Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7795 by Radian

Posted by NealH on October 10th, 2011


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

A very pleasant puzzle themed around the birds and the bees. I got the theme relatively quickly, which meant I was able to make good progress. There was lots of nice inventive stuff on display, 1 across being the best for me because of the way it brought together all the strands of the theme. 23 was also excellent.


1 Wild Oats: (As to)*.
5 Chives: (C) + hives.
9 Reindeer: Ein (German for one) in R + Dee + R (3 rivers).
10 In love: DD/CD (wearing nothing = in + love). Very nice, concise clue.
12 Eagle: I think this is [b]eagle[d]
13 Early Call: DD referring to the early bird catching the worm.
14 Robins: Robins[on].
16 Sporran: &lit. S[mall] p[ouch] + orra (Scottish word meaning irregular) + n(ame).
19 Hangdog: Hang + do + g(overnment).
21 Pin-ups: In think this is in inside pups.
23 Bee eaters: Bee[f]eaters (following = f cut).
25 Drone: Hidden, rev in “been ordered.
26 Redfin: Friend*.
27 Titmouse: (Mites out)*.
28 Shrike: Strike with H instead of T.
29 Snobbery: Ones* around bb + ry.
1 Worker: Row< + K + ER.
2 Lying down: (Long + windy)*.
3 Oldie: Hidden in soldier. Referring to the Oldie magazine.
4 The Bees: E[at] in Thebes. Worker and drone are types of bee and spelling bees are American spelling competitions.
6 Honeymoon: Honey(=darling) + m(ale) + O + on.
7 Viola: DD referring to the flower and the way the musical instrument is played.
8 Spelling: DD.
11 Eros: Sore<.
15 Indian ink: (Kid in an in[n])*.
17 Reproduce: Pro in reduce.
18 The Birds: [Be]eb in thirds.
20 Grey: G + rey (Spanish for king). Referring to Earl Grey.
21 Passion: P[oems] + ossian*.
22 Venery: Never* + [satis]y.
24 Eider: Hidden, reversed in ingredients.
25 Demob: Demo + b[efore].

8 Responses to “Independent 7795 by Radian”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Neal. Unlike you, it took me some time to see the theme, although I don’t know why, because the setter gave you several routes into it. I put in WILD OATS from the enumeration, which should have given me a bit of a clue …

    But once I’d got the birds and bees bit, the rest went in nicely. I think you’re right about EAGLE: the SOED gives ‘to beagle’ as an equivalent of ‘to hunt with hounds’. I keep forgetting ORRA, so couldn’t parse SPORRAN.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Radian for an entertaining puzzle and NealH for the blog.

    12ac: I agree with you and Kathryn’s Dad @1.

    21ac: I agree IN in PUPS: “Cuddly young” gives PUPS, “thINgs essentially” gives IN, and “kept” is the inclusion indicator.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was very good and esp impressive to fit in so many answers related one way or another to the theme. Thanks Radian and NealH.

  4. Lenny says:

    There are not many comments today for what, I thought, was a brilliantly constructed and themed puzzle. It was not very difficult but that gave the solver all the more opportunity to appreciate its elegance. I particularly admired my last one in, Venery. At first glance the definition “The chase” appeared rather tenuous. Then looking at Chambers’ first definition “The pursuit of sexual gratification”, it appeared more reasonable. Then I found Chambers’ second definition (archaic) hunting, game which made it even better.

  5. flashling says:

    Thought this a cracking little puzzle, mostly easy but I did slowdown in the SE, thanks Radian. Got the Birds/Bees theme quickly and like Lenny Venery was last in even if in hindsight the wordplay was obvious, ditto REDFIN.

    Thanks NealH for the blog.

  6. Wil Ransome says:

    What is going on in 25? I can see no connection between fertiliser and drone. There must be one, since nobody has commented on it, and no doubt it’s obvious, but …

    I thought this was rather difficult. People seem to have found it easy, but I didn’t. Not helped by my getting 13ac wrong and then writing two (wrong of course) answers in without knowing what on earth was happening.

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    Will @ 6 – a drone fertilises the queen bees eggs! Enjoyed the puzzle but are still reeling from Saturday’s Inquisitor. Best Saturday afternoon crossword solving for sometime!

  8. Bertandjoyce says:

    Sorry- We both apologise for the missing apostrophe! We disagree on whether that is worse than putting one in where it doesn’t belong.

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