Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7938 Tyrus (Sat 24-Mar-2012)

Posted by beermagnet on March 31st, 2012



I had a bit of ‘blogger’s blindness’ on this one.
I found it a struggle, harder than most Tyrus puzzles I’ve tackled before – hard to get started and hard to make inroads into.

I can see there are a few simple clues sprinkled around but they didn’t give enough crossing letters for me to get enough of the mental crowbar on the edge of the tough ones.  There were only 2 clues solved on the first pass,  only about half done when I called a halt after 45 mins for half time oranges.  The bottom half was particularly troublesome at this point, the top was beating the bottom about 4- 1 (though that pesky 1A held out till the end) .  In the end the match went to extra time and we all know what happens then (see 14D)

There is probably loads more footy related stuff that has gone over my head.  Can someone please enlighten us with what I’ve missed.  (If I don’t reply immediately it’s probably because I’m picking the ball out the back of the net)

1 AGIN Further cuts a local’s opposed to (4)
AG[a]IN Last answer in. It is not unusual for 1A to be the last. This time it is because although I had -G-N for some time I could not see what it could possibly be. I eventually convinced myself it was AGIN, mainly because there isn’t much else that fits, and found it is a dialect word for against. I found the wordplay hard: “Again” is not the first synonym of “further” that springs to mind.
9 ALL RIGHT Anything amiss? No … yes (3,5)
Double Def. one cryptic.
10 PLAYER Arrange parts for each performer (6)
LAY (arrange) inside (parts) PER (for each)
11 REPAST Soldiers have gone for meal (6)
RE PAST One of the simpler clues – why didn’t I see it on first pass? – saw it soon enough on a re-read
12 PINNACLE Top hotel in slightly dodgy place (8)
INN inside (PLACE)* AInd: dodgy (slightly indeed, PACLE not much different from PLACE)
13 FABIO CAPELLO —– ——- able? Flop! Ciao! Harry! (5,7)
(ABLE FLOP CAIO)* AInd: Harry.  I presume this is an &Lit as there’s nothing left of the clue after spotting the anagram – maybe that’s it: He ducked out of the England Manager job recently and now he’s ducked out of this clue!  I got this about half way through and thought it might bode for a more fulsome footy-related theme.
16 UNREGIMENTED Meeting run badly – man’s not strictly organised (12)
(MEETING RUN)* AInd: badly then ED (man)
20 OMISSION Something lacking in old job (8)
O[ld] MISSION (job)
22 LIE LOW This will be blown up reportedly – take cover (3,3)
Homophone “lilo”. Fooled me into thinking about enlarging pictures (I though the explosive “blow up” was being used to misdirect) I didn’t think of the more direct sense till much later
23 ARTIST Performer’s sweetheart is taking part (6)
Hidden in sweetheART IS Taking
24 MAINTAIN Insist head isn’t arrested (8)
AINT (isn’t) inside MAIN (head)
25 THE GERMANS Race beginning in Athens originally (3,7)
GERM (beginning) inside (ATHENS)* AInd: originally. Several levels of misdirection going on here: Race/Athens making us think of marathon, Olympics or other running race, “originally” more usually being a leading character indicator etc. etc.
26 NIGH 26 Almost dark? Almost (4)
NIGH[t]   First clue answered.  Yes, all across clues unsolved on first sight till the last one.
2/4A GOLDEN GENERATION 2/4A Group of 10s, leading one, finally winning – er … not as it turned out (6,10)
(LEADING ONE [winnin]G ER NOT)* AInd: as it turned out. Not a phrase I’d come across.  [Wiki] Couldn’t be much else from the (eventual) crossing letters.  I have a strong suspicion that this is a key phrase that unlocks the puzzle’s theme but understandable to the initiated(?)
3 NIRVANA Back in front in Argentina’s group (7)
IN< VAN inside RA (República Argentina)
4 GO-GETTING Boiled egg tonight – husband declined to be enterprising (2-7)
(EGG TONIGHT -H[usband])* AInd: boiled
5 NET Score half when promoted (3)
TEN< Ten as in half of twenty = score reversed (promoted) I do not understand where the definition is here, but it possibly fits into the general/possible footy theme.
6 RIPON Reverse of swindle in Yorkshire city? (5)
As opposed to Rip-Off (swindle) Liked this
7 TRAVAIL Labour right about benefit (7)
RT< (right, about) AVAIL benefit
8 OVERLOOK Miss short public appearance (8)
12 PACEMAN After spin, handle top fast bowler (7)
NAME (handle) CAP (top) all reversed
14 PENALTIES English plans miscarry, getting draw and what may follow (19 to 25?) (9)
TIE (draw) inside (E[nglish] PLANS)* AInd: miscarry.  It’s a well-known feature of International Cup competitions that if England play Germany they will draw after extra time and lose on penalties
15 OUTMARCH Walk further than border with pain in joints – not good (8)
MARCH (border) preceded by [g]OUT (pain in joints, not Good) I know as much about gout as I want to, thank you very much. I’m also prepared to answer to the name The Anti-Inflammatory Kid.
17 RESTING Not working on police trap (7)
RE (on) STING (Police trap) Not working in the actors’ sense
18 EVERTON Norman’s ex on team (7)
EVERT (Norman’s Ex) ON. I had to look this up: Greg Norman married Chris Evert in June 2008, but separated in October 2009
19 LOSING See wrong girl’s top and behind (6)
LO (see) SIN (wrong) G[irl].   A clue surface worthy of Cyclops – “which is why it’s my pick of the week”
21 INTER Season’s spent with top Italian side (5)
24 MIA End up with her (3)

