Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7717 by Quixote

Posted by nmsindy on July 11th, 2011


Gentle and enjoyable Monday puzzle from Quixote, solving time 16 mins, which is v fast for me.

* = anagram

1   PR (pair) IN  CE (Church)         Even most Indy readers will know that this refers to the events of Friday 29 April when a special public holiday was declared…

4  S (Society)  MOULDER (go bad)

10 TRIUMPHAL    U  (visible to all – cinema classification)  MPH (speed) in TRIAL (test).    The definition is “victory’s” indicating the adjective.

11 DEBAG      middle letters (section) of insiDE BAGgage

12 HANSEL AND GRETEL    This helped to make the puzzle easy as it stood out from the letter-count (if you had heard of it as I guess most would have).   (All the anger ends)* giving an extremely good surface reading

13 ROST (roast = get very hot less a = adult ie passing out)  RUM (odd)

15 A  ROUND (cycle)

17 GirL   A   RED     Heartless = take the middle letters out

19 AMBIENT       I (one) in MBE (honour), all inside ANT (worker)

22 MOMENT OF INERTIA      Rather cleverly defined as “something mentioned in the applied maths class”.     If you want to know, it’s a quantity from physics expressing a body’s tendency to resist angular acceleration.        Second definition is cryptic.

24 ALIBI    LIB (old politician I guess as they are now the Lib Dems) in A1 (excellent)

25 CATCHMENT   cat (tiger)   t (time)  surrounding ch (children)  men (adults)

26 ENERGISE   (see reign)*

27 CROTON     ROT (decay) in CON (study).       This was one I struggled with.   From crossing letters, it looked like ROT in ??N (meaning study).   So I first pencilled in DROTEN, checked if there was such a plant, there wasn’t, so went back to it and thought of CROTON which I’d never heard of, but this time found it was indeed a plant.


1     POTSHERD     means a broken piece of pottery    STOP (end – going upwards)  HERD (crowd)

2  IXION       King from Greek mythology that I’ve learnt of from puzzles.      I in (former US President) Richard NIXON with first letter removed ie leader no more.

3 COMPEER     defn:  person of equal rank     CO (care of)  MP (politician)  E’ER  (always)

5 MELODRAMATISTS         (OTT alarmed Miss)*

6 UNDER  (working for)  G O  (first letters of great organisation)   defn:  suffer

7 DEBUTANTE     tube   (underground) ‘upset’ ie reversed in Dante (poet)

8 R (king = rex)  EG (say)  ALE (booze)

9 THE ARMED FORCES    Another long answer that I found pretty easy with the letter-count and the definition.   This person = me in (searched fort)*

14 SOLEMNISE      (homeliness)* less h = husband

16 STRAITEN   trait (characteristic) in sen (little money) = 1/100th of the basic unit is several currencies including formerly the yen (Japan)

18 RAN (managed)  KING (top man – referring to chess I guess)     Defn:  having a high position

20 Bloke  (first letter)  LET (permit)  HER (the female’s)      An alternative spelling of blather, apparently used most in Scotland

21 I’M  PALE (weak)

23 TREAT    RE (engineers) in TAT (shabby stuff)

11 Responses to “Independent 7717 by Quixote”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks nmsindy, and Quixote.

    A quick solve for me too, with some excellent surfaces. Favourites were 5D MELODRAMATISTS, “OTT” describing them also, 22A MOMENT OF INERTIA, an amusing cryptic definition, and 10A TRIUMPHAL.

  2. NealH says:

    Very easy apart from 1 down where I got a bit hung up on end up being tip reversed, which seemed to fit with it being something like pitcher.

  3. Cumbrian says:

    Very enjoyable, with three words that were new to me but all available – compeer, Ixion (I had a mental block on former Presidents for a while!) and potsherd. Unfortunately I was familiar with potshard so confidently put that in, only to be somewhat stumped in fitting it to the clue. Thanks, then, for the blog that put me straight and to Quixote for an enjoyable puzzle; my favourite was “moment of inertia”, for no particular reason other than its groan rating.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    After ending up punch-drunk from Anax’s puzzle last Monday, this was back into the more gentle arms of Quixote today. Good puzzle. I always enjoy getting a word I didn’t know from the wordplay and then checking afterwards to find it was correct: that happened today with IXIOM, COMPEER and CROTON.

    MOMENT OF INERTIA was good too.

    Thanks for blogging, nms.

  5. flashling says:

    struggled with this for some reason – didn’t know if 27ac was croton or droten not heard of either. At least it wasn’t Anax today.

  6. walruss says:

    I agree on both counts! Some very unusual words, which was a pity, and some good clues, which was rather nice. MOMENT OF INERTIA I’d simpley never heard of, while the ARMED FORCES was good. A bit of half and half today, I think.

  7. Simon Harris says:

    Same here flashling – it could have been either (or indeed anything else, as SEN was hardly a gimme), and it’s rare to see such ambiguities in a Quixote puzzle, I think.

  8. lenny says:

    There were some hairy moments but it all clicked into place in the end. I had the Potshard/Postsherd dilemma at 1. I tried to squeeze Reagan into 2. Like Flashling and Simon, I considered Droten and Croton but went for Croton as the more likely plant. Slightly disagreeing with Simon, in my experience, obscure definition combined with ambiguous wordplay is a Quixotic trait.

    If Victory’s is being used adjectivally, I think it is a bit feeble. While solving I guessed that Triumphal was being used as a noun in the Miltonian sense

  9. Thomas99 says:

    Good timing – Blether (20d) was familiar to me because featured in an anecdote in yesterday’s Observer:

    [Karl] Miller phones the poet to report that he has found “a mistake” in his tribute to Hugh MacDiarmid, “An Invocation”, which was due to run in a forthcoming number of the London Review of Books. Apparently Heaney had referred to MacDiarmid’s “chattering genius”. The reproof to his old friend runs thus: “That’s wrong. I’m from Scotland myself, Seamus. I’m from Scotland. And I can tell you that Scottish sheep don’t chatter – they blether. Surely you mean MacDiarmid’s ‘blethering genius’?”

    Apparently Seamus Heaney accepted the correction and altered the line! Karl Miller sounds like a tremendous character.

  10. ele says:

    Nice start to the week so thanks Quixote and thanks to MSindy for the blog. Failed on Ixion (got hung up on Idi for a president) and 1d, where I got sidetracked into Pitchers as there is a sense of pitched up meaning ended up, although I knew it couldn’t be right.

  11. caretman says:

    Re: lenny @8, I can’t pull up yesterday’s puzzle, but my recollection was that when I parsed 10ac, I thought I needed to use the first two words as the definition, and with that could convince myself that it could clue an adjective. Does that work?

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