Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,702 / Anax

Posted by RatkojaRiku on June 23rd, 2011


A challenging, entertaining and eminently satisfying puzzle to solve – one would expect nothing else of an Anax! Yet again, he has served up a multitude of meticulously constructed clues, which I hope I have been able to give the careful parsing that they deserve. I do not begrudge a second of the time that I have spent burning the midnight oil to solve and blog this one.

There are some deceptive, and new to me, indicators of container-and-contents clues at 4, 5 20 and 25, with the part of speech changing in each case from surface reading to wordplay. I would imagine that coming up with such devices – laying such traps, as it were – is an extremely time-consuming pursuit for compilers, and that finding an original one is an intensely pleasurable experience.

It is hard to pick a favourite clue from amongst so many gems, but if pressed, I’d go for 4, closely followed by 18.

I am going away from the puzzle wondering what inspired Anax to include the unusual entry at 8, which I have never come across in a crossword; the cheeky entry at 13 was also a first for me in a daily cryptic.

*(…) indicates an anagram

1 ANCHORMAN A (=article) + {[CH (=Church) + OR + MA (=State, i.e. Massachusetts)] in N N (=news, i.e. 2 x N)}; the definition is simply “presenter”.
6 TAP UP TA (=Bless you, i.e. thank you) + PUP (=child)
9 COPIOUS COP (=to get) + IOUS (=notes written by “short” people, i.e. those short of money)
10 RESTART REST (=leisure) + ART (=facility, i.e. skill); very smooth surface reading.
11 SENTRY S<e>E<i>N<g> (the odds of seeing, i.e. odd letters of the word only are needed) + TRY (=weary, i.e. as a verb, as in “to try one’s patience”)
12 THRESHER THRE<w> (=upset; “short” means last letter dropped) + SHE (=woman) + R (=river); a thresher is a large, long-tailed shark.
14 ON ANOTHER PLANET [NAN (=granny) in O O (=Oscars, i.e. 2 x O, where Oscar is the code word for the letter o in radio telecommunication)] + THE + R (=right) + PLAN (=idea) + E.T. (=film)
17 WEDDING CEREMONY *(COW NEEDED MY RING); “stupid” is anagram indicator; & lit.
18 RAPUNZEL [PUN<y> (=weak; “mostly” means last letter dropped) in RAZE (=(to) fell, as in “to raze to the ground”)] + L<adder> (“top of” means first letter only)
20 GROOVE O (=old) in GROVE (=wood, as a noun)
23 HEAVE TO E (=earth) in HAVE TO (=must); “heave to” means to come/bring to a standstill (of a vessel), hence the definition “stop”.
24 JAMAICA JAM (=informal play, i.e. in music) + [I<dylli>C (“both sides of” means first and last letters only) in A A (=areas, i.e. 2 x A)]
25 POKER OK (good) in PER (=for a, as in 2 per person); the definition is stud, referring to the card game stud poker; clever us of “parts” as a verb to indicate a container-and-contents clue.
26 TAX-EXEMPT [X (=by, as in “The room measures 6m by/x 10m”) + EX (=former) + E (=European) + MP (=politician)] in TAT (=rubbish)
1 ANCESTOR-WORSHIP AN + *(CORPSE IS WORTH); “exceptional” is anagram indicator; & lit.
2 CAP IN HAND [A + PIN (NIP=little drink; “served up” means vertical reversal)] in [CH (church) + AND (=also)]
3 ODOUR Hidden in “…whO DO URinals …”; “some” indicates hidden answer.
4 MOSS OS (=very large, i.e. outsize) in M S; the reference is to controversial catwalk model Kate Moss (1974-); cleverly deceptive use of “skirts” as a verb to indicate a container-and-contents clue.
5 NORTHERNER [ORT (=scrap, i.e. leftover from a meal) in NH<s> (“most of” means last letter dropped)] + ERNE (=seabird) + R (=recipe); cleverly deceptive use of “nurses” as a verb to indicate a container-and-contents clue.
6 TESSELLAE TES (=SET; “up” indicates vertical reversal) + SELL (=trade in) + A<ttractiv>E (“extremely” means first and last letters only)
7 POACH POA (=contact us for price; i.e. abbreviation of Price On Application) + CH (=children); the definition is “appropriate (=steal) game”.
8 PETER STUYVESANT *(SUNSET AVE PRETTY); “violent” is anagram indicator; Peter Stuyvesant (1612-72) was the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland, later renamed New York, hence “Old New Yorker”; his name was later immortalised as a brand of tobacco.
13 SHAGGED OUT *(A HUGE DOG) in ST (=road, i.e. abbreviation of street); “barking” is anagram indicator.
15 ORIENTEER OR (=circuit, i.e. logic circuit in computing) + I.E. (=that is) + *(ENTER); “erratic” is anagram indicator; the definition is “following type”, i.e. a person that follows.
16 NEOLOGISM N (=new) + {[LOG (=note) + I (=one)] in *(SOME)}; the second “new” in the clue is the anagram indicator; the definition is “coinage”, as in a newly coined expression.
19 PLANK P (=soft, i.e. piano in music) + LANK (=thin)
21 REMIX REM (=rock group) + I<n>X<s> (“offered pointless” means compass points – N and S – are dropped from the word); REM is a US rock band, formed in the 1980s.
22 AJAX A (=top, as in A grade or class A) + JAX (=homophone of “jacks” (=ratings, sailors)); “would you say?” is homophone indicator.

