Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7639 by Klingsor

Posted by nmsindy on April 11th, 2011


Enjoyable puzzle from Klingsor.


I found it very much on the easy side of the Indy spectrum, 21 mins.   No theme or Nina that I spotted but as always happy to be advised otherwise.

* = anagram


1  PRESIDIUM     Idi (Amin) in presum(e) = venture mostly

6 APHID    First letters of first 5 words in clue

9 SWEET FANNY ADAMS      ie nothing – saw it once I’d a few crossing letters (sways mad E enfant)*

10 ALTARPIECE     Homophone clue  “alter” = change  “peace” = still (noun)

11 STAN    stand = suffer less d = daughter

13 PRIMARY     definition = first, clue splits between definition and wordplay at First/Lady     PR = publicity  I = one   Mary = lady

14 ELEVATE     Nancy = French city so Nancy’s summer = eté   money abroad = lev (basic unit of currency in Bulgaria)  a = activism initially (1st letter)  so lev a in eté

15 RUBELLA    rube = American bumpkin  all reversed follows it.    Also known as German measles, can affect unborn children of sufferers early in pregnancy

17 STAND-BY    stand by = watch and do nothing    stand-by = one who can be relied on (definition)

18 SCAM   CA (accountant) in SM (Sergeant Major)

19 KINETIC ART     Nice to be able to work out an answer that I had never heard of from the wordplay   (certain)* in kit = equipment.    Means art where there is movement

22 TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT    IT = computers (Information Technology)

23 CATHY    AC (account = bill reversed)   thy = your (old).     An excellent surface which made this my favourite clue today

24 ARCHETYPE    r = last letter of punter in ac = current (electricity), then ET (film) in hype (publicity)


1 PASHA      Governor under Ottoman Empire   pash (infatuation)   a

2 ELECTRIC BLANKET    Got this on first run through which helped a lot – from definition and enumeration (netball cricket e)*

3 INTERNALLY    intern (ER doctor  to signal US usage I guess)  ally = supporter    definition = within the organisation

4 INANITY    in (popular)  Anit(a)   girl mostly   y = unknown (from maths)

5 MANACLE    hidden in churchman, a cleric

6 AJAR   a jar

7 HEALTH AND SAFETY       Surface here carefully constructed to suggest some think this can go overboard perhaps at times nowadays.     hands = workers in  healtafety  = (ay feel that)* ay = many regularly (alternate letters)

8 DYSENTERY    dy = extremely dodgy (outer letters)  e = drug (ecstasy) in sentry (guard)

12 DECAPITATE    Another very elaborately constructed clue giving an excellent surface reading.    Definition = guillotine    The cryptic working is ‘in revolution’ ie everything is reversed (going upwards)   État (French state)  took steps (paced) containing i = insurrection, using first (letter)

13 PARASITIC    para   is (reversed)  tic (jerk)

16 ARIZONA    zon(e) ie “de-tailed” in aria

17 SHELLAC    Got this from the wordplay, did not know it could mean a certain type of old gramophone record but dicts confirm.  s = special  (Hallé)*  c = Bruckner’s Fourth (letter)

20 TITHE   h = hospital for l = pound in title = right

21 AIRY    My last answer    Bow = part of East London   so dangerous = hairy   with  the h dropped in Cockney style.   Definition = cheerful

13 Responses to “Independent 7639 by Klingsor”

  1. Lenny says:

    Thanks NMS. I found this a little bit easier than usual for Klingsor, although I am not complaining. I particularly liked Sweet Fanny Adams and the elaborate &Lit of Health and Safety. I had a spot of trouble with the intersecting Pasha and Altarpiece (where I was looking for an anagram not a homophone). I finished with the intersecting Elevate and Decapitate. For some reason I could not recall the French for summer and had to keep repeating to myself printemps, ????, autumne, hiver until it came.
    By one of those coincidences that are so common that they are barely worth mentioning, Stan also pops up in today’s Times crossword.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, nms. Found it reasonably easy to get going with, but the last half dozen or so took a bit of pencil chewing.

