Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,688 / Raich

Posted by RatkojaRiku on June 7th, 2011


Not as detailed a blog as I would have liked to produce today, owing to unexpected personal commitments.

However, an enjoyable puzzle with an entertaining theme that I didn’t spot for a long time, as I was not aware that all the performers at 11 + 13, 19, 23 and 29 had the Liverpudlian connections referred to in 1 / 4. That said, the puzzle was eminently solvable, albeit less fun, even if the theme took one outside of one’s comfort zone.

Incidentally, the word at 17 was new to me but guessable from the anagram.

 *(…) indicates an anagram

1/4 MERSEY BEAT *(TERSE + MAYBE); TERSE is the entry at 6; “some of its exponents here” refers to performers appearing in the grid at 11 + 13, 19, 23 and 29.
10 AEROSPACE *(OPERAS) in ACE (=top quality)
11 GERRY G + ER (=monarch) + RY (=railway)
13 PACEMAKERS [E (=English) + MA (=graduate)] in PACKERS (=food sector workers)
16 GRIMACE I’M in GRACE (=old cricketer); the reference is to England cricketer W G Grace (1848-1915).
17 TRANSOM *(MATRON’S); according to Chambers, a transom is “a structure dividing a window horizontally, a lintel”.
19 BEATLES <larg>E in *(TABLES); the definition is simply “group”.
21 PLACARD P (=parking) + [CAR (=vehicle) in LAD (=boy)]
23 CILLA BLACK ILL (=misfortune) in [CAB (=taxi) + LACK (=shortage)]
25 DEMO Reversed and hidden in “cOMEDy”
27 EXACT Double definition
29 SEARCHERS SE<e> + ARCHERS (=old fighters)
30 SONG Hidden in “treeS ON Green”
2 RUSH RU (=game) + SH (=quiet)
3 EMANATE Reversal of ETA (=letter from Athens) + NAME (=reputation)
5 EGG EG (=say) + G<reyhound>
6 TERSE <v>ERSE with change of first letter
9 GYPSUM *(SUP) in GYM (=PE facility)
14 ARAFAT ARA<b> + FAT; the reference is to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (1929-2004).
15 PAELLA [A + ELL (=discarded measure, i.e. obsolete)] in PA (=old man); the defintion would appear to be simply “pan”.
18 STATEMENT STATE (=Washington, say, i.e. in the US) + MEN (=pieces together, i.e. in chess) + T (=time)
19 BACKER Back (=reverse) “ER” to give RE (=Religious Education), i.e. “provide Christian studies”.
20 SPLASH Double definition
21 PACKAGE Whimsical definition: “wrap up” meaning “pack, package” rather than “end, conclude”.
22 DROWSY D (=daughter) + ROWS (=quarrels) + <part>Y
24 LOADS LO (=look) + ADS (=placards, i.e. answer at 21)
26 ACME AC (=current) + ME (=writer)
26 TIN Double definition

14 Responses to “Independent 7,688 / Raich”

  1. superkiwigirl says:

    I found this pretty straight forward, with the theme extending all the way to the online message of congrats for the completed puzzle (after yesterday’s similarly adapted message perhaps this is going to be a feature of Indy cryptics in the future?)

    I’ll say no more until your blog appears RatkojaRiku – hope you manage to clear your work commitments soon.

  2. superkiwigirl says:

    Thanks for your blog RatkojaRiku – sorry to learn that you had to do this under pressure, but as ever your explanations are perfectly clear.

    Thanks too Raich for an enjoyable puzzle – I’m in danger of giving my age away now when I say that all of the themed clues were solved pretty quickly once I had kicked off with 6d/1a. (I also thought that 12a might be another element in the theme until I googled Billy Bragg and found both the correct spelling of his name as well as his London roots!)

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks, RatkojaRiku, for the blog. [You’re obviously not old enough!]

    I don’t understand your comment re 21dn: I took it as a double definition: package = ‘wrap up’ and it’s a type of holiday.

    Many thanks, Raich, for an enjoyable puzzle. [I particularly liked 5dn – and 22dn for the surface.]

  4. walruss says:

    Yup a pretty straightforward one, but with a nice theme as we so often get in The Independent. Not sure anything really stands out today, but it’s a very ‘together’ piece, very tight.

  5. RatkojaRiku says:

    Yes, Eileen, I take your point – I had read the clue as a single sentence, defining “package holiday” in a whimsical manner, a fact hinted at by the question mark at the end.

    However, I suppose it could have been parsed as a double definition, with the break coming after “wrap up” and the question mark simply being discounted.

  6. NealH says:

    I found this fairly straightforward, except that I convinced myself that the answer to 10 must be aeroscape. Well, it seemed reasonable that if you have seascapes and landscapes, you might have an aeroscape as well. It was the presence of the word “work” in the definition that pushed me in that direction.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I’ve managed most of Raich’s recent puzzles in the Indy, but this one nearly had me 4ac. Unlike superkiwigirl, MERSEY BEAT was pretty much my last one in, which wasn’t ideal in getting help with the themed clues. Raich is always very precise with his clueing, so it was just me not seeing a few things. When I finally saw CILLA BLACK – my favourite clue – the SW corner opened up a bit and I was able to complete it.

    Fine puzzle. And we’re now being treated to themed completion messages. We want for nothing with the Indy cryptic. Thanks for the blog, RatkojaRiku.

  8. Simon Harris says:

    Always nice to see a Raich – and I thought this was good fun. Was just about starting to struggle when 1ac fell in and the penny dropped, giving me enough of a hint to complete the rest.

    Thanks RatkojaRiku and Raich.

  9. flashling says:

    I got 6d straight away which gave up 1/4 so off to a flier and a quick (ish) solve.

    Thanks to RatkojaRiku – I know what it’s like when work gets in the way of a blog… and Raich for a nice tuesday puzzle.

  10. Bamberger says:

    All day on and off yielded about half the answers-sadly the only themed clue I got was Gerry which didn’t help at all. Indeed my comment to myself was that 1/4 was unfair because I couldn’t get 6.

    Spend ages trying to make an anagram out of celebrity’s for 23a.

    I’ve managed an unaided solve of a Sunday Indie but never a weekday one-the Indie unlike the Grauniad, FT or Times never ever seems to have a weekday one for the less able.

  11. caretman says:

    Although I may be of the right age, with the exception of 19a the best I could say about the theme answers was that I know I had heard of them before. Oh, except for 23a, which I was proud to have deciphered from the wordplay and could then confirm online. But although the theme wasn’t much help to me, I thought it was a splendid puzzle with a lot of solid clues. 12a and 13a took me some time to work out, and I didn’t understand 19d until coming here. Thanks, RatkojaRiku, for the explanations, and thanks to Raich for the puzzle.

  12. RatkojaRiku says:

    @ superkiwigirl – yes, I googled Billy Bragg too! I didn’t want to admit my ignorance publicly, but what the hell!

    @ Kathryn’s Dad – 23 was my favourite clue too! Like Bamberger, however, I wasted time trying to work out an anagram of “celebrity”.

  13. Raich says:

    Many thanks, RatkojaRiku, for the excellent blog and to everyone for their comments.

  14. Uncle Yap says:

    Yesterday was my Hash day so I did this today and what a pleasure to revisit my childhood days of Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey and Cilla Black (how I love her accent during her solo TV show in the 70’s) Thank you, Raich for the blast from the past.

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