8 Responses to “Independent 7938 Tyrus (Sat 24-Mar-2012)”

  1. Tramp says:

    I loved this puzzle. I loved the PENALTIES clue — I thought the LOSING to GERMANY part was superb. The ‘Golden Generation’ is what the crop of players that went to the last World Cup were dubbed. They failed miserably and, as ever, were home before the postcards. This explains the excellent surface for that clue. The FABIO CAPELLO surface paints an evocative picture of Capello’s reign being a flop and the call for Harry (Redknapp) to take over.

    Super stuff.

  2. Allan_C says:

    A bit of a toughie from Tyrus and, oh dear, we’re back to footie. But it was solvable without too much specialist knowledge.

    I guessed GOLDEN GENERATION referred to a group of footballers without knowing which ones.

    Re 5d, surely to NET the ball is to score.

    Thanks, Tyrus and beermagnet

  3. nmsindy says:

    Thanks Tyrus and beermagnet (I won’t ask you what team you support…). This was very amusing esp the anagram at the heart of it. I find Tyrus one of the hardest Indy setters and this was hard all right tho not quite as hard for me as some Tyrus puzzles of the past. I guess Tyrus being hard is why it was scheduled for a Saturday. BTW, I’d associate the Golden Generation with those going to Germany in 2006 where, it was said for quite a few years ahead, they would really have a good chance of winning given the fairly close location and the players that were there.

  4. Lenny says:

    At least we did not have to know any referees’ names. But we were expected to know that Greg Norman was married to Chris Evert. I know so little about football that I had to cross off the letters of the anagram to get Capello’s first name. Golden Generation was also a new phrase to me. Ultimately everything was accessible though.

    I thought “End up with her” was a palindrome indicator so I put in Ada so it took me a long time to sort out my error and get my LOI Maintain.

  5. JollySwagman says:

    Late in as usual – thanks for the excellent blog BM, but I think the comments in your header understate what a fantastic puzzle this was.

    I didn’t find it easy at all but the difficulty was never devilish, nor caused by overstretched synonyms etc, so for me it unfolded gradually and with enormous fun along the way.

    13A and 14D absolute gems.

    Despite my sporting ignorance I got all the references except Evert/Norman and her goodself know that from the “human interest” angle.

    Wish we could see more of Tyrus – more for the wit than the difficulty.

  6. Conrad Cork says:

    13 across. Genius, absolute genius. Tyrus is up there with the greats.

  7. Tyrus says:

    Many thanks for the blog and comments.

    Credit where it’s due. A friend of mine, Paul, first suggested the FC anagram – I only had to add the ‘Harry’.

  8. eimi says:

    I’ll see what I can do, jolly swagman @5. There’s another on its way on which I have written ‘lovely’ twice and ‘brilliant’ once. Like a parent, one can’t admit to favourite children, but it’s fair to say that none of the Indy setters makes me laugh out loud as much as Tyrus.

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