Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7908 Bannsider (Sat 18-Feb-2012)

Posted by beermagnet on February 25th, 2012


Mr B not just revealing but revelling in his roots.

1 Across is the theme which is used in the clue surfaces more than the answers, so while it may be possible to solve this one without appropriate knowledge, I’m sure some wordplay cannot be decoded unless the connections are made.  Or as in my case, perusal of the appropriate Wiki: The Dubliners to discover the band’s personnel and who plays which instrument etc.

Solving took a good long while.  My excuse is that I decided to construct the blog at the same time and after I discovered the theme (not till I had about half the answers in place) I spent a long time “researching” The Dubliners and listening to the songs referenced in the clues.  I expect it would’ve taken me a long time anyway – I always consider Bannsider’s puzzles hard and have no expectation of success without effort – but that effort has its reward.

Bannsider has managed to get a reference to The Dubliners and their songs into most of the clues and answers of this puzzle.  Quite a feat!

Help required with 8 Down wordplay at least

Finally this link is a plug for their up-coming tour.

1 DUBLINERS Some Irish Republican featured in reggae poem? (9)
R[epublican] inside DUB (reggae) LINES (poem) The answer that turned out to be the theme
6 FIFTY Most oft-repeated number of Luke Kelly’s (5)
Roman numeral L = 50 is the most frequent letter in the name “Luke Kelly” so I think this is an &Lit
One of the founding members of the Dubliners
9 OCARINA Instrument Ciaran played on Monto, at the end (7)
[mont]O then (CIARAN)* AInd: played. If Ciaran Bourke really had played an Ocarina on this song (link) this clue really would have been something!
10 REUNION Get-together Ronnie organised around the 2nd in Tuam (7)
(RONNIE [t]U[am])* AInd: organised. Tuam is in Galway. Ronnie refers to Ronnie Drew who no doubt took part in a good few reunions in his time.
11 SCHILLACI New version of Cill Chais, a big success at Italia ’90 (9)
(Cill Chais)* AInd: new version. Salvatore Schillaci took the Golden Boot in the 1990 World Cup (6 goals) and is a perfect anagram of this lament: Cill Chais
12 AISLE Passage from Cunla is lewd (5)
Hidden in cunlA IS LEwd With my eyesight I thought the clue really was very lewd. Anyway Cunla (or Cuanla) is a traditional Irish song which is a bit saucy to say the least
13 MOULD Origin of music – ancient Irish or Scottish form (5)
M[usic] OULD is irish/scots for OLD (ancient)
14 ICONIFIED Uncovered sick, bony wife diet had graphically downsized (9)
“Hidden” in the middles of sICk bONy wIFe dIEt, as indicated by uncovered, then ending with [ha]D (i.e. ‘D) Theword and its given definition refers to making a tiny picture (downsizing) to represent something. I found this wordplay extremely tricky to spot.
17 MASEFIELD One wedded to pop’s energy: Paddy the poet (9)
MA (one wedded to pop) ‘S E[nergy] FIELD (Paddy) Ref: John Masefield, poet
19 UNARM One’s Italian translation: jolly drastic thing to do to McAlpine’s Fusiliers! (5)
UNA (One in italian) RM (jolly) Last clue to cold-solve (no crossing letters to help) once I’d recalled that a Jolly is a Royal Marine. Here’s the band playing McAlpine’s Fusiliers
20 REALM A Nation Once Again still missing Ciaran’s intro (5)
RE [c]ALM I can’t find an upload of /A Nation Once Again/ that includes video but here’s the song
22 SCAPEGOAT Patsy to excel with self-confidence, breaking into lay (9)
CAP (excel) EGO (self confidence) inside SAT (lay) Easy to miss the reference to Patsy Watchorn as he relatively recently joined the Dubliners line-up
24 BLARNEY Left after breaking the banjo player’s jaw in Irish pub? (7)
L[eft] inside BARNEY Ref. Barney McKenna Banjo (and other) player
25 GRENADE Pineapple and pomegranate drink shunned by Irishmen in extremis (7)
GRENAD[in]E The “in” from I[rishme]N Pineapple being a synonym of a grenade due to the obvious similarity inshape
26 YEARS Bungle Rye – about a sailor’s first time? (5)
(RYE)* AInd: bungle. around A, then S[ailor] The song Quare Bungle Rye refers to a sailor but I don’t think it is about his first time!
27 ON THE ROAD Book accompanying The Travelling People? (2,3,4)
DD I guess – indeed I wrote this in as a bit of a guess early on which helped with the crossing answers though Iwas fully expecting to get a crosser that failed and to have to rethink. Somehow the clue alludes to Kerouac’s classic. Anyway, here’s a link to another cracking track The Travelling People
1 DROSS It’s Poor Old Dicey Riley Sean’s singing, initially incorrectly (5)
Anagram (AInd: incorrectly) of Initial letters of {Old Dicey Riley Sean’s Singing}
Poor Old Dicey Riley being sung here by Ronnie Drew rather than Seán Cannon
2 BEACH BUMS Composer behind singular, captivating English folk forever at rest at Dollymount? (5,4)
E[nglish] inside BACH SUM S[ingular] Dollymount beach is near Dublin
3 INISLED On Rathlin, perhaps, most of Ulster turns and follows? (7)
NI< IS LED   When you are “On Rathlin” you are somewhat isolated (or maybe “N.I. ISLE’D” – which was my first attempt at unravelling this wordplay).  I had to check Chambers for this word which turns out to be an alternate spelling of ENISLE, a word equally obscure to me: To turn make into an island, or isolate.  I visited Rathlin Island during a tour of Ireland several years ago. It is memorable not only for the astonishing wildlife (seals and seabirds in quantities) but also for the amazingly rough ferry crossing – which surprised me as it was a lovely day and not far across the water from Ballycastle – but not surprising when you consider that the full force of the Atlantic sweeps across the top of Antrim.
4 ENAMATIVE From the South, musical title emerging (9)
EVITA (musical) NAME (title) all rev. (from the South)
5 SERAI After live start to session’s over, I desert inn (5)
S[ession] ARE< I.  A word that keeps cropping up in crosswords recently
6 FAUX AMI Fine gold cross barmaid regularly shows: it doesn’t mean what you think (4,3)
F[ine] AU (Gold) X (cross) bArMaId I was pleased to get this from the wordplay. Faux Ami, “false friend”, is where a word on phrase has a different meaning to what you may expect in another language or location. E.g. Sellotape in Australia
7 FAIRS They’re for amusement: the antithesis of piano tunes (5)
F (loud) AIRS as opposed to Piano (= soft) tunes
8 YANKEEDOM Americans, generally modest: refusal to rise holding fiddle (9)
I need help here.  The definition is clear (and the way I finally got this answer), I can see NAY reversed (refusal to rise) but how can KEEDOM derive from “generally modest” and “holding fiddle”?
13 MEMORABLY Playing of Mero by Liam’s moved one so? (9)
(MERO BY LIAM – I)* AInd: playing &Lit. An &Lit clue with a reference to The Mero, a pub that was in Mary Street. Not sure if Liam refers to a particular Dubliner but here’s Ronnie Drew singing it
The Mero
15 ON DRAUGHT Loves to cross e.g. Kildare as the Guinness flows! (2,7)
O and NAUGHT across DR where Kildare refers to the fictional doctor rather than the place.
16 INAMORATO Eamonn emerging from shell with a trio reworked I Love A Lassie (9)
([e]AMON[n] A TRIO)* AInd: reworked. Eamonn Campbell getting a mention her, but surely I Love a Lassie is a Scottish song – did The Dubliners do a version?
18 FAMINES They’ll provide nothing for me supper, for a start (7)
FA (nothing – as in the sweet kind) MINE (for me) S[upper]. The way “nothing” is doing double duty as an essential part of the def. and an essential part of the wordplay really, really fooled me till the bitter end.
19 UKELELE Instrument Luke’s left down to join leading trio of trumpeters? (7)
LUKE with L moved to the end, then ELE[phants]. Luke Kelly‘s name getting the treatment in this clue.h
I expect he could play the uke if he put hhis mind to it, but by way of a change of musical scene here is my favourite ukelele player of the moment: Helen Arney
21 AQABA Port tops off afternoon quietly – and brown ale (5)
A[fternoon] Q[uietly] A[nd] B[rown] A[le] Though I got this quiet early I was amused in the way a word with Q but no U almost misled me to dismiss the first letter wordplay method
22 SAY-SO Keeps mum’s order (3-2)
Says O, i.e. Says nothing = keeps mum
23 TWEED First of tunes performed in John’s material (5)
T[unes] WEED (performed in John) little bit of smut at the end. Ref: John Sheahan

