Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7925/Quixote

Posted by John on March 9th, 2012


Musical chairs have been much in evidence this week, with Phi, who has usually been on Friday, on Monday, and Quixote now in Phi’s usual place. When I saw Phi on Monday I wondered what devilish thing was in store for Friday. It must be the anniversary of something or other and no doubt some dastardly setter was ready to give me a hard time.

But I was relieved to find Quixote today. Not only is he on the easy side, always a comfort for a blogger, but the crossword is a master-class in how to set fairly simple clues that are fresh and sound. A year or two ago someone on the Crossword Centre message board was asking for gateway cryptics. Various suggestions were made, and I recommended Everyman in The Observer. At the time I was unaware of Quixote’s crosswords, which would otherwise surely have been mentioned.

It is noticeable how often we have religious references: I suppose this is to be expected from someone who is the crossword editor of The Church Times. Phi often has musical references, again to be expected when you realise that he sets a monthly crossword for BBC Music Magazine.

1 WI (SE) ACRE — SE is conventional crossword-code for the Home Counties, although I always think of SE as being just Kent
5 AVA TAR — yes, that’s what the word originally meant, a divine manifestation
9 LA CO NIC{e}
11 F EAT
12 GLOUCESTER — (recluse got)*
14 WALL PAINTING — CD — for a long time I expected it to be (a superficial)*, starting ‘self p…’
17 STARTING GATE — (ain’t at rest)* around gg [gee-gee]
20 CENTENNIAL — cent (nine l)* around a
21 MAG I — referring to the i newspaper
24 TWELFTH — referring to the twelfth man in cricket and also to the ‘Glorious Twelfth’, the 12th of August
1 WILDFOWL — if you take ‘wild’ as an anagram indicator of ‘fowl’, you may get ‘flow’
2 SOCIALLY — (1 co)rev. in Sally
3 A{r}R{a}N{g}E{r}
4 RECALCITRANCE — (a real eccentric — {patienc}e)*
6 VILLEINAGE — (genial)* in vile
8 REGARD — 2 defs
10 COURT DISASTER — (dictators sure)*
13 APOTHECARY — a pot (chary)* around e — ecstasy is the modern drug
18 ICECAP — 1 c (pace)rev.
22 BEEF — 2 defs

14 Responses to “Independent 7925/Quixote”

  1. Davidrog says:

    Thanks for solutions
    SE = Kent! Not heard that one before :)

  2. Quixote says:

    Anniversary of something or other? Sure — as noted in the paper my first Indy puzzle (over 1250 of them mainly for IOS) appeared exactly 25 years ago today. Delighted to learn from our blogger that new awareness is being added!

  3. Conrad Cork says:


    Many congratulations and more power to your elbow.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    When I saw Phi on Monday and then Quixote today, I was reflecting that those clever bods at CERN had finally decided that time travel was possible after all … but now all is revealed. Firstly, many congrats to Quixote; as Araucaria remarked to Rufus the other week, remember that cruciverbalists don’t retire.

    Another fine puzzle in the usual style that John describes. With Quixote I like the fact that you always get a good balance of clue types. I thought GLOUCESTER was cleverly spotted (although if you’ve been compiling crosswords for more than 25 years I guess you’ve happened upon it before) and I was amused by MAGI. The Indy i has only been going just over a year, but it’s at least the second time we’ve seen it used: the last time it was IONA as a homophone of ‘i owner’ for ‘newspaper proprietor’. (Was that Quixote as well? I can’t remember.) My only stumble with this one was entering FACE PAINTING for 14ac, but WILDFOWL finally sorted that out.

    Quixote has also had a name-check in Another Place today – not a very flattering one, though I’m sure it’s tongue-in-cheek!

  5. nmsindy says:

    Congrats on this landmark from someone who has tackled almost all of those 1250 mentioned. This was just like all the others, clear, entertaining, varied, not too difficult and completely fair. In fact quite easy today, being held up for any time only in the NW corner before crossing entries confirmed WALL PAINTING.

    K’s D, I think Quixote has quite a while to go yet to catch up with Rufus or Araucaria…

    Thanks, John, and, yes, I’ve also recommended Q to budding solvers as a starter puzzle.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Indeed, nms – I was just encouraging Quixote to keep on keeping on …

  7. flashling says:

    Many thanks to the Don for the many years of frustration and bemusement, did wonder why it was yourself until I saw the comment in the paper about it being 25 years, I do remember a chat with you a couple of years ago when you were rather peeved that the Indy didn’t acknowledge your 1000th (ish the counting had gone a bit awry apparently)

    Anyway found today’s rather easy, but that’s no bad thing (apart from having to buy a Grauniad for something to do on my train home)

    Thanks John for the blog, @Davidrog #1 SE=Home counties=Kent gets used quite a bit.

  8. Cumbrian says:

    Many thanks for a very enjoyable puzzle. I also went for FACE PAINTING initially, but WILDFOWL put me right. Last two in were the crossing 5ac and 6d which held me up for a while. 5ac had to end in TAR, and when I thought that maybe, just maybe, it was AVATAR (didn’t know the original meaning), the V gave me VILLEINAGE. Perhaps an unusual word, but “villein” cropped up regularly not long ago in a tv series tracing the history of the area around Kibworth.

  9. Bertandjoyce says:

    We have probably done all of your puzzles Quixote, we even have the IOS saved for us when we were on holiday just for the crosswords- sad people that we are! Our faces lit up when we saw it was you today so we hope you visit the site again today to receive our thanks and good wishes along with everyone elses!
    We also had face painting for 14a until we solved 1and 2d.
    It’s been a strange week – an easier Thursday and a much talked about puzzle earlier in the week. No complaints with this one though.
    Thanks John for the blog.

  10. Phi says:

    Quite a week for anniversaries, with Azed marking forty years on Sunday. Congratulations to Don as well. Landmarks like this are good to acknowledge, but become a little unsettling as the numbers increase!

  11. pennes says:

    Congratulations to Quixote, who I recall featured in a programme about crosswords on, surely BBC4, 2 or 3 years ago; his crosswords are as delightful as he was. I liked 15 dn, paraffin, one of those where the penny dropping was satisfying. Magi too worth a mention.
    Thoroughly sound clueing and all do-able from my general knowledge, and no cause to upset anyone.
    Writing in “twelfth” I wonder how many English words have 4 successive letters with no vowel and one vowel only in a seven letter word?

  12. Prolixic says:

    Congratulations to Quixote on the 25th anniversary.

    Glad that I was not the only one to put FACE PAINTING for 14a before realising that it scuppered 1d & 2d.

  13. flashling says:

    @Pennes #11 rhythms perhaps… ok only a half vowel

  14. Quixote says:

    Many thanks to all for your kindness

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five + = 13