Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7982 / Glueball

Posted by Bertandjoyce on May 15th, 2012


A new compiler or someone in disguise?

So many of the clues were related that it was difficult to know where to start. For the first five minutes – nothing! It wasn’t until we had solved 23a, which thankfully was a straightforward clue, that the rest of the puzzle began to open up.

We googled ‘Glueball’ before we started and really should have taken more notice of the definition. Not only would it have given us a clue as to the theme of the puzzle but also 3d would not have required a word search at the end! Short-term memory loss seems to be a problem at our age!

The last scientific based puzzle we can remember was one set by Anarche as her alter-ego in “Another Place’. This one was a real teaser and even some of the un-themed clues took a fair amount of head-scratching to work out the parsing. This article in Time Magazine ties together all the related themed answers without getting TOO technical if you are interested!

Whoever you are, we enjoyed the challenge!

1/5 THE GOD PARTICLE Anagram of PILOT CHARGED (anagrind is ‘drunk’) ‘falling within’ first and last letters or ‘limits’ of T(ippl)E = the media often refer to Higgs boson (12A) as ‘The God Particle’. Apparently Lederman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist said he gave the Higgs boson the nickname “The God Particle” because the particle is “so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our final understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive”, but jokingly added that a second reason was because “the publisher wouldn’t let us call it the Goddamn Particle, though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing.”
9 ACCURATELY CURATE (clergyman) within or ‘into’ anagram of CLAY (anagrind is ‘creation’) = all results from any experiment, let alone one in the LHC (16A/25/24), should always be accurately recorded
10 LION (gang)LION (collection of nerve cells (14D)) with working group or ‘gang’ removed or ‘dumped’ = courageous person. This was one of our last ones in and we sat looking at it for ages before the penny dropped.
11 CERN C(am)ER(o)N (Tory leader) with a second or ‘a mo’ being dropped or ‘going’ = the LHC (16A/25/24) is at the European Organization for Nuclear Research or CERN. We thought that Cern referred to a place but apparently the name is derived from the acronym for the French Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, or European Council for Nuclear Research, a provisional body founded in 1952 with the mandate of establishing a world-class fundamental physics research organization in Europe. In 1954 the Council was dissolved and given its new name but CERN was retained.
12 HIGGS BOSON SO (thus) in anagram of GOING + BHS (anagrind is ‘new position’) = an elementary particle (23/5A) that has been predicted but has still not been found!
13/15 STANDARD MODEL STANDARD (normal) + MODEL (shape) = The Higgs boson apparently plays a unique role in the Standard Model of particle physics
16/25/24 LARGE HADRON COLLIDER Anagram of LOCA(l) ‘mostly’ + AND + HER OLDER GIRL(anagrind is ‘given makeover’) = place where particles (5As) collide or ‘smash’ into each other 
17 SOLIDARY We needed to check this one as we’d not come across it before although once we had the checking letters it was fairly easy to deduce. Reversal  or ‘backing’ of RADIOS (devices that receive) around (‘holding’) L (roman numeral for 50) + Y (yard) = jointly responsible
19 ASSESSMENT ASSET (something useful) around or ‘about’ SS (ship) + MEN (crew) = review
21 MASS MAS (graduates) + S (succeeded) = The existence of the Higgs boson (12) is predicted by the Standard Model (13/15A) and if it is found it could help explain why particles (5As) have mass!
22 STYE Hidden within na(STY E)ye = a nasty eye problem!
23 ELEMENTARY Anagram of ENEMY LATER (anagrind is ‘destroyed’) = principal
2 HACKETT (j)ACKET (coat with Jack or ‘j’ removed or ‘discarded’) within H (hard) T (time) = this menswear designer
3 GLUON GLU(tt)ON (guzzler) removing or ‘not’ TT (averse to booze as in teetotal) = an elementary particle (23/5A). If we had remembered that a ‘glueball’ is a hypothetical subatomic particle consisting entirely of gluons bound together we would not have needed to use the word search facility at the end!
4 DEATH RATE A lovely clue – we surely don’t need to add anything else!
5 PLEDGED PL(o)D (Policeman without ‘o’ or ‘none shall escape’)  around or ‘patrolling’ EDGE (nick) = made promise
6 REYES R (anything but leftist) + EYES  (scrutiny)  = this Mexican poet
7 ILL WORDED Anagram of ORWELL DID (anagrind is ‘badly’) = hopefully you would not describe any work by Orwell such!
8 LOO ROLL Ethereal(L) (one end only!) + OO (pair as in pair of glasses or two ducks in cricket) + ROLL (flatten) = you need this when you go to the toilet or ‘pan’. Another one of those answers that we sat and looked at (not literally, we should add) before we managed to parse it. We couldn’t believe that there is even a wiki entry for it here!
14 NERVE CELL Anagram of CERN (11) + LEVEL (anagrind is ‘adjusted’) = excitable signaller
15 MILK TEETH ILK (class) with anagram of MET and THE (anagram is ‘riotous’) outside = first teeth or ‘choppers’ to show
16 LESOTHO The first clue in so you can see how desperate we were! Hidden or ‘contained’ within (Aristot)LE SO THO(ought) = landlocked kingdom within South Africa – officially the Kingdom of Lesotho
17 SHE-BEAR Anagram of BEER HAS (anagrind is ‘affected’) = female bruin
18 ROSARIO Once we had a few checking letters we were able to work this one out from the cryptic. ROO (jumper) with SARI (dress) inside = overseas destination. In our opinion this was the weakest clue with its rather general definition
20 SPEND SP (starting price – slang for ‘latest information’) + END (complete) = amount. We’re not totally happy with this clue. It all seems to work but was a contender for the weakest clue!
21 MUTED Well……. we sat and looked at this one for a while. We knew it had to be ‘muted’ but couldn’t work out why until one of us realised that it was M(o)UT(h)ED (silently spoken) without o (old) and h (husband) = with reduced volume


