Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7759 by Morph

Posted by NealH on August 29th, 2011


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

Morph is becoming almost as regular on Mondays as Quixote and the clues are always of a high standard with good, often very topical surface readings. I found this mostly on the easy side with slightly more hidden word definitions than is usual. I was held up for a while by the parsing of 2 down, where the idea of equating arse with behind escaped me for ages, possibly because of its rudeness. I also took a while to get 5 and 6 – 5 because it was quite a tricky definition and 6 because my mind doesn’t turn as readily to football as some people’s.

1 May Bug: May(=can) + bug(=be bothersome).
5 Legalese: Gales in lee (lee meaning out of the storm so an unusual, if not logically impossible, place to be in a storm). In camera is a legal term, meaning “in secret”.
9 Asia: Hidden, reversed in “China is arable.
10 Esplanade: Hidden in beaches plan a designer.
11 Niche Marketing: “German kitchen I”. Displayed seems a bit questionable as an anagram indicator, but I suppose that it could be thought of in the “shop display” sense of an arrangement of items.
12 Scathing: [Acrimoniou]s + ca (=about) + thing(=affair).
14 Convex: Con + vex.
16 Glad of: Flag* around do.
18 Obsolete: (boot + s[t]eel)*.
20 Battery Charger: Battery(=two or more pieces of artillery, hence elements of artillery) + Charger (=cavalry horse).
23 Bandicoot: Band + i + coot (an aquatic bird, therefore egg-laying).
24 Ta-ta: Def = goodbye + two cryptic defs. Thankyou = ta twice + middle letters of “not at all”.
25 Fried egg: (Fig + greed)*.
26 Crease: A lovely &lit. Cease around r(uns).
2 Arsenical: NI = (News International) with behind (=arse) previously (i.e. in front) + cal[l] (= phone hacked). Another good topical one, which I think must have been written after the scandal broke.
3 Bias cut: Biscuit with the wrong one (a replacing the second i) in the wrong place (i.e. moved to the third letter).
4 Grebe: Hidden in resigning Rebekah. Another News International dig, referring of course to Rebekah Wade.
5 Lapsang Souchong: Lap + sang song (= delivered ballad) around ouch.
6 Goal Kicks: Goal(=target) + kicks(=pleasure). Referring to former England goalkeeper, David Seaman.
7 Leant on: Lean + ton.
8 Sheen: She + EN (enrolled nurse).
13 Infertile: Infer + tile (tile being made of baked clay).
15 Enteritis: Enter it (=vermouth as in “gin and it”) + is.
17 Detente: “De-tent” + e[vidence].
19 Legatee: A in leg and tee.
21 Amber: Am(erican) + Ber[lin]. Def=”about to turn red”.
22 Attic: Hidden, reversed in deficit tax. Another good topical clue, although sadly rather the opposite of reality since the Greeks seem to be decidedly unenthusiastic about paying taxes.

5 Responses to “Independent 7759 by Morph”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I really enjoyed this one – just right for a lazy bank holiday morning.

    Morph is very often politically topical and I loved the News of the Screws references here. I thought LEGATEE and LEGALESE were cleverly clued but there was plenty to enjoy elsewhere too.

    If I well remember Morph’s football allegiance, and given the events at Old Trafford yesterday, it would perhaps be cruel to mention that David Seaman was also Arsenal’s goalkeeper for many years … Never mind, he can always turn to the crossword editor for sympathy.

    Fine puzzle; thanks for blogging it, Neal.

  2. Lenny says:

    Thanks Neil. There was a lot to enjoy here from Morph, particularly the digs at the News of the World. There were plenty of hidden words to get started on but the clues to Esplanade and Grebe were of high quality. I also liked the clues to Enteritis and the triply-defined Ta-ta. I was also grateful for the clear wordplay for Lapsang Souchong that enabled me to spell it correctly.

    I struggled with my last three. Bias cut was difficult to get, even if you immediately think of the biscuit meaning of Hobnob. The wordplay of Legalese was very tricky. In Goal-kicks, ex-goalkeeper David Seaman was a bit of an anachronism for a setter who obviously prides himself on his topical references

  3. Wil Ransome says:

    Never got BIAS-CUT as I’d never heard of it (but I’m sure should have). I went to electronic aids and the only thing offered was the incomprehensible bear-cat, so I stuck it in and hoped for the best.

    Mostly a fairly easy crossword, but a very good one. Morph has had a tendency to prolixity in the past, but here he was nicely concise.

    I agree with NealH — displayed seems a bit questionable as an anagram indicator.

    In the blog the answer for 17dn seems odd.

  4. Allan_C says:

    Never got LEGALESE or GOAL KICKS, though I guessed the second word of the latter was ‘kicks’. Otherwise a fairly straightforward solve with one or two answers which only came after some thought, e.g BIAS-CUT.

    A typo in the blog, I think, for 17d – should be DETENTE, as the explanation makes clear.

  5. Morph says:

    Thanks everyone. We wrestled a bit with News International = NI, which is not in the dictionaries but of course widespread in news coverage – and doesn’t seem to have caused problems.
    As Kathryn’s dad predicts, I don’t really want to discuss football at the moment, but re Lenny’s point, I can’t even spell Szczeczczszny, never mind work it into a clue!

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