Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7789/Quixote

Posted by Pierre on October 3rd, 2011


After a delightfully sunny weekend, this was a delightfully sunny crossword to start the October puzzles in the Indy.

After last week’s offerings in the Indy, a bit disappointed that Quixote hasn’t given us another pop music theme, but nonetheless, plenty to enjoy here in my opinion.  As the setter pointed out the other week, he’s trying to be reasonably gentle with us in his Monday slot.  That’s the case again today, but with a wide variety of cluing devices, a new word (to me anyway) and some clever constructions.

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


Agent with somewhere to live – flipping smart
A reversal (‘flipping’) of REP and PAD.

African city family has hidden in South Africa
‘Family’ usually leads to ‘clan’ or ‘kin’ and here it’s the latter.  It’s a charade of KIN and S(HAS)A.  ‘Hidden’ is telling you to put the HAS in SA for South Africa.

Massacre with the bits dismembered in large huts
Cleverly disguised anagrind (‘the bits dismembered’).  It’s (LARGE HUTS)*

11  A person given entrance to every dwelling
A charade of A, BOD for ‘person’ and E for the first letter of ‘every’.

12  ‘Third-ager’?  One may have hesitation about Scottish Island
‘Third-ager’ is, as far as I know, a fairly recent introduction to the language.  I know it from the University of the Third Age, or the U3A, which my older sister (a mad-keen cryptic fan who’s part of the reason I’m typing this blog now) was much involved with.  So it’s referring to retired people, and it’s a charade of RE for ‘hesitation about’ (ER reversed) and TIREE for the Scottish Island which features in the ever-hypnotic Shipping Forecast.

13  Head of government permits facility for capital punishment
A simple charade of G and ALLOWS.

14  Poet of unusual delicacy with line – awfully wise too
(DELICACY L)* (WISE)*  Two anagrinds: ‘unusual’ and ‘awfully’.   There’s a link here with 15dn (unintentional on the setter’s part, I’m sure).

17  See bread go bad and lie about, but it’s unlikely to cause environmental pollution?
(BREAD GO BAD LIE)*  ‘About’ is the anagrind.

20  One who has an understanding of vision is brought in by old religious group
Another word for ‘optician’ is an insertion of IS in O CULT.

21  Just Henry in charge, with others all around
I really liked this one: it’s H IC for ‘Henry in charge’ inserted in ET AL for ‘others’ (et alia).  We haven’t had long to wait for this answer to make a reappearance: just last Friday, Phi had ‘Just one sign of inebriation and everyone else comes round’.  Spooky.

23 Hoard money, as you might say
A homophone of ‘cash’ for ‘money’.

24  Vehicle caught by sailor going to port, allowed to go on afterwards
A charade of C for ‘caught’, AB for ‘sailor’, RIO for the setters’ favourite port, and LET for ‘allowed’.

25  Lady excited about what has been provided by her lover proposing audaciously
An alternative for ‘audaciously’ is an insertion (‘about’) of RING in (LADY)*  ‘Excited’ is the anagrind.  Good story-telling surface.

26  Awkward moment in second year
Another insertion: of TICK for ‘moment’, as in ‘just a tick’, in SY for abbreviations for ‘second’ and ‘year’.


Disco’s beginning – is essay put off?
A charade of D for the first letter of ‘disco’, IS and TRACT for ‘essay’.

Small piece of art has incorporated final material
More insertion: it’s LAST for ‘final’ in PIC for an abbreviation of ‘picture’, which would be a ‘small piece of art’.

Man exploiting variations in novel garden
Hidden in novEL GARden.  Edward Elgar, perhaps most famous for his Enigma Variations (including Nimrod, who – in his cruciverbal reincarnation – roughs us up in the Indy once a month).

Rue girl going astray having got braver after suffering upset, say
Definitely my clue of the day.  I guessed that it was IRREGULAR something, but couldn’t see the answer for ages.  It’s another double anagrind: ‘going astray’ and ‘after suffering’.  The anagram fodder is (RUE GIRL)* and (BRAVER)* and the definition is ‘upset’, as an example (‘say’) of an IRREGULAR VERB.  Most English verbs are regular, and follow rules like putting -ed on the end to make the past tense and the past participle: I walk, I walked, I have walked.  But some verbs are irregular, and don’t follow those rules. ‘Upset’, like the verb it’s derived from, ‘set’, is one of them, since it has an unchanged past tense and past participle.  If I write ‘I upset Quixote with my blog’, you don’t know whether I’m doing it now (present tense) or did it last week (past tense). Neither, I hope.  ‘Set’, by the way, is the verb/noun/adjective with the longest entry in the OED – approximately 60,000 words, which is the length of a short novel.

