Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7761 by Crosophile

Posted by flashling on August 31st, 2011


So it’s Crosophile for me today. I found this mostly straightforward with no obvious Ninas or other setter games being played which is a relief after last week’s Tees.




1 SUPREME BEING One of the Supremes (Diana Ross’s backing singers) + IN in BEG (pray)
10 LACONIC No R(un) in ACO(r)N in (L + I.C.)
11 AT PEACE A(lternative) T(echnology) + hom of PIECE
13 SKYLIGHT Cryptic def
15 DISHCLOTH H(ot) + C(old) in DI’S LOTH
16/17/4d THREE BLIND MICE See 28, TH(e) + BEER rev + [NICE MILD]*
17 See 16  
19 OVERLOADS [SOLVE ROAD]* Nice surface I felt.
21 TIGHTEST TIG (as in you’re IT) + H + TEST
23 GRASS GR(ey) + ASS
26 LIAISON I (electric current) in (NO SAIL) rev
28 NURSERY RHYME RUN rev + S(oda) + RYE* + hom of RIME(ice)
2 URCHINS Street urchins UR (original) + CHINS
3 RENOUNCED OUNCE (cat) in R(ex) + END (butt)
4 See 16  
5 BLACK SHEEP See 28 as in Baa baa black sheep have you any wool…
6 IMPEL (s)IMPLE Simon with end letters swapped (a slight crash)
8 BLAH Hidden reversed in photograpH ALBum
14 NO NONSENSE No W in NSE(w) inside a copy of itself
15 DO BATTLE BAT (club) + T(ense) in DOLE
16 TELEGRAPH Not Vince for once. TELE (box) + GRAPH
18 INGRAIN RAINING with rain moved down
20 ATAVISM T.A. + VIS in A + M
22 TASER S(weeti)E in TAR. Essentially seems superfluous.
24 STEW WETS rev


17 Responses to “Independent 7761 by Crosophile”

  1. Conrad Cork says:

    12 across has 17 syllables, which makes it eligible as a haiku.

  2. Paul B says:

    There’s an orgy in the down unches if you’re interested, Flash.

    Particular faves HAIKU and STEW, nice work all round.

  3. sidey says:

    13 is quite amusing although the answer to the question in the vast majority of cases is ‘No’, unless you count the sky as a view.

  4. nmsindy says:

    This was excellent. Thanks Crosophile and flashling for the blog. With the theme of nursery rhymes taking up quite a few clues, I doubt there would be much room for more Nina activity! The NURSERY RHYME idea I discovered only quite late on – before that it seemed a very hard puzzle indeed. Once I got that, finished quite quickly tho it took me longer than the Indy normally would on average. Favourite clues, LACONIC, SUPREME BEING, SKYLIGHT.

  5. 4across says:

    Thanks for the blog, enjoyed this one just about my level to finish. But while i got 20D from the checking letters not sure i understand the VIS ??

  6. flashling says:

    Thinking again about 20d it’s: AT (engaged)+ A + VIS (strength see + M(ass)

  7. superkiwigirl says:

    Thanks for the helpful blog, flashling, and for an enjoyable solve, Crosophile.

    I took a bit of time to get going here, and even when the puzzle was completed I needed help with the parsing of a few clues (I wasn’t previously aquainted with the game of “TIG” (as opposed to say, “Tag”); the letter “I” as an abbreviation for electric current; nor the German “UR” for original).

    Plenty of nice surfaces, and I especially enjoyed SUPREME BEING, IMPEL and LIAISON.

  8. Bamberger says:

    After an hour of head scratching I gave up with only 23a,8d,22d and the second part of 21a solved.
    I can’t say I particulary like crosswords where clue A refers to clue B and vice versa as in 16/17/4 & 28.
    Laconic, haiku,granger and atavism were all unknown to me
    2d Why does ur=original, please?In any case how many people have come across tatterdemailions?
    13a I’d say this was impossible without checking letters -airship would equally fit.
    21a Tig =it is very hard I think
    14d I could have been given a year to work the wordplay out even with the answer and I wouldn’t have got it.

    Well done all those who solved it unaided.

  9. NealH says:


    2d Ur is a prefix which is used to denote original in phrases like ur-civilisation. It’s not exactly a word, so I suppose you could be justified in questioning it.

    13a The loft-y in 13 down obviously points more towards skylights than aircraft, but I agree it’s tricky. I’ve never been a fan of cryptic defs on the grounds that I tend to look at them and think “that could be just about anything”.

