Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7687 by Morph

Posted by NealH on June 6th, 2011


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

I found this quite tough going and it took me a long time to see how some of the clues worked. There were a couple of references to recent news stories (super injunctions and bank bailouts), but I couldn’t see any theme or NINA beyond that. 13 across was probably my favourite clue, although 15 was also excellent.

1 Super injuction: I think this is (pun I recount is)* around j(udge) and N (=direction).
9 Celeriac: Celiac (which is apparently an American spelling of coeliac) around e[gg] and r[ice].
10 Mural: LA rum <.
11 Hermaphrodite: &lit. (Him or her + [a]dapte[d])*.
13 Prosthetic: S[ystem] + the tic after PR + 0.
15 Dork: D or K. A monkey is a slang term for 500 and K is a thousand (i.e. two 500s).
16 Isms: I + SMS.
17 Profligate: Prof(essor) + lig + ate. I’d never heard of a lig (perhaps because I’ve never worked in the entertainment industry), but apparently it’s a party with free food and drink.
19 Bankers drafts: Bankers (=city folk) + daft + ‘s (=us as in let’s) around r. Definition is bills.
23 Pathé: Hidden in sympathetic. Pathé is most famous for the old news reels from pre-television days.
24 Moussaka: Moussa K[ous]a. This is one you really need to be on top of the news for. Moussa Koussa is the name of the Libyan defector who flew to Britain. Knocking the middle (stuffing) out of the second half of his name gives the answer.
25 Notwithstanding: With in “not standing”. Def = still.
2 Urea: Hom of U’r ‘ere and a CD which I assume must refer to urination (at least in males).
3 Elevenses: Eels* around evens.
4 Idiom: I’d + IOM.
5 Jackpot: Jack (=abandon) + pot.
6 Numerical: (I’m unclear)*.
7 Tired: I took me ages to work this one out, probably because I wouldn’t think of surge as a reversal indicator. It’s der (= German article) + It<. Definition is "beat" (as in "I'm beat").
8 Obliterate: OBL (initials of bin Laden) + iterate.
12 Dry shampoo: Odd letters of dirty + (hom[e] + soap)*.
14 Hypertext: Hom of hi + pert + ex + t.
15 Digitised: Not entirely sure about this, but I think it’s dig (=understand) + “it is ed”, meaning it has been edited.
18 Oedemas: Odd letters of “one added means”. An oedema is an accumulation of fluid, although that could be in any sort of tissue, so to call it a skinful is maybe stretching things.
20 Kotow: KO (knock out) + tow.
21 Aruba: A + rub + a.
22 Akin: Nik[it]a<. Nikita Khrushchev was a president of the USSR.

19 Responses to “Independent 7687 by Morph”

  1. crypticsue says:

    I too found this quite tough. The highlight has to be the message you get when finishing solving on line with its allusion to 1a. Thanks to Morph for the challenge and Neal for the explanations.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Many thanks, Neal. Like crypticsue, I did find this tough, but gettable. As you say, some up to date stuff in here; SUPERINJUNCTION was good, but the Libyan reference in MOUSSAKA passed me by, so thank you for explaining that.

    Is OBL acceptable as an abbreviation? Folk on this blog refer to me as KD, so I suppose so, but I’ve never seen it in print. UREA is a waste product in urine, so both little boys and little girls will excrete it through the urethra.

    DRY SHAMPOO was also very clever. I didn’t know KOTOW as a variation of KOWTOW, so got held up on that one.

    Nice puzzle from Morph. And not a reference to Kate ‘n Wills in sight. Hoorah.

  3. superkiwigirl says:

    I also struggled a bit with this (more for the correct parsing than some of the actual solutions). It was nevertheless a very entertaining puzzle, and one which was made all the sweeter by being available online today after this weekend’s problems with the Indy site. Yes, the message of congrats has been nicely adapted with 1a in mind.