Believed to be in holiday peninsula, having taken let
A charade of SW, for ‘south-west’, a peninsula on which many holiday in the UK, and ALLOWED for ‘let’ (another irregular verb that has an unchanged past tense).

Needing a little time to get excited, not completely passionate
A charade of A, MO (‘a little time’) and ROUS[E].  A clue which is a shade risqué for a Monday morning, if you ask me …

Antagonistic when state is based on most prosperous region?
A balanced puzzle: we’ve had the south-west and now we’ve moved to the south-east.  A charade of AVER for ‘state’ and SE for the Independent Republic of the South-East of England, where all the rich folk live.  It’s grim oop north …

10  Article with a picture about central characters in Health concerned with the healing process
Another good’un.  It’s a charade of THE for ‘article’ and AL for the middle characters in heALth, around (A PICTURE)*.  A multi-faceted clue, but you can’t say you haven’t been pointed clearly in the right direction, with ‘about’ being the anagrind.

15  A nice lad fussed about nothing and less than fully enthusiastic
No, I hadn’t either.  But it had to be an anagram (‘fussed’) of A NICE LAD about O for ‘nothing’.  ‘Lukewarm or half-hearted, especially with respect to religion or politics.’  While looking it up to check whether I was right or not, I discovered that Thomas Hardy wrote a novel called The Laodicean.  I’m fond of Hardy, as it goes, but had never heard of this work.  The Irish poet at 14ac is buried near to Hardy, of whom he was a great admirer, in Stinsford churchyard.

16  Intense enthusiasm is lacking in lazy Tories possibly
(LAZY TOR[I]E[S])*  ‘Possibly’ is the anagrind.

17  Hostile delivery made by big fellow at front door?
A dd.  Cricket and nightclubs.

18  Rural form of transport inadequate – a pain
An adjective describing the countryside is a charade of BU[S] and COLIC, the tummy pain which babies get that prevents new parents from getting any sleep.

19  Laboured on behalf of church, then died
A charade of FOR (‘on behalf of’), CE for ‘church’ and D for ‘died’.  Are ‘forced’ and ‘laboured’ synonymous?  The point was forced/the point was laboured, I suppose.

22  Lift in small house is redundant ultimately
A charade of HO for ‘house’, IS and T for the last letter of ‘redundant’.

Sorry, I seem to have gone on a bit as usual.  But another fine Monday Indy puzzle for less experienced solvers (and bloggers) from Quixote.  Merci.

7 Responses to “Independent 7789/Quixote”

  1. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for the blog, Pierre [you’re working hard today!] and especially for the information about the link between Day-Lewis and Hardy – both favourites of mine. [In fact, I think I’d call 14ac &lit.] I didn’t know of that book, either.

    As usual, Quixote entertains and educates in an enjoyable puzzle.

    One [very minor] quibble is the two appearances of ALLOW [permit / let] in crossing clues 13ac and 6dn.

  2. flashling says:

    15d was a new one to me too but it couldn’t really be anything else. I think you can drop the inexperienced tag as a blogger after a year here Pierre! A nice well constructed puzzle and a great antidote to a manic weekend.

  3. Paul B says:

    That clue may leave us neither hot nor cold. Hur hur.

    I’m sure the Don will be aware that the next answer (to 16D) is something of which Laodiceans could never be accused: but as to Tories and images, Biblical or otherwise, of vomiting out of mouths, is there an Angel of Bullingdon?

  4. Alan Connor says:

    Thanks Pierre: I knew I’d seen ETHICAL recently and remembered the HIC wordplay but not where I’d seen it. Same paper!

    It’s an early contender for the Clue Coincidence of the Week in the blog I write for the Guardian if you don’t mind my highlighting your memory ;o)

  5. Pierre says:

    Hi Alan. I’ve been dipping in and out of your new blog on the Guardian website – well done, it’s interesting stuff, which hopefully will encourage newer solvers to get more involved in the cryptic world. And great that you’re flagging up and commenting on puzzles other than those in the Guardian.

  6. Wil Ransome says:

    One small quibble (in 21ac): ‘et al’ means ‘and others’ so why didn’t Quixote clue it as ‘Just Henry in charge, and others all around’? Not quite such a nice surface perhaps, but not too bad and at least not open to the suggestion that it’s unsound.

  7. Quixote says:

    Thanks for all feedback. I refute the challenge of unsoundness from the last blogger — ‘with’ is a pretty good synonym for ‘and’ here (in my experience, having edited numerous multi-author scientific papers written by one author with lots of others!)and the surface meaning is indeed improved by its usage. The double ‘allow’ though I didn’t notice.

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