Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7809 by Crosophile

Posted by flashling on October 26th, 2011


Crosophile reappears to give Dac a rest, only just done one from him in Sunday’s Independent of 3 days ago but I don’t think that’s giving too much away on that one, yesterday Quixote was having a little moan about 2/5 checking but there’s none of that today.

Well the Indy really has gone to the dogs today with several dog breeds scattered around the grid but as ever it’s also a pangram however the obscure word count is thankfully low as it should be.  Midnight oil again as it’s that time of time of year for the whizz bang stuff. Will try to check in now and again though.  [Edited after various comments, thanks]                                                                                                            


1 EXCUSE ME EX + Cu + M(urdoch) in SEE rev extra edit oops no libel meant but I wrote Murdoch as Murcoch and any homonym  watchers, well other lawyers it was just a typo honest.
5 HICCUP C(aught) + Cu (again…) in HIP. I was wondering at this stage whether it would be about police or coins.
10 CHEER CHEE(k) + R (take from prescriptions)
11 SET SQUARE R in harried [requests a]*
12 PEKINGESE No A in Pe(a)king + hom ease. I thought the dog didn’t have a g but it seems it can be either.
13 ILEUS Hidden in (wh)ILE US(ing)
14 WHEEZY U.S. (Obama’s) Z (zee) rev in WHY
15 STIRRUP R(adius) in STIR UP
20 FRIDAY Man Friday FRI(e)D losing energy + AY
22 SEPIA 1 in APES rev
24 RED SETTER Red sky at night and all that
25 RETRIEVER RET (to soak in a liquid) + base e in RIVER
26 EJECT No O (ball) in [J(o)E ETC]*
27 POODLE D(irector) in POOLE
1 ESCAPE The keyboard key that’s usually top left.
2 CLERKSHIP Dotty [LICKS HER]* + (stam)P
3 SPRINGER SPANIEL SPRING (slinky a toy from my childhood) + N and IE in plastic [PEARLS]*
6 INQUISITIVENESS [(r)evisitin(g)]* in INQUES(t) + S(abbath). For some reason I found the wordplay tricky here.
9 STRESS S(pecial) + TRESS
16 ROAST BEEF OAST (oven) + B(asil) in REEF (to roll a sail)
19 STRIVE R(iver) in docked ST IVE(s) more doggies stuff–
20 FEDERAL FED (passed ball) + REAL*
21 BRUTAL RUT in B(ook) + AL “Rottweiler Politics”
23 PATIO Cryptic Def Edit and hidden in anticiPATIOn


19 Responses to “Independent 7809 by Crosophile”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Many thanks, flashling – you have been burning the midnight oil.

    Fine puzzle, on the hard side I thought, with several where I needed your explanations. I’m not a dog person, but they were all pretty well known breeds. I thought PATIO was a really clever clue. Not sure how Rottweiler and BRUTAL are related, unless I’m missing something.

    And I don’t understand the SPRING bit in SPRINGER SPANIEL, if someone doesn’t mind explaining.

  2. flashling says:

    @K’sD see here

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, flashling – see it now. Bit obscure maybe, but the answer couldn’t be much else.

  4. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Crosophile for a nice puzzle and flashling for the blog.

    12ac: I think this is PE[a]KING plus homophone of EASE. That is the only way I can account for “without a” in the clue.

    13ac: Nice fair clue for an obscure word.

    1dn: Last in for me and I guessed it so thanks flashling for the explanation.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Thamks, flashling and Crosophile. Not a dog person either, but had no trouble working out the breeds, which as someone said are all pretty well-known. About average in difficulty for the Indy. Favourite clues, FRIDAY, SEPIA. One or two other points – I think PATIO is also hidden in anticipation and refers (I think) to a barbeque from down under but I would not swear to that. I think the ‘brutal’ = rottweiler refers to a rottweiler being an aggressive person. I also agree with PB @4, that peaking is what is intended to be referred to in 12A.

  6. Pelham Barton says:

    nmsindy@5: I agree with you about PATIO as hidden in anticiPATIOn.

  7. Thomas99 says:

    Re Slinky (3d) – possibly only easy for Brits. It’s certainly still current enough for stand-up comedians to refer to it. Only a few nights ago Milton Jones was on TV saying his wife had been wearing this slinky number – but it only really worked when she was going downstairs… Eddie Izzard also did a very odd version of a Christian parable in which a rich man gives 7 of his sons riches, land etc. and the 8th only a tangled slinky.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Yes, that’s definitely how I saw PATIO, which was why I liked it.

