Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7926 by Anax (Saturday Prize Puzzle 10 March 2012)

Posted by mc_rapper67 on March 17th, 2012


Nothing fancy (that I could see, anyway) from Anax here, in terms of thematics, ninas, etc. – which is quite rare in a Saturday prize Indy, recently. Just a nice, enjoyable cryptic workout.

There was some good quality clueing, with diverting surface readings – especially on the longer entries, like 9A, 3D. And enjoyed 13D ALTISSIMO as a reversed hidden word!

All in all though, I found this a relatively quick solve to get to all but the last few entries – although I didn’t help myself by lazily putting in TRIAL SEPARATION at 9A, without fully working the anagram through. Early on I could see K, V, W, X, Y and Z – and suspected we were heading for a pangram, but in the end there was no J or Q to complete the set.

Last in was 6A WHIFF – which I had never known as a type of boat – so Chambers was called in to play there.

I also hadn’t known that 11D EDELWEISS could be pluralised – it sounds like a word that could function for singular and plural, with those two esses already there at the end.

Maybe a slight theme – with references to Thatcher, wearing the trousers, God Bless America (her special relationship?) and sell short/low-spirited, or satisfied – depending on your political hue and your dislike/admiration for the Iron lady?


Clue No Solution Clue Definition (with occasional embellishments) /
1A GALAPAGOS Funny tale describing a part of a race, thus about tortoises (9) tortoises /
GAG (funny tale) around (describing) A + LAP (part of a race), plus OS (so, or thus, about)
6A WHIFF A boat’s draught (5) double defn /
WHIFF can be a draught (of air), or a light outrigger boat
9A LEGAL SEPARATION Q: Why do we live apart?
A: It’s all gone pear-shaped (5, 10)
&lit/why do we live apart /
anag (i.e. pear-shaped) of APART + ITS ALL GONE
anag (i.e. shaped) of A: ITS ALL GONE PEAR
10A AFOOT Twelve inches in the air (5) double defn /
A FOOT = twelve inches, AFOOT = happening, in the air
11A EYESTRAIN Problem for pupils, of course, in English school (9) problem for pupils (eyes, not schoolkids) /
E (English) + TRAIN (school) around YES (of course)
12A THATCHERITE The one to quote lines of female Tory (11) (of female) Tory /
THAT (the one) + CITE (to quote) around (lining) HER (of female)
13A AXE Old wheels on a chopper (3) chopper /
EX (old) + A – all wheeling round
14A IVY Climbing plant’s pale yellow leaves (3) climbing plant /
IVorY – pale, less OR (gold or yellow, heraldic)
15A LOW-SPIRITED Slippery wet oil drips down (3-8) down (in the dumps) /
anag (i.e. slippery) of WET OIL DRIPPS
17A SATISFIED It’s a word of criticism in 19 that makes you happy (9) happy /
SAD (upset, 19A) around TIS (it’s) + FIE (interjection, word of criticism)
19A UPSET Delivery company starts to examine theft complaint (5) complaint /
UPS (delivery company, United Parcel Service) + ET (first letters of Examine & Theft)
20A GOD BLESS AMERICA Ambridge closes off area by request of country lover (3, 5, 7) &lit?/request of one who loves the USA /
anag (i.e. off) of AMBRIDGE CLOSES, plus A (area)
22A THRUM It takes some time to fill in stomach tattoo (5) tattoo (as in drums, not skin decoration) /
TUM (stomach) around HR (hour, some time)
23A SELL SHORT Make light of scrap after drinking binge, having drunk a couple of litres (4, 5) make light of /
SESH (drinking binge) + ORT (scrap) around (having drunk) LL (a couple of litres)
Clue No Solution Clue Definition (with occasional embellishments) /
1D GALLANT Hostility on accepting new lover (7) lover /
GALL (hostility) + AT (on) around N (new)
2D LEGIONARY Soldier in house – not a soldier (9) soldier (second one!) /
LEO (astrological house) around GI (solder) plus NARY (not a)
3D POLITICAL ASYLUM Power corrupt, you’ll claim it as refuge? (9, 6) &lit/refuge /
P (power) + anag (i.e corrupt) of YOU’LL CLAIM IT AS
4D GEE Fridge empty? It’s full of crumbs (3) crumbs! (interjection) /
hidden word in fridGE Empty
5D SNAKE-HIPPED Slender son and nude nurses in gym (5-6) slender /
S (son) + NAKED (nude) around (nursing) HIP (in, trendy) + PE (gym)
6D WEAR THE TROUSERS Lead us to rather stoned druggies (4, 3, 8 ) lead (in a relationship) /
WE (us) + anag (i.e stoned) of TO RATHER + USERS (druggies)
7D IBIZA I trade with a holiday island (5) holiday island /
I + BIZ (business, trade) + A
8D FINANCE Intended to invest new funds (7) funds /
FIANCÉ (intended) around (investing) N (new)
11D EDELWEISSES Earth is weedless for cultivating plants (11) plants (does edelweiss have a plural?!) /
E (earth) + anag (i.e. for cultivating) of IS WEEDLESS
13D ALTISSIMO Very high 19 in radio – miss it lately? (9) very high /
hidden word, reversed (upset, 19A) in radiO MISS IT LAtely
14D IN SIGHT I start to see in he dark, just ahead (2, 5) just ahead /
I + NIGHT (dark), around S (start to see)
16D DETRACT Temperature moved upwards making you take away (7) take away /
T (temperature) + CARTED (moved) – all upwards
18D TUDOR Party in the same old flipping house (5) (royal) house /
TUR (rut, same old, flipped) around DO (party)
21D AWL Tool missing? Nothing’s missing (3) tool /
AWOL (missing, absent without leave) less O (nothing, missing)

