Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7839/Tees

Posted by John on November 30th, 2011


Dac is presumably going to appear on Saturday, and instead of a fairly easy task I found that we have a setter with whom I usually have some trouble. But either I’m getting better (which I doubt at my age) or yesterday’s Anax and today’s Tees, both of which would usually set insuperable problems, were easier than usual, for they were both done fairly quickly by my standards. Perhaps it’s that when solving online one can use the Reveal button when absolutely stuck: I doubt whether I’d have finished this at all actually, because one or two are still a mystery to me and I would never have guessed them.

My ability to find Ninas usually does not extend far beyond looking at the unchecked letters. Nothing here, so my conclusion was that there is nothing to be found. But I bet there is.

1 FELL — a quadruple definition: fierce, lambs (a number of lambs born at one time, says Chambers), went down, hill
3 COAT OF ARMS — (AA comforts)* — lovely clue, very nice anagram indicator
10 MANKIND — ‘can mind’ Spoonerised, but ‘in his way’? [Spooner in his way can care for us]
12 L({an}Y)ING — without = outside, and any tail = any’s tail
13 ECONOMISE — (is one come)*, anagram indicator ‘Bastard’
16 T{h}REAT
18 NEAT H{istorian} — initially I thought ‘oh how inelegant, he’s used ‘with’ as a link-word, but he hasn’t: ‘historian to start with’ is ‘h’
19 MANIFESTO — (often aims)* another clue where an excellent anagram indicator has been used
21 HIT-AND-RUN — (hard nut in)*
22 AITCH — is it simply that the third letter of ‘Mahler’ is an h and this is spelt out in its entirety? I sense that there is something more going on.
24 S W(IN)ISH — I think this what I said (in 18ac) I didn’t like, ‘with’ as a link-word, for ‘Swinish’ means ‘piggy’ rather than ‘with Piggy’ [Singular desire to stay in with Piggy]
25 ELEGIAC — (E Gaelic)* — perhaps some dictionary somewhere says that elegiac = thoughtful, but surely it means, as in Chambers, mournful, which isn’t really the same thing
26 ENGAGEMENT — an engagement ring is a type of ring, but is an engagement a ring? Binder is OK because an engagement binds you to something. I can’t quite see why Tees didn’t simply have ‘Type of ring binder’.
27 G ENE — ref Gene Vincent
1 FAMILY-MAN — (fan-mail my)*
2 LUNG 1 — a lungi is a long cloth used as a loincloth
4 OLD BEAN — (a blonde)* — splendid archaic and Wodehousian term of friendship
5 TAP IOC A — International Olympic Committee
6 FISH OUT OF WATER — 2 defs, one of which is ‘fish (vb) out of water’ — at first it seemed a bit odd, a fish being out of water and so being unable to effect a sea rescue, but it isn’t this
7 READINESS — (RN seaside)* — but what is the definition? ‘readiness’ isn’t the same as ‘prepared'; only ‘in readiness’ is, so far as I can see: I can’t think of a sentence where ‘readiness’ is interchangeable with either ‘prepared’ or ‘being prepared’ [RN seaside resort being prepared]
8 SIEGE — one of those which I gave up on: it seems to be a rather weak CD, where the seat is the seat of power, and I’m sure I’m missing something
9 BIG GAME HUNTING — if you’re big game hunting you may put a pride of lions in danger
15 NEAR THING — help please: N is navy, and is there a word ‘_earthing’ which means ‘gent’ and has its hair cut, i.e. has the first letter taken off?
17 TOOTHACHE — another one that I haven’t an idea about
19 MARK HAM — this refers to Mt Markham, that well-known mountain of which I’ve never heard. But I plan to Google it and I bet it exists. Yes, there it is: it’s in Vermont.
21 PusH AS TEam
23 TRIP{l}E

13 Responses to “Independent 7839/Tees”

  1. dialrib says:

    15d I assume ‘cut’ is meant as an anagram indicator (N + gent + hair), although I wondered if it was (RN + gent + hai) and a missing anagind.

    17d In Bow you well be using cockney rhyming slang – Hampstead Heath = teeth


  2. MikeC says:

    Thanks John and Tees. Certainly needed some help with this one.

    I failed on 8 because I had ECONOMIES, rather than ECONOMISE, but SIEGE can also mean a seat or throne (Chambers).

    Re 7, “Being prepared is vital to a successful outcome”?

    I agree completely with dialrib re 15 and 17.