Apologies for not using any accents on the Gaelic words – I would probably get them wrong if I tried

13 Responses to “Independent 7908 Bannsider (Sat 18-Feb-2012)”

  1. sidey says:

    Interesting stuff. The Dubliners link eluded me completely so thank you beermagnet for all your research. I shall enjoy the links. Despite missing the theme I found a lot of the clues considerably easier than most of Bannsider’s work, the ones I couldn’t get were, of course, beyond the pale.

  2. Richard Heald says:

    Great blog, and a masterpiece of thematic cluing from Bannsider. Quite a feat to work no fewer than ten songs and nine members of The Dubliners (Paddy Reilly at 17Ac being the only one beermagnet missed) into the clues and to maintain an Irish/musical flavour almost throughout. The reason for the theme, BTW, lies in the top and bottom rows: DUBLINERS FIFTY YEARS ON THE ROAD. Terrific stuff!

    The wordplay for 8Dn is DO (fiddle) in a reversal of [MEEK (modest) + NAY (refusal)].

    Oh and 6Ac is not an & lit., but 18Dn is!

  3. nmsindy says:

    Yes, while I spotted the theme very early on, I did not see the significance of the bottom row. My knowledge of the group and their songs is sketchy to say the very least but nonetheless I was able to solve the puzzle which I did find a little easier than some by Bannsider. Thanks, Bannsider and beermagnet.

