Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1139/Raich

Posted by Pierre on December 18th, 2011


My last IoS blog was a Raich, and I bag another here, which I don’t mind at all.  An accessible Sunday Prize Crossword, which I enjoyed.

There were a couple of what I would term ‘hmmm’ clues here – in other words, it works, but …  However, my impression since I started blogging the IoS a few months ago is that it’s intended to give less experienced solvers a chance to win the prize, so given the generally acknowledged difficulty of setting an ‘easy’ puzzle, I think we can say that the setter has done his job pretty well today.

cd  cryptic definition
dd  double definition
(xxxx)*  anagram
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x]  missing letter(s)


Slowly unloaded returning vehicle – custom in old port?
Raich is inviting you to to take the contents out of S[lowl]Y, reverse park the CAR, and add USE for ‘custom'; then you’ve got the ancient city in modern day Sicily.

Base dry in good times
A synonym for ‘base’ is TT for teetotal or ‘dry’ in BOOM, which is what most European economies haven’t got at the moment.

10  It sounds like opportunity to slow down
A homophone clue, indicated by ‘sounds like’.  An ‘opportunity’ is a ‘break’, which sounds like BRAKE.

11  Protest heatedly when canaries are mistreated?  I’ll participate
Nothing to do with the little birds down the pit who used to alert miners to noxious gases by their failure to continue singing.  It’s (CANARIES I)* and ‘mistreated’ is the anagrind.  The CAIN bit comes from the Old Testament, where he was, together with Abel, one of Adam and Eve’s two sons, but the exact derivation of the phrase I don’t know.

12  Travelling home, with money and much time invested, start to tremble
An indication that you should insert TIN for ‘money’ and ERA for ‘much time’ in IN for ‘home’, and then add the first letter of ‘tremble’ to produce an adjective for ‘travelling’.

13  Display of emotion or part of an act?
A dd.

14  A priest’s surprisingly long walk?
(A PRIEST)*  ‘Surprisingly’ is the anagrind.

16  French city residence housing queen, first to quit
An insertion (‘housing’) of Queen [A]NNE in RES, as in ‘des res’, gives you the city in Brittany.

19  Abandon unproductive area
Another dd.

21  Wear for diner from Penzance?
It’s corny, but I like it.  It’s suggesting that a diner from the south-west of England, where Penzance is, would be a SW EATER.

23  Lady golfer, extremely impressive
The girl’s name is a charade of Ernie ELS, the setters’ favourite golfer, and the outer letters of ImpressivE.  What will compilers do when he retires?

25  “Lacking current, train heading for Sheffield not on time”  Explain in simple language!
Well, perhaps not one of Raich’s most concise or elegant clues, but it’s all there: take I for ‘current’ out of TRA[I]N, add S for the first letter of Sheffield, and LATE for ‘not on time’ to give you your answer.  ‘I’ as the symbol for electrical ‘current’ is derived from the French ‘intensité de courant’, apparently.

27  Reparation is intrinsic to caveat one mentioned
Hidden answers are supposed to be the ones the setter gives you to get going, but this was cleverly hidden, and one of my last in.  It’s there in caveAT ONE MENTioned.  Though it’s naff all to do with the clue, it put me in mind of Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel and the subsequent film starring Kiera Knightley and James McAvoy.

28  Massage her in the water
(HER IN)*  ‘Massage’ is the anagrind.

29  Hour visiting where money is kept?  Exciting, that
An insertion of HR in TILL

30  There’s prediction of support before he visits Cyprus
A synonym of ‘prediction’ is a charade of PROP for ‘support’, HE, and CY for the internet domain abbreviation for Cyprus.


What characterises judge could be expressed as “Bye riots”?
A bit of a clunky surface reading, but again, it’s clear what’s needed: (BYE RIOTS)* and ‘could be expressed’ is the anagrind.  It’s referring to the expression ‘sober as a judge’.

Get excited again about a friend from the province
A charade of RE for ‘about’ and A NI MATE for someone who might be your friend from the province of Northern Ireland.

Native American wrapping soft fabric
‘Native American’ in a clue normally triggers CREE for me, and thus it was with this clue.  If you put P for musically ‘soft’ in it, you get the fabric.

Potential follower of 23 is certain to accommodate guy on the way up
I got this pretty much straight off from the clear cluing – a reversal of MAN in SURE – but then took a while to understand that since 23ac is ELSIE, which is a first name, then a SURNAME might follow.  For me this was a hmmm sort of clue.

