Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7939 by Mordred

Posted by NealH on March 26th, 2012


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

Slightly unusual for Mordred to crop up on a Monday, but this was a slightly easier puzzle that he sometimes sets. There were still some tricky clues, however, and a few I’m not sure about.

9 Ascot: DD, someone from Paisley being a Scot.
10 Existence: Slightly convoluted, but I think this one is ex(=without) + it(=appeal i.e. sex appeal) around s[ister] + en(=French in) + CE (church). The def is just “being”.
11 Heiress: Hess i.e. Rudolph Hess, the long term inmate of Spandau, around ire.
12 Eyehole: Hom of I + hole(=dive bar). Not sure about the definition, which seems a bit unsatisfactory, being presumably “could be through here”.
13 Adviser: AD + vis + e[xcite] R[omance]. I never studied Latin, but the online dictionary says vis can mean violence, which is similar to strength.
14 Added up: [P]added up, referring to cricketers who have their pads on for batting.
15 Rouge et Noir: (Get Renoir)* around ou(=French for where). I can’t say I’d heard of the card game, but it seems like an obvious name to use since it means Red and Black.
20 Eats out: (Us to tea)*.
22 Columbo: Col(onel) + umbo.
24 Oppress: Spent quite a while trying to work this one out, but I think it’s just op(=out of print) + press, although that seems slightly tautological.
26 Incense: This one defeats me completely – “Enrage Spencer’s offspring leaving royal gift”. Royal gift and enrage both seem to lead to incense as a double def, so I’m lost on where Spencer’s offspring comes in.
27 Esoterica: (Coteries)* + a(nswer).
28 Llama: (A mall)<.
1 Pathway: What* in pay, referring to royalty as a payment to e.g. a writer.
2 Achiever: (Chair)* around Eve. Not entirely sure what the anagram indicator is here – it may be referring to the collapsed in the previous clue.
3 Steeps: Steep + [fruitles]s. Sop can mean to soak in water.
4 Sea serpent: Don’t really follow this one either – “Sly character in the main?”. Doesn’t seem to be a reference to Sylvester Stallone in a naval film.
5 Sire: Sire[n].
6 Attended to: Ato (Bolden, an Olympic runner) around TT + end.
7 Unsold: UN + so + l + D.
8 Receipt: Tripe* around c[hequ]e.
14 Anticlimax: Antic (an old word for a clown) + li[t] + Max.
16 Unopened: (Pen due no)*.
17 Rumanian: Run around mania.
18 Deposer: Ed< + poser.
19 Someday: Say around mode*. There have been quite a number of songs called Someday by different artists.
21 Top Dog: DD.
23 Locale: (A cello)*.
25 Soil: Oils with the S moving to the top.

18 Responses to “Independent 7939 by Mordred”

  1. MisterG says:

    4D: I thought the sly character was the serpent in the garden of Eden (Main is obvious of course!)

  2. Richard Palmer says:

    26 is (Frank)incense
    4 I think is a cryptic definition.

  3. Allan_C says:

    In 12a I took ‘dive’ on its own to mean ‘hole’ so that the definition was ‘bar could be through here’, where an eyehole is taken to mean an eyelet made to receive a bolt or bar. Stretching the definition a little bit, though; Chambers says an eyelet in this sense is ‘a small eye or hole to receive a lace or cord’

  4. IanN14 says:

    I don’t know the rules of 15ac. either, but there is what I imagine to be an appropriately placed Nina here…

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    There’s no rule that says that the Monday Indy should be a gentle introduction to the week, and this certainly wasn’t that. We haven’t seen much of Mordred recently, but I do remember him being a hard setter.

    I couldn’t finish this, and have two questions: I still don’t understand INCENSE, and if the reference in 6dn (which is ATTEND TO rather than ATTENDED TO) is the athlete, then his name is BOLDON not BOLDEN, according to Mrs Google.

    And actually a third question: isn’t SOMEDAY two words, SOME DAY?

  6. NealH says:

    Richard Palmer explained this at #2. The king’s gift was Frankincense rather than just incense, which was where I’d got a bit confused. So you take Spencer’s offspring (Frank) away from Frankincense to get incense, which means enrage. Spencer’s offspring is a reference to Frank Spencer in Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave ‘Em.

  7. Paul B says:

    Some Mothers do ‘ave apostrophes …

  8. NealH says:

    On Someday, all the songs listed as having this name in Wikipedia have it as a single word. I agree about Boldon – it looks to be an error.

  9. NealH says:

    Oops…sorry – I was obviously thinking about the later apostrophes when I was typing mothers.

  10. Pelham Barton says:

    Ian @4: Thanks for pointing that out. I agree that the Nina is suitable.

  11. flashling says:

    got through this quickly except for SE corner but got there, maybe I’m being fick or summut but wot Nina?

  12. Allan_C says:

    The nina is in the first and seventh columns and the second and seventh rows of unches and reads clockwise. Took me a while to find it as there are quite a lot of irrelevant words hidden in the unches as well.

  13. postrophe says:


  14. Bertandjoyce says:

    Phew! We needed to check a few final clues to finish this. Much more difficult than the recent Monday puzzles. Thanks for the info about the nina – now we can see it the puzzle makes some sense.

    Some of the clues felt a bit obscure although there are no uncommon words. We were on the lookout for a nina to help with the solution but expected it to be on the top and bottom rows. Now that we can see the full solution it has changed our opinion enormously!

    Thanks NealH and Mordred for a good start to the week.

  15. pennes says:

    I did half the down clues on first pass and then got pretty stuck. I didnt really enjoy it. I thought 1 ac was a bit unfair as I thought it might have had a “for example ” at the end of the clue. I had not heard of either “umbo” or bolden and although I got 8 dn on first pass I don’t really see how a blank cheque is an empty cheque. I can’t also see how soil is either something to throw away, to dirty something or refuse to do something.
    Maybe I’m being grumpy because I can’t sleep!

  16. PeeDee says:

    Thanks NeilH.

    Did anyone alse have AISLE for 9 across (pAISLEy)? Ascot is cetainly a better answer, but having written aisle in I got stuck in the top corner.

  17. StainsJunction says:

    I fell into the AISLE trap at 9 across too, meaning I finished it but for one or two in the top left corner.

  18. Pelham Barton says:

    Further to comments 15-17, I think AISLE would be the better answer to the clue for 9ac if there were no question mark on the end, but the question mark points us to the definition by example in the wordplay.

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