  9. PeterO says:

    Crosophile is new to me; he seems to have an interesting style, with a penchant for misleading word order (13A’s ‘while using bottles’ etc), and a tolerance for little superfluous words (‘by’ in 1D -which is of course a double definition, which you did not actually mention). Thanks to him, and to you for the blog. The analysis of 1A has an extraneous “rev”, and in 11A the R is already part of the anagram; I took the ‘thats right’ to be part of the definition (right as in angle).
    I’m definitely not happy with AIRS for ‘posing’ in 17D on grammatical grounds. I was surprised at the use of ‘set’ as an inclusion indicator in 15A, but the setting of a jewel seems to fit. Set again appears in 24A, here referring to the freezing of a pointer dog when it detects game. I am puzzled by the word ‘partly’ in the clue. Does it refer to dog breeding? If so, it would need someone who knows more of the subject than I do to give a definitive answer, but it does not look right to me.

  10. flashling says:

    Hmm doing blog late at night after a few is probably a bad idea it seems, thanks for the corrections and good spot on PATIO NMS – i missed that entirely.

  11. Thomas99 says:

    Re 17d I can see some might not think “airs” is quite the same as “posing” but I don’t see any objection on grammatical grounds. “Posing” is the gerund, the nounal form of the verb, so it can certainly stand in for another noun. It’s true you talk about “putting on airs” and probably not “putting on posing” but it is the same part of speech and means much the same thing. “What do you object to about him?” “Oh, his posing – so pretentious”/”Oh, his airs – so pretentious” – they’re very similar. Certainly a sound clue for me.
    Re 15a – the question is whether “set” works in the plural. I’ve seen it used quite often though. Here the words for “provide a spur to”, i.e. “stir up”, set – provide a setting for – “r”. But some people think only “sets” makes sense in the cryptic reading. I tend to disagree but a strict Ximenean probably wouldn’t.
    Re 24a – I’ve no idea what the “freezing” of a pointer has to do with it. The clue says that a Red Setter may be partly a Pointer, which from a look at wikipedia appears to be right. And the other reading is of course “Red sky at night [i.e. sun red when it sets], shepherd’s delight
    [i.e. good weather tomorrow]”.

    I share your concern about “by” in 1d. When I solved it I thought “by” was part of the definition, because I thought the housing of a bolt was called the escape. It seems I was imagining things. I can’t believe Crosophile would use a totally superflous word, so I’m a bit confused about that one.

  12. Pelham Barton says:

    Thomas99 @11:

    17dn: I agree with everything you say.

    15ac: If you take “set” as past tense it works with a singular subject, which is good enough for this self-styled purist.

  13. Wil Ransome says:

    That ‘by’ in 1dn, which seems to be superfluous and is I think just a rather bad link-word made me look back at the clues, many of which have similar tiny prepositions which are used as link-words. Some people would call them padding:
    ‘for’ in 12ac; ‘for’ in 22ac; ‘of’ in 27ac; ‘by’ in 1dn; ‘for’ in 2dn; ‘in’ in 17dn; ‘when’ or ‘when playing’ in 20dn.

    There may be others I’ve missed, and there may be a perfectly good reason for their existence which I’ve also missed; these are all acceptable I think, but arguably less than elegant.

    Otherwise, a good crossword, although I agree with the criticism of ‘airs’=’posing'; it may be justifiable grammatically, but it seems wrong.

  14. Paul B says:

    Although, to be fair, it can ‘seem’ as wrong as it likes – so long as it isn’t.

  15. flashling says:

    So link words are bad unless done by Dac when it’s a great surface? (not really aimed at you Wil :-)).
    Re PeterO’s comment about 1d being a DD aren’t most clues really – a definition and a cryptic in some way definition. Oh well now I need an earlyish night as job interview tomorrow

  16. Allan_C says:

    Another of those crosswords where several of the answers “can only be ….” but I need the blog to follow the wordplay (and frequently then have an “of course” moment).

  17. flashling says:

    Sorry Allan_C, the problem being, how overt do we make these blogs? It’s like explaining a joke. I tend to go for the well that’s obvious now to me without the grandmother egg sucking.

    The biggest issue for bloggers though is we have to solve and then write it up, this takes some time. A question I’ve asked before but not had answered is how the lurkers want us to do this.

    I’d like Gaufrid to do a poll on the level of solving we provide.

  18. Allan_C says:

    Flashling @17. My comment wasn’t a criticism of the blog – far from it, it was fine. What I meant was that in solving the crossword I got some answers because they could hardly be anything else and I needed the blog to explain them – which it did admirably. And when I saw the explanations some of them were so simple I wondered why they hadn’t occurred to me.
    Not really a criticism of the crossword or the setter either; just a comment on my own slowness.

  19. crosophile says:

    I was incommunicado yesterday so herewith my belated thanks to Flashling and all the rest of you for what I found a particularly interesting discussion. I don’t think there are now any unresolved lose ends.

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