Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7878 Bannsider (Sat 14-Jan-2012)

Posted by beermagnet on January 21st, 2012


The man from the banks of the Bann gives us a characteristically tricky prize crossword challenge with several clues that had me foxed for quite a while.  Several of them up to and including now.  And it all started so well, slapping in the Daily Teg on the right wing, and the right wing hopeful in the bottom, in the end I had 9 answers in after the first pass.  I slowed to a stumble on the next phase, and with 9 left unsolved I admitted I needed dictionary and reference book help to check some answers I had entered, and help with those unsolved.

Favourite clue 10 APPALOOSA for the novel “run into” technique.

Completely stuck or somewhat incomplete wordplay explanations for at least the following: 18A 25A 3D 7D 12D and I’ve probably missed a Nina because I can’t see one.

1 SNOWBOARDING Second message implying flight will shortly depart on winter sports holiday? (12)
S[econd] NOW BOARDING from the rest of the wordplay.  Nice.
9 NIAMH Girl‘s turned high-maintenance, discarding much clothing (5)
Hidden reversed in higH MAINtenance. Well hidden indeed, exemplified by this being the last answer I entered needing that last crossing letter A to make me reassess the clue as a hidden though I know I searched for a hidden girl in there the first time I read that clue.
10 APPALOOSA Shock when running into toilets and meeting a horse! (9)
APPAL (shock) “run into” LOOS (toilets) so the words join at the L (thus losing an L – what an interesting construction!), then A
11 TAKING OFF Essential to what a king of France is doing (6,3)
Hidden in whaT A KING OF France. Definition is ‘doing’ in the sense of acting / impersonating.
13 ORAL Head abandoning lesson for exam (4)
[m]ORAL lesson with its head lost
15 COTTBUS Country dweller’s place not to be getting on public transport in German city (7)
COTT[age] (country dweller’s place not getting on – i.e. not AGEing!) BUS (public transport) One that needed reference book help (I’ve not heard of this place before)
17 ENCHANT Spell of weakness after ceding power (7)
PENCHANT (weakness) with the P[ower] “ceded”
18 CON Have a reason not to do something? (3)
as in CONTRA, or Pros and Cons etc. I cannot see wordplay here I presume the whole clue is a cryptic def but I’m probably missing the point.
19 VELARIA Run a live broadcast with first-rate acoustic aids (7)
(R[un] A LIVE)* AInd: broadcast, with A (first rate). This is an awning drawn over an outside theatre. Another that needed dictionary help
20 DURRELL Naturalist‘s not done much to conceal article in flat (7)
Gerald D was a Naturalist (and adventurer, and author, and founder of the Zoo on Jersey).  RARE (not done much) – A (concealing article) inside DULL (flat)
21 NUDE Letter from Greek and from Parisian, revealing all (4)
NU (Greek letter) DE (from in French) For a long time I had thought about the various Greek letters that include ET (‘and’ in French)
22 EASTER EGG Flower given by one say in another’s seasonal gift (6,3)
ASTER (flower) EG (one say) inside EG (another (say))
25 ROUND DOWN Set of ties going with neck that’s lower for convenience (5,4)
I believe the def. is ‘lower for convenience’ as in rounding numbers, for instance to the nearest lowest integer so that it is easier to get a rough answer, but the wordplay from the rest of the clue eludes me.  I can see a ROUND is a “set of ties” as in cup tie matches etc. if so how is DOWN derived from “with neck”?
26 IMOLA One problem for dentist, briefly in GP’s place (5)
I, MOLA[r]  GP is Grand Prix here
28 NEWT GINGRICH Republican hopeful of righting wrong with new chapter (4,8)
(RIGHTING NEW C[hapter])* AInd: wrong Coming so soon after Brendan had given the “Circus Clowns” a workout in the Guardian the previous Monday this was a early spot
1 SEND TO COVENTRY Firm opening in small close politician’s to exclude (4,2,8)
CO (Firm) VENT (opening) inside S[mall] END (close) TORY (politician)
2 OVA Likely end for Russian Fed cup players, targets for male seed? (3)
Russian names often end in OVA
3 BEHIND BARS Doing porridge for 21’s not simple, ultimately (6,4)
BARES BEHIND (21 = NUDE) – E from last letter of simplE – not sure how the two words swap, or if BEHIND BARES is meaningful?
4 ALAMO Mission prepared after short period of time (5)
The Alamo was a Mission building best known for the battle between thousands of Mexicans and John Wayne. More inventive wordplay: A LA MO i.e. like a dish, À LA (prepared after – in the manner of) MO (short period of time)
5 DOPE FIEND User of last of soap indeed out of order (4,5)
(OF [soa]P INDEED)* AInd: out of order
6 NILS Loves a boy from Scandinavia (4)
Typical scandanavian name that to us looks like lots of nothings / zeroes / loves.
7 JOURNALESE Articles typically put in this container – beer going in special one (10)
URN (container) ALE (beer) inside, er, JOSE ? (How is this a ‘special one’?)
8 DAILY TELEGRAPH Turning deathly pale, girl, on removal of a large organ? (5,9)
(DEATHLY PALE GIRL – L)* AInd: Turning. First answer entered – I attempted the long answers first.
12 KETTLEDRUM Part of kitchen lit (all but ceiling) amid rising gloom (10)
[?]ETTLED (lit all but ceiling – lose the first letter) inside MURK< (rising gloom) The Kitchen is a nickname for the percussion section of an orchestra.  I cannot decide what is the wordplay word that means ‘lit’
14 SCARPERING Mark circle outside gym for running (10)
SCAR PE RING PE (gym) inside SCAR (Mark) RING (circle)
16 SCAPEGOAT Can carrier from S African province depart in a day? (9)
CAPE (S African province) GO (depart) all inside SAT (day) South Africa has provinces including Western Cape, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape, but no Southern Cape
23 SINAI Sound relieved perhaps to hand over phone in ME location (5)
Homophone “Sigh” (sound relieved) “Nigh” (to hand) HInd: over phone. ME = Middle East
24 ADZE One used to cut radio’s commercials (4)
Homophone ADs – commercials
27 OBI Japanese band did pop off one (3)
OB (did pop off – obituary – died) I. This is part of traditional Japanese dress

