Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1162/Glow-worm

Posted by Pierre on June 3rd, 2012


I’ve blogged two or three Sunday Glow-worms before, and I’ve thought they were pleasing puzzles.  But I’ve been a bit critical this morning: I think there are some clunky surfaces, remote synonyms and dodgy definitions here, which meant I didn’t enjoy this one so much.  However, maybe you thought differently …




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


Bent officer is arresting Unionist
A charade of GEN for General or ‘Officer’ and an insertion of U for ‘Unionist’ in IS.  Maybe dictionaries will prove me wrong, but for me, ‘bent’ and ‘genius’ aren’t really synonymous.  If I say ‘I have a bent for cricket’ it doesn’t mean that I’m brilliant at it.

Friend’s confronting baddies regularly – and paling
A charade of PAL IS for ‘friend’s’ and ADE for the even letters of bAdDiEs.  The definition and the answer are pretty close, though, aren’t they?

No sailors either from Northumberland?
I wanted to put in this answer once I’d got a couple of crossing letters, but couldn’t see how the clue worked.  But it’s cleverly done: NOR THE RN is a way of saying ‘no sailors either’ and The Farne Islands are one of the hundred places you should visit before you die.

10  It’s heavenly playing harp on the banks of the Seine
Once I’d convinced myself that PHRASE wasn’t anything to do with heaven, this one made sense.  (HARP)* after SE for the outside letters of ‘SeinE’.  And one of the very few words in English that makes its plural by adding -IM.

11  Cello and cornet I played for Remembrance
(CELLO CORNET I)* with ‘played’ as the anagrind.

13  Spike Milligan’s last bow’s enthralling
The sticky-out thing on the end of your fork is an insertion of N for the last letter of MilligaN included (‘enthralling’) in TIE for ‘bow’.

14  Setter’s a hoot, we hear – that’s sweet
A homophone of I SCREAM.

17  Brilliant system of measurement captures extremes of El Niño
An insertion of EO for the outside letters of El NiñO in METRIC.  Again, I wasn’t convinced that ‘brilliant’ and METEORIC were the same thing.

18  Sect exposed in actuality oddly dissolving
Hidden in aCtUaLiTy.  Perhaps not the greatest surface that Glow-worm has ever produced, unless I’m missing something.

20  Where fighter comes in to disrobe on stairhead?
If you’re into taking your kit off in front of your neighbours, you’ll get this one.  It’s a cd, and a clue I especially liked.

23  Otiose and deceitful – take a month off and regroup
The setter is asking you to take DEC, the month, out of ([DEC]EITFUL)*  And ‘regroup’ is the anagrind.

24  Pernicious Cadillac I’m in is deficient in reverse
Hidden reversed in CadiLAC IM IN Is.  The surface again isn’t great – how can a Cadillac be pernicious?

25  Get rid of reported mole on lad’s side
A definition of ‘mole’ that I’d never come across.  ‘A massive structure, esp of stone, serving as a pier’  (SOED).  So it’s a charade of a homophone of ‘jetty’ and SON for ‘lad’.

26  Crib graduate’s new limitless source of ideas
‘Away in a manger; no crib for a bed.’  A charade of MA for ‘graduate’, N for ‘new’ and GER for GER[M] as in ‘a germ of an idea’.


Deity wound up
A reversal of SORE.

Step in time with Eve ‘n’ Erin’s dancing
The definition is ‘step in’.  It’s (T EVE N ERIN)*

Beg to live away – adopting Portugal as address
[BE]SEECH with an insertion of P for ‘Portugal’.

US indie company plans special version of Brains Trust

Edit: I should have added an extra S to the anagram fodder for ‘special’, and ‘version’ by itself is the anagrind.  Thanks to Wandererer at comment no 4 for the clarification.

6 … might he enjoy it once weekly?
For once the ellipses mean something … Glow-worm is suggesting that a fan of Brains Trust might listen to it once a week.

Rod Peacock?
I didn’t much like this.  It’s a dd: the first half works clearly, but to describe a peacock as a ‘strut’ is a step too far, isn’t it?  Peacocks do strut, but that’s not to say that they are struts.  Happen I’m missing something.

Lecturer visiting island tied up?  Shocking!
A reversal (up in a down clue) of ELBA and ROPED with L for ‘lecturer’ inserted.

12  Shining age with true possibilities for fliers
A charade of LIT for ‘shining’, ERA for ‘age’ and (TRUE)* with ‘possibilities’ as the anagrind.  ‘Fliers’ for LITERATURE works, but they are pretty loose synonyms, in my opinion.

15  Pen erotic composition, do!

16  VIP is present in heart of procession
Didn’t like this one at all.  VIP for PRINCESS?  Not in my opinion, but that’s by the by.  Why not PRINCE, or QUEEN, or KING?  It just seems a bit of a random definition.  It’s PR for ‘present’ (although it’s in none of my dictionaries), IN and CESS for the middle letters of proCESSion.

19  Bromide, after initially tasting, is swallowed in liquor
I always appreciate learning something from a crossword, and this was a new one for me.  ‘A soothing platitude or trite remark’ (SOED).  And I always thought it was something that was put in soldiers’ tea.  T for the first letter of ‘tasting’, followed by IS in RUM.

21  Implication of Penny’s separation …
D for ‘denarius’ as in LSD, pounds, shillings and pence; then RIFT for ‘separation’.  Do you get my drift?

22 … was initially maturity of income
A charade of W for the first letter of Was and AGE for ‘maturity’.  The clue is fine, but as we age, do we mature?  Discuss.

Thanks as always to the setter for the Sunday morning entertainment.

5 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1162/Glow-worm”

  1. Dormouse says:

    The top left corner of this defeated me, and I agree, I don’t think I’d ever think of “genius” to mean “bent or vice versa. As to 9ac, I too thought of “northern” but didn’t have the courage to enter it.

  2. flashling says:

    re 1ac I’ve come across “he’s got a bent for” == “he’s excellent at” == “he’s a genius at” but I agree it’s very tenuous to put it mildly.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Pierre, and Glow-worm. I was happy with genius = bent tho it took me quite a while to see it. I thought it was rather good actually. I also think STRUT is fine as I think it’s referring to the verb ‘peacock’ which is in dicts.

  4. Wanderer says:

    The one I didn’t have the courage to enter after parsing, until I had all the crossers, was TRUISM. Never come across that usage of bromide, so thanks for your explanation.

    My first officer at 1ac was a Colonel, which gave me U in COL+IS — COULIS. I spent some time wondering how to equate a fruity sauce with a bent until the penny dropped.

    Nicely misdirected by 3d, INTERVENE, where I thought the def was Step in time (a dance step?) and the fodder was EVE N ERINS. No wonder I couldn’t make it work for a while.

    I think 5d needs an extra S from Special in the anagram fodder, with version on its own as the indicator.

    Enjoyed this one, so many thanks to Pierre and Glowworm.

  5. Pierre says:

    ‘To peacock’ as a verb is indeed in my SOED, so I’ll withdraw my criticism of 7dn. Thanks, Wanderer, for the correct parsing of 5dn. I’ve amended the blog.

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