Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7753/Quixote

Posted by Pierre on August 22nd, 2011


I found this a pretty straightforward and enjoyable puzzle from The Don in his fortnightly Indy slot.  A good one for less experienced solvers, I think; for this reason I’ve tried to give full explanations.

A bit of a Cook’s Tour today: Quixote takes us to Italy, to the South of France and to the South of London via New England and Old England’s second city.


cd  cryptic definition
dd  double definition
(xxxx)*  anagram
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x]  letter(s) removed


Frigidity of one holy person in social event
An insertion of  I ST (one saint) in DANCE.  My only quibble in this puzzle (might as well get it out of the way in 1 Across) is that ‘distance’ and ‘frigidity’ are pretty remote synonyms; but they do overlap, so it’s only a nanoquibble.

One who’s going to make announcement initially in the bar
Another insertion: it’s A for ‘announcement initially’ in LEVER for ‘bar’.

Loose women going about with little hesitation – group of a certain class
A charade of STRAT for TARTS reversed and UM for ‘hesitation’.

10  Wind and haziness by river and a lake
A charade of MIST, R, A and L.  Le Mistral is a strong, usually north-westerly wind that affects regions in the South of France.

11  River in Far North
Hidden in FAR NOrth.  The Arno is a river in Tuscany.  If the setter keeps going East we’ll be sunning ourselves in the Aegean Sea by the end of the crossword.

12  Birds showing rapidness moving around quietly
This wide-ranging family of birds – waders or shorebirds – is an anagram (‘moving’) of (RAPIDNESS P)*  The P is a musical one (‘piano’) for ‘quietly’.

14  Dismissed, being innocent and intrepid from what we hear
Cricket and cryptics: a marriage made in heaven.  CLEAN BOWLED is the cricketing term for having your stumps rearranged by the bowler without getting willow near leather.  It’s a charade of CLEAN for ‘innocent’ and BOWLED as a homophone (‘from what we hear’) of BOLD (‘intrepid’).  Four-nil to the Engerland, four-nil to the Engerland … I shall be back on the blog later this afternoon to confirm or not.

17  Obstructive type – but not one for hedging?
A dd.  Someone who stonewalls is being obstructive or unco-operative; and a craftsman or craftswoman who builds dry stone walls wouldn’t be into hedging, would they?  For overseas contributors and lurkers, this is what dry stone walls look like.  (The sheep are an added bonus, but are clearly being ‘obstructed’ from leaving the field.)

20  I am singing strangely in dreams
(I AM SINGING)* ‘Strangely’ is the anagrind.

21  Sticks around showing self-satisfaction
A reversal (‘around’) of GUMS.

23  A piece seen in (say) Derby home
An insertion of A BIT in HAT.  ‘Derby’ here is referring to neither the Midlands town renowned for its Sloggers and Betters events nor to the horse race, but to an alternative term for the bowler hat.

24  A scientific institute established by a graduate somewhere in America
A charade of A LAB A and MA for ‘graduate’.  Some setters would have omitted ‘somewhere’.  Some solvers wouldn’t have liked that.

25  Angry language from one in commerce
An insertion of I in TRADE.

26  Janet’s got mixed up with cad next door
Nice surface.  (JANET CAD)*  ‘Mixed up’ is the anagrind.


Journalist’s report from roadside location outside Cheltenham?
What a foreign correspondent would submit back to the newsroom for publication is an insertion of SPA in DITCH.  The SPA reference is because the Cotswold town’s full name is CHELTENHAM SPA; the question mark is at the end to tell you that ‘Cheltenham’ is only one example of a SPA.

Odder person children mustn’t trust
A dd.  Stranger danger and all that.

Like pretentious person in celebration losing head
[P]ARTY.  Pretentious, moi?

Go properly prepared with complaint as one who knows the ropes
(GO COMPLAINT AS)*  ‘Prepared’ is the anagrind, but wouldn’t the clue work just as well without the ‘properly’ in there?  A CAMPANOLOGIST is a bell-ringer, who would of course be well-acquainted with ropes.

Peculiarly stained Scotsman maybe who lives on an island?
A charade of (STAINED)* and IAN, the cruciverbally famous Scotsman.  Quixote’s at least put in ‘maybe’ to indicate that not all males north of the border are called Ian.  Is it even that common a name in Scotland de nos jours?

Church official is the limit – vicar finally goes under
A charade of VERGE for ‘limit’ and R for the last letter of ‘vicar’.  ‘Goes under’ is the indication to make a charade because it’s a down clue.

King and prophet shortly finding great enjoyment
A charade of R for ‘king’ (Rex) and ELISH for a shortening of the prophet ELISH[A].

