Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7901/Radian

Posted by Bertandjoyce on February 10th, 2012


A fairly tricky themed puzzle for our first weekday blog.

It seems only a short time ago that we were lurkers. We used to complete the Indy late in the evening and by the time we checked 225 we felt that everything had already been said. However, thanks to Kathryn’s Dad we came out of hiding!

We need also to thank flashling for suggesting we start blogging – was this a ruse so he could have a break? Thanks also to Gaufrid, without whose help none of this would have been possible. So… how many other lurkers are out there?

Back to the puzzle…

The theme, which is close to our hearts, opened up with 1d.  It was an enjoyable solve with a large number of thematic answers, some clever misdirections and good surface readings. 18d had us puzzling for quite some while. We have some minor quibbles with the definitions in 19a and 26a (and 17d)!

9 APOLOGIES A  POLO (game) +GI(V)ES (five away) = sorry
10 OZONE OZ ONE (Australian opener) = bracing air.  MCG is Melbourne Cricket Ground
11 BIOMASS IOM (shortened Isle of Man) in BASS (fish) = source of 8d
12 BRIGADE RIG (top of oil well 16a) in BADE (ordered) = Task Force
13/22 NEAP TIDE APT 1 (Top flat!) in EDEN (garden) facing west i.e reversed = “deep drop” or low tide. The “deep” being the sea!
14 TERRA FIRMA Anagram (anagrind is ‘plough’) of AFTER MARRI(age) with AGE (time) taken off  = dry ground
16 OIL WELL You could find this as an instruction on a machine to keep it working but it’s also not a source of 8d
17 THERMAL Toge(THER MAL)es = gliders use thermals for lift. “Offer help” indicates the answer is hidden in the clue.
19 THERMOSTAT Well….. we think a thermostat is a heating control NOT a heating device. However, “heating device” must be the definition – THAT “controls” (restricts) ERMOST  (innermost with inn or ‘bar’ missing)
22 See 13
24 RURALLY RU (text speak for are you) +ALL (completely) in (obsessed by) RY (a railway, of which HS2 may become an example?) = In the sticks
25 ATHLETE LET (allowed) in an anagram of HEAT (‘after qualification’ is the anagrind) = if you are an athlete you can enter a heat if you qualify!
26 NICHE ICH (German for the writer, me) in NE(w) (new restricted or shortened) = market. Restricted seems to be serving two purposes here as you really need the definition to be ‘restricted market’
27 HOT SPRING HOT (smuggled) + SPRING (bound) = Another source of 8d
1 CARBON  FOOTPRINT If you were a coalman you’d leave coal dust behind and CARBON FOOTPRINT is a measure of emissions
2 MONO RAIL ON (paid for as in the drinks are on me) + OR (Other ranks or men in the army) in MAIL (post) = transport
3 SOLAR Anagram of ALSO (‘arranged’) + R (first letter in roof) = source of 8d
4 MISSPELL Anagram of SIMPLE (anagrind is ‘version’) +SL (first letters of ‘second letter’) = If you write the second letter of a word first, you would misspell it!
5 ISOBAR IS BAR (pub) with O (oxygen) injected into it = pressure line on a weather map
6 SOLID FUEL Anagram of I and OLD FLUES (Anagrind is ‘crookedly’) = Not a source of 8d
7 HOT AIR A thermal (17a) is an up-draft of warm air
8 RENEWABLE  ENERGY Anagram (anagrind is ‘supply’ or in a supple manner) of W(h)EREBY LEAN GREEN (no hard!) = water power is an example of renewable energy Good misdirection here with the use of supply!
15 RED MULLET RED (radical) + MULLET (hairstyle) = a fish could be ‘gathered in a net’
17 TEA PARTY Anagram of YET (anagrind is ‘in disarray’) around APART (split) = “staunch patriots”. We could think of other ways to describe them but we do want to carry on blogging!
18 MAIZE OIL ZE(r)O 1 (O1 with runs (r) out) in or ‘secured by’ MAIL (the ‘protective shell of an animal’ according to Chambers!) = ingredient of biodiesel
20 ENRICH Anagram of CHI(ld)REN (the middle of the word is ‘lost’) the anagrind is ‘otherwise’ = concentrate. Perhaps another link to energy sources with enriched uranium?
21 SCYTHE S (small) + C (first letter of crop) + Y (year) +THE = cut
23 CHIPS C (cold) + HIPS (fruit) = something that might be fried in 18d


12 Responses to “Independent 7901/Radian”

  1. Miche says:

    Thanks, bertandjoyce.

