Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7969/i 381 Quixote

Posted by Pierre on April 30th, 2012


Another sound and enjoyable Monday morning puzzle from Quixote, but one which I found more difficult than some in the past.  However, once I got my way into it, it fell out nicely.

There were some less common words dotted around, as well as three clues featuring people, which can sometimes be tricky.  A high number of clues also featured removals, but this did only strike me when I was writing up the blog.

All the definitions today are from Collins (2006).

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


Decorator confused perhaps when last bit’s lost – rage ensues

Island deserted by a hundred – it gets left at this time of year
[C]APRI and L.  This clue will expire at midnight tonight.

10  Skilled worker may be sacked if erratic
(IF ERRATIC)* with ‘sacked’ as the anagrind.  ‘Sack’ in the sense of ‘plunder or destroy’.

11  Ahead in game?  Not initially in this part of one
Plenty of letter removals in the first few acrosses.  The only game I know where this term is used is baseball (that’s rounders for big boys, imho), because cricket uses INNINGS even for the singular.

12  Bring down soldiers coming to WW1 site?
RE for ‘Royal Engineers’ and TRENCH.  ‘To reduce or curtail (costs).’

13  Old city female knocked over former PM
My first reaction was to look for a British PM, but it’s a reversal of UR for the ancient city and HEN to give you the first prime minister of independent India.

14  Suggestion to bring misgiving?
A dd.  In the first meaning, it’s as a ‘hint’ or ‘touch’ ; or indeed a soupçon, which comes from the French soupçonner, ‘to suspect’.

16  Couples taking on board superior fashion act pretentiously
An insertion of U for ‘superior’ and TON for ‘fashion’ in PAIRS.  I fancy TON is only regularly used in crosswords.

17  Perfume to make one ecstatic, from what we hear
A homophone (‘from what we hear’) of ‘sent’.

19  Shades – what you may find in high-class gents outfitters?
A punning clue of NICE TIES.

21  Yesteryear’s footballer concealing silver hair
Here’s the first of our people: it’s an insertion of AG for ‘silver’ in PELÉ (better known as Edson Arantes do Nascimento), possibly the most gifted footballer of his generation.  Not too common a word, perhaps, but ‘the coat of a mammal, consisting of hair, wool, fur, etc’ .  It’s of Latin, then French origin, and is related to words like PELT and DEPILATION, which might or might not have helped you.

23  Church of England left barbarous without leader – or heavenly?
A charade of CE, L and [B]ESTIAL.

24  The food he dished out in next to no time
T[HE] RICE.  As in the expression ‘I’ll be back in a trice’.  This apparently comes from Dutch.

25  I arraign guy – fancy fellow not seeing God up above the sky!
(I ARRAIGN GUY)* with ‘fancy’ as the anagrind and our second person.  It took me a long time to put this one in, even though it was a well-signposted anagram.  At first, I couldn’t understand the last part of the clue, but a quick flirt online tells me that the first man in space is quoted as saying ‘I looked and looked but I couldn’t see God’.


How father behaves, the man twitching inside?  A number here may appear this way!  (15)
I had quite a few crossing letters and a good few guesses at the others before I saw this, and it made me smile.  It’s an insertion of HE and TIC in PARENTALLY.  It’s cleverly referring to the fact that the enumeration of crossword clues is given at the end of the clue, in parentheses – in this case, (15).  My CoD.

Dog food given to a new one of five born in litter
I fancied that this might be a carriage of some sort, but the list in my thesaurus didn’t give this one.  It’s clear cluing of an unusual word: PAL (‘dog food’), A, N and QUIN.  ‘A covered litter carried on the shoulder of four men.’  This one comes from Portuguese.  English hasn’t half scavenged some words over the centuries.

Competitor shelling out very little money
RI[V]AL, with ‘shelling out’ telling you to remove the V (‘very, little).  The monetary unit of Iran.

Performers, very good ones covering hair
An insertion of TRESS in ACES.

Sportsperson missing line as runner
Another removal.  GO[L]FER.  GOFER is a comparatively modern word for ‘dogsbody’ or ‘factotum’, because they have to GO FOR stuff all the time.

One’s doctrinaire, awkward?  Fresh thinking required
(ONE’S DOCTRINAIRE)* with ‘awkward’ as the anagrind.

A mathematical unit that’s little short of brilliant
And another.  RADIAN[T].  A RADIAN is the angle between two radii of a circle that cut off on the circumference an arc equal to that of the radius of the circle.  I did used to know that, honest, but I will fess up to having to look it up to check.

Scruffy little kid overwhelmed by churchiness
Hidden in chURCHINess.

14  Quiet message of reassurance from best man, trembling
I did like this one: it’s SH for ‘quiet!’ and I’VE RING, which is what every groom wants to hear once up there waiting for the bride to make her entrance.

15  Police officer chummy with long-term American prisoner
Here’s our third person.  A charade of IN for ‘chummy’ (‘in with’) and Phil SPECTOR, the record producer best known for his ‘wall of sound’, who’s currently doing porridge in the US for murder.

16  Gets into a sweat with sleep being upset, after which one starts to count sheep
A reversal of NAP, I and CS for the first letters of ‘count sheep’.

18  Like special crossword in which you’ll find holiday islands
A dd.  Mr M in this avatar doesn’t often do THEMED crosswords (although Pasquale did give us a TEST MATCH SPECIAL last month in Another Place), and of course you’d find holiday islands in THE MED(ITERRANEAN).