20 Responses to “Independent 7,702 / Anax”

  1. Thomas99 says:

    Just about perfect! 17a literally made me laugh out loud.

  2. Peter Chambers says:

    Great puzzle. Thanks Anax

    My paper version has 18ac as: Damsel somewhat distressed after betrayal of prince (8)

  3. Thomas99 says:

    Peter C-
    I think you had the harder version of 18. The tower does slightly give it away, although it’s an attractive clue either way.

  4. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for the blog, RatkojaRiku. I think you’ve done full justice to the puzzle – you lucky person!

    Your musing in the second paragraph of your preamble reminded me of something I’d read on Anax’a website about the thrill he feels when he ‘discovers’ a clue.

    I started putting ticks against clues but soon found I had far too many to mention. As Thomas99 says, ‘Just about perfect!’!

    Huge thanks, Anax, for an absorbing puzzle – see you Saturday!

  5. crypticsue says:

    Agree with everyone that this was a great puzzle – Never seen 13d in a crossword before – naughty Anax. Thanks to Anax for the fun and RatkojaRiku for the explanations.

  6. gnomethang says:

    Excellent stuff, thanks Anax. Ditto to the guffaws at 17a. Plenty of deceptions that required close scrutiny of the wordplay (PINCH/POACH and the potential for TESSERAE to be nearly right at 6d – It lead me to completely ignore the definition since it couldn’t be correct until I remembered ‘tessellated’.

  7. lenny says:

    This was a splendid effort. Like RR, I particularly noticed the ingenious container indicators: gripping, fences, parts, skirts and nurses. I only got Peter Stuyvesant because I had heard of the ciggies. Tessellae was also new to me but the wordplay was clear. Anaxs used to take me several days but now I find I can do them quite quickly. I wonder why it is that I am still hopeless at Lorosos.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Deep Joy. Managed an Anax, which I haven’t done for a bit. Which is a pity, because if you can get going with his puzzles there’s a lot in there to enjoy. I thought WEDDING CEREMONY and SHAGGED OUT were worth the entrance money alone. Anax has been known to make use of the vernacular: one of my favourite clues of his is from late last year (I think) where the definition for the answer THAT’S THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLES was ‘Shit happens’.

    ON ANOTHER PLANET was my other favourite.

    Thanks to Anax, and to RatkojaRiku for a most helpful blog.

  9. flashling says:

    wow what a great crossword thanks Anax, lots of really laugh out moments and all original stuff I’ve not seen before Bravo! Riku well done would have been a slog to blog this. Too many clue of the days dunno where to start

  10. walruss says:

    Good one indeed. SHAGGED OUT for me. But I like dogs, you see.