29 Responses to “Independent 7982 / Glueball”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, both, for an excellent blog – you had your work cut out this morning, I think.

    I’m interested in what others made of it, because I’ve got mixed feelings about this one – the first seven acrosses are all interlinked, which as a solver clearly isn’t helpful, and on a first pass I got only the ‘gimmes’ like STYE, LESOTHO and SHE-BEAR. I struggled on a bit and was on the point of going into cba mode when I got MASS; the wording of the clue indicated that it was physical rather religious mass; STANDARD MODEL went in and the rest of the themed clues were write-ins (including GLUON!) And as Quixote touched on yesterday, there is pleasure in having the wordplay and the definition come together when you finally twig the solution; and write-ins don’t give you that pleasure.

    But (and there is a but) I have retained a strong interest in matters scientific since my uni days and have followed the media closely about developments at CERN. So I’ll say a hurrah for a scientific theme; but if it had been a similarly interlinked puzzle on some obscure pop group or 18th century novelist, you can bet your sweet life I’d have been on this blog bitching about it along the lines of ‘how the hell am I supposed to know that?’

    So thank you to Glueball. If it had genuinely been a first date between the two of us, I think it might have ended up with a peck on the cheek and an exchange of mobile numbers, but nothing more …

  2. Alan Connor says:

    I have no idea but would guess that this is a new setter. The puzzle has the tang of a debut that means to impress… and it succeeds.

  3. crypticsue says:

    I struggled with this for a while until I got the ‘elementary’ and the ‘particle’ and a penny dropped. My pet hate is a cryptic crossword, where unless you are, in this case, Professor Brian Cox, you have to look up every blooming theme-related clue on Google. However, I now feel somewhat of an expert on the subject, not enough to go on Mastermind but….!

    The non-themed clues were good but Glueball, when you return, let’s have a bit less of a theme-you-need-to-look-up please. Thank you for the education and to B&J for working it all out – at least you had two of you to do the searching.

  4. Wanderer says:

    Thanks BertandJoyce, and of course Glueball.

    I thought this a wonderful crossword, and if Glueball is indeed new, I am looking forward to more.

