Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,840/Monk

Posted by Ali on December 1st, 2011


A rare weekday appearance from Monk. Not sure I’ve ever blogged one of his puzzles before, but I have to say I found this pretty tricky. There were a lot of very well hidden definitions and a lot of lifting and separating of clues/wordplay required. I also found there was no real way to crack 1A and 27A until I had nearly all the combined checking letters to be able to piece together the anagram fodder. All very enjoyable stuff nevertheless, though I wouldn’t want one of these every day!

9 EYELESS – [-dat]E + LES in YES
10 SUNDIAL – SUN + LAID back!
11 TRACT – R(epublican) in TACT
13 ELEVENSES – ELEVENS (sides) + ES (sides)
16 IMSHI – 1 + M(inute) = SH (Mum) + I
18 TASTE – S(ingular) in TATE
19 MARDI GRAS – NOt sure on this. The definition is ‘Time for carnival’, and the wordplay (equipment to be dismantled in old indian city’) suggests RIG and MADRAS, but I can’t piece them together
20 TASMAN SEA – A S(mall) MAN in TEA
23 GONER – [-woma]N in GOER
24 MARVELL – L(iberal) in MARVEL
25 CHINESE – CH in ESE[-r(ight)]
3 OWE – Hidden reversal in thE WOods
5 ENSUE – Anag. of fort[UNE-SE]eker
7 ALIAS – A(rea) = SAIL rev.
15 CARPACCIO – CARP + C(aught) in [-sp]ACIO[-us]
17 SERENGETI – SERENE and GTI crossing
21 SPREE – PR(iest) in SEE
22 SALSA – Cryptic def
26 IDA – [-a]IDA

21 Responses to “Independent 7,840/Monk”

  1. flashling says:

    I think in 13 ES are opponents in bridge, 19 is RIG* in MADRAS. Very tough and I had too lookup ishmi after I got in, cheers ALi and Monk.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Ali
    In 19ac I assumed that the ‘equipment to be dismantled’ meant that RIG needed to be split into R and IG before the separate parts were inserted into MADRAS.

    You appear to have omitted 12dn which is TEMPERAMENT – ERA MEN in TEMPT.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi flashling
    19ac. If it was an anagram of RIG it would need to be inserted into MARDAS to get the answer! ;)

  4. JP says:

    i liked a lot of this but some of it puzzled, no pun intended. “Paramedic” as one that helps bones seems a very loose definition and I would think that it should read ‘it IS assumed” in 7 down.Why ‘ising’ after ‘tender’ in 6 down? Is a ‘goner’ someone who’s asleep?

  5. Allan_C says:

    I found this fairly straightforward. 1a/27 came fairly quickly; getting the checking letters E T and A at the start of 27 was the lightbulb moment to think of ‘extrapolation’ and then with some checking letters in 1a the anagram was easily found. ‘Carpaccio’ held me up for a bit thinking ‘caught’ meant the name of a fish had to occur somewhere in the middle – no doubt a deliberate misdirection by Monk, but none the worse for that as that’s one of the attractions of cryptic crosswords.
    I was actually doing the crossword today at time for 13a.

  6. flashling says:

    Indeed Gaufrid letter blindness this afternoon :-). @JP 6 is TEND + E(nlarged) + RISING

  7. Allan_C says:

    JP @4: In 6d the parsing is TEND (= mind) + E (head, first letter of ‘enlarged’) + RISING (= swelling).

  8. Allan_C says:

    Sorry, flashling, you beat me to it.

  9. Gaufrid says:

    Hi JP @4
    Bones, or sawbones, is a nickname for ‘doctor’ so the definition for PARAMEDIC becomes ‘[a person] that helps doctor’ which of course s/he does.

    6dn is TEND (mind) E[nlarged] RISING (swelling)

    I think it’s reasonably common to say “s/he’s gone” when someone falls asleep at a boring meeting, or whenever, and parents will say “s/he’s gone off” when a child falls asleep. In both cases the person would be a GONER.

  10. Gaufrid says:

    Monk invariably has something extra in his puzzles and today’s FT is no exception. However I am struggling to find anything in this one other than that 27ac could be carried out 1dn and 8dn would be providing 1ac when carrying out a breast enhancement.

    With 1ac and 27ac being anagrams the whole perimeter seems to be linked.

  11. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Ali and Monk. I was rather lucky solving today as I found the linked answers at top and bottom almost straight away so it was a quicker solve of a Monk puzzle than usual. As always with Monk, there tend to be novel approaches eg CHINESE and it was all very entertaining and fair.

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Ali.

    I got off to a flying start with this one, but soon came to a halt. I wasn’t too enamoured of the OPTIONAL EXTRA/EXTRAPOLATION clues, because you have no way of solving them independently except by guessing at the definitions. I liked the headless hamster in AMSTERDAM. Haven’t seen much of Monk in recent times, so it was good to grapple with one of his offerings today.

  13. PeterO says:

    23A: alternatively, a GONER is one who is asleep. Permanently.

  14. redddevil says:

    2D needs the ‘sign’ part included to make thesaurus!
    Thought anagram at 1D was easy and that gave me a good start. Got extrapolation after spree – not that many 13 letter words beginning with e and meaning inference!
    Took a while for the penny to drop with Chinese but enjoyed it when it did.
    Thanks to Monk and Ali.

  15. Mr A Writinghawk says:

    ‘Asleep’ is a euphemism for ‘dead’ (popular on headstones).

    In 2d of course you meant HE’S (not HE) in TAURUS.

  16. redddevil says:

    Mr A W @15 “In 2d of course you meant HE’S (not HE) in TAURUS.” That’s what I meant but somehow failed to say correctly!

  17. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Monk for an enjoyable crossword and Ali for the blog.

    I had 19ac the same way as Gaufrid @2. This seems a perfectly fair device to me.

    10ac: We have to take “relaxed” = “laid back” and then turn the word “back” into a reversal indicator. I could only do this because we had recently had “Bored?” = “fed up” = DEF (in a down clue). I said at the time that I thought that was unfair, and here we do not even have the ? to help us. To my mind, crossword solving should be about deducing devices from the wording in the clue, not a series of conventions to be learned. End of moan.

  18. Bertandjoyce says:

    We really enjoyed this one. Some original wordplay including ‘laid back” in 10ac. Brought a smile to our faces, just like “fed up” as mentioned @17. Similarly we thought 25ac was another good piece of clueing.

    We look forward to a challenge on Thursdays. Mind you we also had Anax earlier this week which was a real but enjoyable struggle as well.

    Thanks to Ali and Monk.

  19. Ali says:

    Thanks all for the pointers and apologies for the ommissons. I blogged this one in a hurry.

    I’m not sure I like the RIG dismantled in MADRAS wordplay. For me, MADRAS has to be entirely contained for the word ‘in’ to make sense, and that initial R is sticking out like a sore thumb. Hey ho, horses for courses.

  20. Monk says:

    Thanks for the blog and comments. To Gaufrid @ #10, the Nina is merely the connected anagrams on the first and last row. i.e. nothing very inspired, I’m sorry to say!

  21. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Monk
    Thanks for dropping in and for confirming that I hadn’t missed something. I spent as long looking for the ‘extra’ as I did solving the puzzle but fortunately I have plenty of spare time.

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