Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7772/Tyrus

Posted by John on September 13th, 2011


Phew. This was hard. I laboured over it and only got there in the end after giving up at times and pressing Reveal. If I hadn’t I’d have been up all night and you would never have had a blog.

Many of the clues are very good. And I really have no grounds for complaint when I’ve been moaning at least inwardly, occasionally outwardly, about the endless football and pop music that we seem to get in the Indy. Then Shakespeare comes up and I suppose in a way it’s a refreshing change. The unfortunate thing is that my attitude to Shakespeare is rather similar to that of Carol Vorderman, who can’t quite see what all the fuss is about, so the finer points of this crossword were lost on me; at least they would have been if I’d understood it in the first place.

1 GOLFER — referring to Luke Donald the golfer — (re flog)rev.
5 DUB{lin} IOU’S
9 A (WAR) D
10 ANTIHERO — (1 no heart)*
11 RALLYING — 2 defs
12 LALANG — (all)* (nag)* — a grass of which I’d never heard
13 HIE — “high”
14 STAYS PUT — stay’s (tup)rev.
17 AMAZ{e} ON — sorry to be so dim but really I don’t know what on earth Hamlet has to do with an amazon, and if you google this all you seem to get is a whole lot of references to the online bookseller
18 EYEFUL — “Eiffel” — Lovely is a noun
20 EXERCISE — ex = late, lin{e}, (cries)*
22 ISM{ad}
23 HAMLET — not sure here: the poor player is a ham, but surely the other three letters aren’t simply found in the word ‘tolerated': presumably it’s let{?}, but … — and what does it actually mean? Is it saying that if a poor player plays the part of Hamlet it’s hardly tolerated?
24 IRON LADY — an almost complete mystery to me: lad = youngster and professed ignorance = irony, which at a stretch it is, but where the iron lady comes in I can’t see at all
27 GERTRUDE — who I assume appears in Hamlet, and Gert = “girt”, with ‘State’ the homophone indicator, and rude = lamented, neither of which pass muster in my book, so perhaps it’s something quite different which I haven’t seen
30 TOY BOY — but goodness knows why
2 OBAMA — (Mao)rev. about b{oard} a
3/15/28 FRAILTY THY NAME IS WOMAN — from Hamlet — I think that what’s going on is that it’s (Tart’s infamy why I’m alone)* and the anagram indicator is ‘better’, and the words in the clue are a poor version of what Hamlet expressed better
4 RADI{o} 1
5 D{is t}RAUGHT
6 B ATTLE{e} AXE — and the battleaxe proves Hamlet wrong …
7 OPHELIA — yet another that I don’t understand, although I do realise that Ophelia was a woman in Hamlet: how we get from ‘Bob’s head dropped’ to ‘Ophe’ I can’t see: the last three letters are (ail)rev.
8 STRENUOUS — (use{d} to runs)*
16 POLITBURO — (our top Lib)*
19 FELT TIP — tip = upset, felt = experienced
20 EMINENT — (meetin{g})* round {statio}n
21 CALUMNY — Calum is Calum Best, NY is the state in America
25 OFWAT — “off, what?”
26 senDING-Off — Australian slang for a cheat or coward, according to Chambers

20 Responses to “Independent 7772/Tyrus”

  1. Michael Callaghan says:

    7d [Bob] Hope gives us ophe if the H is moved down (head dropped).

    30a Cougar is a slang term for an older woman who tours clubs to pick up younger men.

    Battle axe, iron lady (Margaret Thatcher) and Amazon are all examples of women who are far from frail and therefore prove Hamlet wrong.

  2. Thomas99 says:

    I thought this was a superb crossword. Great surfaces, including some &lits (10a, 23a) and brilliantly innovative use of a familiar theme. Also it was just about obscure enough on the knowledge front without overdoing it – Calum Best, Luke Donald, Bob Hope etc. were just about there in my memory but I had to dig for them.

    PS. I don’t think lovely is a noun in 18, as it’s “lovely 28″ i.e. “lovely woman”.

    Doing crosswords at night drives me mad, by the way. I don’t envy you staying up to do a blog, John! Mornings are far better.

  3. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for all your labours, John. I’m just sorry you didn’t enjoy it!

    I agree with Thomas99. It was a struggle – but a very rewarding one. I didn’t know the golfer, so thanks for that. And thanks to Michael for the meaning of cougar – that definition hasn’t reached Collins or Chambers [although it might be in the new one!]

    I don’t really understand your unhappiness with GERTRUDE: State [homophone indicator]: GERT [‘girt’ – surrounded] RUDE [‘rued’ – lamented] works for me.

    Very many thanks to Tyrus for getting my brain in gear in such an enjoyable way!

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Quixote commented yesterday that his Monday puzzles are meant to be at the easier end of the solving scale, but that those who wanted more of a challenge would be catered for elsewhere in the week. I think this probably fell into that category, and I struggled to get even half of it done. Couldn’t see HAMLET; not that familiar with the play; and the difficulty level of the non-themed clues meant I was never going to get anywhere fast. Ho hum.

