Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,678 / Klingsor

Posted by RatkojaRiku on May 26th, 2011


For me, this puzzle was pitched at exactly the right level, offering me a manageable challenge and plenty of entertainment to start the day, as well as broadening my general knowledge – many thanks, Klingsor.

Although the cultural references in 4 and 10 were wasted on me until I researched them for this blog, Klingsor has cleverly interwoven factual information about the cultural figures mentioned and their work into the wordplay of both clues; on a similar note, the work of literature in 13 has to be split into its component parts to crack the wordplay.

I think my overall favourite was the brilliant & lit at 7, a reminder of my GCSE Chemistry days, long forgotten, although the & lit. at 26 runs it a close second for its humour alone.

*(…) indicates an anagram

1 SIMONA A + NOM (=mademoiselle’s name, i.e. name in French) + IS; “is recalled” indicates reversal; the definition is simply “her”.
4 PRESENCE *(<s>CREENE<d> + P<eter> S<ellers>); “endlessly” means first and last letter dropped; “for starters” means initial letters only”; “works with” indicates anagram; the definition is “Being There”, which is also a 1979 American comedy drama starring Peter Sellers.
10 LEONCAVALLO LEON (=fellow) + [CAV + ALL (=the whole) + O (=Ring)]; the reference is to Italian composer Ruggero Leoncavallo, 1857-1919 and his opera Pagliacci. This opera often featured as a double bill together with Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, the two works being referred to affectionately by opera buffs as Cav and Pag.
11 TAT TAT<e> (=gallery; “mostly” means last letter is dropped)
12 CONTOUR C<omedian> (=“opening for” means first letter only) + ON TOUR (=playing in various theatres)
14 EELPOUT E (=oriental, i.e. eastern) in <h>ELP OUT (=assist; “Cockney” means the “h” is dropped); an eelpout is a burbot, as viviparous blenny, according to Chambers.
15 TRAVEL SICKNESS T (=time) + *(IN CAR KEV’S LESS); “off colour” is anagram indicator; & lit.
17 STORM IN A TEACUP STORM IN (=enter as a whirlwind) + AT + EA (=each) + CUP (=tournament); the definition is “it always amounts to nothing”.
21 AMERICA A + *(CRIME) + A<ffect>; “wave” is anagram indicator; “beginning to” means first letter only.
22 TWADDLE T<ip> (“beginning” means first letter only) + [W (=week) + ADDLE (=go rotten)]
23 LOO Double definition: loo is a (card) “game” AND (more whimsically) “Ladies”, i.e. public toilets, as opposed to Gents.
24 CHIAROSCURO R (=right) in *(I COACH OUR S<on>); “struggling” is anagram indicator.
26 SWEARING EAR (=part of body) in SWING (=sweep of bat); & lit.
27 EDWARD Double definition: Edward is “king” (one of eight of England) AND “Lear”, as in Edward Lear, the writer of nonsense verse, 1812-88.
1 SILICATE Homophone of “silly (=foolish) Kate (=girl)”; “said” is homophone indicator; the definition is “salt”, i.e. the chemical compound.
2 MOO MOO<d> (=spirit; “lost daughter” means the “d” is dropped); the definition is “low”, as a verb, i.e. the noise made by cattle.
3 NICE ONE EON (=a very long time) in NICE (=resort, i.e. in the south of France); “Nice one!” is an exclamation expressing satisfaction, hence “I like that!”
5 ROLLERCOASTERS [COAST (=seashore) + ER (RE=on; “returning” indicates reversal)] in ROLLERS (=waves)
6 STOLLEN Bow<L> in STOLEN (=hot, as in goods); stollen is a sweet German bread, made with raisins and coated with icing sugar.
7 NITROUS ACID *(U (=universal) + INDICATOR + S<carlet>); “principally” means first letter only; “change to” is anagram indicator; & lit; in chemistry, an acid would turn universal indicator (of pH) red.
8 ENTITY … malevolENT I TYRannise … ; “to a certain extent” indicates a hidden answer; “being”, as a noun, is the definition.
9 OVERESTIMATION [<piec>E + *(MERITS)] in OVATION (=wild applause); “end of” means last letter only; “dubious” is anagram indicator.
13 NEAR THE BONE [N (=new) + EARTH (=world)] + [B (“introduction to Brave, i.e. first letter only) in {E (=English) + ONE (=joke, as in “Have you heard the one about..?)}]; the definition is “risqué”.
16 SPHEROID HERO (=brave sort) in SPID (DIPS=swims; “around” indicates reversal); a spheroid is nearly, but not quite, spherical, hence “globe, almost”.
18 RAILCAR RAIL (LIAR=one telling stories; “about” indicates reversal) + CAR<d> (=eccentric, as a noun; “largely” means last letter dropped); a railcar is a railway carriage/coach in the US.
19 ELAPSED <degre>E (“finally” means last letter only) + LAPSED (=failed, as in a lapsed Catholic)
20 CALLUS CALL<o>US (=unfeeling; “loveless” means the “o” (=love) is dropped)
25 UNA Double definition: UNA is “Stubbs” (British actress and dancer, 1937-) AND (more whimsically) “perhaps Caravaggio’s ‘a’”, i.e. an Italian word for “a”.

