Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7897/Punk

Posted by Pierre on February 6th, 2012


Bonjour!  I was pleased to see that it was Punk this morning, because I really liked his COWBOYS and INDIANS puzzle that I blogged a few months ago.  This was a fun crossword, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

A wide range of references, including one of our feathered friends, one of our friends from Wind in the Willows, a bit of chemistry, the plant kingdom and of course the usual Punk trademark references to virgins, bums, tits and willies.  And sex and drugs and rock’n’roll (is all my brain and body needs, as the late Mr Dury sang …)

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


Mark items individually for lecture
A dd to start us off.

Darling animal put back in sack
A reversal of VOLE, who featured as Ratty in Wind in the Willows, in BED, as in ‘I’m going to hit the sack’.

Account added to tax-free plan, creating biblical figure
A straightforward charade of ISA (Individual Savings Account) and AC to give you the Old Testament character who nearly got sacrificed by his old man.

10  Holy woman on business having something of a tattoo – that’s a problem
Amusing surface and I also smiled when I parsed it: a charade of CO for ‘business’, NUN for ‘holy woman’ and DRUM for an instrument that would be used in the musical kind of tattoo.

11  Old jam, say
A synonym for ‘say’ is a charade of EX for ‘old’ and PRESS for ‘jam’, as in ‘we were pressed/jammed into the corner’.

12  Virgin son getting out more then?
Well, let’s hope he has a good time when he does.  A charade of S and IN LESS.

13  Plant maintaining resistance, it’s felt
An insertion of R for electrical resistance in BEET, the stuff you grow on your allotment, to give you the French hat made of felt.

14  Perfect cakes turned over inside burner
An insertion of STRAT (‘cakes turned over’, TARTS reversed) in FIRE.

16  Ascertain when forced from an unorthodox group
(ASCERTAIN)*  ‘When forced’ is the anagrind.

18/20  Star like me, young one exploding
(LIKE ME YOUNG I)* with ‘exploding’ as the anagrind, and the Aussie singer who started her career on Ramsay Street and recently recovered from breast cancer, when she did a lot to raise awareness of the disease among young women.  Good on her.  She’s more pop than rock’n’roll, I know, but it gave me a chance to mention Ian Dury in the preamble.

22  Ate well, or didn’t, drinking last of ale
An insertion of the last letter of alE in FASTED.  Might have seen this one before.

24  Source of boiling water removing top from weed behind wood
When Punk’s in town, you can usually rely on ‘weed’ having something to do with urination, but this time it’s a double bluff: the setter’s asking you to remove the top from [N]ETTLE and stick that after TEAK for the ‘wood’.

26  Mistaken, alas, they say?
A homophone of ‘a lass’, ‘a miss’.

27  Soft drug found in red jacket finally
An insertion of E for ‘ecstacy’, the drug, in LENIN, the communist leader or ‘red’ and T for the last letter of jackeT gives you a word for ‘soft’.  I think this is what folk refer to as a ‘lift and separate’ clue.

28  Unsure when the reading, writing or arithmetic will come into homework?
An insertion of THE and R (for one of the three Rs) in DIY for ‘home work’.


6 author put up
It’s referring to 6 down, LINEN.  TOILE is a fabric and is a reversal (‘put up’ in a down clue) of Thomas Stearns ELIOT.  ‘A cold coming we had of it, just the worst time of the year for a journey …’

John Thomas?
Well, here’s your willy and bum references in the same clue.  ‘John Thomas’ is a slang term for the membrum virile, but it’s actually nothing to do with said member.  It’s ‘John’ in the lavatorial sense, and Thomas CRAPPER didn’t invent the flushable toilet, but filed a number of patents to do with it, so it’s a kind of dd cum cd, I suppose.  ‘John Thomas and Lady Jane’ was an alternative title of D H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, since ‘John Thomas’ is the name the gamekeeper gave to his willy.  Country folk are odd, aren’t they?

Gold top a third raised, one in four sections
Here come the boobs (to be reprised later).  It’s OR for ‘gold’, CHEST for ‘top’ , and RA for a third of RAised.  And Punk’s left the carthorse in her stable.

