Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7888 / Tees

Posted by duncanshiell on January 26th, 2012


Another enjoyable crossword from Tees, who also sets as Neo in the Financial Times.




I started off fairly quickly but slowed down a bit towards the end as I had to think my way through the wordplay in a number of cases.  I liked the on-line misdirection in 11 / 19 – THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY.  

There were some complex builds in the answers – e.g. BANDEROLE, CONDESCEND and LOS ANGELES.  Those words were clued in the style that I prefer, but I know many other solvers favour different clue constructions.

I have to admit to being completely defeated by the wordplay for 28a HESITATES Is somewhat lost for words as Queen’s repetition in cryptic text may indicate. I think the definition is ‘is somewhat lost for words‘, but it may just be ‘is somewhat lost‘, as people hesitate over many actions other than speech.  I am struggling to find any representation of ‘text‘ or ‘cryptic text’ or ‘queen‘ or ‘repetition‘ in the answer.   Any ideas I have seem to be stretching the rules of clueing to their limits, so I suspect I am missing something blindingly obvious.  I have considered anagrams of THESIS or THESES to represent ‘cryptic text‘ but if this were the case, we would be straying into the realm of indirect anagrams which tends to be a non-no in cryptics discussed on Fifteensquared.  Also, continuing down this line, an anagram of THESIS would then contain ATE who was a goddess, but not a queen as far as I can ascertain. However, I do note, that Chambers gives one definition of ‘queen’ as ‘a presiding goddess’. The anagram of THESES would contain a reversal of ATI who can be found as a queen to King Parahu in the Land of Punt [according to Wikipedia], but this seems incredibly far fetched.  Neither of these suggestions involve ‘repetition‘ either, unless ‘repetition‘ is considered to be an example of reversal.  The only other thought I have is that HESITATES is an anagram (cryptic?) of ATHETESIS defined by Chambers as ‘rejection of a passage of text as spurious’ which at least brings ‘text‘ into play, but I have very little faith in this idea either.   Finally, clutching at even more straws, cryptic text these days can refer to text messaging, but as my children have flown the nest, I am no longer au fait with current text messaging abbreviations [not that I ever was really].  I had a quick look through an incredibly long list of texting abbreviations on Wikipedia, to no avail, but I did learn that the full scope of texting is almost a language on its own.

Tees often comments on his own crosswords, on Fifteensquared, so I look forward to the simple explanation he or someone else can give.’

Afternote: Not surprisingly, the explanation is simple – thanks to Jolly Swagman and Gaufrid at comments 2 and 3. Queen repeated is ER ER which cryptically indicates someone who HESITATES


No. Clue Wordplay Entry
1 Spanish gentleman from taxi to go to French leader in Orly (9) CAB (taxi) + ALLER (French for ‘to go’) + O (first letter of [leader of] ORLY) CABALLERO (Spanish gentleman)
8 In leading clubs one creates talking point (5) I (one) contained in (in) (TOP [leading] +  C [clubs {in cards}]) TOPIC (talking point)
9/10 Mate’s conclusion to follow flawed male reasoning in short order (5,1,5,3)

Anagram of (flawed) MALE REASONING + E, final letter of [conclusion to] MATE

MINE’S A LARGE ONE (a short order [for drinks at the bar])
11/19 Reportedly sizeable customer, disdainful of net access, going of-line permanently? (3,3,4,3,4)

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY (a phrase, originally associated with fishing, referring to the usually sizeable fish that the speaker just failed to hook or net. The fish in question could be said to be disdainful of going into the [fishing] net.  Similarly the fish could be said to have gone off [the fishing] line permanently.)