  3. Thomas99 says:

    Elegy …a poem of serious, pensive or reflective mood” – Chambers (2011). So ok?

  4. Thomas99 says:

    Re 7d (as I think MikeC was indicating), you seem to have left out the “being” from the definition, which is “being prepared”.

    Sorry for terseness above – suddenly got through on the phone after waiting a long time so kept it brief. Thanks for the blog and to Tees for the puzzle of course.

  5. Thomas99 says:

    Oops sorry, me again. I misread you on 7d. You think readiness can’t mean being prepared? I don’t follow.

  6. Tees says:

    12A: nounal, thus ‘tail of any’.
    13A: ‘to make cuts’ = economise, ind. Collins 8 adj.
    22A: it is ‘simply’ the full spelling of H, but Mahler’s Third is the longest symphony in the repertoire, so hopefully there is a little bit of ‘something else going on’.
    24A: see below.
    25A: ‘mournful or thoughtful’ Chambers 21st 1 (presumably as it’s ‘of (e.g.) pensive mood’).
    26A: I might be persuaded to agree with you on this: the second def is ‘something that binds’ (Chambers).

    6D: well spotted (phew).
    7D: as Thomas observes, ‘readiness’ and ‘being prepared’ can be synonymous. Try ‘in a state of readiness/ being prepared’.
    8D: yes, you are, as MikeC advises, missing something. Siege Perilous etc.
    15D: N/ EAR THING* per dialrib, ‘cut’ is the ind.
    17D: rhyming slang (per dialrib).
    19D: yes there is one in Vermont, but I prefer this one:

    Are we there yet? Well, looks like it.

    Re ‘inelegant’ link words, I am intrigued: why is ‘with’ seen as wrong and bad (I presume this to be a generally-held view, and not something that Wil has decided upon for himself)? It can’t be because such usage may appear to change the tense of the definition, can it? If so, then, ‘in’, ‘getting’, ‘for’ and several others would seem to qualify by the same reasoning. Whatever, it seems to me an interesting conversation waiting to happen, so I think I’ll plonk it up at CC (where the Big Bad Grammarians live).

    Thanks Wil, thanks all.

  7. sidey says:

    Thanks both. All very good although I remain to be convinced of a problem with teeth being toothache. After all, one fractured humerus would not be trouble with arms.

  8. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Tees for a puzzle with a lot of good clues and John for the blog.

    sidey @7: You need to take account of the subtleties of rhyming slang. The rhyme is indeed “Hampstead Heath = teeth”, but in abbreviated slang, “teeth” would be called “Hampsteads”, to acknowledge the plural. On this logic “Hampstead” is actually slang for “tooth”.

  9. Tees says:

    Ahh! A considered response …

  10. sidey says:

    I sincerely hope you are as tongue-in-cheek as I was Pelham…

  11. flashling says:

    Took me the return home to finish this, well a few minutes more, quite tricky to me. But mostly fair to me just my own supidity (writing answers in wrong place) causing me problems. Cheers Tees a good if unexpected one and John for blog for some I wasn’t quite certain about.

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Last Saturday (in Derby) “some of us” thought there was perhaps something wrong with me as I was less prominent at this site than before. Well, fortunately there isn’t something wrong with me (yet) – it’s just the factors called Time and Energy that made me decide to be a bit more selective.

    I think this puzzle deserves full credit.
    At a first glance, the clues were almost unusually short for a Tees. And after making a quick start helped by no less than 8 anagrams, I thought this would be plain sailing.
    It was not, but certainly not at the hard end of the Indy’s spectrum either.

    As for others, 17d needed an explanation, but it had to be TOOTHACHE [almost looks like TOO THATCHER, but that would give me another kind of ACHE :)].

    The hiddens solution of 21d (HASTE) was one my last. The surface of this clue is so natural that one doesn’t think of this device in the first place. A very well written clue.
    Another highlight for me was LYING (12ac) in which ‘flat’ and ‘ fish’ had to be separated.
    And I liked Mahler’s Third too. The H was clear enough, but I wanted it to be pasted into something else (which wasn’t there).

    Many thanks, John, for your blog, and even more to Tees for an inspiring puzzle.

  13. Simon Harris says:

    I’ll belatedly weigh in to say that I thought this was a top drawer puzzle. This is exactly why I buy the Indy, so good stuff, Tees. The use of “resort” at one point was lovely.

    Incidentally, I was pleased to note that the mobile theme for the site works rather nicely, as I dialled in from the Prince Regent to see whether I’d got FELL – the last one in – right.

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