13 Responses to “Independent 7878 Bannsider (Sat 14-Jan-2012)”

  1. Pandean says:

    Thanks for the blog, beermagnet.

    18ac: have = con; the rest is the definition
    25ac: neck = drink (slang, in Chambers) = down
    3dn: for = behind; then bar(e)’s
    7dn: the special one is Jose Mourinho, now manager of Real Madrid
    12dn; lit = settled

    Tricky as ever from Bannsider, and I’d never heard of Cottbus either – I was trying to justify Citybus initially, but no luck there.

    Didn’t spot any Nina myself, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t one.

  2. Pandean says:

    18ac: I meant that the rest of the clue is the second definition

  3. sidey says:

    Nice blog beer, and thank you, and Bannsider for one I could actually do most of.

    7d I think it’s URN & ALES in JOE, Scots, a beloved one.

  4. Allan_C says:

    Yes, very tricky as always from Bannsider. Thanks beermagnet and Pandean for enlightenment.

    27a – I think OB here is the abbreviation for Latin ‘obiit’ which gives the meaning ‘(he/she) died’ rather than ‘obituary’, an appreciation of someone’s life published at the time of their death.

  5. Querulous says:

    Thanks for the blog.

    Re 2d, the Fed(eration) Cup is a tennis competition for women, and -ova is a common suffix for Russian women’s names (meaning “daughter of”, I think).

  6. MikeC says:

    Thanks beermagnet and others. A very tricky one from Bannsider – I didn’t get much further than halfway. Quite a bit to enjoy, nevertheless.

  7. Lenny says:

    This was tough. I got all but two. I had to google the middle letter of Cottbus. I was on the right lines with the wordplay but, the trouble is, a country dweller’s place could be cot, cott or cottage. I also went for Valeria instead of Velaria, where the anagram was not much help in deciding where the vowels go.

    I’m with Pandean on Jose. I know zilch about football but I do know that Jose Mourinho describes himself as ‘the Special One’.

  8. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, beermagnet.

    I’m relieved I’m not the only one to have found this difficult – and, in fact, failed to finish. [Having seen some of the solutions, I know I never would have.] Very clever stuff, as always from Bannsider.

    I want to challenge the definition of 19ac: the velarium was an awning which could be drawn over the audience to protect them from the weather. It was the design of the classical theatre itself, together with the use of masks, which projected the actors’ voices, that aided the acoustics so successfully.

  9. Bannsider says:

    Thanks to beermagnet for this interesting blog (and for making me sound like the skipper of the Irish Rover :-) )

    There wasn’t a NINA in this puzzle – the Daily Telegraph occupies the right wing of the grid entirely co-incidentally and it remains to be seen if the admirably named NEWT GINGRICH will manage to belie his position in the bottom rung!

    (The definition in 1ac is meant to include the “on” and the definition for 2 dn is “targets for male seed” just to be pedantic).

    On VELARIA I was going by the COED definition, which has a modern usage of the VELARIUM as a low theatre ceiling used to aid acoustics.
    I should also apologise to non-football fans, and maybe to football fans if it comes to that, for defining JOSE rather obscurely as “special one” (uncapitalised). A bit naughty that, perhaps.

  10. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for that, Bannsider. I did wonder if there was perhaps a modern application but it was in none of my dictionaries [Chambers, Collins, {oldish} SOED] as such, and I only knew the Classical one. Googling “velaria, acoustic aids” simply produces this blog and two Answerbank queries about this clue! 😉

  11. nmsindy says:

    This was good, and, while very tough, maybe not quite as hard IMHO as some previous Bannsider Indy puzzles. Thanks Bannsider and beermagnet for the blog. Bannsider is I think also a Times setter but I think NEWT GINGRICH could not have appeared there as he is still very much around. Lots of great clues – I read 3 down as 21’s giving NUDE = BEHIND BARE’S with the e (simple ultimately) being taken out to give BEHIND BARS. I also realise after reading the blog and comments that I was maybe lucky to have already heard of COTTBUS (perhaps from being interested in football and its having a club that has done reasonably OK in recent times).

  12. Bannsider says:

    Yes Niall I meant to say in my piece earlier that Cottbus was familiar to me only through the East German team Energie Cottbus!
    Looks like Newt Gingrich’s profile has risen considerably thanks to his appearance in this puzzle.

  13. Thomas99 says:

    Many thanks to Bannsider and beermagnet. I had the significant advantage of actually having been to Cottbus! Very nice old youth hostel, town mainly submerged in GDR-era blocks etc. It was our staging post on a walk from Berlin to the Polish border. The puzzle was certainly demanding but very satisfying. My last in was the 3-letter 18a – I’d spent ages trying to justify “can”, a doomed enterprise.

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