Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,944 by Bannsider (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 31/03/12)

Posted by Simon Harris on April 7th, 2012

Simon Harris.

A challenging yet entertaining Saturday puzzle from Bannsider this week, featuring some wonderfully misleading surfaces and inventive wordplay.

I did wonder if there were going to be a Ronnie Barker theme, due to possible references at 15ac and 21ac, but I could not see any further mentions. I’m sure readers will be quick to point out anything that I’ve missed.

5ac and 29ac eventually required the use of the “reveal” button, and still have me stumped.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

5 SALLY – S[cared] + ALLY, I guess, although I’m not sure that I can see the definition here.
9 ROCHESTER – (THE CORRS + [lat]E)*.
10 COURT – I think this is simply a hom. of “caught”.
11 DANE – [policewom]EN AD[mitted]<.
12 SHILLELAGH – HILL in (HH + GALES)< &lit. It’s often worth remembering Bannsider’s geographic provenance when solving.
13 MOSS – MOS[e]S.
15 NEEDLEWORK – (O + WELDE[r])< in NERK. The word “nerk” perhaps being best known to viewers of vintage sitcom Porridge.
18 AIR PASSAGE – A1 + RP + AS SAGE. The definition is the well-disguised “trip up”.
19 MYTH – MY TH[ought].
21 GOPHERWOOD – hom. of “gofer would”. The “Arkwright” (cf. “shipwright”) is a clever reference to Noah, who seemingly made his own ark from this particular wood. Hands up, who else thought this was going to be GRANVILLE on first reading?
23 BURN – dd. of “Use heat in attempt to eliminate” and “runner”.
26 LEILA – [i]L[l]E[g]I[b]L[e] A[s].
27 GOLF LINKS – GOLF (precursor to “hotel” in the NATO phonetic alphabet) + LINKS (so “surfers” as in those surfing the web).
28 CHEEK – from CHECK, with an extra E in place of C. I can’t quite prove CHEEK = “chap” to myself, but I’m sure there must be a context wherein they’re synonyms.
29 CRESCENT – I’ll need someone to explain this for me: Waxing process could show one looking sickly.
2 OSCANOS + CAN. Apparently an extinct language from southern Italy. Perhaps not a well known one, but this was quite solvable from wordplay.
3 APEX – APE + X. I’m not sure that Apex fares still exist, but I could be wrong: the entire rail ticketing system is now a ridiculously complicated mess, so who knows.
6 LAUDATORY – (A DAY TOUR + L)*. Thanks to Ian W for correcting me here, see comments.
7 YITZHAK – [embass]Y + (AT 1KHZ)*.
8 ORAL – [m]ORAL.
16 DOG COLLAR – dd. of “One to take the lead” and “[one to] ring the minister”.
17 VALE PARK – VALE + PA + R[oc]K. Home of Port Vale FC.
18 ANGELIC – [b]ANGE[r] + [s]LIC[e].
22 WAGE – “rage” as might be pronounced by celebrity plonker Jonathan Ross, thanks to his famous rhotacistic speech.
24 ULNAE – (L + N) in U.A.E. “Army parts” is of course “parts of the arm”, and raised a smile.
25 ELMS – (S[poil] M[y] L[ovely] E[state])<.

26 Responses to “Independent 7,944 by Bannsider (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 31/03/12)”

  1. Richard Heald says:

    5Ac: the def here I think refers to the Salvation Army, though I’ve never heard it called simply Sally.

    29Ac: this is a double def, the second one being the rather whimsical “one looking sickly” (i.e. like a sickle, or curve-shaped).

  2. flashling says:

    5ac Sally army = Salvation Army, yes I thought of Granville, can’t help with Crescent, was lost on me too.

  3. jmac says:

    Re 29 across, I took “crescent” as being part of the moon’s “waxing” and “waning” where “waning” could indicate being poorly or sickly.

  4. John H says:

    ‘sickly’ = ‘like a sickle’, I thought…

  5. Ian W. says:

    Re 6dn, I started with adulatory too, but I think you’ll find it’s laudatory.

  6. Simon Harris says:

    Ah, well spotted Ian. That does rather explain my troubles with 5ac after all.

