Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1161 Eimi

Posted by scchua on May 27th, 2012


Sometimes Eimi can be quite tricky, but it looks as if he’s toned it down for a relaxing Sunday with this enjoyable piece.  Thanks Eimi.  From past experience, Eimi’s puzzles have been known to have a theme 

but in this case, except for the day appearing at diagonally opposite corners, the musical description across the centre, and a few other “art-y” references, there doesn’t seem to be any other connection.  But I could very well be wrong.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[Each picture at the bottom has an unidentified link with the puzzle.]]


6,9 A power-hungry king hesitated to rewrite Sondheim musical (6,2,3,4,4,6)


Answer: A Stephen Sondheim (a cryptic crossword buff himself) musical.  A clever anagram, but awkward to provide a definition to.  Without the writer’s name, it would have been too difficult, but with it, the choices are drastically reduced, making it that much easier.

10 Non-flowering plant found in botanical gardens (4)

ALGAHidden in(found in) botanicAL GArdens

Answer: One of the earliest and simplest life forms.

11 @Giants twittering (2,4)

AT SIGNAnagram of(twitteringGIANTS.

12 Monarch possibly tracked horse at Barnet’s border (8)

HAIRLINE :  AIRLINE(an example of which is,possibly British charter and scheduled airline, Monarch, based at Luton Airport) placed after(tracked,followed) H(slang for heroin, another slang for which is horse). 

Answer: Literally the border of your hair, the rhyming slang for which is Barnet, from Barnet fair.

13 Perhaps Oliver takes charge of meeting in which one’s in danger of losing one’s seat (7,6)

MUSICAL CHAIRS :  MUSICAL(an example of which is,perhaps Oliver) + CHAIRS(takes charge of meeting). 

Answer: The children’s game.  And adults too play a form of it when low rankers have to give up the preferred seats as at a meeting, as suggested by the surface.  

16 Sort of cinema seat that engulfs you (3,5)

ART HOUSE :  ARSE(ass if you’re American,that part of your anatomy that you sit on,seat) containing(that engulfs) THOU(you, in the past). 

Answer: A sort of cinema that shows arty films.

18 Good start for game (6)

GROUSE :  G(abbrev. for good) + ROUSE(to cause game to start,come out of its lair). 

Answer: Favourite game birds of hunters.  A WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition) clue.

20 Computer tycoon no longer providing employment (4)

JOBS :  Double defn: 1st: The late,no longer Steve, who became a tycoon after co-founding Apple.  Smooth surface.

21 Is it used to make goat’s cheese? (10)

BUTTERMILK :  Cryptic defn: Milk is the raw material for cheese, and that from a goat,a butter, may be used to make goat’s cheese?  And the answer is no.

22 May Stallone nude performance be making of Lloyd Webber musical (4,2,2,1,6)

TELL ME ON A SUNDAYAnagram of(be making of) MAY STALLONE NUDE.  Not sure whether “performance” is necessary.  “May nude Stallone be…” could do just as well. 

Answer: A lesser known Lloyd Webber musical.  A similar comment as 6,9 about the clue.


1 First to support novice artist (6)

CUBIST :  IST(looks like 1st,first with I,Roman numeral for 1) placed below(to support, in a down clue) CUB(novice, as in a cub reporter, scout, etc.). 

Answer: An artist of the school that reduces natural forms and their relationships to their geometrical shapes and planes.

2 Heraldic beast getting first of wizards terribly nervy (6)

WYVERN :  W(first letter ofwizards”) + anagram of(terribly) NERVY 

3 Embarrassed humble character is protected by mum (8)

SHEEPISH :  [HEEP(Uriah, the character in Dickens’s David Copperfield, one noted for his cloying humility, toadying and insincerity, and making frequent references to his humbleness) + IS] contained in(protected by) SH!(imperative to hush,be quiet,keep mum).

4 What stragglers do when inexperienced among top Scottish football clubs (6)

SPRAWL :  RAW(inexperienced) contained in(among) SPL(abbrev. for the Scottish Premier League in football)

5 Bandits set up in groups (8)

BRIGANDS :  RIG(to set up,put together) contained in(in) BANDS(groups).

7 Surrealist artist apprehending hearts as flowers (7)

DAHLIAS :  [DALI(Salvador, surrealist artist) containing(apprehending) H(abbrev. for the suit hearts, as in bridge notation)] + AS.

8 Prime minister completely supported by the Queen, not going up to Yorkshire town (13)

NORTHALLERTON :  [NORTH(Lord Frederick, former prime minister of GB) + ALL(completely)] placed above(supported by, in a down clue) [ER(Elizabeth Regina,the Queen) + reversal of(going up, in a down clue) NOT].

13 Very enthusiastic about England footballer with unknown deficiency being abandoned (8)

MAROONED :  MAD(very enthusiastic about/over) containing(about) ROONE{“Rooney”(Wayne, England footballer) minus(with … deficiency) “y”(one of the symbols in maths for an unknown quantity, overshadowed by its sibling, “x”)}. 

14 Fatter fish on stand of late (8)

CHUBBIER :  CHUB(a common freshwater fish) placed above(on, in a down clue) BIER(frame,stand on which the dead,late – or coffin – is laid before burial).

15 Comic book character might be Female, cryptically (4,3)

IRON MAN :  IRON(element whose chemical symbol is “fe”-) + MAN(-“male”) with “femalecryptically split.

17 Sleuth involved in confidence trick (6)

HUSTLEAnagram of(involved in) SLEUTH.

18 Pleasant-sounding rock (6)

GNEISSHomophone of(sounding) “nice”. 

Answer:  Mineral rock that has metamorphised, resulting in a banded appearance.

19 Mother unfortunately got up a salutation (6)

SALAAMReversal of(got up, in a down clue) [MA(mother) + ALAS(unfortunately,sadly)].

Answer: An Arabic greeting,salutation meaning “peace”.



4 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1161 Eimi”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Thanks,scchua and eimi. Yes, my experience was similar – pleasing puzzle, not too difficult and was able to work the two Sunday titles out from the wordplay tho I’d heard of neither – tho obviously guessing when I found one Sunday there might be a second.

  2. Dormouse says:

    It must say something about my thought processes that until I read this blog, I hadn’t noticed that the word “Sunday” appeared in the names of both musicals. I knew both titles, but once I solved one I forgot about it and went to solve the next.

  3. Wanderer says:

    Very much enjoyed this. Favourites IRON MAN (took me ages to see the obvious) and AT SIGN. On the musical theme, I wondered if it’s relevant that HAIR, a favourite crossword musical, is in both musical cHAIRs and HAIRline, immediately above. Also, we have a pair of movies, MAROONED and HUSTLE, crossing with the excellent ART HOUSE, where one might see them… Perhaps I’m trying to read too much into it.

    Thanks to scchua and eimi.

  4. Trebor says:

    I clued Iron Man in the same way in a puzzle I set for friends – so obviously this was my favourite! I also agree with Wanderer that there is more to the theme than the two musicals but can’t really work it all out.
    Good stuff all round.

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