    21a I agree. I was helped by having seen it once before in a crossword. Otherwise, I think I would have been clueless.

    14d I couldn’t quite work this out either, although I did see the “no NSE” bit – the wording just didn’t quite tell me clearly enough to use the same thing again.

    I found this quite tough and couldn’t get going at all until I got the nursery rhyme theme. These sorts of puzzles are very satisfying if you can solve them, but it obviously does require a lot more effort and it’s frustrating if you can’t enough crossing letters to crack the theme.

  10. Cumbrian says:

    I struggled with this one and had to use the check button a few times to confirm or dismiss possible crossing letters. I caused myself no end of problems with the three related clues by solving BLACK SHEEP first and thus being certain that the clues all had something to do with good beer…….. For all I know there is a brewery somewhere producing THREE BLIND MICE, so it wasn’t until I finally got NURSERY RHYME that my thought train shifted and I stopped trying to fit such words as Snecklifter and Hobgoblin into the grid.

    Like others, I couldn’t parse quite a few, including URCHINS and ATAVISM, and I’d never come across the game of “It” or “Tag” being called “Tig”; I suppose if TIG had been clued as a form of arc welding that would’ve been equally obscure?

    Some enjoyable stuff, if rather frustrating overall and a bit beyond my abilities. Thanks Crosophile and Flashling.

  11. pat k says:

    I’m with the strugglers. STRAIGHTFORWARD? Never in a million years. Who’s Diana Ross, and since when has she been the stuff of crosswords?

  12. caretman says:

    Thanks, flashling, for explaining all of those clues I solved but didn’t know why they worked: 21a, 14d, 18d, and 20d. Fortunately, a combination of crossing letters and word lengths made them deducible from the definitions.

    I’m among those who had never heard of ‘Tig’, but since it looked as though 21a had to have the form …HTEST there weren’t a lot of choices to give a synonym of ‘difficult’.

    I got the 16/18/4 fairly early which made 28a easy, but surprisingly 5d was about my last one in. I was as blind as the mice on that one for a long time.

    My favorite clue was 12a with the whole clue as an example of the solution, and I liked 2d. The ‘ur’ prefix is the sort of thing you encounter often in H.P. Lovecraft (for those who enjoy that sort of writing), and tatterdemalion is such a wonderful word to incorporate into one’s vocabulary.

    So thanks to Crosophile as well.

  13. NealH says:

    On tatterdemalians, I think to be fair to Crosophile here, he is not expecting you to know the word. He is inviting you to try to work it out from the wordplay rather than the definition. The criticism would be that by incorporating another obscure word (ur) into the wordplay, it does become doubly difficult. For more experienced solvers, the frequently used association features=chins/noses/brows etc does make it quite gettable even without knowing either of the other words.

  14. Crosophile says:

    Thanks for the blog and all the comments and discussion. Glad some commented on my own favourite, the self-referential HAIKU clue. I still feel I’m learning what goes down well and not so well among Indy sovers so the feedback is very useful.
    @Paul B [#2], the ORGY made a random appearance but, as either GEORGY or PORGY, would have been thematically nice.

  15. flashling says:

    I missed the 17 syllable bit in the haiku whilst doing the blog, very nice touch – annoying really. Seems it was a horses for courses crossword, perhaps I was just lucky seeing Three blind mice early on.

    Cheers Crosophile – I liked it.

  16. Allan_C says:

    A challenging one, but one that yielded to a bit of quiet thought and was eventually finished unaided. Like others I got hung up on the idea that 16/17/4 and 26 would be drinks or related thereto, so after the NURSERY RHYME penny dropped it was a neat twist to find that BLACK SHEEP fell into both categories!

    Whether the game is ‘tig’ or ‘tag’ depends, I guess, on where or maybe when you grew up. For me it was always ‘tig’. Likewise the one who does the chasing may be ‘it’ or ‘on’.

    Favourite? It has to be without doubt, none but twelve across, HAIKU!

  17. redddevil says:

    And was 1 ac deliberately misleading as published on the 14th anniversary of another Diana’s death?

    And as for Pat K at #11 – if you haven’t heard of Diana Ross then what kinfd of singer would you consider well-known enough to appear in a crossword. You should have been here recently when you needed to know Duran Duran lyrics to solve a clue – now that is obscure!

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