  7. dialrib says:

    28a ‘Chap’ is a dialect word for chop or jaw.

  8. Harvey Hawley says:

    A Bath Chap is a pig’s cheek, allegedly a foodstuff.

    What is a Port Vale FC please?

  9. eimi says:

    No one spotted my ghost theme on Tuesday – if you thought that was obscure, try this one!

  10. Bannsider says:

    Apologies to all for the unintentionally ambiguous clue to LAUDATORY. This is particularly frustrating as, like most setters I expect, I carry round in my mental baggage somewhere the knowledge of a few synonymous anagrams. I can assume everyone it WAS unintentional.
    Here is a film which should explain the subject of the NINA eimi refers to, if not all the relevant bits

  11. Bannsider says:

    Sorry, my first attempt to stick a hyperlink in here wasn’t entirely a success!
    Here is a film which should explain the subject of the NINA eimi refers to, if not all the relevant bits

  12. jmac says:

    So far we have had two visits from the setter, one from the editor, and one from the blogger, but still no definitive explanation for 29 across. It would be nice to get this one sorted.

  13. John H says:

    See my comment above.

  14. Bannsider says:

    No definitive explanation needed from me, as John H had already provided it!

  15. Bannsider says:

    And apologies to Richard Heald, who had provided an even earlier definitive explanation …

  16. BadHarry says:

    Some lovely clues – but have I missed …
    * the explanation of how sally on its own means army in 5a?
    * what the word process is doing in the clue for 9a (otherwise a delightful clue)?
    * which word actually defines shillelagh in 12a?

    But I don’t think any apology is needed for adulatory/laudatory.

  17. Bannsider says:

    “Sally” is defined very explicitly in the latest COED as meaning “Sally Army”. However, I really shouldn’t have used it, as it breaks my rule of never using a definition that I’ve never heard of for a common word! And Collins defines it as a member of the Sally Army…

    I don’t have the paper to hand any more, but my original version of the puzzle doesn’t have “process” in the clue for 9ac.

    In 12ac the whole clue is the definition, though I wonder when was the last time anyone actually got clobbered by a shillelagh, as opposed to buying a stylised one in an Irish giftshop :-)

    I can’t sign off without mentioning the death of last original surviving Dubliner Barney McKenna on Thursday. Just 4 weeks after we saw him in fine form in concert. Hope it wasn’t the Bannsider curse …

  18. nmsindy says:

    This was a cracking puzzle. I did not spot the theme but one did not need to. Favourites MOSS, MYTH, GURUDOM, APEX, LATCHKEYS, ORAL, DOG COLLAR, ANGELIC, ULNAE. A long list. One of the toughest Indy puzzles of the year, but none of the time spent at was regretted. Thanks, Bannsider, and Simon H esp for WAGE. It had to be that, but I had no idea why.

  19. BadHarry says:

    Aha, so 29a had the word processed introduced during compositing, figures.

    Are you saying 12 should have read What clobbers … rather than What smothers …? The whole clue could then indeed have been the definition.

  20. Bannsider says:

    So how does the clue to 9ac read in your version?
    The SHILLELAGH clue, as I have it, reads “What smothers one in range with flipping hard blows!”. So “smothers” is a containment indicator and the “blows” are the “clobber” bit.

  21. BadHarry says:

    That’s as it was printed. No matter.
    Still plenty of clues I really liked: golf links, gopherwood to name but two.

  22. Bannsider says:

    Apparently the clue to 9ac as printed didn’t have the word “processed” in it. Which edition were you reading BadHarry (!)

  23. Bannsider says:

    Sorry, 29 across – I do apologise! I should have stayed in bed over Easter! “Process” was part of the clue for CRESCENT all along. Mystery solved! I agree, it didn’t need to be in there, but hopefully not too much harm done.

  24. Simon Harris says:

    Bit of cross purposes here, I fear. It was 29ac rather than 9ac, and “process” rather than “processed”. In my copy it was printed exactly as reproduced in the post. It did seem a bit odd at the time, but not the end of the world.

  25. Simon Harris says:

    Ah, beaten to it!

  26. Bannsider says:

    And I should have thanked you Simon for the excellent blog which is always helpful as well as interesting to read!

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