Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7626 by Bannsider (Saturday Prize Puzzle 26 March 2011)

Posted by mc_rapper67 on April 2nd, 2011


No fancy themes, or ninas, from Bannsider this week – or at least none that I could find! Just a good old-fashioned hard mental workout for a Saturday morning. Oh, and a bit of Sunday, and then a bit of finishing off on Monday and Tuesday…

I had to make an (educated) guess at 12A in my submitted entry – have only just twigged that one while preparing the blog – and I had to Google to confirm 6A, as my off-line reference sources only had Sholem Asch, an American writer (in Yiddish) of ‘biblical novels’. There are plenty of fiendishly constructed/misleading clues and &lits here, and surprisingly few anagrams – just two ‘straight’, and one ‘double anagram’ at 2D.

As a long-time EV (Enigmatic Variations) solver and, more recently, blogger, I enjoyed 20D, with the image of the Sunday Telegraph magazine lacking a ‘centrepiece’ until it starting hosting the EV. (If you don’t currently do the themed/barred puzzles – Listener, Inquisitor, EV, etc. – come on over and try them – they aren’t as difficult as they first look!…well, maybe the Listener is…)

Solving time – lost count, this was a toughie…got there in the end!

Clue No Solution Clue Definition (with occasional embellishments) /
1A MISSOURIAN Has gone off with one smashing bloke from Kansas City perhaps (10) From Kansas City perhaps (there is a Kansas City in Missouri, as well as the one in Kansas…) /
MAN (bloke) containing IS SOUR (has gone off) + I (one)
6A ASCH Like children to see American psychologist (4) American psychologist – Solomon Asch /
AS (like) + CH (children)
10A DO ONES DAMNEDEST Try seriously hard members of West Country clan – most condemned (2, 4, 9) Try seriously hard /
DOONES (as in Lorna Doone, members of West Country family) + DAMNEDEST (most condemned)
11A ODDS-ON Strongly fancied boy who’s lost match (4-2) Strongly fancied (as in betting) /
ODD (unpaired) SON (boy) – might be a boy who has lost his matching pair?
12A TOM-TOM Pig thief beat it (3-3) &lit/drum that might be beaten /
as in ‘Tom. Tom, the piper’s son, stole a pig and away did run’, children’s nursery rhyme
15A RIFF The ultimate guitar piece – one repeated loudly? (4) &lit/repeated guitar piece /
R (ultimate letter/piece in guitar) + I (one) + FF (loud, forte, repeated)
16A ACCRINGTON A County Councillor one heard on mobile dismissing English town (10) (English) town /
A + CC (County Councillor) + RINGTON (ring tone, heard on mobile, with E – English – dismissed)
17A FLAPDOODLE Bunk comprising hinged section and rough piece from drawer (10) Bunk (as in bunkum, claptrap) /
FLAP (hinged section) + DOODLE (rough drawing)
19A ORFE Swimmer ranks alongside foremost in Far East (4) Swimmer (as in fish) /
OR (Other Ranks) + FE (first letters of Far East)
21A ISOMER A few opening fire after shelling compound (6) Compound /
IR (fIRe, shelled) containing SOME (a few)
22A NINGPO City signing Porto’s centre half (6) City (Chinese port, aka Ningbo, or Ninghsien) /
hidden word in (and indeed, the middle half of the twelve letters of) ‘sigNING POrto’
25A CALIFORNIA GIRLS Outrageous airs for one calling tune (10, 5) Tune (by the Beach Boys, a popular beat combo, m’lud) /
anag (i.e. outrageous) of AIRS FOR + I (one) + CALLING
26A POSY Miniature spray’s used to soak back yard (4) Miniature spray (small bunch of flowers) /
POS (SOP, or soak, backwards) + Y (yard)
27A SUNGLASSES Celebrated misses less glaring because of them? (10) &lit?/less glaring because of them? /
SUNG (celebrated) + LASSES (misses, as in girls)
Clue No Solution Clue Definition (with occasional embellishments) /
1D MIDI One reaching the Calf of Man in dinghy is the first (4) One reaching the calf (as in mid-length skirt) /
MIDI – first letters of Man In Dinghy Is
2D SWORD OF DAMOCLES Odd form was moving abnormally close, an imminent threat (5, 2, 8 ) Imminent threat /
Two anagrams, with separate indicators – ODD FORM WAS ‘moving’, plus CLOSE ‘abnormally’
3D ODESSA Autumn work for one on a ship up here? (6) &lit?/Odessa being a port, where one may work on a ship in Autumn?! /
ODE (Keats work, Ode to Autumn) + SSA = A (one) + SS (steam ship) upwards
4D RIDING CROP Attacking, but missing a short cut, one’s cracked up! (6, 4) (something) cracked, up (on a horse) /
RIDING (raiding, attacking, missing A – one) + CROP – short (hair)-cut
5D AMMO Doctor goes below during the morning rounds (4) rounds, as in ammunition /
AM (during the morning) above MO (doctor, or Medical Officer)
7D SPECTATOR SPORTS Weekly variety’s bringing in little money: we’re appealing to audiences (9, 6) Appealing to audiences /
SPECTATOR (Weekly magazine) + SORTS (variety’s) including P (little money, pence)
8D HATEMONGER Woman’s captivating maxim cheers up sower of discord (10) Sower of discord /
HER (Woman’s) containing GNOME (maxim) + TA (cheers, thanks), upwards
9D BEMOAN Curse from runner, say, clinching second (6) Curse /
BEAN (runner bean) including MO (as in just a moment, or second)
13D TRAFFIC COP One’s firm on parking, tracking what speed merchants do? (7, 3) &lit /
TRAFFIC (as in trade, what merchants do) + CO (company, or firm) + P (parking)
14D PROLONGING Solicitor desperately keen to get drawing out (10) Drawing out /
PRO (prostitute, or one who solicits) + LONGING (desperately keen)
18D DIE OFF In time pass on enemy papers turned over by female (3, 3) In time, pass on /
FOE (enemy) + ID (identification papers) turned, plus F (female)
20D ENIGMA Lacking centrepiece, magazine ordered cryptic puzzle (6) Cryptic puzzle /
anag (i.e. ordered) of MAGazINE (lacking centre piece, ‘az’)
23D URDU Revolting, loud Russian holds tongue (4) Tongue (as in language) /
Hidden word, reversed (revolting), in ‘loUD RUssian’
24D PSIS Post? It’s only odd letters from abroad (4) Letters from abroad /
Odd letters of PoSt It’S – Greek letter ‘psi’, in plural