Scottish area admitting book woeful with odd bits deleted, the other information
We’ve had the drugs; here comes the sex, or sex-ed.  Put ACTS, one of the books of the New Testament, plus OFL for ‘woeful’ with the odd letters deleted, into FIFE for the ‘Scottish area’ and you’ve got the information about sex (‘the other’, as in ‘Fancy a bit of the other?’), that we all sat down with our children to discuss.  Or perhaps we left it to school to sort out.

Cake with tripe unfinished
BUN[K].  Is a cake a bun?  Discuss.

Little boy getting in between sheets, perhaps
An insertion of IN in LEN, a ‘little boy’.  I’m not a big fan of these ‘little boy’ clues to indicate an abbreviated first name, but I’d better get used to it, ’cause it ain’t going away.

Girl clutching mountain plant
An insertion of the Scottish BEN (as in Ben Nevis) in VERA.

Syrian mother has a part to play
Great surface.  A synonym for ‘Syrian’ (in other words, ‘from Damascus’) is a charade of DAM for ‘mother’ and A SCENE.  I learnt from another puzzle the other day that the fabric DAMASK is so-called because its origins are in Damascus.

13  Maybe lead me into group in embrace of fertility god
Punk’s relying on the remarkable ability of English to have two completely different pronunciations of the same word.  The definition is ‘lead’ (as in Pb) and it’s an insertion of ME into SET, surrounded by BAAL, the god of fertility.

15  Strip to get acting role?
A dd. If you ‘strip’ the engine on your car, you take it apart; if you’re offered an acting role, you TAKE A PART.

17  Accommodate party, one enthralled by Brown
A charade of CON for Conservative ‘party’ and and insertion of I in TAN for ‘brown’.

19  Bedraggled rat in queue for toilet
Interesting image conjured up by the surface.  It’s (RAT)* in LINE with ‘bedraggled’ as the anagrind.

21  Bird English composer sent skywards
The delightful aquatic bird is a reversal of E for ‘English’ and the Austrian composer Alban BERG (although a quick flirt online suggests there are other BERGS that you could choose from).

23/12  Singer lacking polish, bound to need discipline
The chanteuse from the 60s is a charade of DUSTY for ‘lacking polish’, SPRING for ‘bound’ and FIELD for ‘discipline’.

25  Boob, a palindrome!
I guess you can work this out for yourselves, but come back to me below if not …

Thanks to Punk for an entertaining crossword to get us all up and running on a Monday morning.

8 Responses to “Independent 7897/Punk”

  1. dialrib says:

    Thanks, Pierre.
    5d Chambers Online says a bun can be a small round cake. It also reminds us ‘buns’ is US slang for buttocks.

  2. crypticsue says:

    A superbly entertaining start to Monday thank you Punk. Not sure what it says about me that I liked the laugh out loud d’oh moment at 2d best. Thanks to Pierre too

  3. sidey says:

    Re 5d, in parts of Yorkshire bread rolls are called tea-cakes.

    Not a difficult puzzle. The blog provided much more entertainment. Thanks Pierre.

  4. NealH says:

    Some of us escaped having to explain the Facts of Life by the simple expedient of not having any children.

    I thought this was very enjoyable and just what you’d expect from Punk.

  5. Allan_C says:

    Yes, an enjoyable puzzle in the vein we’ve come to expect from Punk.

    Went off on completely the wrong track at first with 5a, thinking “darling animal” referred to Nana (in Peter Pan) and trying to fit something around those letters reversed, then when I got BELOVED it was a while before the penny dropped about “sack” meaning “bed”.

    10a reminded me of the old riddle “my first denotes a company, my second shuns a company, my third summons a company and my whole puzzles a company”.

  6. flashling says:

    Odd Allan_C I did exactly the same on 5ac, cheers Pierre and Punk, I found this a bit tricky in places for reasons that bemuse me.

    Got an “i” today too and was rewarded with an old Mass, I found Mass very hard I seem to remember but breezed though it in less than ten minutes, maybe somewhere in dusty corners of my mind I just remembered the answers.

  7. Dormouse says:

    Couldn’t 1d refer to George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans) rather than TS? He’s usually thought of as a poet rather than an author.

  8. Pierre says:

    Thank you, Dormouse. I’m sure you’re right!

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