Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7855 by Anax

Posted by nmsindy on December 19th, 2011


This puzzle I found was the least difficult Anax Indy puzzle of the year so far – solving time, 20 mins.      Very enjoyable.

It’s a themed puzzle –  a theme I tumbled to within 4 mins seeing a number of references to 13 and then being able to solve that clue straight off.     A pretty well-known theme I’d say that very few will not have heard of.      As not particularly familiar with the details of it all, there could be further thematic references that I’ve missed.

* = anagram


8 HUE    h (hard) edges (outer letters of unfeminine)     Defn:  complexion

9 DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER       James Bond film from 1971 starring Sean Connery.   ice = diamonds.    Nice misdirection, though I don’t know if it was intentional, as I’d marked this down at first as a possible anagram of the three words preceding ‘melt’

10 KEEP OUT    “Key pout”     Liked this a lot.

11 TERRIER     err in tier      Excellent surface

15 LEADING ARTICLES    (Daniel Craig lets)*     DC plays Bond in both 6/19 and 24.

18 NERO    ER in NO

20 UNCARED-FOR      car in (found er)*

24 SKYFALL     Sky fall      This film is due out in 2012.

25 MALFEASANCE    (safe)* in Ma   lance

27 SOT     so (thus)    last letter of verdant    sot = lush = drinker, drunkard


1/12  SHAKEN NOT STIRRED     Catch-phrase associated with Bond (and his Martini) of course.  (one drink the star’s)* so an excellent &lit

2  DEMENTIA     ENT  (part of hospital) in aimed (pointed) going upwards (up)

3 MARTYR     M  (Bond’s boss in the films)   arty (creative)   r (right)

4 FOOTWEAR    (two of)*  ea (each)  r (run)  & lit

5 ADORN     A (Dr No)*     Big clue to the theme, this, as Dr No is a Bond film from 1962 starring Sean Connery as Bond

6/19 CASINO ROYALE     ca (about)  sin (evil)   OR (men =other ranks)  O (old)  Yale (university)

7 HEBRIDES     Heb (Hebrews – Book of the Bible)   rides (trips)

9 DIOPTRIC     (I drop it)*   c (“see”)

14 PINE TREE    pi (very good)  Net (web)  re (on)  E (English)

15 LONESOME    one’s (a person’s)  OM (honour = Order of Merit) in life less if

16 GENTLEST    gent   s (son) in let (allowed)

17 LIFE VEST   feve(r)  (endless excitement) in list (catalogue)

21 AFFINE    hidden in stAFF IN Extended.     Glad of the easy clue here, as I did not know the word, which means related by marriage (anthropology)

22 RARITY    RA (soldiers – Royal Artillery)  it in RY (line = railway)

23/13  JAMES BOND   (job means)*  D = director.    The key to it all.


17 Responses to “Independent 7855 by Anax”

  1. Cumbrian says:

    Many thanks for the blog, which explained PINE TREE which I entered but for some reason I couldn’t parse – all makes sense now. I hadn’t come across AFFINE either, but as you say it was easy to spot in the clue. DIOPTRIC was also new to me, and it took me a while to get the C from “see” – another of those sneaky devices that become obvious with practice, and where these blogs are so useful!

    Thanks to Anax for an enjoyable puzzle; my favourite was KEEP OUT, probably because I circled around it for a while before the penny dropped with a groan.

  2. NealH says:

    I think this must be Anax’s Christmas present to Indie solvers – a puzzle that’s actually solvable in a reasonable amount of time without resorting to help. I nearly gave up and started heading for the Guardian when I saw it was an Anax, but noticed there were a couple of clues I could get straightaway. The James Bond theme wasn’t too difficult to spot – there were even some clues that alluded to it, so you were put in mind of it from the start. There were lots of well-hidden anagrams and I thought the Nero clue had a cheeky simplicity to it.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, nms.

    Yes, a very accessible puzzle from Anax, and a chance for those who are used to the gentler Monday Indy crosswords to enjoy his clueing. Good choice of theme as well, which when I’d put the gateway clue in led to a pretty quick solve. DIOPTRIC and AFFINE both new to me, but clearly signposted. Liked the appearance of Daniel Craig in 15ac.

