Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7861/Quixote

Posted by Pierre on December 26th, 2011


I fancy this might be a lonely place today, since you’re all no doubt doing Feast of St Stephen things, but if you are by any chance remotely interested, you’ll find my take on Quixote’s puzzle below …

A gentle offering in the usual Quixote style, with clear cluing and a generous grid, probably just right for a Boxing Day morning solve over a cup of coffee.  But some nice touches.  For me, three clues triggered flashbacks to my long-abandoned Catholic upbringing.  I’m certain that wasn’t what the setter had in mind when he sat down to complile this crossword, although there are some other religious references scattered about the grid.

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


Slander that’s initially brought to light in the German lawsuit
My first thought here once I’d got a few crossing letters was DEFAMATION, but of course that doesn’t work.  It’s a clever surface, though: T for the first letter of ‘that’s’ in DER for one of the (many) words for ‘the’ in German, followed by ACTION for ‘lawsuit’.  First flashback, to ‘calumny and detraction’ in the Catechism.

Problem involving a hundred despicable people
An insertion of C for the Roman numeral for ‘a hundred’ in SUM for ‘problem’.

Indulgent one starts to eat nuts in time of fasting
An insertion of I and EN, the first letters of ‘eat nuts’ in LENT, the period of fasting that some Christians undertake in the forty days following Shrove Tuesday.

10  Emergency action – start to confer with everyone back in the pavilion
Quixote’s prompting you to put the first letter of ‘confer’ before ‘all out’ for a cricket team who have wielded the willow and find themselves back in the hutch.

12  Virtuous Conservative has impetuosity
A charade of C and HASTE.

13  Female less safe being more bubbly
A charade of F and RISKIER.

15  Financial changes to accommodate gold from part of America
Another good surface for a clearly signposted clue: it’s (FINANCIAL)* with an insertion of OR for ‘gold’.

18  A thunder god in action?  One has no fear whatever
(A THUNDER GOD)* with ‘in action’ as the anagrind.  I knew DREADNOUGHT as a battleship, but another definition, I discovered today, is ‘a fearless person’.

21  English virtue, treating the duke and the dustman alike?
A charade of E and QUALITY.

22  One may be seen as a bulge at sea
(A BULGE)*  ‘At sea’ is the anagrind.  A bit of &litishness.

25  The old man attacked, one pulled out and put on display
A charade of PA and RA[I]DED.

26  Room in which short greeting is given


I’d cycle round having eaten a titbit
(I’D CYCLE A)*  ‘Round’ is the anagrind, and ‘titbit’ is the definition, although our friends across the pond would say tidbit, for a reason I’ve never understood.

One may be feeling cold needing to get into shelter with drink
I liked this surface.  It’s a charade of TENT and an insertion of C in ALE.

Seasonal music to be played by laddies (set fee)
Second flashback, since singing hymns and other stuff in Latin was the preferred option when I was at school.  It’s (LADDIES SET FEE)* and is the Latin version of ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’

Adeste fideles
Laeti triumphantes
Venite, venite in Bethlehem
Natum videte
Regem Angelorum

Short dress given expression of disapproval – socially acceptable subsequently
A charade of TUT and Nancy Mitford’s U for the ballet dress.  And the South African archbishop who’s slang among university students for a lower second: ‘How did you get on in your finals?’  ‘Bit disappointed, ended up with a Desmond.’

Writer in cardie, slow, confused

Speak fondly, getting fired up?  Calm down!
A charade of COO and LIT.

Assistant holds game up – that may be sensible
An insertion of RU (Rugby Union) reversed in MATE, in the ship’s mate sense of the word.

11  Getting into a bad temper, being deprived of favourite tabloid?
A cd.

14  Skill needed to get hold of chaps after break, getting hold of money owed maybe
A not very common word, but it’s clearly clued: an insertion of REST and MEN in ART.

