Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7834/Mordred

Posted by John on November 24th, 2011


A good crossword from Mordred today, although there was in my opinion too much checking of less than 50%, including two of the dreaded 2 out of 5s. Otherwise nothing very controversial I think.

I can see JACKSON in some unches going across, and POLLOCK is an answer, but what the puzzle has to do with him I can’t see.

1 DE PICT{ures} — only a day or two ago on Times for the Times someone was questioning whether ‘de’ (rather than ‘du’ etc) was all right for ‘of French’, and it was pointed out that there is some way in which it is OK — or perhaps it was the other way round, not sure, can’t now find it
4 JURA (S) SIC — a very easy clue with the reference to Spielberg’s park
10 DEEP SEA — ({m}a{K}e speed)rev.
11 TAMBOUR — (rumba to)*
12 yogiC HINdus
13 RE CRUDE SC {du}E — I think, and not a word that I knew very well
15 ICE B{ruise} A G — to zap is to ice (US criminal slang) and an ice bag can be used as a cold compress; but is an ice bag a cold compress?
16 POL{e} LOCK — to decaudate is to cut off the tail
20 STATION — 2 defs
21 COUNT {gentr}Y
26 I (NT) 0
28 SETTLER — (letters)*
29 CHOMSKY — Critic Having Opposed, then VietnaM aS ranK follY — good &lit. — this is all true, referring to Noam Chomsky — there is no indication of where the initially ends and the ultimately starts, but that’s all part of the game I suppose
31 DEADLY — d (delay)*, or (d delay)*, take your pick
2 PRESIDENT — (tripe ends)*
3 CASH — ready is another word for cash, but I’m not sure about the rest: is this cash and carry, or a reference to these two?
5 ULTERIOR — (u{g}l{y} rioter)*
6 ARMADILLOS — arm a (so(l)lid)rev. — this took me a while to parse as I was thinking that OS was large
7 STOPS — (spots)rev.
8 CARTER — same remark as the one for 3 — but isn’t it a bit unkind to say that 3 is related to 8 and when you look at 8 you simply see that it is related to 3?
14 EAST ANGLIA — east is the point, and this refers to the Ford Anglia — which will be well-remembered by people of a certain age — I suppose that East Anglia is somewhere south of the Wash (The Wash not the Wash?) because it is, but so is Cardiff — however Mordred couldn’t really have said ‘somewhere south-east of The Wash’
17 CANONISED — canon (dies)*
18 DO C{opy} T{hroughout} ORAL
19 SYNONYMY — cd — state, nation and people are synonyms, which is what I initially thought the answer was
22 JIGSAW — (j{udge} wag is)*
23 {knick-}KNACK
25 PETER — I knew that a peter was a safe, but was unaware that it is also a play in whist
27 HOLE — 2 defs as in well-hole and the pocket on a snooker table

18 Responses to “Independent 7834/Mordred”

  1. flashling says:

    Thanks John, ugh 13 recrudesce is certainly a new one on me, failed to get that or understand the 3/8 link.

  2. Thomas99 says:

    I like clues that “need” each other like 3 and 8 – I just had a problem remembering what she was called! The Spectator crossword almost always has unclued lights referring to each other and you really do feel a bit like Inspector Morse if you can find the connection and crack the puzzle. 19’s a pretty smart &lit – initial/end letters seem to be a good bet for them as they give you more freedom with the surface.

    Re 1a it would have been the other way round, I think – de means literally “of”; du normally means “of the”.

    I liked 19d – partly because I was successfully tricked into trying to think of (other) synonyms of nation and people when the real answer was staring me in the face, and partly because every crossing “y” I put in made it look all the more impossible…

  3. sidey says:

    Interesting. Thanks for the blog John. There are Janet Jackson and Jackson County in there. No idea why though.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, John.

    We haven’t seen much of Mordred recently, so I was happy to have a crack at his puzzle today. I found it reasonably straightforward, but will fess up to having to use a wordsearch for RECRUDESCE, which was my last one in.