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY (now a general reference to any big prize that has just been missed by bad luck or poor management)
12 Plain speaker perhaps essentially brief (4) GOB (slang word for mouth [which can also be defined as ‘a speaker’] + I (the middle letter of [essentially] BRIEF) GOBI (reference GOBI Desert, which one or two internet references call the GOBI plain)
14 Ferret storing melon seed? (7) PRY (ferret) containing (storing) OGEN (reference OGEN melon, a small green skinned variety) PROGENY (seed) – the definitions of PRY and PROGENY as ‘ferret’ and ‘seed’ are given in Chambers Thesaurus rather than the main Dictionary.
15 A start in baseball acceptable to European athlete (7) A + (B [first letter in [start in] BASEBALL contained in [acceptable to] CROAT [a native of Croatia; {a European}]) ACROBAT (someone who displays athletic ability on a tightrope or as a tumbler; athlete)
17 Article on It Girl (7) THE (definite article) + RE (about; on) + SA (sex appeal; it) THERESA (girl’s name)
20 Main bank first to raise charge in recession (4) R (first letter of [first to] RAISE) + (FEE [charge] reversed [in recession]) REEF (a shoal or bank in the sea [main])
22 See fit boy formerly around in the anti-nuke lobby (10)

(ONCE [formerly] containing [around] DES [boy’s name]) all contained in (in) CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament [anti-nuclear lobby])


CONDESCEND (see fit)
25 Demanding decimal point beyond four (9) IN TENS (decimal) + IV (Roman numeral for four) + E (point [of the compass]) INTENSIVE (demanding)
26 Like bird with greyish appearance (5) AS (like) + HEN (bird) ASHEN (with greyish appearance)
27 Froth on beer indeed soft at the edges (5) YEA (indeed) + ST (the first and last letters [at the edges] of SOFT) YEAST (froth on beer)
28 Is somewhat lost for words as Queen’s repetition in cryptic text may indicate? (9) See preamble HESITATES (is somewhat lost for words [?])
1 Body in space to travel over time (5) COME (move toward; travel) + T (time) COMET (body in space with [usually] an elliptical orbit round the sun)
2 Flag is black with one side in white part (9) B (black, on lead pencils to indicate softness) + AND (with) + E (last letter of [one side in] WHITE) + ROLE (part) BANDEROLE (banner or streamer like that on a masthead; flag)
3 On pole, sea-girt with sun rising in city abroad (3,7)

(LEG [on; cricketing reference- the leg side is known as the on side] + N [North pole, one of the two poles] contained in (girt) SEA) + SOL (sun) – all reversed (rising)


LOS ANGELES (city abroad, United States
4 Dead after ten have an effect in cathedral city (7)

(X [Roman numeral for 10] + ACT [have an effect]) contained in ELY (a cathedral city, just north of Cambridge)


EXACTLY (unerring; dead [on])
5 City abroad’s all right by an old lady (7)

OKAY (all right) + A (an) + MA (old lady) [informally, one’s mother or wife])  When parsing this it took far longer than it should have done to realise that I should be looking at OKAY for ‘all right’ and not just OK

OKAYAMA (city abroad; Japan)
6 Value in warmth and love comes to republic (4) TOG (a unit of measurement in thermal insulation; the warmth of duvets is measured in togs) + O (love [in tennis]) TOGO (reference the Republic of TOGO in West Africa)
7 Post Office in receipt of saucy image (5) PO (Post Office) containing (in receipt of) HOT (sexually attractive; saucy) PHOTO (image)
8 Why lovers love scientific discipline (9)

CHEMISTRY (an indefinable or instinctual quality that causes an interaction between two people, as in sexual chemistry, i.e. ‘why lovers love’)

CHEMISTRY (a scientific discipline)
13 Parents upset with tot expressing dissent (10) Anagram of (upset) PARENTS and TOT PROTESTANT (protesting; expressing dissent)
14 In a pretty bad suit Mick Jagger would wear? (9) Anagram of (bad) IN A PRETTY

PATERNITY (reference PATERNITY suit [a lawsuit brought by a mother to establish that a certain man is the father of her child and is liable to pay financial support]  Mick Jagger once said ‘I’ve had more women claiming to carry my children than I can
count… [some] want to rip me off…[others] want to say they had
Jagger’.  A 1999 paternity suit revealed that he was in fact the father
of model Luciana Morad’s son. The child was Jagger’s seventh son with four
different women.  He was also ordered to pay child support to Marsha Hunt.