  11. rodders says:

    I also had damsel somewhat distressed after betrayal of prince for 18 across.

    Cam someone ( anyone ) explain how you get ” RAPUNZEL ”
    out of that clue – thanks !

  12. nmsindy says:

    I think it’s A cryptic definition (rodders at #11) with ‘distressed’ referring to hair ie tresses. Little to add to all the other comments on this excellent puzzle. WEDDING CEREMONY was my favourite too, closely followed by JAMAICA and REMIX.

  13. nmsindy says:

    And thanks, RatkojaRiku, for the so comprehensive blog! And Anax for the puzzle of course.

  14. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Good puzzle, indeed.
    As I found quite a few answers in the first 10 minutes, I thought there must be something wrong today (anax, y’know).
    ANCHORMAN, MOSS, ODOUR and some more.

    RAPUNZEL stumped me in the end. I used the paper version and I had no idea what this was all about. Nmsindy tells me it’s a cryptic definition – well, see, there you are … :) [BTW, what happened/wentwrong here?]

    This puzzle didn’t strike me as the hardest of anaxs (or is it anaxes?), but nice it was.

    Liked 21d (REMIX) as I always like clues involving (pop) music.

    And lenny @7: “Anaxs used to take me several days but now I find I can do them quite quickly. I wonder why it is that I am still hopeless at Lorosos”
    My answer would be: “I think because Loroso is even better”.

    Favourite clue: the WEDDING CEREMONY at 17ac.

    Finally, credits to you RatkojaRiku – you’ve done an admirable job!

  15. anax says:

    Hi all
    Tremendous blog RatkojaRiku – huge thanks for your efforts.

    The different clues for RAPUNZEL didn’t surprise me too much. It was edited before publication but the print/online versions are evidently taken care of by different departments, so it was just a failure to pass on information. The online version was the original, later changed because we weren’t absolutely sure of the strength of the link between RAZE and FELL. Unfortunately the answer letters aren’t too friendly and I resorted to the CD. For those familiar with the story (that intro alone tells you I was slightly concerned about using it as a reference) the witch cuts short Rapunzel’s hair after she accidentally reveals that she’s been visited by the prince – hence ‘somewhat distressed’ and ‘betrayal of prince’. You either know it or you don’t, which is shaky ground so I’m actually glad two versions of the clue were available.

    Looking forward to meeting you folks on Saturday!

  16. Roger Powell says:

    Only my second post here, but this solve was particularly enjoyable. I’ve only just finished – blame Wimbledon. Great clues. Hard enough to be a challenge but not so hard as to be frustrating.

  17. ele says:

    Another Anax I was able to finish – made my day. Liked 17ac and 14ac very much esp. as they gave lots of useful letters early on. Thanks to RatkojaRiku for the blog. Agree that the paper version of 18ac just had to be guessed. It was almost the last one in as I didn’t trust my initial guess.

  18. Allan_C says:

    Doing the dead tree version I got 18a at once. “Damsel” and “distressed” put me in mind of stories of knights errant etc and then I re-read “distressed” as “dis-tressed” and guessed at RAPUNZEL which I put it in tentatively and was pleased to find the intersecting down answers fitting in.

    Held up on the NE corner till the pennies dropped for POACH and TAP UP.

  19. rodders says:

    Sorry Anax but 18 across was guesswork and not logic for the hard copy clue.
    As you admit you either know it or you don’t and as you also admit ” shaky ground “.

    No problem though – I enjoyed the puzzle – just don’t live easy with entering answers which I know are correct but don’t know why !!

    Just me I guess – some don’t care as long as they complete !

  20. RatkojaRiku says:

    @Allan_C – I too was held up in the NE corner by precisely the same two clues as you.

    @anax – thanks for explaining the backdrop to the discrepancy between 18a in the two versions of the puzzle – I rather suspected something along those lines. For what it’s worth, I rather liked RAZE for FELL!

    Hope Saturday was a success – I hope to be able to attend a get-together myself one day!

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