Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7747 by Anarche

Posted by nmsindy on August 15th, 2011


This is a pseudonym I do not recall seeing in the Indy before.     It’s an anagram of Arachne so I guess it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that it has some connection with the distinguished Guardian etc setter who uses that pseudonym.


Enjoyable puzzle, quite tricky  in places, solving time 38 mins.         Don’t see a theme/Nina but happy to be advised otherwise if I have missed something.

* = anagram


1 WEATHERS       “wethers”          I liked this one a lot.

5 ABRADE      a   broad (lass) less o (love), last letter of apologisE,    definition (giving the misleading context)  ‘roughly treat’      This NE corner was the hardest part of the puzzle for me.

9 CUPIDITY       The wordplay is all based on cricket,  I think.    c = caught     stupidity   less st = stumped

10/20  COITUS INTERRUPTUS     (precious unit trust)*    Defn;   attempt to prevent child

12 ENDOSCOPIES     end (close)  os (very large)   copies (pirates)

15 GUSTO    Hidden answer

17 ASIA  MINOR      Old name of Anatolia (Turkey in Asia)   A  Siam (former country, now Thailand), in o(ute)r

18 TURNSPITS       This was my last answer      say, tea = “T”   urns = containers    pits = in which you might find kippers ie sleepers, pit being an informal word for a bed

19 DREAM      Another clue I liked a lot    DARE less A    MA (parent)  reversed

24 BEDPAN     Amusing cryptic definition

25 LAUDABLE   U (posh) in LAD    ABLE(clever)

26 RASHER    Amusing double definition

27 STARLETS       Starets = Russian holy man containing L, I think this is from left = sinister


1 WICKET GATE      Cryptic definition based on scandals ending in -gate.     Started with Watergate I think, then Irangate etc etc

2 ASPIDISTRA   (Staid pair’s)*

3 HADES      1st two letters of despotic in has

4 RATIONALISTS     Another one I liked a lot with a great surface reading     ration (helping)   A-list (really famous)   S (celebs ultimately ie last letter)

6 BLOSSOMED      1st letter of business and (sold some)*

7 ASTI        Tricky clue to a wine familiar to solvers     as (when)  it (reversed).

8 EASE     “e”s   ie ecstasy tablets = drugs reportedly

11 CIVIL SERVANT     E (English)  RV  (Revised Version = translation of Bible) in (Calvinist)*   definition:  bureaucrat

18 UNBEATABLE    Double definition

14 TRIMESTERS    trim esters        Periods of three months ie quarters

16 OBSTINATE    OB (Old Boy)     in (popular) contained in state (country)

21 UDDER    hidden

22 EBOR     Archbishop of York    Robe reversed

23 ODDS     odd (unusual)   s (small)


23 Responses to “Independent 7747 by Anarche”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, NMS. I’d lay money on your surmise being correct: a pretty close connection, I’d say. 😉

    All the hallmarks are there: elegance, wit, accuracy and variety of cluing – most enjoyable! 10,20 is priceless and I very much liked 17ac and 13dn [!]too.

    Starets was a new word for me.

    22dn presented the ambiguity that usually irritates me but, as I already had the R of RASHER, it didn’t hold me up.

    Many thanks to our anarchic setter, whoever you are. I hope we see more of you here! :-)

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Between my first (OBSTINATE) and my last entry (ASTI) there was a lot to enjoy here.
    My favourites being 17ac (ASIA MINOR), 19ac (DREAM) [both having clever constructions] and the amusing triplet RASHER (26ac), UDDER (21d) and UNBEATABLE (13d).

    Just like Eileen, I wasn’t keen on the ambiguity of 22d (EBOR), but just like her I had the R already (and I did remember Ebor).

    Thank you, nmsindy, for the blog which explained 27ac (STARLETS) to me and, perhaps, CUPIDITY (9ac). As to the latter, even after your explanation I don’t get it – completely my fault. In fact, I don’t know much about cricket (which is always a handicap when solving crosswords), but I am quite sure Anarche’s Anagram does, so … :)

    Great debut.
    But not very easy (for a Monday).

