Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1131/Poins

Posted by Pierre on October 23rd, 2011


I found this quite a tough puzzle from Poins, but I didn’t help myself by initially entering a couple of wrong answers.  That could be because I decided to tackle it with a full tummy and glass of red after Sunday lunch rather than with a cup of coffee after Sunday breakfast.  Any road up, I’m interested to see what other solvers made of it.



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


Girl involves most of cast in stitch up
SUE is the girl, and TUR for most of TURN, or ‘cast’, is the insertion.  ‘Turn’ and ‘cast’ are pretty remote synonyms, aren’t they?

Unfriendly measures lead to loss of confidence
A charade of COLD for ‘unfriendly’ and FEET for ‘measures’.

10  Article on King George taking drugs reportedly intended to create understanding
A multi-part, but clearly indicated, charade: it’s A for ‘article’ plus GR for ‘George Rex’ plus EE for two doses of Ecstasy plus MENT for a homophone (‘reportedly’) of ‘meant’.

11 Scrap books returned to collection earlier
Nice surface; hard clue imho, despite the unusual enumeration, with the key being to separate out the first two words of the clue.  The definition is ‘scrap’ in the sense of ‘fight’ and it’s TO for OT (Old Testament) reversed after SET for ‘collection’.

12  Bottom’s dog
No Shakespearean weavers this morning.  A dd, with the nounal and verbal senses of ‘tail’ in evidence.

13  It’s lawful to run away with a friend
I’m sure it’s been done before, but I liked this one lots.  A charade of LEG IT for ‘run away’ and I MATE for ‘a friend’.

15  Former military leader found in River Test
I’m going to choose this one as my favourite today.  Poins is asking you to insert AMIN, the former despotic Ugandan military leader, in EXE, the river.

16  Hard to get Mark to church
A charade of SCAR for ‘mark’ and CE for ‘church’.  If something’s ‘hard to get’, it’s SCARCE.

19  Slacken by end of race after initially running a fast time
‘Slacken’ is the definition; it’s LENT for ‘a fast time’ after R for the first letter of ‘running’ and E for the last letter of ‘race’.  Excellent surface reading.

21  Everyone is in favour of this form of transport
This is an insertion (‘in’) of ALL for ‘everyone’ in BOON for ‘favour’.  I think.

23  Fickle Conservative spotted in a moment
I put in TRANSITORY initially, for no good reason other than ‘Conservative’ triggered the TORY bit.  That was pants, of course: it’s CON in INSTANT.

25  Essential to curb earl’s support
Hidden in curB EARl’s.  ‘Essential’ is telling you that it’s in the middle of the two words.

27  It’s a code word for ‘excellent’
For me a ‘hmmm’ clue.  BRAVO is the word in the phonetic alphabet to indicate the letter B; and ‘Bravo!’ means ‘Well done!’, or (I suppose) ‘Excellent!’  An exclamation mark in the clue might have made it a bit more apparent.

28  Cover for the retired
When I had a couple of crossing letters I confidently slapped in EIDERDOWN.  Which meant I was knackered in the SE corner for a bit.  It’s a cd.

29  A number refuse to accept protecting the Head of Charterhouse shows bias
A charade of TEN, plus an insertion of C for the first letter of Charterhouse in DENY for ‘refuse to accept’.  Jeremy Paxman is one of the public school’s alumni.  I always had him down as a grammar school boy made good, but evidently not.

30  Opportunity for revolutionary to embrace a South African political party
Two well-aired cryptic references: ANC for ‘African National Congress’ in CHE for Señor Guevara.


Surprised when Dawn went first
A charade of START and LED.

Miner injured in gallery gets cut off
An insertion of (MINER)* in TATE, the well-known cruciverbal gallery.

Revolutionary bishop ejected from dance
Poins is asking you to remove B for ‘bishop’ from REBEL, to leave you with the (mainly Scottish) dance.  My only problem with clues like this one is that it works just as well the other way round: I spent some time trying to find a word for ‘revolutionary’ by taking B out of a type of dance.

University model suitable to be assimilated by large business organisations
I sussed the OUT???S bit quickly, but took some time to get to the final answer.  It’s an insertion of U for ‘university’, T for ‘model’ T Ford and FIT for ‘suitable’ in OS, ‘outsize’, for ‘large’.

Disgraceful when Dicky spied on a cabinet minister
A charade of (SPIED)* and CABLE.  ‘Dicky’ is the anagrind and John Vincent CABLE is the cabinet minister.  He is a grammar school boy made good.

It’s not strictly necessary for a spear-carrier
A dd.  The clue relies on two definitions of EXTRA, the second being the film-related one, where people with no acting talent get the gig for standing around for hours before appearing for three seconds in a major movie. I presumed ‘spear-carrier’ referred to epics like Ben-Hur where they needed lots of extras, but on checking I find it’s a term for ‘a minor acting part’.

Story broadcast about English commune
The French commune is the capital of the département of Aube as well as being (STORY E)*  ‘Broadcast’ is the anagrind.

Soldiers carrying spades seen by girl’s grave
Since it’s a down clue, this is RE for Royal Engineers or ‘soldiers’ carrying S for ‘spades’ and EVE for ‘girl’.

14  Sort of animal pit discovered after a time
I struggled to get this, and when I had some crossing letters, resorted to a wordsearch and entered HIBERNACLE, ‘a place where an animal hibernates’, since ‘pit’ is ‘bed’.  That has naff all to do with the subsidiary indication, of course: in fact it’s PIG for ‘animal’, HOLE for ‘pit’ with the insertion of EON for ‘time’.  My feeble excuse is that I’d write PIGEON-HOLE with a hyphen, so the enumeration put me off …

17  Stop working when circus employee catches nasty dose
An insertion of (DOSE)* in CLOWN.  ‘Nasty’ is the anagrind.

18  Managed to get extremely competitive after hospital department’s opening
Fine surface.  ENT is the hospital Ear, Nose and Throat department; then you’ve got RAN for ‘managed’ and CE for the first and last letters of ‘competitive’.

20  Requiring unusual strength to turn it – I can’t
(IT I CAN’T)*  ‘To turn’ is the anagrind.

21  Kind of government found in African country
Another really good, misleading surface.  The definition is ‘kind’ and it’s an insertion of G in BENIN.

22  It’s no longer needed to complete a sentence
A cd, but not a great one in my opinion.  We might have given up on hanging as a form of capital punishment in this country, but there’s still plenty of it going on elsewhere.

24  Drink at home with Bond
A charade of CHA for tea, ‘drink’ and IN for ‘at home’.

26  Desire causes a fascinating woman to lose her head

Many thanks to Poins for an enjoyable Sunday Prize Puzzle.

4 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1131/Poins”

  1. flashling says:

    Hi Pierre, didn’t do this as was too busy doing Dean’s Sunday Times, have to agree with you about 1ac and I’d have gone straight for Eiderdown too. Like Benign, great clue.

  2. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Pierre and Poins.

    There don’t seem to be many people around today – is it some kind of holiday over there?

    For what it’s worth, 14d was my last in, and only after cheating to reveal the PIG!

    As you say, there are some very good surfaces here, and I didn’t have the trouble you did with entering wrong answers – an advantage of solving on-line :)

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi Pierre – and thanks for the blog.

    As Stella says, it’s a bit quiet here – but that seems to be the way with weekend blogs.

    I wasn’r beguiled [this time] by ‘eiderdown’ because I’ve seen NIGHTGOWN [more than once] before.

    Re 1ac: the only way I could see turn = cast was in an expression like ‘cast your eye’ – but I don’t like it much.

  4. sidey says:

    Turn out, cast out, fairly close.

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