Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7951/Punk

Posted by Pierre on April 9th, 2012


Punk and I keep bumping into one another on a Monday morning, which I don’t mind in the least, because his puzzles always raise a few laughs and smiles, which is rather what it’s about, I think.

Some contemporary references in DOH! and DRUNKATHON, the usual smut and ribaldry, and a clue that might require a different answer in a month or so’s time.  I found this one not overly difficult (a solver-friendly grid helped) and a lot of fun.


cd  cryptic definition
dd  double definition
(xxxx)*  anagram
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x]  letter(s) missing


Prisoner, rich and spoilt, shackled by eye or dubious legal authority
A bit going on here: it’s a charade of POW (Prisoner of War) and an insertion of FAT and TORN in (EYE OR)*  ‘Dubious’ is the anagrind and ‘shackled’ is the insertion indicator.

Tasty bird you might once have picked up?
Referring to the chocolate bar with the p-p-pick up a Penguin slogan.  Are they still going?  The ‘once’ suggests not.

10  Popular leaders of Italy and Denmark forced into the world
Nice misdirection: I’m guessing that most solvers, including me, had the urge to insert I and D into something meaning ‘world’.  But it’s IN for ‘popular’, then DUCE for ‘leaders of Italy’ and D for ‘Denmark’, with the answer referring to INDUCING a baby’s birth.

11  Brickie’s helper knocked over – whoops!
Homer’s famous interjection is a reversal of HOD.  It’s been in the OED since 2001, so spelled, but I’ve also seen D’OH!  My only quibble is that if you’re a fan of The Simpsons, you will know that it’s generally used in frustration, when Homer has done something unbelievably stupid, whereas ‘whoops!’ is uttered if you’ve nearly had an accident.  Typical Homer quote: ‘You’ll have to speak up, I’m wearing a towel.’

12  Legless round?  Thank pub crawl!
This, on the contrary, is not in my dictionaries, but I presume it’s a back-formation from MARATHON, meaning a serious pub crawl (although presumably not the full 26 miles and 385 yards).  (ROUND THANK)* with ‘legless’ as the anagrind.

14  Tease about record, as subject of musical
An insertion of EP for ‘Extended-Play’ record in JOSH, for the musical with the man in the technicolor dreamcoat.  I did see EP clued as ‘old record’ somewhere else recently, which I suppose is more accurate.

15  Again prescribe ecstasy or first of drugs to put in water
An insertion of E OR D in RAIN.

19  “Pour” appeal, short of a drink
A charade of TIP for ‘pour’ and PLE[A].

22  Moment of bewilderment as underwear hit by lightning, perhaps?
A pun on BRA IN STORM.  Wouldn’t be like Punk not to have ladies’ underwear in somewhere, would it?

23  Epitaph bringing tear
A dd.  Requiescat in Pace and ‘tear’ in its verbal sense.

26  Gangster thus provided backing in communist
A reversal of SO and IF in MAO, the old Chinese Chairman.

27  Mocking about lightweight French leader
Not for much longer, if you believe the polls, although all 50kg of him is fighting back.  An insertion of OZ for ‘ounce’ in SARKY.

28  No jack-of-all-trades is also perceived as flexible


Transported by Tube, does one have 3.14 legs?
A whimsical way of suggesting that if a BIPED has two legs and a QUADRUPED has four legs, then a PIPED might have 3.14 legs, since 3.14 to two decimal figures is PI, the ratio of the the circumference of a circle to its diameter.  It’s an irrational number, which means that the digits after the decimal point go on forever without repeating.  An autistic savant holds the world record for reciting them from memory: he reached over 20,000 places.

Arm lifts Queen into toy
A charade of WINCHES and an insertion of ER in TRIFLE.

Summary, marginally ahead in boxing bout?
A cd cum dd.

Fine cooking expected, melted dish
A further charade of F, ON for ‘cooking’ (‘the roast beef’s on’) and DUE to give you the (mainly cheesy) dish you dip your bread into.  It’s the feminine past participle, since you ask, of the French verb fondre, ‘to melt’.  It’s linked to English words like FOUNDRY, where steel is melted.

Star does this act finally overcoming those picked out?
T for the last letter of acT and WINKLE, which lovers of seafood need to pick out of the shell with that little pin thingy.

Sorted out about fifty?  He’s more experienced
(SORTED L)*  ‘Out’ is the anagrind.

Radio personality discussing ministers going commando?
This was my joint favourite today.  For maiden aunts, I should explain that ‘going commando’ is the act of venturing out without wearing underpants or knickers (don’t ask).  So (presumably female) ministers or PARSONS would be ‘knickerless’, which is a homophone (‘discussing’) of NICHOLAS.  NICHOLAS PARSONS is the slightly smug radio presenter, probably best known for chairing Just a Minute on Radio 4.  He’s nearly as old as Araucaria, so there’s a good chance that you will have come across him, although overseas solvers might be a bit disadvantaged.

Eaten up by Chewbacca, doyen, Jedi master
One for Star Wars fans.  Hidden reversed (‘up’) in ChewbaccA DOYen, YODA is indeed a Jedi master.

13/17  Sex up joint attended by Quaker
My other joint favourite.  A charade of KNEE for ‘joint’ and TREMBLER for ‘Quaker’.  Again for the benefit of maiden aunts, a KNEE-TREMBLER is an act of human coitus performed in a position at 90 degrees from the missionary option, often with a nightclub wall for support; hence ‘sex up’.  We’ll move on.