    Thank you Anarche, whoever you are …

  3. nmsindy says:

    Re 22D, while technically either interpretation would do, I think the ‘lifting’ of the vestment rather than the Archbishop is the natural reading looking at both the surface reading and the meaning of the words. Re CUPIDITY, I should perhaps have explained that dismissed = out (in cricket) and caught and stumped are two ways that this can happen.

  4. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you once more, nmsindy, for being so friendly to explain some Basics of Cricket to me. Although I said in #2 that I still didn’t get it, I did understand it a bit, of course.
    9ac is a clue that makes one smile just by looking at it (three times ‘dismissed’). What I personally do not fully like is ‘dismissed, dismissed foolishness’ for [st]UPIDITY. For me (again, personally) there’s something missing between the last ‘dismissed’ and the word ‘foolishness’. But I know how these things work and I have seen it a lot of times before, but I still cannot get 100% used to devices like this in which the order of the wording goes against my intuition. Let’s blame it on me, shall we? :)

  5. superkiwigirl says:

    Many thanks for your helpful blog, nmsindy, and for a hoot of a puzzle Anarche – some very funny clues here.

    Like Sil I had to read this blog in order to understand the parsing of both CUPIDITY and STARLETS (as for the latter, I could see that the letter “l” looked a likely stand in for “sinister” but thought that the Russian holy man must be “St (someone)” or else something to do with the Tsars – in any event, what seemed liked a good clue is even better once it’s been explained.

    Favorites abounded here, and of course included the great 10/20; BEDPAN and ENDOSCOPIES.

    I look forward greatly to the next offering from this Setter.

  6. ele says:

    Thanks NMS for the blog and especially the parsing of CUPIDITY – Like Sil@2 had me completely stumped too :), and quite a few others. Liked 1d a lot (which I initially thought might be a near homonym of Wicked Game), and of course 10/20 made me smile.

  7. Arachne says:

    A busy couple of days at Spider Towers: UK Backwards Running Championship (sadly no podium place, too many legs for this sport); and No1 Daughter safely married off (not before time, but a v. pleasant occasion). Even managed to fit in a Spinning class. Time for a bit of R&R with the Indie crossword. Ay caramba, who is this “Anarche”? No doubt time will tell.

    Ta muchly to MSN for the blog – can’t be easy when a new name appears – and to all above for comments, especially the nice ones. Yes, 22dn should have had a less ambiguous form of the verb. And I thought Anarche was woefully unambitious in only managing to use 2 of the 11 ways of getting out in cricket at 9ac (by the sound of it plenty of people would look for ways of getting out OF cricket). Coitus interruptus? Bedpan? How rude. No theme, as far as I can see.
    Love and hugs, and TTFN,

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Dites donc, quelle coincidence … there’s a setter in Another Place who’s a favourite of mine with a name a bit like this one and a style not wholly removed from this one’s either.

    Now that I have recovered from nearly wetting myself over COITUS INTERRUPTUS, I shall comment as follows. It was a bit harder than some recent Monday offerings, but for me only in not being able to parse a few answers (for which thanks, nms). WEATHERS was a good’un, also liked ENDOSCOPIES; but I agree with Arachne that BEDPAN was beyond the pail, so to speak.

    England no 1 in the world, excellent point for The Lads on Saturday, and a fine and fun puzzle to start the week. Life is good.

    I wouldn’t be too disappointed if eimi gave this setter another Monday gig.

  9. walruss says:

    In the Indy we can get a more interesting Monday puzzle than elsewhere I think I can say, so I don’t think a little bit of difficulty was unexpected! I found this one quite ‘bitty’, lots of single letters and ‘unwholesome’ parts of clues, but the again I am not Arachne’s biggest fan when she spins in the Guardian. Like nmsindy I would go for RATIONALISTS as the best clue, but I hope spider-woman can have the confidence to ‘go for it’ a bit more in her forthcoming Indy jaunts. Thanks to nmsindy and to ‘Anarche’.

    PS I am going on an extended retreat as of this week, in foreign climes, and I could be gone for a long time. I’ve been twice recently just for a week on each occasion, and found it wonderful soul food. There will be no distractions allowed where I’m going, so no visits to 15/2 I’m afraid. I will miss your fantastic comments about all the puzzles, thank you very much for your company. A great site.

