Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1114: Crosophile

Posted by jetdoc on June 26th, 2011


I am blogging this in The Old Joint Stock in Birmingham, where we are anticipating tomorrow’s Sloggers & Betters meet (which will have happened by the time you read this). Fortunately, it doesn’t seem much like hard work — Crosophile manages to add a touch of humour and some nifty wordplay to the fairly straightforward clues. I particularly like the construction of 13a.

1 SECULAR Lay cryptic clues before adult readers primarily
*(clues); first letters of ‘adult readers’. ‘Lay’ is the definition.
5 FIGMENT Fabrication by Feds planted in course of seizure
G-MEN = Feds (FBI); FIT = seizure
9 AGAIN Commander having office once more
AGA = Commander; IN = having office
10 MOUSETRAP Second employment: recurring role in long-running play
MO = Second (moment); USE = employment; TRAP = PART (role) reversed (recurring). The Mousetrap
11 RESIDENCE Home team penetrates defence that’s not brilliant with run for header
SIDE = team; [def]ENCE — with ‘def’, in the sense of ‘brilliant’, removed; R = run, as the first letter. ‘Home’ is the definition.
12 TORSO Top of tree’s odd trunk
T = Top of tree; OR SO = odd (indicating an approximate number)
13 WEEDS Peas or leeks broadcast round bottom of field are unwanted plants
‘Broadcast’ here is a homophone indicator — ‘peas’ and ’leeks’ both sound like words for ‘urinates’, or WEES. D = bottom of field. A well constructed clue, in the way it interweaves two sets of meanings.
15 SPOONBILL Court charges resulting in bird
SPOON = court (in the sense of ‘woo’); BILL = charges
18 TESTAMENT Will trial endorse Chilcott’s conclusion?
TEST = trail; AMEN = endorse (as in ‘Amen to that’); T = Chilcott’s conclusion. ‘Will’ is the definition.
19 SLEEP Have a doss when Skins is over
PEELS, reversed
21 OUTRE Fantastic tangle holding you French back
ORE = tangle (seaweed); TU = ‘you’ in French, reversed
23 FOOLHARDY Reckless idiot half of double act
FOOL = idiot; HARDY = half of Laurel and Hardy
25 TALKING TO ‘Royal Highness’ is out of line by dressing down
TAL[l] KING = Royal Highness, missing one L (line); TO = by
26 KHAKI In Two Thousand And One, its computer is cut off — this is dull material
KK = Two Thousand; I = One; HA[l] = HAL 9000, the computer in the series of films, with his final letter cut off
27 REPLETE Full theatre’s licensed revue at last
REP = [repertory] theatre; LET = licensed; E = last letter of ‘revue’
28 HAMMERS Amateur mercenaries save 100 pounds
HAM = Amateur; MER[c]S = mercenaries without C (100). Definition is ‘pounds’.
1 SPARROW Special pointer finds bird
SP = Special; ARROW =pointer
2 CLASSLESS Egalitarian girl is into non-U clues by us
LASS = girl; CLES S = ‘clues us’, minus UU
3 LINED Series of descendants with crown of David ruled
LINE = Series of descendants; D = crown of David. ‘Ruled’ is the definition (as in ruled/lined paper)
4 REMINISCE Remember, put little old car in salvage (it has no 5th)
MINI = little old car; in RESC[u]E
5 FLUTE Musical instrument — loud one
F = loud; LUTE = another musical instrument
6 GREETINGS Welcome hints of tomato in garlic sprinkled into cabbage
TIG = hints of tomato in garlic; in GREENS = cabbage
7 ERROR Losing head, panic by mistake
8 TOPSOIL Fertile layer spilt two eggs — broken
*(split OO), with O = egg
14 SNAKEBITE Nasty wound — bike seat needs adjusting round bearing
*(bike seat N), where N= bearing (north)
16 OSTROGOTH For translation go to short old German
*(go to short). Definition is ‘old German’.
17 INEBRIATE I’ll go with last of gin, a beer and one tequila for starters in a cocktail
*(I N a beer I T). Can be used as a noun, meaning a drunk person, a drunkard.
18 TROTTER Tango with cad and heel (pig!)
T = Tango; ROTTER = cad, Definition is ‘heel (pig!)’
20 PHYSICS Science of jography (sic) studies
Hidden in jography (sic) studies
22 TULIP Put out lit-up bulb
23 FUGUE Finally oddly used to stuffiness in composition
FUG = stuffiness; UE = odd-numbered letters of ‘used’
24 HOKUM Theatrical claptrap is certainly in bad odour
OK = certainly; in HUM = bad odour

6 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1114: Crosophile”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks Jetdoc and Crosophile.

    A pleasant puzzle, with some great clues, outstanding of which was the &lit 17D INEBRIATE. Other favourites were 13A WEEDS and 28A KHAKI.

    Have some doubts though
    10A: don’t see how “recurring” (ie. happening/showing again) could be a reversal indicator;
    15A: I suppose SPOON could be stretched to mean “court”, though the former refers to a narrowly defined action in relation to what we normally take “court” to mean;
    21A: After your explanation, I did find ORE=seaweed, but only in something called “A general book of Provincialisms”;
    25A: “royal”=”TALL” also seems a stretch – I know it means something that is beyond the normal, eg. a royal pain, but eg. a royal tree, man, building, anything that is tall, would sound odd.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi scchua
    10ac Under ‘recur’ Chambers gives “to revert (archaic)” which, in turn, is defined as “to reverse”.

    15ac Under ‘spoon’ Chambers has “To court, esp in a sentimental way”.

    21ac Ore=seaweed is in Chambers.

    25ac I read this as ‘Highness’ indicates ‘tall and ‘Royal’ gives ‘king’.

  3. ergonaut says:

    Thanks Jetdoc I like your blogging style it’s nice to have the clues quoted and the colour highlights are helpful. I think there’s a typo in 6d, this should be..
    TIG (instead of TIN) = hints of tomato in garlic; in GREENS = cabbage
    I agree with Gaufrid re: 25ac

  4. scchua says:

    Thanks Gaufrid…as uaual you’re spot on! All clear now especially my myopic reading of RH.

  5. jetdoc says:

    Thanks, Ergonaut — I have corrected my careless typo.

  6. Paul B says:

    The WEES could have been read simply as plurals. You went for the verb forms, probably because you like ‘doing’ words. (Sorry, but how could I not?)

    I like the ‘I will go with’ start for the weehead &lit, the use of a misspelling with ‘(sic)’, this crossword, and your blog, all of which is great stuff.


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