  4. anax says:

    Because I was away last weekend I missed the paper, so delighted to have had chance to solve it online today. What a superb puzzle! Like nmsindy I know little about the group, but could easily appreciate the huge number of celebratory touches in the clues… so many of them too! A remarkable achievement.
    I do hope RR was able to somehow present the puzzle to the band, or at least let them know about it. He deserves their thanks, and certainly gets mine for a terrific setting achievement.

  5. scchua says:

    Thanks beermagnet and Bannsider.

    Amazing puzzle, and amazing blog. Though my knowledge of the group has been eroded with time to only “Seven Drunken Nights”, I was glad to be able to finish a Bannsider (with a little help from the check, and not the cheat, button on 2 of the answers), a feat I normally don’t achieve. Furthermore, your links add tremendously to the enjoyment of blog and puzzle.

  6. Jan says:

    Thanks, Beermagnet, I visited all the links and thoroughly enjoyed the YouTube ones.

    I printed out the puzzle today so didn’t have Cheat or Check buttons, nor did I have time to go-a-googlin’, so had a couple unsolved.

    Thanks, Richard @2, for explaining 8d. I thought the MODE came from ‘generally MODEst’ and couldn’t justify the KE.

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    Fantastic blog Beermagnet! We finished the puzzle but totally missed the theme. We were on holiday while we solved this one, so perhaps the delights of Cornwall meant we took our eye off the ball!
    The wording of the clues seemed somewhat convoluted at times but we can now appreciate why. We had no internet access so had to guess the footballer from the checking letters.
    Thanks Bannsider – a tour de force!

  8. Thomas99 says:

    Many thanks for the surprisingly informative blog…

    …I greatly enjoyed solving this without ever sussing the connection to the band. I just thought the theme was Ireland. It must be a very well compiled puzzle for that to be possible – the theme makes it even better but didn’t spoil things for the ignorant!

  9. beermagnet says:

    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that I missed the message in the top and bottom lines. One of those times when you can’t see what’s staring you in the face. I had been looking at the websites describing their upcoming Fifty Year tour, yet still had great trouble solving 6A FIFTY.
    And I’m sorry I missed Paddy Reilly from the line-up present in the puzzle.

    Thanks to RichardH for the elucidation of YANKEEDOM. If I’d have seen either Meek = Modest or Fiddle = Do I might’ve got it.
    I’m no expert on what constitutes an &Lit so I’m happy to agree with that explanation for 18D – that’s why it felt that “nothing” was doing double-duty.
    But if 6A is not an &Lit what is it? A (convoluted) single def?

    Like anax I feel this was such a worthy tribute it should be made known to the band – I do hope someone has.

    B&J what delights take you to Cornwall at this time of year? A burning desire to go through the Mên-an-Tol?

  10. Bannsider says:

    I must give a huge thank-you to beermagnet for a wonderful blog. Whatever sort of a tribute to the Dubliners my puzzle may have been, this blog really is the crowning glory :-)
    The Dubliners and I go back a long way, though not back to 1962 I hasten to add: even I don’t remember that far back!
    The puzzle’s date was chosen to coincide with what would have been the 77th birthday (actually Sunday 19th) of Ciaran Bourke, who sadly took seriously ill while on tour with the band in the mid-seventies and never fully recovered. (In fact the date in question was Sunday 19th, and the puzzle nearly went in the IoS, which I’m very glad it did not!).
    Apologies to those who find this sort of thematic stuff tedious. I did wonder whether I was going a bit overboard with some of it, but I did hold back to the extent that I didn’t try to get absolutely every band member in, so Jim McCann and Bobby Lynch are not mentioned. As I mentioned to someone else, I hope the former is not an Indy crossword fan! And there was never a “Liam” (that’s just our son’s name!)
    As far as alerting the band to the existence of the puzzle is concerned, I’m not sure. I might make tentative enquiries to see if there are in fact any crossword fans amongst the current line-up. I once had a long conversation with Barney McKenna in the bar after a concert: unfortunately I’d had about 10 pints of Guinness at the time, so if the topic of crosswords came up I can’t remember it!

    By the way 6ac is just a cryptic definition: in other words a straight definition worded in a way as to make it look as though it’s saying something else, but with no conventional wordplay. The are 3 repeated letters in Luke Kelly’s, but the L is repeated most often. There’s no more to it than that.

  11. bertandjoyce says:

    beermagnet@9 All expenses paid trip organised by my parents who cannot drive! Actually sat in the sun drinking beer one day and worried we would get sunburnt!

  12. pennes says:

    I can now see that it was very ingenious puzzle, but I settled down to a long rail journey and realised it was a theme that I did not know and doing the puzzle was beyond me, so I felt a bit disgruntled and ended buying another paper. Even if I’d been at home I couldn’t have made much of a fist of it without spending half my time on the internet. So I think it was just too specialised and I don’t find hunting for answers on the internet very rewarding.

  13. Bannsider says:

    I’m not sure internet research would have helped a lot (well, maybe with “The Banjo player” and “Dollymount strand”!) : it’s perhaps unfortunate that puzzles like these give the impression that speciaist knowledge might be needed when it’s not in fact the case.

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