5 Responses to “Independent 7626 by Bannsider (Saturday Prize Puzzle 26 March 2011)”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks for the blog mc_rapper67, and Bannsider for an enjoyable puzzle – not least because I could see through the clues and complete this in reasonable time by applying mental “elbow-grease”, unlike some of the past few Bannsiders (nothing wrong with the latter, I must add).

    Favourites were 10A DO ONES DAMNEDEST, 27A SUNGLASSES, and that great &lit 13D TRAFFIC COP.

  2. Allan_C says:

    Thanks, mc_rapper67, for the blog which explains everything so clearly. I didn’t find the puzzle too daunting but didn’t quite understand all the clues. Last to go in was PSIS which suddenly occurred to me as I was about to call it a day.
    Nice to find a “swimmer” beginning OR– that wasn’t ‘orca’ for a change. And ‘doctor’ to clue MO instead of ‘Dr’ or ‘MB’.
    Favourites? Possibly ACCRINGTON, FLAPDOODLE, PROLONGING. Thanks, Bannsider.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was excellent, esp liked ODDS-ON, RIFF, ISOMER, NINGPO, MIDI, RIDING CROP, SPECTATOR SPORTS, PSI’S. Thanks, Bannsider and mc_rapper67.

    I also agree that anyone who tackles the daily cryptics successfully should be able to tackle and enjoy the themed puzzles mentioned, tho I’d include the Listener also in that. The only difference is that Chambers Dictionary, with its wider vocabulary, is needed. The clueing devices are essentially the same as in the daily cryptics.

  4. Lenny says:

    This was an elegant and ingenious puzzle from Bannsider. After I had finished I understood all the wordplay which just goes to show that you do not have to be obscurantist to produce a good puzzle. I can at least suggest a mini-theme for mcrappper with the juxtaposition of Sung Lasses and California Girls. My last one in was Ningpo, where I was about to give up not knowing any cities with the checked letter pattern, when I noticed the hidden word.

  5. Graham Pellen says:

    In 13A, I suggest “traffic” is what speed (ie amphetamines etc) merchants do, “traffic” usually having a pejorative connotation.

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