Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7975 by Anarche

Posted by NealH on May 7th, 2012


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

An excellent but very tough Leveson themed puzzle. I found the top half of the puzzle a lot easier than the bottom half. There were many witty and pointed clues (e.g. 24, 12, 26) and every clue had some sort of allusion to the press or police.

1 Murdoch: Much around odd letters of radio.
5 Chagall: Call around hag.
10,11 News of the World: (We’d no self worth)* – possibly a slightly harsh verdict on the NoW staff.
12 Brooks: BS around rook.
13 Reagents: Sergeant*.
14 Wholesale: Whole(=unedited) + hom of sail, a spanker being a type thereof.
16 Curse: Cu + first letters of “realise some editors”. I am a bit dubious about curse=evil, but I suppose some of the nounal forms (I wish you evil etc) are similar.
17 Probe: P[ress] + rob + [Lev]e[son].
19 Associate: Second letter of hacking + (cases to)* with i inside. A very tricky clue with a well disguised anagram.
23 Emergent: Emer[y](=abrasive shortened, signified by abrupt) + gen(=low-down) + [journalis]t. Abrupt for shortened may be considered a fairly liberal interpretation.
24 The Met: Theme + [oversig]t.
26 Clangorous: (Coulson rag)*.
27 Item: It(=sex) + even letters of seems.
28 Archers: I think this is [se]archers, but I’m not entirely sure which family it’s referring to. There is an Archer Media Group, but I’m not sure if that is the one or not.
29 Origami: I’m (=one’s) + giro, all reversed.
2 Unearth: [S]un + earth(=dirt). The “on the contrary” indicates that it’s [s]un on top of earth rather than the other way round.
3 Disco: DIs (detective inspectors) + CO(=care of). Disco here refers to the equipment used to play the disco music.
4 Croesus: Croes[o], which is Welsh for welcome, + US. Morgan being used a generic reference to a Welsh person rather than anything to do with Piers.
6 Heehaw: He + eh + a + w[orry].
7 Glomeruli: Mogul* around ER + Li.
8 L Plates: [Scanda]l + plate + S(unday).
9 Sterilisation: (A sinister lot)* around I.
15 Labyrinth: I thought this was very tricky. “Complicated network” refers to a labyrinth and labyrinth is a term for the inner ear (hence “listening equipment”).
18 Rumbler: DD – not a word I can say I’ve heard many people use.
20 Obtuser: Old b[ill] (ignoring problem=ill) + resu[l]t< (line removed).
21 Tie Beam: Not having the foggiest idea who David Sullivan was held me back a bit on this one. But it turns out he’s an adult entertainment mogul who bought West Ham United, so the spoonerism is “buy team”.
22 Memoir: M(=married) + (Rio + me)<, the "in the mirror" being a cunning if slightly questionable way of indicating reversal.
25 Eying: Hidden in “fey ingenue”.

22 Responses to “Independent 7975 by Anarche”

  1. crypticsue says:

    I too found the top half easier than the bottom half which has much application of Tippex!! A lovely topical puzzle just right to tussle over on a bank holiday morning with the aid of Google for David Sullivan. Thanks to Anarche and Neal.

    I think the Archers are the radio (media) family.

  2. Miche says:

    Thanks, Neal H.

    An excellent puzzle. 10, 11 one of many highlights.

    The Archers of Ambridge are the media family in 28a, I think.

    It took me a long time to parse 4d, not having come across the Welsh for welcome. And Morgan is a fairly common name in Ireland, so I hadn’t thought of it as a Welsh name.

    Chambers includes “evil invoked on another person” and “any great evil” among definitions of curse.

    Thanks to Anarche for a bank holiday treat.

  3. NealH says:


    Ah, that explains why I didn’t know who the Archers were. If I’m listening to Radio 4 and that music comes on, I make a beeline for the off switch.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Neal.

    This was a toughie, but certainly an engaging and contemporary theme. Didn’t realise that all the clues were police/press related, but I think you’re right (can’t quite see 25dn but I’m sure there’s something there).

    A bit more serious than your usual Anarche (although there is the trademark sexual deviancy in the clue for 14ac). I thought PROBE and NEWS OF THE WORLD were excellent, but there’s good stuff elsewhere too, so thank you to the setter for a puzzle that was just right for a bank holiday morning.

    And Neal, you need to fall in love with the dum-di-dum-di-dum-di-dum, dum-di-dum-di-dum-di music. After you’ve listened six times a week for twenty years, you’ll understand why Tony Archer is so grumpy, why Jennifer Aldridge (née Archer) is so promiscuous, and why Ruth Archer is – coming as she does from the North-East – sex on a stick.