    Never come across ‘pash’ for infatuation, but I did recognise SHELLAC as ‘old record': I think it’s more to do with the material from which they were made or the surface coating, but I could be wrong.

    There was reference to two French words today, so just to come back to the old ‘how much French are we supposed to know?’ argument, if I may. These are fine by me, but for folk who don’t speak or have much of the language? I suppose État is fine, since Coup d’État is in English usage; but été for summer might be something of an ask, a bit like a win for Sunderland is at the minute.

    CATHY was my favourite today as well, though not for the reason you might think, since Kathryn hates having her name shortened to that.

    Very enjoyable puzzle to start the week.

  3. eimi says:

    That’s an interesting point, K’s D @2. I tend to be more laissez-faire with references to basic French, feeling that surely almost all victims of a UK education, if not exactly au fait, will at least have studied French to some degree. I’d be interested to know of any solvers for whom this is not the case.

  4. scchua says:

    Thanks nmsindy for the blog and Klingsor for an enjoyable puzzle.

    Got all the answers (even those with the Fr references), in reasonable time; but got stuck with the parsing for the last one in, 21D AIRY. Got “cheerful” = AIRY, and thought of “dangerous” = hairy, but went up blind alleys trying to connect the two. Had heard of Bow Street Runners, but didn’t connect it to this Bow. Duh!

    Favourites were 24A ARCHETYPE, 8D DYSENTERY, and 17D SHELLAC.

  5. scchua says:

    PS. You have to go back to the 78rpm era to get records made of SHELLAC – tough but brittle. Later replaced by vinyl for the 45s and 33 1/3s. Just in case you’re interested!

  6. Radler says:

    On foreign language words (KD @2 & eimi @3) – surely a similar point could be made about other subject matters, such as Shakespearean characters or particle physics. Not everybody will have learnt any French (or Shakespeare, or physics) but a good proportion of solvers will be able to recall the basics. (And a cryptic clue does normally provide two ways of getting to the answer, so fortunately it’s not necessary to know everything.)

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    We should probably migrate to the General Discussion part of the site, but if Gaufrid will permit …

    Like eimi, I’m interested in other opinions on this as well, but can I have one last comment on this issue here? Radler’s right, cryptic solvers should be expected to have a basic knowledge of a wide variety of subject areas – five miles wide and one foot deep and all that.

    But once you’ve done a couple of years of French at school and learned that été was summer, are you likely to remember that two decades later when you get interested in cryptics? Unless you continue to improve your French, probably not. On the other hand, you’ll have heard of a HIGGS BOSON or of TITANIA because you’ll have read the science correspondent’s report in the Indy or have discovered that Shakespeare was quite interesting all along.

    And of course, yes, you always get two goes at a cryptic clue. Although in my case sometimes, I could do with a further two.

    Anyway, bonne soirée.

  8. flashling says:

    As you say NMS quite easy but Eimi often does that to soften us up. Regarding foreign languages, it’s fair game for some well known stuff, but how many of us know say the swedish for umbrella? Mind you our visitors from India etc don’t seem to have a problem. My bete noir is Latin having never done it.

  9. Paul B says:

    ‘Paraply’ of course. Come on now.

  10. eimi says:

    You’re quite right, flashling – expect a fiendish Tees crossword soon based exclusively on Swedish words. But seriously, I’d suggest that basic French is much fairer than Latin as it is more universally part of our education system. Just be grateful that Klingsor didn’t resort to Czech.

  11. Allan_C says:

    Bore da.

    Just wait till some compiler starts using Welsh words.

    Hwyl fawr!

  12. anax says:

    Allan_C @11
    It’s unlikely… but IMHO ‘araf’ (slow) should be fair game. Anyone who’s driven in Wales will have seen it many times painted on the road in front of them, along with the English translation. Sometimes knowledge should be based on observation.

  13. NealH says:

    But some of us don’t drive. Or go to Wales very often. Stick with French – I’ve got an A level in that.

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