  10. Arachne says:

    Sorry for misspelling you, NMS (too much backward running combined with too many wedding-related texts)

  11. Arachne says:

    Walruss – comments noted, many thanks. I wish you a refreshing and restorative break :)

  12. NealH says:

    Not my favourite Monday puzzle of recent times – too many yucky CDs for me like 24 and 13. But then again I’ve never really been a fan of CDs.

  13. superkiwigirl says:

    Unfortunately, 225 has already spilled the beans, so it’s no longer in question whether “Arachne” and “Anarche” might be the same person, if ever it were in doubt here in Cryptic Crossword Land (though to be honest, all this talk here of weddings began to worry me – could “Paul” have decided on some sort of Jane Austenish double celebration before embarking on his cruise?)

    Thanks again, Anarche (I’m a mother of sons not daughters, but can still imagine the sort of stress that you’ve been subjected to recently – “No 1 Daughter” suggest more trials to come à la famille Bennett).

    And Walruss – best wishes for your exotic sounding retreat – I’m sure that we all look forward to your safe return (and your next contribution to 225).

  14. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I meant to ask earlier, and perhaps nms can give us an idea, but this is the first Indy crossword set by a female compiler since …?

  15. Paul B says:

    No. There is another …

  16. Arachne says:

    Superkiwigirl: many thanks for your maternal empathy :) re Bennetts: the daughter I married off today is called Lydia and deo gratias considerably less trouble than her namesake!

  17. Wil Ransome says:

    Everyone has been very kind to Anarche. Fair enough, because it was a good puzzle. But there were two things I didn’t like, which supported me in my suspicion that he is a thinly-disguised version of the one who sets in Another Place:

    In 9ac it really isn’t good enough to have ‘dismissed, dismissed foolishness’ to mean ‘dismissed is dismissed from foolishness’, and in 8dn to equate ‘not working’ with ‘ease’ is no good at all. They’re different parts of speech.

    Or perhaps I’m missing something. Very likely.

  18. Paul B says:

    A life of ‘ease’ is or could be a life of ‘not working’. The other one’s only just a leetle beet ellipsis innit?

  19. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Wil, first this: “… but there were two things I didn’t like, which supported me in my suspicion that he is a thinly-disguised version of the one who sets in Another Place …”.
    Anarche is indeed “one who sets in Another Place”, but making a logical connection with “things I didn’t like” isn’t really fair on her cq appropriate.
    Yes, ‘her’ – Arachne is a woman.

    Your point re 9ac is one I tried to make clear in comment #4.
    I fully agree with you on this.
    I had my doubts about EASE too, but for another reason. We all know E = drug in Crosswordland, but nobody talks about Es (plural). However, EASE for ‘not working’ is, in my opinion, OK. Chambers gives ‘rest from work’ and the Americans are quite sure it can also be “freedom from activity (work, strain or responsibility)”.

    Despite some critical remarks, I thought, all in all, this crossword was a Treat.

  20. Allan_C says:

    Re 9ac (which I got without fully understanding till I read the blog), imho the clue would have been better with the insertion of ‘from’ to read ‘dismissed, dismissed, dismissed from foolishness and greed’. Then the sense would have been plainer as ‘c (=caught, i.e. dismissed) dismissed (i.e removed) st (= stumped, i.e. dismissed) from foolishness…’ And it would still have stumped (sorry!) not a few solvers.

    But overall a challenging but not too difficult Monday solve. Thanks, Anarche.

  21. Arachne says:

    9ac st (=dismissed) dismissed, c (dismissed): c (st)upidity. I still think this construction works, but as ever cricket is a divisive subject!
    Sil, if you ever come to the mean streets of this manor you will easily (sorry) hear people referring to Es, plural. A single one wouldn’t do the trick in these parts, I fear…
    Thanks again to everyone for your comments.
    Love and hugs,

  22. John says:

    Yes OK Paul B, you’re right: a life of ease is a life of not working so I rather uncomfortably accept it. But I stand by my comment about 9ac and like Allan_C’s suggestion at 20.

  23. John says:

    Sorry, I see I’m logged in, so I’m the same person as commented at 17.

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