    The long down clues, being fairly straightforward, gave me the theme and lots of crossing letters, so I thought it would be a brisk solve. I did get bogged down here and there, though, so thanks for your explanations. I hadn’t heard of MCG. As for RURALLY, it didn’t help that my sleep-deprived brain read HS2 as H2S…

    FWIW, I parsed 4d slightly differently: *SIMPLE enclosing (“introducing”) S (second), + L (“letter first”).

    My first reaction to “heating device” for THERMOSTAT was the same as yours, but on second thoughts I reckon it’s OK. It doesn’t heat anything itself, but it is a device found in heating systems. As you say, a heating control – and what is a control if not a device?

    Finally, 15d is an excuse to quote my favourite definition from Chambers:

    mullet noun A hairstyle that is short at the front, long at the back, and ridiculous all round

  2. sidey says:

    I hope Radian has taken out a patent on water as a form of renewable energy. And how odd that solid fuel is not renewable but biomass is. 16a is such a chestnut that it too could provide 8d.

  3. Bertandjoyce says:

    Without wishing to start a pedantic discussion (as seems to often happen on the ‘other side’!) over thermostats, Bert agrees that a thermostat is a device in a heating system but it could also be in a cooling system. So ….’heatng device’ doesn’t quite work!
    Love the mullet definition – neither of us had come across it before.

  4. flashling says:

    Just finished this, some lovely stuff ENRICH had me pondering for a while until the inevitable head, meet desk, now do it again moment. Somehow the Tea Party aren’t exactly folks I’d invite for a coffee morning!

    When I used to live in an apartment block number one was at the bottom on the ground floor so hardly top flat…

  5. Allan_C says:

    Sidey @2: I think you can count water as a source of renewable energy in the form of hydroelectric power. But, having said that, Radian hasn’t actually used the word ‘source’ as in other clues referncing 8d.

  6. sidey says:

    Allan, I may have been being a trifle facetious.

  7. nmsindy says:

    Tks, B+J for the so-thorough blog and Radian for the puzzle. I too found this quite hard – favourite clues APOLOGIES, BIOMASS, ENRICH. Without having checked back on anything, I think this may not be the first puzzle by Radian on this very topical theme.

  8. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Radian for an enjoyable puzzle and Bertandjoyce for the blog. My favourite clue (among many really good ones) was 1dn.

    13/22 I agree with the point made by flashling @4: I think “bottom flat” would be better than “top flat” here.

    17ac and 20dn: A recurrent grumble here. I think “offer” and “lose” respectively need to be singular in the cryptic reading and plural in the surface reading. This can be solved by using “can” or “must” before “offer” in 17ac, keeping “will” for 20dn. As always, I have no quarrel with those who give greater weight to brevity in the clue.

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Bertandjoyce for a fine blog (and also for being mentioned in despatches!) A fine puzzle too, just hard enough and an interesting theme running through it. The gateway clue was thankfully not too tricky, so you could get into the themed clues straight away. I liked RURALLY with its contemporary reference, and APOLOGIES was also clever.

  10. MikeC says:

    Thanks Bertandjoyce and Radian. A good puzzle. My last-ins were 18d and 13,22, which took me quite a while to fathom (deep drop!!).


  11. pennes says:

    Re 24 ac R U =are you; Is textspeak accepted now without an indicator?

  12. Niall says:

    I thought 26 across was just a play on Nietzsche/niche – hadn’t even considered the ‘Ich’.

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