14  Stick out, bearing fibre
A charade of JUT and E for East, a ‘bearing’.

16  Sparkler – one gets used around the 5th of November
I thought this was really clever, with a great surface.  It’s an insertion of M for the 5th letter of NoveMber in (ONE GETS)* with ‘used’ as the anagrind.

18  Islanders b***** Irish upset a lot
A charade of B, RI for ‘Irish upset’ and TONS.  I shall refrain from comment on the veracity of the surface.

20  Timeless, timeless, sick

21  Little plants – a social climber climbs one
The Japanese culturing of miniature plants is a charade of A SNOB for ‘a social climber’ reversed (‘climbs’) and I for ‘one’.

24  Home you occupied that’s waterproofed
An insertion of YE for ‘you’ in PAD for ‘home’ to give you the past tense of the verb ‘to pay’, one of whose meanings is ‘to waterproof’, I learned today (‘mainly nautical’, according to the SOED).

26  Shells, say in stream, molluscs
Hidden in streAM MOlluscs.

Entertaining and funny Bank Holiday puzzle; thank you to the setter.

15 Responses to “Independent 7951/Punk”

  1. crypticsue says:

    I second everything Pierre has said above, especially about the delicious 7d – the image it conjured up in my mind was hilarious. Thanks to him and to Punk for livening up a very damp morning.

  2. Wanderer says:

    Thank you Punk and Pierre, and I think your assessment is spot on — lots to laugh and smile about, and for me, too, that’s what it’s all about.

    Many favourites today, but the clues for INDUCED, SARKOZY, BRAINSTORM and PENGUIN all stood out, and top of my list was the wonderful joke at PI-PED.

  3. Jon says:

    This was also the cryptic in the i today. A new policy, one off, or occasional convergence? :-) Found it quite tough going, but got there in the end.

  4. scchua says:

    Thanks Pierre, and Punk.

    This was a most enjoyable crossword – mind-exercising and funny-bone tickling. I share the same favourites today as yourself, 7D and 13D 17A. The latter held me up for a bit, while I researched all the kinds of meetings that Quakers go to, and when I finally got it, I laughed at the thought that the answer is definitely (most probably?) not what a Quaker would be up to!

  5. Pierre says:

    Hi Jon. Yes, I’ve just spent my 20p to discover that the same puzzle is in the i today as here. I have the impression that the i puzzles are recycled Indy ones, but since I usually forget a puzzle five minutes after I’ve solved it, they are still a diverting half hour or so most days.

  6. eimi says:

    Change of policy at the i from today, as Pierre has spotted. Not my idea, though.

  7. Pierre says:

    Rats! The i is always a good read, but an additional puzzle was a bonus. Trust the setter will be paid twice, then …

  8. Cumbrian says:

    Many thanks Punk and Pierre.
    This wasn’t a quick solve for me, but gradually unravelled. That if anything was a bonus, as it was far too enjoyable to be over quickly – so not the crossword equivalent of a 13/17, then (definitely my favourite clue for being rude, irreverent, convoluted, misleading and funny.)

  9. flashling says:

    Thanks Punk/Pierre, pretty much the same experience and thoughts as others of this, quite easy to me and the expected level of innuendo which is punk/paul’s welcome trademark.

    Re the i, pity really as I used to do the Indy on the way in and the i on the way home, not much point wasting 20p today now, but in future why would I now buy the Indy when the crosswords and puzzles are pretty much the same and the interesting (to me) stuff is copied over anyway, seems to be a way of making less money off us. The dead tree folk won’t buy both and the folks who do the Indy on line won’t buy the i now either. (sorry end of mini rant)

  10. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Punk for an enjoyable crossword and Pierre for the blog. My favourite clue was 16dn – beautifully constructed.

    5dn: My copy downloaded from Crossword Solver has this as an 8 letter answer, balancing 16dn, so I think it is TWINKLES, which also justifies the plural “those picked out”.

    8dn: The justification for “up” as the reversal indicator does not really work here, as the reversal is in the clue, not on the grid. One simply has to take it as a convention that “up” may be used for any reversal in a down clue.

  11. Allan_C says:

    I was just getting into a routine of doing the indy cryptic relatively early on line (and being able to contribute to these discussions at a reasonable time) before settling down with the dead tree i cryptic in the evening. Oh well I guess I’ll be doing another newspaper’s cryptic on line now, but I’ll probably be more of a lurker – not much point in commenting when 20 or even 30 others have done so already.

  12. Pierre says:

    Thanks, Pelham, it is indeed TWINKLES – my typo, sorry.

  13. Jon says:

    For what it’s worth, I think it’s a good idea to have the new crosswords in the i. Recycling older ones always made me feel like a second class citizen. The concise one I believe was already the same? And with the i now outselling the Indy…

  14. Bertandjoyce says:

    Bon soir notre ami, merci pour ‘le blog’.

    After a fairly pedestrian puzzle from Another Place this one did not let us down. Really enjoyed the irrecerence, especially 13/17d. Very politically correct in your explanation …… Unfortunately!

    Thanks Punk for an amusing diversion over our evening meal.

  15. Bertandjoyce says:

    Too much to drink….. It should have been irreverence!

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