Somehow be so nice, aiming in the beginning to show deference
(BE SO NICE A)*  ‘Somehow’ is the anagrind.

Card displaying beverages (English)
A charade of TEAS for ‘beverages’ and E for ‘English’.  ‘A witty, entertaining or eccentric person’ (Collins).

In trough, boss loses heart
The compiler is asking you to take the heart out of MAN[A]GER for ‘boss’ to leave you with the feeding trough for cattle that is cognate with the French word for ‘to eat’, manger.  And ‘Away in a Manger’ will be driving you mad in shopping centres over the next week, no doubt.

Bird ignoring Northern drink
This is BITTER[N].  The shy and now rare wading bird in question has a booming cry.

15  Deep malice to be transformed?  Not at first.  Gradually
([D]EEPMALICE)*  with ‘to be transformed’ as the anagrind.

17  Taximeter’s misreading that could lead to penalties?
A Raich puzzle without a football reference?  Pigs might fly.  It’s (TAXIMETER)* with ‘misreading’ as the anagrind, and I’m going to choose this as my clue of the day, since it’s a very clever spot and a lovely surface.

18  Something colourful produced by writer going over lines?
A charade of Graham GREENE, the author, and RY for railway, or ‘lines’.  GREENERY is colourful, of course, but only one colour; for me the word suggests more that there are many colours in there, like Joseph’s coat of many colours.

20  Songbird was first to be named
A charade of TIT for ‘songbird’ and LED for ‘was first’.

21  Greatly upset Southern tile supplier
A charade of S for ‘Southern’ and HATTER for ’tile supplier’.  ‘Tile’ is slang for ‘hat’.

22  North African initially placed in shelter – one paying rent
An insertion of NA for the first letters of ‘North African’ in TENT.

24  Short inadequate trail
Put S for ‘short’ in front of POOR for ‘inadequate’ and you get a word for a trail left by an animal’s poo or other traces.  S as an abbreviation for ‘short’ is possibly best known to young people in SMS for ‘short message service’, or ‘text’ to you and me …

26  Fight waste
A dd.

Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable Sunday morning diversion.

6 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1139/Raich”

  1. flashling says:

    Found this very easy less than 10 mins, not a complaint Niall I just seem to get your clues quickly. Thanks for the fine blog Pierre.

  2. Bamberger says:

    Failed on
    1a Simply too hard for me
    16a Never having heard of rennes doesn’t help but res = housing I would never have got.
    2d Again just hard for me
    3d I must remember cree-didn’t know it
    21d You could have given me the answer a week ago and I wouldn’t have been able to explain it.Tile =hat -well I never.

    Generally my standard (ie not experienced) but with those twists that prevent full completion.

  3. Pierre says:

    Morning Bamberger

    But you finished most of it, and I guess when everyone starts out with cryptics there are puzzles where you can’t quite get the last few. For me, it was in part a process of getting familiar with words that weren’t in my active vocabulary (like CREE, RES and TILE, for example) but that crop up regularly because they’re useful letter combinations for setters.

    Anyway, thanks for commenting and bon courage!

  4. Cumbrian says:

    Thanks for the blog and the puzzle. I never knew that “tile” was slang for hat, although there weren’t many options other than SHATTER for 21d. A bit of research led me to the (once) famous song “Where did you get that hat?” where “tile” appears in the chorus:

    “Where did you get that hat? Where did you get that tile?
    Isn’t it a nobby one, and just the proper style?
    I should like to have one Just the same as that!”
    Where’er I go, they shout “Hello! Where did you get that hat?”
    (To be followed with a rousing cry of “Oi!!”)

    I got held up on 16a RENNES, which seemed to be a notch further up the difficulty scale than the rest of the clues. Probably just me being slow, though.

  5. Allan_C says:

    For a possible explanation of the phrase “raise Cain” see

  6. Raich says:

    Many thanks, Pierre, for the blog and to all for their comments. Keep sticking with it, Bamberger – speaking for myself it was quite a long time from when I started solving puzzles before I actually completed a full one. I think practice is the key. BTW, in RENNES the res comes from residence with housing the containment indicator. Interesting about RAISE CAIN – it’s pretty well-known and in all the main dicts, but its derivation is not really explained in them.

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