Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7910 by Crosophile

Posted by Bertandjoyce on February 21st, 2012


We wonder whether we are missing something here!

An enjoyable, fairly tricky puzzle with a number of unusual words that you could parse from the cryptic part but needed checking with a dictionary.

We spent some time trying to see whether there was something hidden within the grid (see 15d) but perhaps we are trying too hard!

8 FIVES Fives is a game  in the singular and numbers in the plural!
9 EBULLIENT BULLIE(s) (tormentors mostly) inside (getting punched in) ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) = enthusiastic
11 IGNORES Reversed (in recession) within (advi)SER ON GI(ft-aid) = cuts
12 LACONIC LAC(k) (‘want’ shortened) + O (of) +NIC(ety) (half of nicety) = cryptic definition – if you are ‘short for want of nicety”, you may be laconic. Thanks to Lenny for pointing this out!
13 MEANS TEST ST (saint, a good person) amongst MEANEST (the worst) = something used to give a benefit
14 EYRIE Homophone of ‘eerie’ (weird) = a high and inaccessible place
15 QUILT QUIL(l) is a feather – remove the L (long) and replace with T (time) ‘sits on the end’ = bedcover
17 LOW Not the depressed acquaintance of Pooh but Owl who couldn’t spell very well except for his own name, “Wol”! When WOL is reversed (makes a comeback) = depressed
19 NUDES Anagram of UND(r)ES(s) (shortly – removing last ‘s’ and ‘r’ –right away)  anagrind is ‘may become’ = a couple undressed
21 IBSEN Anagram of IS BEN (anagrind is ‘working’). Ibsen’s work was writing plays
23 LARCENIES Anagram of SERIAL (anagrind is ‘criminal’) around (s)CEN(e) (scene uncovered) = crimes
26 CANOPUS CAN (may) + OPUS (work) = star
27 HERONRY HEN(r)Y (as in Lenny Henry the actor and comedian) around RO (run out) = place for keeping herons who are wading birds
28 NEWSGIRLS NEW (unworn) + SGIR (returned outfits) +(e)LS(e) (centre of ‘else’) = some individuals who may be delivering the Express along with better quality newspapers like the Indy!
29 CINCH C IN C (‘Commander in Chief ‘or General) + H (hospital) = piece of cake
1 AFFIRM A (acting) + F (fine) + FIRM (company) = state
2 SVENGALI Anagram of AN EVIL G(eniu)S (first and last of ‘genius’) anagrind is ‘in novel form’ = an evil hypnotist in this novel!
3 USURPS USER(er) (one third removed from a ‘loan shark’) + PS (extra comment = takes place
4 SEASHELL E (European) + ASH (tree) within SELL (market) = periwinkle
5 MULLET (a)MULET (top broken off protective charm) with ‘L inside = fish. Not the hairstyle this time which means we don’t have the opportunity for Miche’s recent comment in case you missed it!
6 JENNER J(Jack) + (t)ENNER (several pounds) underneath with T (troy) removed = the famous jabber/vaccinator,  Edward Jenner
7 STICKERS S(south) + TICKERS (hearts) = notices as in ‘’posters’
10 LECTERN L (initial letter of ‘learning’) + anagram of CENTRE anagrind is ‘might provide’ = something for reading
15 QUINCUNX QUIN (one of five) + CX (110 in roman numerals) around UN (dialect form of ‘one’) = a grid
16 TENT PEG TENT (wine) + PEG (girl’s name) = holds a guy down when camping!
18 WAR CHEST ARCH (chief) held by WEST (Cold War Bloc) = campaign budget
20 DEIGNING D (director) + (r)EIGNING (ruling guillotined!) = condescending
22 SINEWS SINES (functions as in Trigonometry) around W (weak) = powers. We didn’t know this meaning and had to check it in Chambers
23 LUSTRE LUST (vice) + R + (starts of Ring Entrapment) = polish
24 ENRICH (h)E(i)NRICH as in ‘einrich ‘immler with ‘I’ escaping = concentrate
25 SCYTHE Anagram of CHESTY (anagrind is unwell) = what the Reaper holds!


18 Responses to “Independent 7910 by Crosophile”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, both. I liked this one, particularly LARCENIES and NEWSGIRLS for their smooth surface readings. I will admit to using online gadgetry for QUINCUNX, which when I looked it up gave ‘an arrangement of five objects in a square, with four in the corners and one in the middle.’ Since the completion message said ‘gimme five!’ I think we can safely say that there’s something going on here.

    The only thing I can find is that the four corner letters spell AXES, and there’s a O in the middle, but that’s probably naff all to do with it.

    Thanks to Crosophile for a teasing puzzle.