10  Key concern for politicians wanting votes in e.g. Birmingham?
A dd.  MIDDLE ENGLAND is the mythical land inhabited by hard-working nuclear families with 2.4 well brought up children and a four-year-old Ford Mondeo, much beloved of papers like The Daily Mail and The Daily Express as well as of politicians.  And Birmingham is in the middle of England.

13  Saints used to wander around without help from others
(SAINTS USED)*  ‘To wander around’ is the anagrind.

15  Outdoor party food item includes meat
An insertion of LAMB for ‘meat’ in CAKE.  ‘A social gathering for eating (esp clams and fish) outdoors’ (SOED).  I’d vaguely heard of it.  Popular in New England apparently.

16  Expecting to show power, having got on the throne
Talking of fish, this was my COD.  The definition is ‘expecting’ and it’s a charade of P for ‘power’ and REGNANT for reigning, ‘on the throne’.

18  How one may take gin to be trendy?
Cue discussion about hyphens or no hyphens (I personally would write ‘She’s really with it’).  The synonym for ‘trendy’ is how you might take your gin, as in ‘gin and it’.

19  Bank not in satisfactory position in London district
I’m pretty sure this is CAMBER[WELL] but would welcome confirmation.  The definition is ‘bank’ and Camberwell is a district in Sarf London.

22  Social event – noble knight had to go
Another smooth surface.  It’s GALA[HAD].  Sir Galahad was one of the Knights of Arthurian legend who went off in search of the Holy Grail.

Thank you to Quixote for a pleasing crossword.  To quote the advert, it does exactly what it says on the tin.

9 Responses to “Independent 7753/Quixote”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks Pierre and Quixote.

    Nice and easygoing puzzle, with elegant surfaces, favourites of which were 6D EAST INDIAN, 26D ADJACENT and 16D PREGNANT.

    I agree you’re spot on (is that with or without a htphen?) with your explanation for 19D CAMBER.

  2. superkiwigirl says:

    Thanks Pierre and Quixote.

    Yes, a gentle start to the week, with lots of entertaining clues, favorite amongst which were DISPATCH and MIDDLE ENGLAND. I misparsed RELISH ( thinking that the prophet was “ELI” and “SH” and abbreviation for “shortly”) so thanks for putting me right on that one, Pierre.

    I’m sure, too, that you’re right about CAMBER (I took it that the omission of “well” was indicated by the words “not” = don’t include “in satisfactory position”)

  3. crypticsue says:

    Very nice but for some reason I did struggle a bit with the SE corner. Thanks Pierre and Quixote.

  4. caretman says:

    Thanks, Pierre, for the blog and explanations, and Quixote for the puzzle.

    For WITH IT vs. WITH-IT, I think that if I were using the expression in a predicative position (as in your example where the adjective appears after a linking verb), I wouldn’t use a hyphen, similar to you. But if it were in the attributive position before a noun (‘What a really with-it sort of person’), I would probably use the hyphen to help in clarity in reading. So I guess either form would be acceptable for me, depending on its position in the sentence.

  5. Bamberger says:

    This less experienced solver found it tougher than last weeks Dac and Phi.

    1a To my mind Distant and Frigid are not the same thing.
    4d I was stumped by the insertion of properly -if it hadn’t been there I might have got the angram material.
    8d I guessed relish but hadn’t heard of elisha.
    15d I guessed lamb and had ?lamba?e. Best I could come up with was flambare , fare being food and hoped that a flambare was some sort of barbeque (flame bare)
    19d Too tough for me. Ran through all the London boroughs I could think of but Camberwell didn’t occur.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Like others, I found this on the easy side and enjoyable. CAMBER was my last answer when I thought of CAMBERWELL. In 4D, I thought that ‘properly prepared’ was all taken together and indicated the anagram. Thanks Quixote and Pierre.

  7. Pierre says:

    Well, four-nil to the Engerland it was.

    Hi Bamberger. You’re getting there, though, so keep going! Practice, practice, practice and all that. I’m often reluctant to put something in the preamble along the lines of ‘this was pretty easy’ because I know that can put off people who genuinely are struggling to complete puzzles like this, but Quixote with a Monday Indy is certainly one of the more accessible crosswords. It’s all there if you look, but if you miss out on one or two, well, check the answers and the blog and store them away for next time.

    Hi nms. The clue works fine, of course, but on the principle of ‘don’t use eleven words where ten will do’, I’ll rest my case.

  8. ele says:

    Thanks Pierre for the excellent blog. Camber was my last one in but I needed the help to get the parsing. I could only think of Camberley, which is a bit far out. This crossword fitted very nicely into a 45 min commute, so the level was just right for me. Last clue put in just as the train was coming into the station. Particularly liked with-it/with it and Middle England (and Pierre’s take on it).

  9. flashling says:

    Thank you Pierre/KD couldn’t quite finish this but now don’t see why, Don does beat more often than I’d like. Mind you I’m still struggling with yesterday’s IOS Glow-worm.

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