10 Responses to “Independent 7926 by Anax (Saturday Prize Puzzle 10 March 2012)”

  1. Tramp says:

    A wonderful puzzle with superb clueing and great surfaces.

  2. Allan_C says:

    As mc_rapper67 says, just a nice cryptic workout. 6a held me up for a while, thinking it had to be ‘skiff’ – not that I could parse it if it was. And I too thought that edelweiss was one of those words that’s the same in the singular and plural.
    A minor quibble about 14d. ‘In sight’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘just ahead’. If your objective is in sight it may be just ahead or equally well it may be just a speck on the distant horizon.
    But thanks, Anax, for the puzzle and mc_rapper67 for the blog.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was excellent, not quite as difficult as some by Anax – thanks to him and mc_rapper67. Favourite clue POLITICAL ASYLUM.

  4. Wanderer says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this. Favourite was LEGAL SEPARATION, although I have a slightly different reading — I think it’s an anagram of A: ITS ALL GONE PEAR, with shaped on its own as the indicator. I thought the Q&A device very clever. POLITICAL ASYLUM also superb.

    Many thanks to mc_rapper67 and to Anax for some excellent fun.

  5. Alberich says:

    Excellent puzzle. I’m glad I wasn’t alone in putting in TRIAL rather than LEGAL and then paying for my laziness later; I also initially entered SKIFF based on its second Chambers definition of “a puff” which could be a draught at a stretch. Many ticks but the clues to the long answers were in my opinion the best, notably POLITICAL ASYLUM. Thanks Anax!

  6. mc_rapper67 says:

    Thanks for all the comments and feedback – looks like it was a well-received puzzle.

    Wanderer at #4 – you are right – I talked myself into another lazy anagram there – my suggestion didn’t quite have all the right letters! Have updated accordingly…

    Allan_C at #2 – without my glasses or contact lenses, for me ‘in sight’ means about 2 feet away!

  7. anax says:

    Hello all
    Many thanks to mc_rapper67 for a great blog and to all for your comments. Only one query to address. For 14d the intention of the def was figurative – in fact the original clue had used ‘around the corner’. All three are probably close to each other without being precise.
    Just a setter’s note on THATCHERITE. It went into the grid because I immediately centred my thoughts on THAT + CHERIE, hoping to get in some reference to Tony’s unusually-mouthed spouse, only to find myself unable to do so. It was a huge relief to spot the wordplay breakdown I eventually used.
    If anyone fancies trying the THAT CHERI(T)E idea…

  8. flashling says:

    Glad I wasn’t the only one to put Skiff not whiff, which rather messed up wear the trousers. Apart from that it was quite a quick solve for an Anax prize puzzle. Nice blog TY and to Anax for the workout.

  9. Thomas99 says:

    Tory whom Blair follows, Tony’s first to admit (11)

    Not so easy to actually bring her mouth into it:
    Coverage of the ruling class has its work cut out: Tony’s head gets swallowed by his wife, in accordance with right-wing principles (11)
    (T(op)hat + T in Cherie)

  10. mc_rapper67 says:

    Thanks for dropping by Anax at #7 – and for the updates.

    Thomas99 at #9 – all this talk of Thatcher, Tony Blair and Cherie’s mouth is making me feel rather queasy…please desist!…

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