Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7669 by Quixote

Posted by NealH on May 16th, 2011


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

According the online message, this was a puzzle from a UK v USA cryptic competition. There may have a nod to this in the answer to 14 across. The winner completed it in 4 minutes 3 seconds. I regret to say I was somewhat slower, taking about 30 minutes.

1 Calamities: Al (Capone) + AM in cities.
6 Guys: Hom of “guise”.
9 Accusal: A + CC (two cents) + USA + l.
10 Babbage: Bag in babe. Reference to Charles Babbage.
12 Hard core: DD.
13 Truant: Tru[e] + ant.
14 Atlantic Ocean: (A contact alien)*.
17 Liechtenstein: (The sect in line)*.
21 Muslin: Hidden in from us linen.
22 Fine Tune: DD.
24 Guessed: Hom of “guest”.
25 Andorra: Do + [summe]r in an RA.
26 Done: [Crosswor]d + one.
27 Anne Bronte: (Been torn)* after an.
1 Cha cha: Cha[p] cha[p].
2 Lacerta: LA + react*.
3 Musical Chairs: CD.
4 Tolerance: (One claret)*.
5 Elba: Able<.
7 Unaware: Une (= female version of “a” in Paris) around war.
8 Sweating: Swing around tea*.
11 Barcode reader: CD.
15 Instigate: In + st + i + gate.
16 Plumaged: Plum + aged.
18 Eastern: (Art seen)*. Def= “What could be Japanese”.
19 Neutron: [Pu]t in neuron.
20 Menace: Men + ace.
23 Eden: DD, referring to Anthony Eden.

14 Responses to “Independent 7669 by Quixote”

  1. Paul A says:

    A minor point but 17ac – how long has Liechtenstein been a republic? It was always Furstentum on the stamps

  2. NealH says:

    That is a good point. According to the references I’ve looked at, it is a constitutional monarchy.

  3. eimi says:

    Oops, fair point. Apologies to Prince Hans-Adam II and all solvers.

  4. Wanderer says:

    Lovely stuff. Thanks Quixote and NealH. This also took me about 30 mins, which is unusually fast for me — the guys who can do this in 4 minutes are not in danger from this solver…

    Held myself up by inventing an inventor called BURNABY at 10 (urn in baby…) and a novelist called ANNE BRETON at 27, but got there in the end.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Very pleasing puzzle, which I did find quite a bit easier than the Indy average – my average solving time is about 34 mins or so, this took me just 11 mins which is v fast for me. Thanks, Quixote, and NealH for the blog. Re Liechtenstein, a curiosity is that its national anthem has the same tune as God Save the Queen – Collins calls it a principality.

  6. Quixote says:

    Apologies for republic — don’t know where that came from, since I generally check all my definitions!

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Neal.

    I found this straightforward, but enjoyable. All very clearly clued, and an excellent puzzle for less experienced solvers, with all the main clue types on display. FINE TUNE and ELBA were my favourites today.

    The fact that LIECHTENSTEIN isn’t a republic passed me by; I’m happy enough being able to remember how to spell it.

  8. flashling says:

    Quick monday solve here, probably about 10 minutes but wasn’t timing it or trying to do it quickly. As this was used in a UK v US competition I’m surprised no-one noticed the republic issue before mind you I missed it as well.

    Thanks NealH and Quixote.

  9. caretman says:

    Thanks, Neal and Quixote. I too initially figured there had to be an inventor named ‘Burnaby’ (maybe the Vancouver suburb was named after her/him), but BARCODE READER squashed that. I particularly liked the MUSICAL CHAIRS clue. As with the others, a nice quick solve to start the week.

  10. Mustyx says:

    Just over 12 minutes for me. But how do these guys do it in 4 minutes or so. It takes me 1 minute 15 seconds to read all the clues and two minutes 5 seconds to write down the answers. 3 minutes 20 seconds means the winner could only have spent around 45 seconds thinking about the solution. That’s 1.7 seconds per clue. Blimey.

  11. walruss says:

    Rather too easy, I feel. Not much of a challenge and a tad boring, so I think Rufus probably edges ahead in the battle of the ‘Monday Easies’. Maybe as a competition puzzle it HAD to be so simple? Woh knows.

  12. nmsindy says:

    Re Mustyx’s comment at #10, one of the those super-fast solvers (who I’d be in awe of) once told me that, as he writes in the answer for one clue, he’s reading and solving another.

  13. Quixote says:

    In answer to walruss: an earlier effort was too hard for the competition (it subsequently was diverted to The Indy) and another too American (in yesterday’s New York Times). That said, I think you need to realise that there will be many others out there who will find this puzzle exactly what they want in terms of difficulty and I thought it good enough to deserve an airing over here (with permission duly given). Bloggers may be a bit one-sided in terms of market research!. Thanks to all for the feedback, anyway. (And it won’t be long before there’s a hard puzzler’s puzler’s thematic, I suspect.)

  14. walruss says:

    Well thank-you for dropping in, Mr Quixote! I am honoured.

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