    Thanks for setting another good challenge Morph, and for your helpful explanations NealH (17a had me flummoxed; so too the name of the politician referred to in 24a wasn’t known to me; and like KD I would have expected a ‘w’ in KOTOW).

  4. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks for the explanations, NealH, but could someone explain to this ignorant “foreigner” what a SUPER INJUNCTION is?

  5. NealH says:

    I assume you don’t live the UK or you would have been unable to avoid hearing about it. It is a type of injunction that a few rich and famous people have taken out to try (unsuccessfully, for the most part) to suppress unfavourable news stories about themselves. It not only stops the issue being reported but stops anyone even reporting that the injunction has been taken out (hence the “super” part).

  6. superkiwigirl says:

    And strictly speaking, the “top gag” (at present) is a “hyper-injunction” which the Tim Dowling of the Guardian described as “a double-secret form of super-injunction … which specifically bars a person from discussing something with members of Parliament, journalists and lawyers except for his own lawyer … we have no idea how much of this legal dark matter currently exists. There is, of course, an obvious next step: the meta-injunction ..a form of legal suppression so all-injuncting that it is illegal … to tell you that there is such a thing …” !!!

  7. NealH says:

    Top here could just refer to it being high on the hierarchy of injunctions in the way that someone could be described as a “top lawyer”.

  8. superkiwigirl says:

    Hi Neal,

    I fully agree with you – the clue is perfectly fair since “top gag” isn’t qualified by an article. I thought it might be useful, however, to provide Stella Heath with the complete story on these injunctions, conveying as it does the extent to which the law seems to be becoming an ass in this regard (if not something rather more sinister).

  9. Stella Heath says:

    It sounds like the sort of thing Spanish politicians might import in the not too distant future, unless the unlikely happens and the “indignados” get their way :lol:

  10. walruss says:

    Pretty tough, especially when compared with The Guardian. But at The Independent you might not necessarily fet away with a simple start to the week! I think Morph has done better than this of late, but it was a fair puzzle with some nice clues. COD for me would be the HERMAPHRODITE.

  11. caretman says:

    I agree with walruss @10 that the COD was HERMAPHRODITE, but there were a lot of good clues to choose from. I found it quite difficult, with DORK and OEDEMAS my last two in (the former since I was unfamiliar with the slang mentioned, the latter since in the states the word would be spelled EDEMAS and I hadn’t put on my British English spelling hat this morning). On the other hand, getting CELERIAC was much easier for me than it might have been for others.

    I echo superkiwigirl’s sentiment @3, hurray that the Independent is back online!

  12. Richard Heald says:

    I thought it was extremely clever, not to mention brave, of Morph to include in the completed grid the names of several high-profile recent recipients of super-injunctions hidden among the unchecked letters. Best Nina of the year so far!

  13. Richard Heald says:

    It’s OK, I’m just kidding! Or am I …?

  14. Paul B says:

    ‘A ass’, if you don’t mind, superkiwigirl (cf. Guardian 25306).

    Pat on the back and a pint in store for Morph and for Mike, for best use of irritating screen. We could do more: ‘Incredibly – for you have been detected as an habitual Telegraph solver – you have finished the puzzle’.

    Big Dave will kill me now. Dave, I DON’T really mean it.

  15. Morph says:

    Thanks for the blog, Neal, and all your comments. I’m immersed in the news, so it’s always good to get feedback on how obscure these references are – I realised Moussa Koussa might be, but apols to those abroad for whom superinjunctions haven’t been top of the agenda!
    Wish I’d thought of Richard’s idea though!
    Now can anyone tell me what the message was in the online version?

  16. NealH says:

    I can’t remember exactly, but it was something like “****** have completed the *******”.

  17. crypticsue says:

    It was Congratulations *** have completed the *********

  18. NealH says:

    Of course, under a superinjuction, it would be illegal to report that anyone had completed anything or even that there was anything to complete in the first place.

  19. Morph says:


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