Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7756 by Tees

Posted by flashling on August 25th, 2011


Three cheers for Tees today. I’m back after my week off here setting off a few fireworks and many thanks to Eileen for covering for me.


Well a remarkable crossword today – certainly the first time I’ve seen a triple pangram achieved in a 15sq grid, however such a feat has meant that a few rare words are included, but surprising few. Tees has included some sneaky wordplay and some John Halpern like cheekiness.

I notice there’s also a bit of a musical theme in the answers as well from our prog-rock setter.   


1 JIMJAMS JIM + JAMS for packs
11 BARQUE Georges BRAQUE with the R moved along
12 JAZZ JA (yes) + Z(one) * 2
17 EDGEWAYS ED + WE (setters) rev in GAYS (men after men)
24 AFFECT (g)AFFE(r) + CT
27 APPENDAGES PPE (Modern Greats) in AND + AGES
30 EXIT EX + IT (sex)
31 VOLUME Double Definition
32 ROOINEKS Afrikaans for English speakers. [I(nternational) SNOOKER]*
34 SKYLARK SKY (tv)+ LARK. The only link I can think of for job is Vaughn William’s Job/The Lark ascending. Ideas?
3 JACUZZI CU in 12 (JAZZ) + 1
4 MOB-HANDED Cryptic def unless any can see wordplay that’s beyond me.
7 (the) VERVE VERVE(t) a South African monkey
8 ROUNDLY ROUND (fat) + no A in LAY(sexual partner)
10 (Thom) YORKE R in YOKE
14 HOE M(an) removed from HO(m)E
16 LOB DD Lob worm is the bait
18 GLASSWORK G + LASS + WORK (calling as in what’s your calling)
19 AXE EXA(m) rev
21 EXPLOIT Double Definition
22 INN IN +N. A European river
23 SUGAR Suralan Sugar’s catchphrase is You’re fired
26 CLICKER C(aught) + hom Liquor
28 EQUIP (oxbridg)E + QUIP
29 DIEGO DIE(pass on) + GO (success)


13 Responses to “Independent 7756 by Tees”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, is all my brain and body need. References to sex and rock ‘n’ roll featuring prominently, but where were the drugs? Can’t setters come up with a complete theme on a Thursday? Oh, yer, the triple pangram, that must be it.

    I finished this and thought ‘a double pangram; that’s clever’, then got the completion message and thought ‘that’s really clever’. But for me the skill was in providing a crossword like this without filling it with obscurities. I think the last double pangram I saw was in Another Place, and I remember when I was solving it thinking ‘there’s something going off here'; but with this one I had probably three-quarters of it slapped in before I noticed the possibility of a pangram, so bravo to Tees for an outstanding puzzle.

    ROUNDLY and FRESNEL were favourite clues today. Thank you for blogging, flashling.

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, flashling, and also for the display – amazing!

    I’m very glad I wasn’t standing in for you on this one!

  3. superkiwigirl says:

    Thanks for the blog, flashling (and welcome back!)

    I expected a pangram today when kicking off in the north west corner, and it also crossed my mind that the double was on with all the repetitions of unusual letters. As has been said, the triple is a terrific technical achievement, the more so because the surfaces were great and most of the solutions were words in fairly common use (ROOINEKS was the only one with which I wasn’t already familiar I think).

    Your point about job=LARK got me doing some further investigating, flashling. I had it in the back of my mind that in colloquial use I remembered “what’s his lark, then?” meaning “what’s his job?” I couldn’t see this supported though either in the online dictionary of Australasian slang, nor in the Urban Dictionary.

    What I did find though, K’sD, was the answer to your query: according to the Urban Dictionary, a “lark” is “the ultimate high”!

    Thanks indeed Tees for a very entertaining puzzle – I was intrigued when you introduced me to the notion of a lipogram a couple of weeks ago, but a triple pangram is something else altogether!

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I did somehow know ROOINEKS, and it’s an interesting derivation. It’s Afrikaans for ‘red necks’, indicating that the original British settlers with their fair skins would suffer from sunburnt necks. And it made me think of the American term ‘rednecks’, which I think is a derogatory term for people from the south.

    Thanks for finding me my medication for today, superkiwigirl. I’ll go and put the Ian Dury album on in a bit. Still don’t understand SKYLARK though.

  5. superkiwigirl says:

    I don’t want to push the point too far, K’sD, because I might be going off on the wrong tack.

    I see, however, that lists the following amongst its entries for the word “caper” : Collins World English Dictionary , noun (5) “Austral. for a job or occupation (informal)”. This is surely the basis of my earlier thoughts about the word “lark” but maybe it’s not an expression to have made its way to Europe?

  6. Paul B says:

    MOB=Mafia, HANDED=given. Rest is def, running with the ball somewhat.

    HOE is meant to be house minus us, the human race, man.

  7. nmsindy says:

    This was a tremendous achievement. A real pity Mike Laws is not still around because I know he studied the possibilities of pangrams v closely. Not sure if there was every a triple one before. As others have said, the puzzle was still quite solvable with easyish wordplay for the less familiar words and even these were not too obscure, tho that meaning of CLICKER was new to me. The puzzle did not take me longer than normal No problem with ‘lark’, I’d remembered that usage. Thanks for explaining APPENDAGES, I did not get than PPE part. Favourite clues EXIT, ARROWHEADS. Many thanks, flashling and Tees. BTW, I read MOB-HANDED as Mafia (mob), given (handed) with the rest being the definition ie thus etc (in large numbers).

  8. sidey says:

    Lark is a [dated] colloquialism for one’s line of business, or a particular job. “S*d this lark” often heard on building sites.

  9. flashling says:

    Well Paul B turned up but thank you a great effort Tees, suppose I’ve heard the phrase Sod this lark for a game of soldiers.

  10. Tees says:

    Pleasure. Thanks for yr blog Flash, and to all for comments.

    As y’all have observed, the game was about somehow getting the triple pangram in without filling the grid with words that nobody stands a chance of knowing. As to the feat itself, as far as I know the Indy is the first British newspaper to publish one of these as a daily cryptic puzzle.

    It may interest some of you to know that, as a result of the setting, re-setting and editing processes, you were spared VOGUER (an 80s dancer), STAIN’D (a Spenserian/ Shakespearian usage), APOLONKA (a Polish village with a population of 40), and YERVE (a Finnish island with a population of one gnu). To name but a few.

    Cheers, PB.

  11. Allan_C says:

    Not just a triple pangram, but seven answers have a double letter and another nine a repeated letter – and some have two repeated letters. Congratulations, Tees!

  12. Richard says:

    Absolutely brilliant, and a pleasure to solve. Well done indeed!

  13. kloot says:

    This puzzle was really clever and ranks as one of my favourite of the year so far!!

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