  2. anax says:

    Aha – got it! K’SD is on the right track by spotting the central O. The other Os are evenly arranged as central letters in 11, 12, 26 & 27 across. Very clever Crosophile!

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Well spotted, Anax! This reminds me of a Monk puzzle we had in the Indy last year sometime, where one of the clues was ETHANE MOLECULE and the C2H6 structure was shown with the two Cs and the six Hs in a pattern around the centre.

  4. Wanderer says:

    Thanks to Bertandjoyce, and to Crosophile. I too realised there was something going on only after seeing the ‘gimme five’ message, but failed to spot what it was, so thanks also to K’s D for AXES and to Anax for the arrangement of Os.

    It may or may not be relevant but reading downwards, there is also a Nina of ETUI and LACE. A quick google search shows that there is indeed such a thing as a LACE ETUI dress — I have no idea what Crosophile may have in mind.

    Difficult but satisfying is my verdict.

  5. Bertandjoyce says:

    Well spotted Anax! We didn’t receive an on-line message when we finished this but feltthat there must be something there. Apparently a quincux can also be an arrangement of trees in an orchard. Having spotted fir and elm in the grid (OK- they’re not fruit trees) one of us, (Joyce) kept looking for others! Bert meanwhile was looking for other ‘fives’ in addition to 8a!
    Ah well, we live and learn from the rest of you!

  6. eimi says:

    There are five answers connected to the number five, though I’m sure I wouldn’t have spotted this if Crosophile hadn’t pointed it out. Nina spotters might want to have a go at winkling them out. So, we’ve got fives and quincunx – just three more to spot.

  7. Lenny says:

    Thanks B&J, this was a tough one. Crosophile today uses words and wordplay more usually found in barred crosswords: Un, (A)cting, (W)eak, (T)roy and, I think, (O)f in Laconic, which is not mentioned in the blog. At least I managed to get Quincunx and Canopus from the wordplay and I liked the mention (of my namesake) at 27.

    I carelessly had Eerie at 14, through not reading the question properly. Still, Eerie, Eery, Eyrie, Eyry, Aerie, Aery, Ayrie and Erie are a bit of a blind spot for me. Needless to say the nina was quite beyond me.

  8. Conrad Cork says:

    Lawrence Durrell used the word quincunx to describe a group of five connected novels he wrote. That sent me off on an unproductive chase here.

  9. Bertandjoyce says:

    Can we have another clue please eimi? Did you think of ‘winkling’ because of 4d or is it a clue in itself? If it is, it didn’t help!

  10. Bertandjoyce says:

    We think we may have found one of the other three – ‘cinch’ can be a card game in which the five of trumps ranks highest. A rather tenuous link, but there is a connection to ‘cinque’. Are we getting warm?

  11. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Crosophile for an enjoyable crossword and B&J for the blog.

    For the “fives” I can add that LUSTRE is a period of five years.

    10dn: Normally I would prefer to keep the abbreviation out of the anagram, but here the anagram indicator is “might provide”, which suggests to me that the anagram must be of the whole word, so I read it as “Anagram of L + CENTRE”.

  12. Bamberger says:

    Off topic-I have got nowhere with the i cryptic 322 by Monk. Is this a reprinted Indie crossword e.g 7000 so that I can look at the blog for that? If not I’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

  13. Bamberger says:

    Answered own question

  14. eimi says:

    Cinch and lustre are correct. The last is a five-pointed star.

  15. flashling says:

    Good lord well I thought it were tough, but by eck, the theme screamed over me head by at least 5 miles, Sorry, flew to scotland and faux northern is now catching up. I know Crosophile does some barred crosswords but perhaps for a schoolday puzzle some bits were too obscure and the Nina well, frankly silly hard. Was etui/lace just one of those things that happen or there no coincidences in the indy (c)Eimi

  16. Wanderer says:

    eimi @ 14
    ‘The last is a five-pointed star.’ Hmm. A starfish is a star, with (usually) five points, and I wonder if it could be said to be a seashell? (4d). Otherwise I am floundering. Of course Canopus (26a) is a star but I can’t see five points in it. Hopelessly out of my depth here, but thank you for the fun/exasperation you have given me! Most grateful to be put out of my misery…

  17. MikeC says:

    Wanderer@16. Would you believe “mullet” (heraldic)?

    Thanks b&j and Crosophile. Too tough for me!

  18. Crosophile says:

    Sorry, I’d forgotten this puzzle was appearing so only just caught up on the blog and comments, all much appreciated. And thanks, Eimi, for stepping into the explanatory breach.
    LACE & ETUI is one of those coincidences, but Kathryn’s Dad is spot on [#3] with the Monk reference as that puzzle somehow sparked the idea for this one. Where will such a chain reaction end?

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