Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1142/Hypnos

Posted by Pierre on January 15th, 2012


A puzzle from Hypnos that was in parts perhaps easier to solve than parse.  It was certainly the hardest of the IoS puzzles I’ve blogged so far, with a number of clues that I really struggled with.  Large chunks of it were however generally accessible, in the usual Indy Sunday style, but with what struck me as a high number of clues with multi-part answers.  I’ve not solved or blogged enough of this setter to say whether this is a characteristic feature of his crosswords.  An enjoyable crossword, but I’m interested to know what others thought about the difficulty level.

There were several definitions here (for ‘repute’, ‘old soldiers’, ‘cipher’ and ‘spaniel’) which were new to me.

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


Ban in street a busker
The answer couldn’t be much else, but you’d have to know that TABU is an alternative spelling of TABOO, and that it also has a verbal form.  It’s hidden in streeT A BUsker.

Fellow on a cruise taking front of boat for sun moved anchor
Hmmm.   You need to replace the S for ‘sun’ in ‘cruise’ with B for the first letter of ‘boat’, then it’s a charade of F for ‘fellow’ and (ON A CRUIBE)* with ‘moved’ as the anagrind and ‘anchor’ as the definition.  Ms Bruce has anchored the BBC television news for many years. You have to say it’s a good surface, though.

Place for learning fashion on the net?
A whimsical way of saying that if you had fashion on the internet, it might be E-TON.  TON is another word for fashion, and ETON is a college where the younger boys learn how to warm lavatory seats for the older boys or otherwise endure a severe beating.  It’s called fagging, whence – apparently – the expression ‘it’s a right fag’ .

10  Woman in confined place regarding lunchtime food
An insertion of ANN in CELL plus ON for ‘regarding'; but I have no idea how we get from ‘lunchtime’ to I (if indeed that is how the clue works).

Edit:  Eileen explains the lunchtime = I equivalence at comment no 1, thank you.

11  University lecturer kept in faithfulness a source of professional advice
Another insertion: of UL for ‘university’ and ‘lecturer’ in CONSTANCY.

15  Artist, bald type capturing river
An insertion of R in COOT for ‘bald type’ gives you this artist'; as in ‘bald as a coot’.  Why do we say this?  Because one of the definitions of ‘bald’ is ‘streaked or marked with white’, which is what coots are.  The expression dates back to the 1400s, so coots must have been around for a bit.

16  Old comic touring country largely beginning to extemporise and act unaided
Another multi-parter: it’s an insertion of ITAL for ‘country largely’ in GOON for ‘old comic’ plus E for the first letter of ‘extemporise’.  The Goons were Peter Sellers, Michael Bentine, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe and The Goon Show was hugely popular in the 1950s.

17  A loud terrier discontented barking around a yard like a spaniel?
Once you had the crossing letters, it couldn’t be much else, but I couldn’t parse this.  Okay, A LOUD is going to be part of the anagram fodder, but I was into TA for ‘terrier’ and couldn’t work out the rest.  So after calling in help, I can tell you that it’s A Y for ‘a yard’ around (A LOUD TR)*  The TR bit comes from TerrieR, which is ‘discontented’, in other words having its contents taken out and leaving the first and last letters.  ‘Barking’ is the anagrind and one of the definitions of ‘a spaniel’ is ‘an obsequiously devoted person’ (SOED).

18  Old soldiers might be found in this heap
Another one where the answer can’t be anything else, but again I had to ask for help with the parsing.  Apparently ‘old soldiers’ are ’empty bottles’ (a new one on me) and those are found, obviously, in a CRATE, which is a slang term for a clapped-out car.

19  Fine Catholic bishop, one held in repute among Americans in restricted area of travel
A further multi-part answer, which I couldn’t parse for ages.  It’s a charade of AI for ‘fine'; then Hypnos is asking you to add RC for ‘Catholic’ and an insertion of RR (Right Reverend) and I in ODOR for the American spelling of ODOUR.  There’s a bit going on here, n’est-ce pas?  I had never come across ODOUR/ODOR for ‘repute’ before.