  5. Eileen says:

    Sheer brilliance! – Anarche has surely surpassed herself.

    It’s one of those puzzles where, once the clues are solved, you have to stand back [in amazement] to see the full cleverness of them.

    I just loved the way the theme was brought into every single clue, often amusingly [the ARCHERS – only twenty years, K’s D? – being the ‘media family’ and the ‘folding paper’ being ORIGAMI!

    10,11 was an absolute classic, together with the MEMOIR of the married footballer Rio and the [Sunday] Mirror in 22dn, which I thought was astonishingly good.

    I thought ‘abrupt’ was a particularly good indicator in 23ac: it literally means ‘broken off’ – ‘truncated’ in all my dictionaries’.

    Thanks for the blog, NealH, and huge thanks to Anarche for an enthralling and challenging puzzle. I enjoyed every minute of it!

  6. Wanderer says:

    Magnificent. Anarche/Arachne has explained on various sites that she pays special attention to story-telling in her clues, but surely she can never have done better than this? Every single clue reads like a miniature, and complete, short story. Funny, clever, topical, accessible and brilliant. Favourite clues: all of them. Special mentions for ‘Coulson rag, all about banging’ (!) and the clues for CURSE and ORIGAMI, but EVERYTHING about this crossword shone.

    Thanks NealH and congrats to Anarche.

  7. Gervase says:

    Thanks NealH

    Tour de force of a puzzle. Like others, I found the bottom half very tricky – I had to resort to a word search program to get a handle on possibilities for quite a few answers, as (perfectly acceptably) vague or cryptic definitions were paired with very complex wordplay and I found it difficult to get a handle on several of them. Consequently, for me this crossword was one to be much admired rather than loved.

    Favourite clue was 10,11: by no means difficult, but very funny and apposite.

    “In the ‘Mirror'” is a clever way of indicating a reversal (the significance of which I spotted immediately), but it’s a pity that Anarche had the device in a down clue. It would have worked much better in an across clue: mirrors reverse from left to right rather than top to bottom!

  8. Lancastrian Bluenose says:

    A very brilliant crossword ! Very tough but i’m already looking forward to Arachne’s next.

  9. Richard Heald says:

    Couldn’t agree more – a fantastic achievement by Anarche! Thanks to NealH for unravelling 4Dn.

  10. anax says:

    Unbelievable crossword, solved as soon as it appeared online this morning (stayed up until nearly 2am admiring it!).

    I fear tomorrow may be something of an anticlimax.

  11. Dormouse says:

    Got off to a flying start but quickly ran out of steam. Bottom left corner more or less defeated me. Lightly pencilled in guesses for 17, 18 and 23 which I was sure were wrong but turned out not to me.

  12. aztobesed says:

    Sheer class.

  13. Anarche says:

    Oo err, cripes, thanks everyone for kind comments, and especially NealH for top blog. Much of the original version of this puzzle had to be binned due to laws of defamation, libel, discrimination against redheads etc, but I think it still conveys a little of my adolescent fury at gutter journalism and bent coppers.

    Anax @10 – your work is never less than Alpha+ and I can’t wait to take you on tomorrow.

    Now back to Bank Holiday grandchild-taming.

    Love and hugs, Anarche

  14. Miche says:

    Ooh, now I want a samizdat copy of the uncensored version.

  15. andy says:

    fantastic arachne /anarche you’ve made my rainy cold bank holiday. I admit having to reach for the dictionary for a couple of for me, new words, but the elegant cluing just meant needed confirmation, and ta to NealH too

  16. flashling says:

    Cor that was tough without aids but a fantastic piece of work Anarche, must admit I too would love to have seen the unbowdlerised version, – perhaps a private eye special (well we can hope), well done NealH a tough nut to blog.

  17. Rorschach says:

    Wow… Speechless…

  18. Rorschach says:

    Although as far as I’m aware, “glomeruli” aren’t nerves…

  19. NealH says:

    I was a bit dubious about this but did find a couple of definitions which supported the idea that they were nerves or nerve-related:

    “any cluster or coil of blood vessels, nerve fibres, etc, in the body”

    “A nerve ending consisting of a cluster of dendritic ramifications and axon terminals surrounded by a glial sheath.”

    So now you know…

  20. Allan_C says:


  21. JollySwagman says:

    Corker – thought eventually she would no longer be able to top her own act – but she just has done.

  22. Dave says:

    Enjoyed this one, though as some others have said I had some difficulties in the bottom half. I posted a scan of this one into an old discussion thread on LibraryThing where a couple of us had been (some time ago) attempting to make Leveson-inspired clues. See here.
    (The three I wrote in “bold italic” I’d actually failed to solve on the day and filled in in retrospect having seen the answers…)

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