    To answer Kathryn’s Dad: I am no scientist (language degree, no science beyond O level). But I think HIGGS BOSON, LARGE HADRON COLLIDER, CERN and THE GOD PARTICLE are so widely written about and discussed that it’s entirely reasonable of Glueball to assume that they are — or should be — part of an Indy reader’s general knowledge. Not sure the 18th century novelist comparison is entirely fair for that reason.

    In fact, further to crypticsue’s point above, I am a non-scientist who has greatly benefited from the mass of readable material which is now easily available on the subject. Recently read Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw on ‘Why does E=mc2 (and why should we care?)’ which introduced me to, among others, the STANDARD MODEL and the GLUON. It is highly recommended.

    So many thanks to Glueball, and I await your next challenge with eager anticipation.

  5. Bertandjoyce says:

    We would agree with Wanderer @4 that the theme words (apart from gluon!) have been used in the general media and in our opinion were much easier to deduce than obscure footballers or operas!

    Yes, crypticsue, we were glad that we had two heads on this one rather than one. Didn’t take too much searching for answers – more like – how on earth do we explain this one?!

  6. Wanderer says:

    May I draw your attention to beermagnet’s blog of Private Eye/Cyclops 468, posted yesterday? Immediately below the blog he tells a joke which solvers of this puzzle may appreciate.

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    Wanderer @ 6 – many thanks. We urge everyone to check that one out! All we need now are some Doctor, Doctor related jokes!

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Hi Wanderer.

    Perhaps I didn’t explain myself very well. I certainly welcomed the scientific theme, and I agree with you that most well-read folk (read: Indy crossword solvers) will have at least come across the terms used in the puzzle. I was just making the point that the way the crossword was constructed, with so many interconnected clues, might have put some people off if the theme wasn’t your cup of tea, or indeed if you couldn’t fully access the puzzle in the first place because of that.

    And I didn’t say that I absolutely wouldn’t go out on another date with Glueball… I was just being a bit coy and playing hard-to-get.

  9. Jean says:

    Well done BertandJoyce. This one was a real mindbender – especially since I don’t take much interest in physics. Didn’t get ‘Rosario’ either.

  10. JollySwagman says:

    Great fun. Thanks so much Glueball (whoever you are) and B&J for the excellent blog.

    Hope to see more like this. Not just the subject matter but the cluing was very original.

    I don’t think you really needed much specific scientific knowledge beyond what we all know from the news to crack it; in fact that was another good feature of the puzzle.

  11. a scientist writes says:

    Hi all and thanks for the blog B&J, which along with Times for The Times is thoroughly lurked by me and the hubby. Day off today, usually I work at Imperial College as a biologist, but do the Times and Indy every day anyway, so there’s no true bias.

    First we thought this to be a really good puzzle. And because you can’t get a fag-paper into any of the clues, they’re so tight, perhaps NOT a new setter? And with all the publicity surrounding the expected discovery of this particle of late, it is quite surprising to see that one or two people struggled with the definitions!

    Despite ease of terminology it was very nice to have a science puzzle, and I hope compilers or editors won’t be scared of having more like this one. Thanks very much Glueball whoever you really are, for a beautifully-made puzzle. Faves HIGGS BOSON and SOLIDARY. Back to work tomorrow to see how my cultures are doing!

  12. Bertandjoyce says:

    a scientist writes @11 – Thanks for ‘unlurking’! We used to lurk for a long time before we were tempted to contribute and have not looked back since.

    Glad that you enjoyed the puzzle and we would tend to agree with you that it is not a new setter but someone in disguise. We hope we will be able to find out sometime!

  13. flashling says:

    Very tricky to get into I’d agree, but I plugged away at the non linked clues and elementary popped in easily, seeing that linked to 5ac after a quick brain search gave up the theme and most of the answers, along with knowing that gluons were made from glueballs from my A level days.

    Suspect this was a well known setter in disguise with the pseudonym fitting the theme but who knows.

    Thanks B&J on a well done blog and Glueball for a quite remarkable debut.

  14. Richard says:

    Could it be Tees? (I remember his brief masquerade as “Trees” in a dendrologically-themed puzzle for the Indy some time back.

