Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1138: Crosophile

Posted by jetdoc on December 11th, 2011


Crosophile’s Independent on Sunday puzzles seem to me to be pitched just right — fairly straightforward clues, but with some nice little deceptive twists, and plenty of amusing surface reading.

1 SNOWY Like cold weather at the moment in the Seychelles
NOW = at the moment; in SY = international vehicle registration code for the Seychelles
4 RACEHORSE What’s haring off at the start and careers pell-mell round?
*(H O careers), with HO being the first letters of ‘haring off’. That makes it an &lit, because the definition contributes to the wordplay.
9 LANDWARDS Parts of field hospital perhaps, running off the main?
Wards are part of a hospital, and if it were a field hospital they could be ‘land wards’. Definition: ‘running off the main’, i.e. away from the sea
10 BUGLE An instrument to eavesdrop on the French
BUG = to eavesdrop; on LE = the French
11 NOSTRIL Bit of a breather — Ron’s lit up
*(Rons lit)
12 L-PLATES Long delayed breaking old records — signs of inexperience
LATE = Long delayed; breaking LPS = old records (I suppose they are, now)
13 OPERETTA Make short work of a treetop that’s rotten
*(a treetop). An operetta is a short work. Slightly deceptive clue, because you might expect the solution to mean ‘make short work of’.
15 SCAN Cursory inspection’s on time
SCAN = inspection; on T = time
18 RUPEE Currency’s rising amid a lot of bad odour
UP = rising; REE[k] = a lot of bad odour
20 CABOOLE Taxi has most of bags for a crowd
CAB = taxi; OODLE[s] = most of bags
23 FRAGILE NoW maybe hacked into dossier that’s delicate
RAG = derogatory term for a newspaper, e.g. the late and unlamented News of the World ; in FILE = dossier
24 SUMMITS Minutes once more taken in proceedings with head of state, top-level ones
MM = minutes once more; in SUIT = (legal) proceedings; with S = head of state
26 LEASH Restraint needed if hot after the meadows?
H = hot; after LEAS = meadows
27 SMALL BEER It’s not important misguided rebel hits back first
LAMS = hits, backwards; *(rebel)
28 SWEET-TALK Little rat’s tail in shadow is flatter
WEE = little; T = rat’s tail; in STALK = shadow
29 WALLS Fortifications used to be protecting Lord Lieutenant
WAS = used to be; LL = Lord Lieutenant
1 SPLENDOUR Fork out about a pound on the show
SPEND = fork out; about L = pound; on OUR = the (Chambers gives a definition of ‘the’ as ‘our’, which it says is facetious)
2 OINKS Grunts from louts hanging round back of station
OIKS = louts; N = back of station
3 YEW TREE Bows come from me and yet we’re treated badly
*(yet were). Longbows were made from the wood of the yew tree.
4 RURALITY Fresh air truly matters for the countryside
*(air truly)
5 CASTLE Man in play given role (back half of mule)
CAST = given role; LE = back half of mule. The castle, apparently, is an old name for the chesspiece (‘man’) which should correctly be called the rook.
6 HOBBES Political philosopher embraces Left and makes uncertain progress
Thomas Hobbes, who was fond of his dram, according to this; L = left
7 RIGHT-HAND Potentially hard thing, being stalwart
*(hard thing)
8 EVENS The odds? Not as unlikely as one might think
Well, evens (your winnings will be the same as your stake, so you can do no more than double your money) are odds in betting, but I am not sure why they would be ‘not as unlikely as one might think’.
14 ESPLANADE Prom queen’s ending a date in a sleep after excitement
N = queen’s ending; D = date; *(in a sleep)
16 TREASURES Tenor confirms soprano’s missing lots of valuables
T = tenor; REA[s]SURES = confirms, with S missing
17 HAYSTACK Rick dances on a pin
HAYS = dances; TACK = pin. Hayrick is another word for haystack.
19 EPITHET Tag the important point assumed by rising support
PITH = important point; in TEE, reversed = ‘rising support’, which would not work in an across clue
21 OHMS LAW Official briefly expressed said learning principle
OHMS = On Her Majesty’s Service; LAW = sounds like (‘said’) ‘lore’, a learning principle. Ohm’s law
22 GEISHA Escort kept in garage I share
Hidden in ‘garage I share’. Geisha
23 FALLS American seasons topping of fat and everything with a pinch of salt
F = topping of fat; ALL = everything; S = a pinch of salt. Autumns in America
25 IDEAL After Italy Kentish Town’s perfect
I = Italy; DEAL = a town in Kent. Kentish Town is also an area of north London.

One Response to “Independent on Sunday 1138: Crosophile”

  1. Crosophile says:

    Thanks Jetdoc. Quiet, isn’t it?
    By the way, for no very good reason, there was quite a bit of The Princess by Tennyson in the solution words:

    The splendour falls on castle walls
    And snowy summits old in story:
    The long light shakes across the lakes,
    And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
    Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
    Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying

    Well it keeps me happy… (I don’t even like Tennyson!)

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