Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7902 (Saturday Prize Puzzle 11th February 2012) by Tyrus

Posted by twencelas on February 18th, 2012


So Tyrus for me again – he seems to crop up about every 5 weeks in the Independent, as does my blog on 15×15.

It goes without saying, that I enjoyed this immensely. Some wonderful clues as always, covering almost the whole spectrum of the cryptic toolkit (except the double definition, which is my least favoured clue-type). The sublime elegance of 1ac, the humour in 21ac, the witty use of homonyms in 11ac, 5dn, 15dn and 23dn,  the elegant surfaces for the anagrams of 4dn and 14ac, the hidden answer in 22dn and the intrinsic simplicity of 13dn when you see the answer –  to name just a few.

No theme leaps out to me, though there is a glut of words containing the same letter twice or more.  Thanks Tyrus for another amusing and taxing workout.

Key: * (Anagram). Rev (Reverse)


1              Not sure how to categorise this little gem it refers to an Homonym of Plane (Carpenter’s tool) = PLAIN SPOKEN (Definition Blunt)

7              PD (as in P.D. James) about o (old) = POD (school as in the sea)

9              (on trust)* indicated by doctor = TURNS TO (Seeks help from)

10           Spend less (economise) – sp (spelling) = ENDLESS (It’s permanent)

11           Double homonym indicated by state (Wreck (smash) and Amends (reforms)) = RECOMMENDS (Proposes)

12           Bottom (base) – outsiders (B,M) = OTTO (German)

14           (the wife + a friend + c(around))* = WITH A DIFFERENCE (Not in the normal way)

17/20     (t (dates essentially) + too + moral + first night)* = I’M NOT THAT SORT OF GIRL (When you hear this)

21           Again beyond my categorisation – Henry VIII was always depicted as being rather plump i.e. an Unthin King = UNTHINKING (Inconsiderate)

26           Ivor + Ian (Boys) = IVORIAN (Didier Drogba the Chelsea player is from the Ivory coast)

27           Noh (Drama) + er (queen) accepting op (work) = NOHOPER (A most unlikely prospect)

28           Gash (Cut ) – h = GAS (Talk)


1              Rev. Re-Tap (Try to get more money as in Tap-up) = PATER (Father)

2              Rich (loaded) – h in a pot (a container) = APRICOT (Fruit)

3              (is man)* indicated by to beat = NASIM (Arab-ic name)

4              (hoperiots)* + POOTERISH (Very bourgeois)

5              Homonym of Need (want) = KNEED (Jointly attacked as in by the knee)

6              Nadia(girl) – I = NADA (zip is in zero)

7              Presto (very quick) + n (name) = PRESTON (City)

8              dis (underworld) + Rev (foes (enemies) + o (over) + p (past)) = DISPOSE OF (Kills)

13           Biro (writer) lifting heart = BRIO (Spirit)

14           wing (part of turkey) around hinge (joint)  = WHINGEING (Having beef)

15           Homonym (indicated by in discussion) of R T (leaders of radical theatre) = ARTY (Pretentious)

16           F (fellow) + at  + chancel (court) – l (lines) = FAT CHANCE (Very Improbable)

18           (souvenir – i)* indiacted by damaged = NERVOUS (On edge)

19           Trier (judge?) around PP (double parking) = TRIPPER (Tourist)

22           Hidden assassiN IN JApan = NINJA (as shown as it  is)

23           Homonym of Know-how (knack) indicated by picked up = NOHOW

24           Rev (Drug –d(Dope)) + us (country) = GURUS (Teachers)

25           Vie (struggle) + w (with) = VIEW (Scene)

9 Responses to “Independent 7902 (Saturday Prize Puzzle 11th February 2012) by Tyrus”

  1. flashling says:

    Quite liked this puzzle, was surprised at the number of homophones, 1ac I took as being a homophone just being one of those reverse clues where the answer clues the clue as it were. Thanks both.

  2. Cumbrian says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, and many thanks for the blog. For some reason I struggled with 7d, deciding that “to name” gave TON as the ending, got the P at the beginning so decided it had to be PRESTON. Why? Aha – a homonym of PRESSED ON. So I missed PRESTO, overcomplicated it, but got the result and had a chuckle moment anyway.

    Too many appealing clues to have an outright favourite.

  3. Wanderer says:

    Loved it. Normally I find Tyrus the toughest in the Indy stable, but this was a treat. The long across clues (the wife playing around, and the spoilt first night) were hilarious, and I felt that these two, combined with “I unfastened girl’s zip” did constitute a kind of saucy mini-theme. POD held me up for a long time.

    I interpreted my Fellow at Court slightly differently — I thought he was F AT CHANCERY, with RY=railway=lines.

    Many thanks twencelas and Tyrus.

  4. twencelas says:

    Wanderer – I think your parsing of 16dn is an improvement on mine. Chancery is a more direct representation of court and the question mark after the lines, I think, directs us to “ry”.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was very good and a little easier than Tyrus usually is for me anyway. I also saw FAT CHANCE as Wanderer did at #3. And while there were many great clues, I will name a favourite – UNTHINKING which was also the last I solved. Thanks Tyrus and twencelas. And trier = judge all right from the verb try and trial I guess.

  6. Lenny says:

    Thanks Twencelas and Tyrus, this was a lot of fun with some outrageous clueing. My only grumble was at being expected to know Didier Drogba’s nationality. I scarcely know that he is a footballer. Last in was Nada where I had to think hard to get the correct definition of Zip.

  7. Allan_C says:

    Nice one. Thanks Tyrus and twencelas. But how dull can one get? – I got ARTY for 15d but just couldn’t see how AY could mean ‘discussion’ and never thought of ‘in discussion’ as a homonym indicator. COD has to be UNTHINKING – a really outrageous play on words!

  8. Tyrus says:

    Thanks to all for the generous comments and to twencelas for another
    great blog.

  9. Tramp says:

    Super puzzle from Tyrus. My favourite was the excellent 17/20

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