16  Looking to heaven, one man chanted a part of the Mass
The third of my Holy Trinity of flashbacks.  The answer is Latin for ‘Lamb of God’ and is part of the Catholic Mass.  It’s cleverly clued: a reversal (‘looking to heaven’) of I ED SUNG A.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis

17  Go across Turkey – on horseback, it seems?
An insertion of TR for the internet domain abbreviation for Turkey in SADDLE, and &lit.

19  In France I want to be as one of the chosen?
A charade of JE for the first person singular subject pronoun in French, and WISH.  Alluding to the fact that the Bible says that the Jews are God’s chosen people.

20  Ex-president introducing railway measure
Take your pick of two ex-presidents of the US and add a US abbreviation, EL for ‘elevated railway’, to get your answer.

23  Old china that is often semi-transparent
A charade of O for ‘old’ and PAL for ‘china’.  From the cockney rhyming slang ‘china plate’ for ‘mate’.

A fine Boxing Day puzzle from Quixote, thank you to him.

12 Responses to “Independent 7861/Quixote”

  1. Cumbrian says:

    Hi Pierre; thought I’d drop in so the place isn’t too lonely!
    Thanks for the blog. I found most of it fairly straightforward; I also went for DEFAMATION initially for 1a, hadn’t come across ARRESTMENT which dropped out from the cluing, nor EL for Elevated Railway so BUSHEL was my last one in when all the crossing letters were in place, but I didn’t understand it until I read your blog.

    Lots to like; my favourite was perhaps CALL OUT, and STALAGMITE reminded of school geology lessons and remembering the difference with stalactites – tights come down as mites grow up.

    Thanks Quixote – good fun.

  2. Pierre says:

    Thanks, Cumbrian. You have made me realise that in my post-Xmas lethargy I omitted 27ac:

    One growing up in a cave, a sort of prison – a small child

    Which as you say, is STALAGMITE (and we must have had the same teacher …)

  3. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Pierre and Quixote.

    Your Catholic education was evidently pre-Vatican II, as was mine at the time, but later our parish became an example of what the renovations were all about. I was lucky, but missed out on the Latin, unfortunately, though I do know the two instances you cite :)

    Re 27ac, the way I learned it was “stalagtites stick tight to the ceiling” – mine was a mixed school 😆

  4. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Quixote for a very nice puzzle and Pierre for the blog.

    We still seem to be missing 24ac: (AS IN THE)* & lit.

  5. Pierre says:

    Thank you for explaining my second omission, Pelham. I’m being a bear of little brain today.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Quixote and Pierre. Pleasing puzzle today, not too difficult. Thought when solving that in CALL-OUT the ALL (everyone) and OUT (back in the pavilion) were separate but I guess the other would work too. Also thought that in STRADDLE in relation to TR that the international vehicle registration symbol for Turkey was maybe what was intended but, esp in this day and age, I guess the internet domain suffix works just as well.

  7. Allan_C says:

    Nice gentle bank holiday relaxation from Quixote; and he’s in the i today as well – I had to check it wasn’t the same puzzle. And thanks, Pierre, for the blog.

  8. Quixote says:

    Thanks one and all. I never know when I’m in the i. The Indy pays me nothing for these extra appearances which are repeats of old IOS puzzles. Sadly, the more radical the newspaper, the less you get paid! Happy new year to all. Don Q

  9. Bertandjoyce says:

    A bit of a late entry but we thought we ought to drop in! Bert remembers “stalactites hang tight to the ceiling and stalagmites might get there one day”!
    Enjoyable solve, didn’t know 14d but easy enough to guess from the cryptic.

    Thanks Quixote and Pierre.

  10. flashling says:

    Enjoyed it but annoyed at myself putting in Jesuit rather than jewish which held me up a lot. Thanks Pierre and Don.

  11. Allan_C says:

    Wow! More comments on this thread than on Another Newspaper’s.

  12. Pierre says:

    I’ve already circled the date in my diary, Allan … (he said, adding another comment). Always a pleasure though to hear from the Indy regulars each day.

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