a good one as it was my last in
24 NIBS — (bin)rev. s(crapheap}
25 A HOY — ref Chris Hoy, the cyclist

12 Responses to “Independent 7628/Math”

  1. Conrad Cork says:

    Curly is the bald one of The Three Stooges.

  2. Wanderer says:

    Thanks for the blog, John, and for pointing out the theme which I missed completely. But now that you’ve enlightened me, I can see that Tootles, Nibs, Curly, Slightly and The Twins are all Lost Boys in Peter Pan, and Tink is the fairy, Tinker Bell. Clever stuff.

  3. walruss says:

    Nice one from Math. Took me back all right!

  4. Lenny says:

    A clever theme from Math which I did not spot. It took me ages to get my last two answers Tink and Hook when, by then, they should have been obvious.

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I missed the theme completely, but then that’s the mark of a decent puzzle – if you get it, you’ll appreciate it; if you don’t, then you’ll still have enjoyed the crossword.

    Plenty of good clues here. I liked INHALED, WENDY HOUSE, and KUDOS (which was also my last one in).

    If I may be inappropriately intimate with the blogger, thank you, John, Darling (no relation, I presume …)

  6. Thomas99 says:

    Re 27a – Apparently it’s true that Bill didn’t inhale – because he preferred getting off his face on hash brownies. (See Christopher Hitchens’ autobiography. Admittedly, he doesn’t like Clinton at all…)

  7. Hounddog says:

    I think the reference at 9a is to the Iron Man films.

  8. NealH says:

    I’m afraid my familiarity with Peter Pan goes no further than the eponymous hero and Captain Hook – never heard of the Iron Man in that context or any of the other characters, so the theme passed me by completely. Still, it was quite an enjoyable puzzle, although I did struggle quite a bit with Tonk. At various times, I thought it might be tonk (knot<) and tone, since a ring tone might be considered a small ring.

  9. NealH says:

    Tink, that is.

  10. Paul B says:

    Annoying isn’t it. I wish we could edit!

  11. ele says:

    Also failed to spot the theme but enjoyed the puzzle very much. Thanks to John for the blog and Math for the puzzle. 12ac SLIGHTLY was the last in as I couldn’t work out the wordplay – always forget that land = light in Crosswordland. Liked NONSTOP and TRUMPETER. Would have got 25d AHOY a bit sooner if I knew my cyclists better. Before he was a film, the Iron Man was a great children’s book by Ted Hughes – well worth reading even for grown-ups.

  12. flashling says:

    Another who missed the theme here but it wasn’t needed to solve. Thanks John for the blog pointing it out.

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