  4. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Anax for a very nice crossword – your description of it on your own website as “a gentle thematic” seems just right – and nmsindy for the blog. Favourite clue 18ac among many really good ones.

    23/13 I would read as (job means)* D, keeping the abbreviation out of the anagram whenever possible, but it works just as well either way. I am not convinced by “Special” as an anagram lead.

  5. anax says:

    Hi all.
    This is an unusually early call-in from me, but today is going to be uber-busy with various edits on the go. The theme was pretty much accidental and it all hinged on 15a. DC’s name felt ripe for anagram treatment and the resulting clue didn’t take long to fall into place; amazingly, the following day DC was in the news taking a justified pop at those oxygen-wasting Kardashian ‘ladies’ and I just couldn’t believe how prescient the clue turned out to be. I’m hugely grateful to Eimi for bumping this to the top of quite a few Anax puzzles currently in stock – it has meant that, hopefully, a few solvers will be reminded of DC’s Kardashian comments.
    Many thanks to nms for a super blog, and I’d like to take this opportunity (just in case I can’t manage to pop back in later) to wish you all a hugely enjoyable Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for that comment, PB at #4, re 23/13 – I have corrected the blog.

  7. flashling says:

    That was an Anax?? I know Anax admires the so called easy setters but I was expecting rather more to chew on. Anyway thanks NMS and Anax.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Having chewed on previous puzzles from Anax that have given me severe indigestion and have meant leaving half the food on the plate unfinished, flashling, I personally was delighted today to have something puréed but tasty this morning!

  9. flashling says:

    Aye K’sD I saw Anax and feared a bruising but felt slightly disappointed, no doubt we’ve got nimrod bannsider and tyrus to come.

  10. Allan_C says:

    Very straightforward from Anax, though I got into the theme rather indirectly after realising that 25a had to be ‘forever’ thus giving me 9 as well. And after a nice easy Rufus in another newspaper, what am I going to do with the rest of the day? (I’m saving Mass in the i for later.)

  11. eimi says:

    You could try the Beelzebub PDF Simon has posted.

    Flashling @9 – as if! Not until after Christmas anyway.

  12. Quixote says:

    Ah — the gentler side of my colleague!

  13. Jan says:

    I’ve finished an Anax crossword – on my own – using the dictionary only once (DIOPTRIC) !!! Thank you Anax.

    Thanks for the blog nms, I needed confirmation of SKYFALL.

    If anyone can get a copy now, the Christmas crossword in yesterday’s Sunday Times is an Anax compilation under his real name. I haven’t looked at it yet having spent most of the day trying to interpret the instructions for the AZED! :-)

  14. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, nms.

    As for most others, my quickest Anax solve ever [I had to look up DIOPTRIC, too]: as K’s D says, it should give those new to his puzzles encouragement to carry on.

    As enjoyable as ever, though; I especially liked the excellent anagrams at 15ac and 1/12dn.

    Hi Jan

    I think you’ll find the Sunday Times one equally agreeable. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon by the fire. [I don’t go in for Azeds. 😉 ]

    Many thanks for both of them, Anax!

  15. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, nmsindy, and sorry that I didn’t manage to say hello in Derby. Thanks to Anax for a most enjoyable puzzle.

    I was very happy to finish this one under “exam conditions”, with a few guesses which turned out to be right. It’s always slightly disappointing to subsequently go to fifteensquared and find that everyone apparently found it on the easy side 😉 I do hope that Anax isn’t discouraged by that from producing more puzzles of this difficulty and quality!

    I was interested to hear that AFFINE means “related by marriage”, since I come across the word a lot in its mathematical sense and never knew it had another meaning. (In geometry, an affine transformation is one that preserves all straight lines.)

  16. nmsindy says:

    Yes, mhl at #15,the maths meanings for AFFINE are the main ones as I discovered when drafting the blog. But the other meaning (which was used in the puzzle) is very much there too.

    Unfortunately I did not get to meet everyone at Derby – there were simply so many there. Next time, let’s hope.

  17. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Anax. We really thought it may be an all-nighter after last time! All enjoyable but we now have to go hunting on the internet to find out what DC was ranting on about as we didn’t understand your comments above!
    Still, we’ll leave that until tomorrow and get an earlier night than we expected!
    Thanks as well to nmsindy. Happy Christmas to you and Anax.

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