20  Brief experience – avoid a second time – it’s a shocker!
And another removal.  TAS[T]ER, with Quixote asking you to remove the second T, to give you the stun gun. I thought it might be an acronym, but it’s just a trade name.

22  British criminal in violent robbery?
A charade of B and LAG, a slang definition of our prisoner in 15ac (although I think it’s only a term in British English).  A definition I didn’t know: ‘ a robbery, esp with violence’.

I have put the references at the top to both the Independent puzzle, and the Independent i puzzle, since for those that don’t know, they are now the same crossword each day; until recently the i cryptics were recycled from previous Indys.

It’s almost a year to the day since I started to blog the Monday Indy, and Quixote was my first blog then.  Many thanks to him for a pleasing puzzle to start the week.

17 Responses to “Independent 7969/i 381 Quixote”

  1. flashling says:

    I found this tougher than recent Quixotes as well, some rather odd words today. Re Radian, I did wonder if we were going to find more Indy setters in the grid, but not so as I can see.
    Anyway thanks Pierre for the well constructed blog and of course Don for the workout.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Pierre and Quixote. Thought this was going to be very tough when I solved only one clue on first run through. But it got a bit easier after that. Surprised you missed radians in maths – an alternative to degrees in measuring angles. All clueing totally fair, enabling me to guess the unknown word (to me) PELAGE. Favourite clue SHIVERING.

  3. nmsindy says:

    PS I think the APRIL clue would not have to appear in April – I think ‘this month’ would just refer to the month that appears in the grid.

  4. Paul B says:

    Ahem: as this puzzle is an *i* puzzle, has it not at some previous point been blogged as a straight Indy offering? I mean, feel free, but I’d be tempted to re-present the archived blog (rewrapped as my own work, naturally).

  5. Quixote says:

    Thanks all, especially for such a detailed analysis rom Pierre (who needs his details added on the bloggers list I think?). Just to clear a few points. 1D has a ‘here’ in the definition part. The puzzle is a new one (we Indy slaves now provide puzzles for two papers simultaneously with no extra payment, depsite protestations!). It was set for an April date and the word APRIL came in by accident, but I think that the clue for that word stands whatever the time of year.

  6. crypticsue says:

    So relieved to find that it wasn’t just me who found this slightly tougher than usual Quixote. I think Mr M is testing us solvers by having a few puzzles where he is upping the difficulty level to provide more of a challenge.

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    Merci Pierre pour le tres bon blog!
    Our experience was similar to everyone else so far. Tricky to get into but all fairly clued. Artificer was a new one for us as well as 1d which fell into place quickly when we had a couple of early crossing letters.
    Thanks Quixote for the puzzle and for dropping in!

  8. Jean says:

    Good crossword, just the right level of difficulty – except for ‘Pelage.’ Spent a long time on this – convinced ti should be something to do with George Best. A mere woman I’m not much into footballers of yesteryear!

  9. Pierre says:

    Seems everyone found it a bit trickier than normal, then.

    Sorry for the mistranscription of the clue for PARENTHETICALLY, Quixote – I have fixed that now. I reproduce the clues because (a) I have the time to do it and I can touch type; (b) I know some folk like it; and (c) because if you come back to the blog later to check something out you won’t have to upload the crossword again. But I know not all bloggers have the time.

    And your suggestion of me putting up a profile on 225 is kind, but I’m preternaturally shy …

    And of course yes, APRIL would work even if it weren’t May tomorrow.

  10. Dormouse says:

    Coincedentally, I was watching a baseball game on TV whilst doing this, making 11ac rather easy.

    And I found this easier than most of last week’s puzzle, which makes me wonder how much factors other than hardness affect how easy I find a puzzle. For some reason, 7d was the last in. Not really obscure to my science background, but I needed a word search before I got it.

  11. Bamberger says:

    Found this hard and got no more than 1/3 out but was encouraged by educated guesses at pelage, retrench and artificer being correct. I thought about scent for 17a but couldn’t see it. I still don’t see how sent =make ecstatic -can someone please spoon feed me?

  12. Dormouse says:

    Bamberger, it’s in Chambers – send: to rouse someone to extasy. Says it was originally used in jazz, but I recall it from the sixties, probably drug related.

  13. nmsindy says:

    SEND – it’s in the other main dicts too. Maybe remembered only by those of a certain age but there’s the song “You send me” by the great Sam Cooke.

  14. NealH says:

    I’m glad other people found this a bit trickier. I didn’t look at it until the evening, which is usually a bad idea since I’m normally too tired by then and give up quite quickly if it looks at all difficult. I managed to get through this one, but it was a bit of an effort and was pleased that I worked out words like paperhanger and pelage largely from the wordplay.

    Interesting that you say you can touch type, Pierre. I’ve often thought that the single most useful thing I ever did was to teach myself to touch type when I was at university. It certainly helps if you work in IT. I’m still not going to type in all the clues, though.

  15. Simon Harris says:

    Thanks, everyone involved.

    Just to respond to Paul B’s question – the same puzzle was published in the Independent and the i on the same day. I’m not sure whether that’s to be a regular occurrence.

  16. Pierre says:

    Not sure if anyone’s still listening, but as I tried to explain at the end of the blog, the same (new) daily puzzle is now printed in the Independent and in the Indy i each day, and is the one that’s available online.

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