23  Stellar group in a society with unusual poise protected by agents
The constellation is an insertion of A and S plus (POISE)* in CIA for American agents.

25  Corruption in City I eliminated and cleared – a natural economic feature?

26  Endure rude fellow
A dd.  Can’t say I’d heard of the nounal definition, but the SOED gives ‘a rough, unmannerly, or uncouth person’.


In river, coach ruined garment
An insertion of (COACH)* in the River TRENT.  ‘Ruined’ is the anagrind.

Argument among British conservationists over restricted way to get fish
Another four-part answer: it’s ROW plus NT for National Trust in B and ROUT[E].

Unqualified group in department panicking on reflection
Reversed hidden in departmenT PANIcking.

Fool taking in single Australian region with unknown cipher
Another four-parter.  Put ONE for ‘single’ and NT for Northern Territory in NIT for ‘fool'; add Y for the unknown.  And ‘cipher’ is a synonym for NONENTITY.  No, I didn’t either.

Bend clearly with manoeuvring needed for such?
(BEND CLEARLY)*  ‘With manoeuvring’ is the anagrind, and this was my favourite clue.

Mysterious phenomena provided a lot of enjoyment in retrospect
A reversal of SO FU[N].

Correct girl forgetting hospital

12  Refined family around river taking in source of riotous colour
Well, there ain’t many 11-letter colours starting with U, so I slapped this in straightaway, but parsing it proved more tricky.  It’s U for ‘refined'; then you need to insert R for the first letter of ‘riotous’ in the River TAMAR and insert all that in LINE for ‘family’.  I did say there were some multi-part clues in this one.

13  Study a Northern Irish writer – or an old one
Another one I liked.  A charade of CON for ‘study’, A, N for ‘Northern’ and DOYLE for the Irish writer Roddy Doyle, whose 1993 Booker Prize winning novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha I much enjoyed at the time, and whose book The Commitments was made into a successful film.

14  One investigating upcoming series on English peer
Another charade of RES for a reversal of SER for ‘series’, E, and ARCHER for the disgraced Tory peer Lord Archer.

16  Page Roy and Garth lacking skill messed up in subject
You need to take ‘art’ for ‘skill’ out of ‘Garth'; then it’s (PAGE ROY GH)* with ‘messed up’ as the anagrind.

20  Bring up sign about holy teaching in college
An insertion of RI for ‘religious instruction’ in a reversal of LEO for the star sign.  It’s Oriel College, Oxford.

21  Tail from back of lioness docked
A charade of S for the last letter of ‘lioness’ and CUT gives you the bunny wabbit’s tail.

22  Regulars in bars with final space for economic expansion?
I thought this was hard.  You need to put ‘bars and final’ together, then take the regular letters: bArSfInAl.  The clue is suggesting that Asia’s economy is set to expand.

Thank you to Hypnos for the puzzle.

5 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1142/Hypnos”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Perre, and Hypnos for the puzzle.

    It’s hard to remember after a week how difficult it seemed when solving but there were certainly some unusual meanings / uses of words. I don’t seem to have any question marks so I must have made sense of it at the time but I don’t remember getting ‘old soldiers’ = bottles': perhaps I just gave up on that one!

    CANNELLONI: ‘regarding lunchtime’ is ‘at 1 [o’clock]’

  2. Eileen says:

    Sorry – I meant ON 1!

  3. Pandean says:

    Thanks for the blog Pierre, and for explaining the ‘old soldiers’ in 18ac.

    I think 17ac works slightly better as (A LOUD TR)* around A, plus Y=yard added at the end.

  4. Pierre says:

    Thanks, Pandean, that of course makes much more sense for ADULATORY.

  5. Hypnos says:

    Thanks to Pierre for his detailed blog and others for comments. I think everything’s been properly explained but just to be clear, “old soldiers”=empty bottles.

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