Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,634 / Punk

Posted by Ali on April 5th, 2011

Ali.

The second Punk puzzle I’ve landed on the trot. I don’t have any problem with that!

This was a doozy, with many references to a pastime which – along with crosswords – has been responsible for thousands of ‘wasted’ hours of my life!

It took me a while to crack the video games theme, Super Mario Bros. eventually leading the way in. The others fell pretty quickly, but there were some tricky non-thematic clues, PRIMUS and ANENOME being the pick of that bunch. There were however, as always, some great ones too, HORSEMEN being my fav. All told, a cracker of a crossword.

Across
8 EASTERN – TERN on S.A.E rev.
10 SCOURGE – S(mall) + COUR[-a]GE
11 GAP – PAG[-e] rev.
12/3 SPACE INVADERS – (AS PENSIVE + CARD)*
13 INNER – [-w]INNER
14 HORSEMEN – [-deat]H OR SEMEN!
15 STATUS – U(niversity) in STATS
16 GLASSES – LASSES on G[-in]
18 DIETERS – (DE[-s]SERT I)*
20 PRIMUS – IR(ish) in SUMP rev.
21 PREDATOR – RED in PAT OR
23 CABLE – Cryptic def.
24 KORAN – R and OK rev. + AN
25 URN – “Earn”
26 AEONIAN – Even letters of cAmErOoN + IAN
27 ANEMONE – NEE about MON(day) on A
Down
2 LESSEE – I think this is LESS [-f]EE
4 ISLE – Initial letters of Irrationally, Silly, Long, Elastic
5/1 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG – (GOOD HENCE HIGHEST)*
6 GRAND THEFT AUTO – (TAUNT GODFATHER)*, or (FAT DAUGHTER, NOT)*
7 TETRIS – TETR[-a] IS
9 SUPER MARIO BROS. – RIO in (MORE BURPS AS)*
17 SOUVENIR – I(nterest) in (NERVOUS)*
18 DIRT ROAD – RID rev. + O(ld) in TRAD
19 SPRINGER – Double def.
20 PAC-MAN – (Viet)NAM + CAP rev.
22/24 DONKEY KONG – ON + KEY K(ing) in DONG

12 Responses to “Independent 7,634 / Punk”

  1. crypticsue says:

    As you say, a cracker of a crossword. I am slightly the wrong era for the themed clues but discussions with my son helped no end to sort them all out. Primus was my last one in and I laughed out loud at the wordplay of 14a. Thanks to Punk for a great crossword and to Ali for the explanations.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Good job I’ve got teenage children. I can imagine that there will be those who think the theme is beyond the pale, but then they’d probably appreciate a crossword focused on obscure 18th century novelists.

    I thought this was a bit of a giggle, but then once I’d got SONIC THE HEDGEHOG early on, it was a question of finding the other video games and working around that. The use of anagrams on the most part for the games would have helped those who aren’t addicted to the pastime, and in particular the double anagram for GRAND THEFT AUTO was very clever.

    14ac is priceless. I’d better not explain it to my teenage children.

  3. scchua says:

    Thanks Ali for the blog, and Punk for another of his clever puzzles.

    Got nowhere until SPACE INVADERS, and then the theme slotted in, prior to which tried all possible (except that) interpretations of “Game”. Task was made easier since, except for GRAND THEFT AUTO, the most recent of them, the rest were all early (and even 1st) generation arcade/computer games I and many others were playing at that time.

    Even after all the games were filled in, there were still some tough ones. Last was in was 18A DIETERS. Favourites were 14A HORSEMEN, 10A SCOURGE and 6D GRAND THEFT AUTO.

    Btw, 23A CABLE is a double definition, Vince and the cablegram.

  4. walruss says:

    To be fair, some of the games in this puzzle are very well-known, even to me, so I would call the theme doable. And it is much more a crossie in the Indy style, while yesterday’s I found a bit drab and lifeless. Good stuff from Punk and The Indy, with a funny 14 across!!

  5. Thomas99 says:

    Even I knew all the games, so Punk did well to make the theme accessible. My way in was the humblest of the lot – TETRIS. I particularly liked the weirdly poetic/sentimental ANEMONE, and, KORAN which for ages I tried to make SUTRA (has “right” and “article”) or BIBLE (has “doubly”) or even TORAH (I can’t imagine why now). DIETERS was last in – another good one.

  6. Conrad Cork says:

    Hi K’s D

    Well I didn’t know any of the games so I was somehwat stymied. As for obscure 18th century novelists, I once by mistake clicked on the TLS puzzle instead of the regular Times cryptic, loved it, and went to the blog to look at the inevitable complaints, only to find my error.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Hi Conrad

    ‘Do you feel lucky, Punk?’, as Dirty Harry said. I got lucky today with Punk. Next time it’s obscure novelists it’ll be me who will be stymied, trust me.

  8. NealH says:

    I ought to have found this fairly easy, given I’m a big computer games fan. But most of the games here weren’t those I’ve actually played and the games I have played a lot of probably wouldn’t be famous enough to get into the puzzle. It took me ages to get the first one (space invaders) and I quickened up a lot after that, but it was still a struggle to think of them. Nevertheless, a great puzzle and very satisfying to finish.

  9. BertandJoyce says:

    Laughed out loud when the penny dropped for 14ac!

    The games were not all from our generation but it didn’t prevent us from enjoying and finishing the puzzle. Our son left home some years ago so was not around to consult but……… he now regularly tackles the Indie crossword himself and has been known to post a blog even on FS. Hopefully he enjoyed this 1, 2 !

    Thanks Punk- you didn’t disappoint and thanks also to Ali for the blog.

  10. flashling says:

    Wasn’t looking for computer games but card ones until penny dropped I really did LOL at 14ac, grand stuff cheers PunK and Ali, thanks all

  11. ele says:

    I was looking for card games too at first, and as it happened the first game I solved from the wordplay was one I’d never heard of (DONKEY KONG), which didn’t help, but once I got GRAND THEFT AUTO it was full steam ahead. Didn’t find it as easy as Ali and the rest of you did though – finished it in the wee small hours after several breaks. Like everyone else laughed at 14ac and liked the Dorothy Parker allusion in 15ac too. Thanks Punk and Ali for the blog. To Walruss@4 an easier puzzle doesn’t come amiss sometimes as it’s nice to be able to finish them in the limited time one has for these things.

  12. Mordred says:

    I managed it from the wordplay and dredging up stuff from the recesses. In my case teenage GRANDchildren helped – their games must have filtered in. Last two solved only from woedplay as I’d never heard of DONKEY KONG or TETRIS. However, in the dim and distant I have played SPACE INVADERS on the pub machine. Thanks PUNK and Ali for an enjoyable puzzle and excellent blog.

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