    I enjoyed this, but it was pretty tough-going to do at Caffe Nero without any reference to the Web, and my long-ago A-Level Physics lessons ceased well before the existence of the Higgs Boson was postulated.

  15. eimi says:

    Good call, Richard

  16. nmsindy says:

    I enjoyed this a lot too. I don’t think there could be too many complaints about the theme to be honest as it was very widely covered in the media at the time of the experiment. I’d say therefore that it is pretty much general knowledge to most. I would agree tho that, with a large number of inter-related clues, it was hard to break into – it was for me at any rate. The clues were all very good and fair. If the pseudonym was chosen for the puzzle, well I guess the setter could be anyone (new or having set before). From solving in various places including Inquisitor-type ‘advanced’ puzzles, I know there is a fair overlap between the world of physics and crossword setting.

    Many thanks to Glueball and also to B&J.

    Finally, as as aside, I always get a bit worried when a comment is made “I studied X and stopped studying Y so I don’t know much about Y”. I think this gives the (necessarily) compartmentalised education system far more importance than it should. I think you can learn pretty much all you need, in a general way, without taking a course in it.

  17. Bertandjoyce says:

    Well done Richard and thanks Eimi for the confirmation.

    Thanks also to Tees for the puzzle – we did enjoy it!

  18. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, eimi, our posts crossed.

  19. Glueball says:

    Damn. Outed!

    Thanks Bert & Joyce and to all commenters. Nowt to add really, except to say, rather obviously, that I’d been reckoning you probably wouldn’t need a BSc to crack the theme. Mind you, there is only one way to get in, via ELEMENTARY, and solvers were always going to need to suss that out before proceeding.

    They’ve gone quiet, haven’t they, the Higgs lot: last I heard ‘an excess of events is observed around mH ~ 126 GeV with a local significance of 3.5 standard deviations (sigma)’. Which means ‘there she would blow’, rather than ‘there she blows’. As it were.

  20. MikeC says:

    Thanks B&J and Glueball/Tees. Found this one quite tough, but enjoyable – many excellent, ingenious clues. However, I do share the reservations about 18 and 20.

  21. Thomas99 says:

    MikeC (or Bertandjoyce)-
    What’s the reservation about 20? With 18 I gather it’s that people think it’s obscure and needed more detail in the definition, but I can’t see what the objection to 20 could be.

  22. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thomas99@20 Our concern was with the definition spend = amount. Chambers gives spend as ‘the sum of money available’ which you could interpret as ‘amount’ but also we expect we were rating it according to the pleasure we had in solving it!

  23. Dormouse says:

    Well, I have a degree in physics, so the themed clues turned out to be quite easy, but it’s supposed to be easy. That’s why they call it elementary particle physics, right.

    That said, I entered “accuratest” for 9ac, based on the “best” in the clue. OK, so it’s probably not a word, but I convinced myself it was, and that meant I couldn’t get 6d.

    And when I checked here, I suddenly noticed I’d missed 20d, and I don’t think I would have got that.

  24. Tramp says:

    Really liked this

  25. Fishbonealic says:

    re 20a: Spend can be an amount too (eg, your ‘spend’ for your holiday).

  26. Matt says:

    Another de-lurker here who enjoyed the theme. Literature, music, mythology and sporting terms are all accepted sources for clues, so why not bring in a bit of science every now an again…

    Solidary and Rosario seemed to me a whole lot more obscure than the themed answers anyway!

  27. Lancastrian Bluenose says:

    i enjoyed this it extended my scientific knowledge !

  28. flashling says:

    Cor lots of new commenters, very welcome – the more opinions the better, thanks Tees, the lack of comments from yourself made me suspect your hand in this. Wot no quarks mesons? you could have surely made a triple pangram out of it too :-) but kudos – twas nicely done.

    Today’s thunderstorms took my internet connection out for hours, bah humbug.

  29. Glueball says:

    Oh man I was rained on. Was I rained on. And all hail. And a themed triple pangram? That may have to wait, though why not.

    Thank you Tramp, you’re a talented and a really groovy guy, and I appreciate your comment. I look forward to the 31st!

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