Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7662 by Monk (Saturday prize puzzle 7th May 2011)

Posted by twencelas on May 14th, 2011


Full marks to Monk this week – if you get my drift.

Well 20 out of 20 anyway.

Some highly original touches in the grid this week, which I’ve tried to summarise in the bullets below. To fully understand the clues in this crossword, you need to complete the grid with which could appear to be a paradox.

  • The completed grid reveals Twenty down each side, which is referred to in two clues as “Both sides” (19 across and 4 down).
  • 26 across refers to 2 down and vice versa
  • Two further clue (17 across and 13 down) require the answer to 19ac and 26 ac to solve
  • In addition to the crypticism above, there are some delightfully cryptic clues – 1ac was a joy, as was 27ac.

Thanks Monk, my personal favourite crossword for quite some time, especially with the Indian Premier League in full swing, and not overly difficult.

Key * (Anagram); Rev. (Reverse); DD (Double definition)


1 Cryptic definition GASTRIC JUICES – Clue – “We process admissions for the corporation” Corporation  meaning belly, admissions meaning food

8 Trout (Old lady) around y (unknown) = TRY OUT (Test)

9 (it later)* + l (ultimate in alcohol) = ILL TREAT (Abuse)

10 Wag (carry on) + e-work (labour) = WAGEWORK (By which you’d make ready)

11 Skit (hoax) + w (women) around o (love) = SKI TOW (that uplifts those on the slippery slope)

12 Hidden ( brokE THE News) = ETHENE (gas)

14 Rev. (Rene (Frenchman) within e-fit (identikit)) = TENERIFE (Island)

17 Naked (flagrant) + eye (attention) = NAKED EYE (for which 20-20 vision is unbeatable)

19 VISION (Both sides (as in Twenty-Twenty introduce best example of this – 20-20 vision))

20 Rev port (left)  + I (one) + c (about) = TROPIC (some latitude)

23 S (second) + trident (missile)  =  STRIDENT (urgent)

25 (you may go)* = YOUNG MAN (For whom nun may go crazy?)

26 Went (left) in  ty (Torquay – orqua) =  TWENTY (2 down is score)

27 T (temperature) + he (helium) in turntables (rotating discs) = TURN THE TABLES (Change the expected)


1 gaga (lady of sorts Lady Gaga – pop star) + (aunt)* around r = GARGANTUA (A giant)

2 R (right) supports co (company) in se (kent – south east) = SCORE (26 across i.e.Twenty that’s right here)

3 (r(right) + (to decree)*) = RETROCEDE (Grant back)

4 Both sides meet gives Twenty-Twenty in the final grid = CRICKET (before this game)

5 (slug)* around I (one) = UGLIS (fruit)

6 Cor (my) + bieres (drinks from France) = CORBIERES (One of its AOC areas)

7 Shak (Almost Shake (rouse)) + o (old) = SHAKO (Soldier wearing this?)

13 DD = EYE OPENER (hair of the dog and to improve 19 (vision))

15 (avatar ran)* = NAVARATRA (Hindu festival)

16 Foot (base) + Rev(set on (attack))  = FOOTNOTES (comments)

18 Essene (jewish sectarian)  around c (cold) = ESSENCE

21Run Out Of Steam That (starts of) = ROOST (settle)

22 Co (small firm) + met (dealt with) = COMET (high-flyer)

24 D (daughter) + well (comfortable) = DWELL (Think about)

8 Responses to “Independent 7662 by Monk (Saturday prize puzzle 7th May 2011)”

  1. caretman says:

    Thanks, twencelas, for the blog and explaining some of the elements I didn’t understand (particularly when it came to cricket). It took me a long time to figure out what the ‘both sides’ referred to; essentially only after I had solved the puzzle and then noticed the filled grid. It was a fun exercise following the clues around as they referred to each other in succession, with an enjoyable final conclusion. CORBIERES was the one new word for me; as a non-drinker I’m not particularly up on the French AOCs. Thanks, Monk, for a fun puzzle.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was excellent and reasonably easy by the standards of some Monk puzzles. Getting SCORE was the breakthrough and then I saw the TWENTY possibility in the outer columns helped by the CRICKET clue. Thanks Monk and twencelas.

  3. bamberger says:

    Probably four hours on and off only yielded 9a,11a,5d,7d & 15d.

    Shako is the only unknown word

    Way over my head, I’m afraid-I expect it was satisfying for the better solvers.

  4. Allan_C says:

    I read 10a as ‘wage’ = ‘carry on’ as in to wage war or wage a campaign + ‘work’ = ‘labour’. Chambers has ‘wage-work’ (hyphenated) as work done for wages. By which, as twencelas rightly says, you would make ready (money).

  5. jmac says:

    I found this much tougher than the last few Monk puzzles I have tackled, finding it very difficult to make much headway at first. I returned to it on and off during the week and it was only by spotting the nina that I eventually finished it off. Nevertheless I enjoyed it (otherwise I wouldn’t have spent so much time on it). Thanks to Twencelas for the helpful blog.

  6. flashling says:

    My solve was much like NMS, seeing score>twenty>vision and guessing the sides would both be “TWENTY” after which I finished rather quickly for a Saturday. But it was good stuff thanks Monk and Twencelas for reminding me of it.

  7. Mustyx says:

    Yes I agree with Allan C: wage is to carry on.
    4dn: Both sides (here) refers to the LEFT in 26ac (twenty) and the RIGHT in 2dn (score) giving Twenty-Twenty. Cricket = this game. (Sorry Twencelas, I’m sure this is what you meant. just thought it needed clarifying).

  8. Mustyx says:

    Sorry completely wrong about 4dn. Didn’t spot the ninas. Duh!

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