    TOY BOY was my first one in, though; not sure if that says anything about me.

  5. hounddog says:

    In 23a ‘tolerated’ gives ‘let’ and ‘in part’ simply means a part in the play.

  6. nmsindy says:

    This was a very well-integrated puzzle. I too found it very tough even though I got HAMLET very early on. I also did not understand the ‘cougar’ reference. GOLFER was very tough too and was my last answer. Many thanks to Tyrus for the puzzle and John for the blog.

  7. Wanderer says:

    Failed on GOLFER! Just couldn’t see it. Which means I have yet to finish my first ever Tyrus. Aaagh! But I’m getting there, and this was certainly more accessible to me than AFC Wimbledon — I got nowhere with that one.

    I also found this a superb puzzle, very tough and very enjoyable. The theme eluded me for ages and was beautifully handled, and many non-themed clues also made me smile (OBAMA, POLITBURO).

    Bring it on Tyrus, I have you in my sights and will surely finish one of your monstrously difficult puzzles one day!

    Many thanks to blogger and setter.

  8. flashling says:

    Good gods what a struggle, glad I didn’t cop this one, my previous rusty*(s) I got OK, somehow I dredged up 3d. Still don’t quite get the irony bit in 24. Well done John, this was a Tough with a capital T

  9. Eileen says:

    Hi flashling

    I think this

    explains [dramatic] irony quite well.

    We could say that, in view of the examples of AMAZON, IRON LADY and BATTLE-AXE, Hamlet’s remark at 3/15/28 is an example of it!

  10. flashling says:

    Still not happy about 1ac, really eg donald is the definition?? not good tbh, donald could be so many things/people. Tyrus comes up with some great stuff but I think this one’s just poor. Name a golfer? you wouldn’t come up with him. Well as a non golfer I wouldn’t. Bah humbug :-)

  11. malc95 says:

    Hi flashling @10.

    I’m not a golfer either, but I’ve heard of Luke Donald – as far as I know he is still world no.1, and he’s British!

  12. NealH says:

    I’d be more critical of Calum than Donald. At least, Luke Donald is a famous golfer with quite a lot of achievements rather than someone who is just famous for being George Best’s son and a few reality TV appearances.

    I often don’t attempt Tyrus puzzles and this reminds me why. I got there in the end, but it took a ridiculous amount of time. With a better knowledge of Hamlet, I might have finished more quickly, which is why these sort of puzzles are quite frustrating for the less classically educated of us. Still, it was actually quite a neat idea when you finally understood what was going on.

    I had actually heard of cougar (there was an American series called Cougar Town), but didn’t think it was mainstream enough yet to have made it to a puzzle. Wrong as usual!

  13. Tramp says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one.

    I love the use of Donald, Cougar and Calum Best. Favourite clues are GOLFER, OBAMA, ANTIHERO, RADII, EYEFUL and POLITBURO. The best penny-dropping moment for me was the beautifully simple “Upset by experienced writer”.

    I have to confess at Googling “Hamlet woman” for the quote. I knew it was an anagram but, and I’m ashamed to say it, I haven’t read any literature since I left school (only Statistics, Wagner and crossword books)!

  14. James says:

    My first ever Independent Crossword. A bit to easy for me. Do they get harder ?

  15. amulk says:

    appalling puzzle. too many ridiculous clues to mention. remind me never to look at another tyrus again.

  16. John says:

    Yes of course it’s lovely 28, i’e. lovely woman, thanks Thomas99 (by the way I suspect I won’t be following your no doubt very sound advice to go to bed earlier) and yes Eileen I missed that it was rude = “rued”. By the time I was blogging these clues my head was swimming. Had never heard of this meaning of cougar and don’t think much of the clue, which is in my opinion a rather weak CD. And ‘Say, Donald’ for golfer seems quite OK, as mentioned by NealH and malc95 far better than Calum = Best. After all he is the world no. 1, not some journeyman.

    Rather feeble of me not to see what it was all about, this idea of strong/frail women.

  17. John says:

    Likewise Bob = Hope — very obscure I think and one of the last Bobs you would think of.

    Of course I should have written i.e. not i’e. Must use the Preview facility.

  18. Tyrus says:

    Thanks for the blog and comments. Sorry if it proved too difficult for some but well done to those who finished.

    I agree Calum Best’s ‘achievements’ don’t match those of Luke Donald but I don’t think that should disbar him from the crossword. And was Bob Hope really a very obscure comedian?

  19. John H says:


    That’s no attitude, is it?

    If you’re up for it, name them, there are obviously quite a lot. I’m ready.

    Some of you guys…

  20. Lenny says:

    No-one will be reading this as I am a few days behind in my solving. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this and, dare I say it?, I found it quite easy compared with previous Tyrus puzzles that I have failed on. I loved the Hamlet wronged theme. There were three unknowns to me: Donald, which is my fault because he is currently the world No 1 golfer; Calum, who is obscure but the answer had to be Calumny and Lalang, which I had never heard of but was easily gettable from the wordplay. So thanks to Tyrus for a very entertaining and very accessible puzzle.

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