Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7645/Quixote

Posted by Pierre on April 18th, 2011


My first foray into blogging a daily cryptic, so a slightly (actually, very) scary moment.  But Quixote’s clear cluing got me over the line eventually, with only a couple of the final solutions holding me up.  I haven’t been a regular solver of his Sunday Indy puzzles, so I think some of my initial hesitation might have been due to me getting used to his individual style.

Since my blogging career so far has been with the Everyman and the Guardian Quiptic, where I’ve been trying to help less experienced solvers (like me, par exemple) I will probably have put in too much detail, but you can always ignore it.  There is just one I could do with some help with.

cd  cryptic definition
dd  double definition
(xxxx)* anagram


A charade of ICI (‘here’ in French) and L in DOME.

A reversal (coming round) of RAC’s.  For overseas solvers, RAC is the Royal Automobile Club, a roadside rescue organisation.  Their motorbike people used to salute you when they saw the RAC badge on the front of the car, which tells you how old I am.

A charade of MAN U and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).  Given the events at Wembley on Saturday, Quixote thankfully decided not to involve the red-and-white side of Manchester in the clue.  Why is Massachusetts so hard to spell?

A charade of vigi[L] and (PRIEST)*


A charade of PAR and ODISTS for poets.

This is obvious, being the river that forms some of the border between England and Scotland.  Even with all the crossing letters in I couldn’t see it and had TREAD for a good while, thinking that it was something that ran along the edge of a tyre.  Perhaps I should go back to just doing the Quiptic.

But when writing up the blog, I was reminded why I do know this.  It’s from Dick Gaughan’s song on one of my favourite albums, Handful of Earth:

Let the love of our land’s sacred rights
To the love of our people succeed
Let friendship and honour unite
And flourish on both sides the Tweed

An insertion of G into ROUÉ for rake.

My last to go in.  I presumed (always a dangerous strategy when solving a cryptic) that it was an anagram of (AUNTIE SET)*, with ‘puzzle’ as the anagrind.  So it turned out, although the word itself was unfamiliar.  ‘A solid solution of carbon in a non-magnetic high-temperature allotropic form of iron’ (SOED).  I’m always pleased to see a science-based clue, so I’m not going to whinge about its obscurity, especially since it’s an anagram.

NEIGH (beastly noise) plus BOD (fellow) outside UR (the famous old city) and HO for house and O for old.  A bit going on, but it’s all clearly signposted.  Perhaps Quixote is going for the record number of elements in a charade, but I’m too much of a new kid on the blog to say whether he gets that particular sticker.

Not prosaic would be ‘in verse’, and INVERSE means contrary.  I liked this one when I finally twigged it.

DO and RANT with M for maiden (over) hidden in the middle.  Cricket and Cryptics are BFFE.

26  GARB
The actress Greta GARB[O] without the O for nothing.  A bit like in Casablanca, where her fellow Swede Ingrid Bergman never said ‘Play it again, Sam’, she never said ‘I want to be alone’  in Grand Hotel.  Apparently.

A dd.


A reversal (turned over) of P for musically soft and MUD for slime.

An insertion of ANGLE (point of view) in MR.

I initially put in a misspelling of CARMARTHENSHIRE here, which wasn’t a big help.  Pretty obviously it’s (BEGRIMED HIS CAR)*

LIP for audacity around TU for Trade Union.

A cd.

Another cd.

I think that this is ELLIPS[E] plus IS but would welcome confirmation or another parsing.


I really liked this one too.  I could see that there was a ‘reversal’ indicator to get from ‘boy’ to ‘yob’, but the bracketed bit of the clue took me a while to work out.

Children clued as SEED with the inclusion of A SON.

GRI[M] plus EVER.

DIA, a reversal of AID in INNS.

Hidden in 3dn, CambRIDGEshire.  It’s ‘surprising’ because, if I may be forgiven for lapsing into the vernacular, the Fenlands in Cambridgeshire are as flat as a kipper’s dick.

23  STUD
Half of STUDents, learners. And ‘stud’ and ‘boss’ are synonyms.

Phew!  Thanks to Quixote for a pleasing and not too difficult solve.

8 Responses to “Independent 7645/Quixote”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Pierre, for a very entertaining blog!

    You’re spot on with 8dn, the definition being … – one of my favourite clues, along with 12ac and 13dn, although I was held up a bit with the latter, having entered REVERSE for 24ac [‘on = re’] and thinking that was equally valid, but the cluing was impeccable: it was ‘prosaic’ not ‘prose’!

    Many thanks to the Don for an enjoyable puzzle.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Pierre for blog, and Quixote for an enjoyable puzzle, carrying on in the tradition of his Sunday puzzles.

    Favourites were 13D UPBRINGING, one of those clue-like answers, 21A NEIGHBOURHOOD, and 9D ELLIPSIS.

  3. spb says:

    Pierre – this style of blogging is very welcome to learners like me. Thank you in particular for explaining ‘Tweed’ which I couldn’t work out. Thank you, also, for introducing me to an analogy I had not encountered before: I shall spend the rest of today looking for flat things to pass comment on.

  4. flashling says:

    Welcome to the other place Pierre! Nice first blog for the Indy.

  5. Quixote says:

    Welcome Pierre. I’m scheduled for alternate Mondays, and in this avatar I hope I am not too scary.

  6. Pierre says:

    Thanks for dropping in, Quixote, and (to you and others) for your welcome. Not too scary, in fact – it’s when a Monday turns out to be a special date and there’s an Anax or Nimrod themed puzzle that I’ll be hiding behind the couch.

    spb @ 3: I too appreciated fuller explanations when I first started coming here. I know not all bloggers have the time to go into lots of detail about the solutions, but I shall try to provide a more complete commentary when I can.

  7. NealH says:

    I didn’t get round to looking at this until the evening, but no great problem to finish it quickly. Austentite was also my last – for anyone who hadn’t heard the word, I think that was almost inevitable. 8 down was my favourite and 14 across was also quite clever.

  8. nmsindy says:

    Many thanks for the excellent blog, Pierre. This was a little harder than Quixote’s first puzzle on his return to the weekday Indy a fortnight ago. Favourite clue, UPBRINGING. You’re right, I think, about ELLIPSIS – what caught my eye immediately there was that … was in the clue, but not in the immediately following one (as would usually be the case). This gave me the idea. Thanks, Quixote, for the puzzle.

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