16 Dish with minced heart and traditional topping (6,3)

BOWL (dish) + an anagram of (minced) HEART


BOWLER HAT (traditional topping)
18 Do away with missile position given rise in results of violence (7) ABH (actual bodily harm; results of violence) containing (in) SILO an underground chamber housing a guided missile; missile position) reversed (given rise – down clue) ABOLISH (do away with)
19 Say Athena’s moves succeeded in trapping religious scholar (7)

(GOES [moves] containing [trapping] DD [doctor of divinity; religious scholar]) + S (succeeeded)


GODDESS (Athena is an example of [say] a GODDESS [Greek GODDESS of wisdom])
21 I may carry spear further (5) EXTRA (traditionally EXTRAs in films [minor or non-speaking characters] have been referred to as ‘spear carriers’) EXTRA (further)
23 Vikings and displaced English squabbled only at first (5) Anagram of (displaced) AND + first letters [only at first] E and S of ENGLISH and SQUABBLED DANES (vikings)
24 Gut groin and armpit to satisfy the bloodsucker (4) Omit all but the first and last letters of  [gut] GROIN and ARMPIT to leave GNAT GNAT (bloodsucking insects)

13 Responses to “Independent 7888 / Tees”

  1. JollySwagman says:

    Thanks Tees – also DS for the blog.

    In 28A I tried reading Queen’s as E’S which left me with HIT AT. HINT AT would have done for “may indicate” but can’t get rid of the N and the “in” would be a bit loose which would be untypical of Tees – so no closer.

  2. JollySwagman says:

    Doh. I think Queen is ER (as usual) so “Queen’s repetition” is “Er Er” and it’s just a play on “He who hesitates is lost.”

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Duncan
    In 28ac I think it is simply a case that a person who hesitates goes ER ER (Queen’s repetition).

  4. duncanshiell says:

    Thanks to Jolly Swagman and Gaufrid at 2 and 3 – I suspected it was going to be simple, but I enjoyed myself down some obscure alleys.

  5. Tees says:

    Hi Duncan – sorry about the queer old dean! And many thanks for your fantastic blogging – the best in town? – which reveals the trickery in such detail, and in such style.

    One small point: at 23D ‘English’ is the (crosswordese for) E, plus the first letter in ‘squabbled’.

    Cheers all.

  6. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Tees for a challenging crossword and Duncan for the detailed blog. I enjoyed 28ac once I had worked it out, but favourite clue must be 11/19.

    Tiny grumble about 1ac, which I think would read better as “… to go to the French …”.

  7. Paul A says:

    The dead tree version (yes I know), has an extra line at the beginning of 2d
    ‘Phone systems of 1′ then Body in space….
    Had me thinking maybe Comet is a telecoms provider to the Spanish gentry. Or maybe not

  8. Tees says:

    Really? That would be quite confusing!

  9. Bertandjoyce says:

    We were puzzled about 28a as well. We wondered whether it had anything to do with inserting er twice into hesitates which gave you iterates at the end and rubbish at the beginning!
    We were also fooled by 5d – never heard of Okayama and were trying to fit vaguely and wrongly remembered Japanese cities in which started Ok rather than Okay! We live and learn.
    Thanks to Duncan and Tees.

  10. flashling says:

    @tees #8 Err yes it does and it’s also numbered 2 (not 1 in my paper) which made it doubly confusing. Couldn’t see why hesitates, very nicely misled. Thanks all even Duncan who seems hell bent on putting us other bloggers to shame :-)

  11. eimi says:

    Apologies to solvers and Tees for the dead tree gremlin. I’ve got to the bottom of the mystery – yesterday’s first Down clue began “2 Phone system of” which somehow got stuck in in front of Tees’s clue which began with 1.

  12. NealH says:

    I finished this apart from banderole, which I had to find with a wordsearch – I didn’t know the word and there were just too many ways of interpreting the clue. I didn’t follow hesitates or extras. The Jagger clue was quite amusing, although it seemed like a bit of a liberty since no-one actually wears a paternity suit. However, I suppose if you interpret wear in the sense of endure or tolerate, it just about works.

  13. Tees says:

    One meaning of ‘wear’ is ‘to accept’. HTH.

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