    I didn’t see the JACKSON bit till you pointed it out, but having revisited the puzzle and had a flirt online, I think it’s a mini-theme: Peter JACKSON directed Lord of the Rings; President JACKSON was a US President; Cash and Carter had a hit with JACKSON; JACKSON Pollock as you mention; and sidey has the other two. There may be more but I can’t see them.

    The explanation of ‘de’ for ‘some’ in French was in fact in the comments for Scorpion’s Indy puzzle on Tuesday.

    Good stuff, thanks to Mordred.

  5. Paul A says:

    And Jackson station and Jackson Hole, it says here

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Oh, yes, and this being the Indy, Chomsky’s famous phrase COLORLESS GREEN IDEAS SLEEP FURIOUSLY appears round the perimeter and it’s a pangram …

    Only joking; we’ve had a really good run of crosswords this week so far. No pressure on Phi for tomorrow then.

  7. Thomas99 says:

    K’s Dad –
    If you ask him nicely Pelham Barton (who posts here quite often) may explain to you how to solve “Colourless green ideas sleep furiously” as a crossword clue.

  8. Thomas99 says:

    PS. Well spotted on the Jacksons – Jackson Hole (Ski Resort) and Jackson Stops (Estate Agents) too.

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Thomas. I am out working this afternoon, but I will ask Pelham nicely now in anticipation of having the explanation on my return!

  10. Cumbrian says:

    I’m being a bit thick here, but I can’t see where the SC in 13a comes from……? Help!

    I missed Chomsky, which was nicely hidden and a name I only vaguely recalled after I’d cheated, but a nice clue.

    Additional trivia re Jackson, or specifically Jackson Stops, the estate agents. In a previous lifetime I spent some time working in Rutland where there was a pub called the Jackson Stops. According to local legend, the building had been for sale for quite a while with the agent’s sign prominently displayed, and became known as “the Jackson Stops place”. The name stuck.

  11. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Cumbrian
    SC is the abbreviation for the Latin ‘scilicet’ which means ‘namely’ or, as in this clue, ‘that is’.

  12. Pelham Barton says:

    K’s Dad @9 following Thomas99 @7: please see General Discussion comment 164:

  13. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Pelham, I shall treasure that one. Do you think we all need to get out more? Actually, thinking about it we are all getting out more, on Saturday in Derby, and I’m starting to worry slightly now …

    Thanks again.

  14. IanN14 says:

    Now I think there’s more to this than has been pointed out so far.
    The Jackson thing may have something to do with it, and I don’t know enough about late 20th Century American politics (and have neither the time nor the inclination to bother finding out) but surely President (2d) Carter (8d) and Noam Chomsky (29ac) had connections regarding Israel, and Ford and Bush are mentioned in the clues.
    Of course there was also a President Jackson, too, and maybe other stuff I don’t know.
    Or maybe it’s just all a big coincidence?….

  15. Cumbrian says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    Many thanks for the enlightenment re SC; I can’t believe I’ve never come across it before, and googling it didn’t shed any light. I don’t recall the word from my schoolboy Latin either, although it was a very long time ago and an experience that I have just about managed to blank from memory. (“You boy! Conjugate the verb ‘to go’!” The stuff of nightmares…….)

  16. Allan_C says:

    Nothing too difficult, though I missed the Jackson theme completely. But I thought one or two clues were a bit iffy, e.g. 7d which at first glance could be either STOPS or SPOTS and it wouldn’t have mattered as the T and P were unchecked. On the other hand I liked 14d as another example of a Ford model not referring to T – although having got the T as a crossing letter from 20a that was my first thought.

  17. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, John, and Mordred. A little easier than some Mordred Indy puzzles, I thought. Spotted Jackson all right but not the related references. Was looking to see was there a Micheal to go with it, actually. Re Allan_C’s comment at #16, I think placing ‘escalating’ at the end of the clue makes this unambiguously ‘stops’ tho I agree it needed a little extra thought just to be sure.

  18. 4across says:

    cash and carter may have something to do with the theme ? see “Johnny and June Carter Cash sing Jackson” on utube at

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