10 Responses to “Independent 7,678 / Klingsor”

  1. Wanderer says:

    Thank you RatkojaRiku for your meticulous blog. I greatly appreciate the level of detail you go into in analysing the clues.

    I enjoyed this very much, while finding it quite tough. I agree that NITROUS ACID was brilliant, and I liked LEONCAVALLO and NEAR THE BONE, both very clever. And the use of Caravaggio as the Italian in the clue for UNA was another ingenious touch, since UNA crosses with CHIAROSCURO — the style associated with Caravaggio.

    Many thanks to Klingsor.

  2. NealH says:

    I just managed to finish this one over lunch, but it was a close run thing. I struggled with eelpout, which I’d never heard of, and Leoncavallo was new to me. But it was a very enjoyable one to solve and there was some very neat wordplay in clues like 13 and 7.

  3. Mustyx says:

    Another great crossword today, although took me three times longer than yesterday (58 minutes today). Eelpout had to be worked out from wordplay, and Leoncavallo I managed to drag up from the depths of memory after all the lights were in. My clues of the day: 12ac and 26ac.

  4. nmsindy says:

    I too found this v enjoyable and pretty tough and managed to work out the words I’d not heard of from the wordplay ie LEONCAVALLO, EELPOUT.
    NW corner I found the most difficult. Esp liked (some of which have been also mentioned by others) CONTOUR, SWEARING, NICE ONE, RAILCAR.
    Thanks, Klingsor and RatkojaRiku.

  5. superkiwigirl says:

    I really enjoyed this puzzle today – just the right mix! All very fair and achievable from the wordplay, though it wasn’t until I read your explanation, thank you RatkojaRiku, that I understood the reference to “Pag” in 10a. 14a was another one that I hadn’t come across before, but it couldn’t have been anything else, could it. I join the majority in endorsing 7d as my clue of the day, and I also liked 4a and 13d.

    A brief salutary tale – I (very carelessly) inserted “own” = “having” at 2d on my first run through, which held me up for a little while in the north west corner. When I looked again at the clue’s wording (i.e. actually read it) the error of my ways and the real solution were evident. It’s one thing for the setter to try to trip one up, quite another when you drop your own banana skins!

    Many thanks to both RatkojaRiku and Klingsor. And (as one who has only recently chanced upon the 15 Squared site) thanks too to all the contributors whose comments and insights make this blog such an enjoyable daily fix.

  6. flashling says:

    Thanks RR for explaining some I couldn’t see, this was well worthy of a Thursday toughie.

    Messed myself up seeing that beach could fit in rollercoasters.

    Thanks Klingsor and RR was a nice little brain buster.

  7. flashling says:

    Welcome SKG! please come back :-)

  8. walruss says:

    Yes, welcome ‘SKG’! Are you actually in Kiwiland, or on your travels in Europe? Whichever, welcome to 152. This was a much better piece than the one thrown together in today’s Grauniad I think, the setter haveing a much better feel for the audience. A bit of a theme too, just to spice it up, and some intelligent clueing. Well done Klingsor, I liked your CHIAROSCURO.

  9. ele says:

    A really enyoyable puzzle today – did it all in one go and no cheating. Thank you Klingsor and RatkojaRiku. Loved all the clues already mentioned and also 1d made me smile.

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks for the usual comprehensive blog, RatkojaRiku.

    Had to do this in two goes today, which is never a help, but I managed it in the end. Some clues were indeed tough to parse, but it was all fair (well, maybe STOLLEN is more of a cake than a bread, but that’s being picky). I won’t choose a favourite clue today but simply comment on the excellence of the surfaces, many of which were outstanding (including STOLLEN).

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