Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8020 / Klingsor

Posted by Bertandjoyce on June 28th, 2012


A suitably tricky Thursday puzzle from Klingsor, which took quite a bit of sorting out!


As expected, there were some excellent surface readings and cryptic definitions, a fair bit of crafty misdirection with a few relatively straightforward clues to enable us to get started.


1   Bad attitude to the grey area is admitted by Beryl perhaps
AGEISM A (area) + IS in, or ‘admitted by’ GEM (Beryl is an example of a gemstone) = bad attitude to the grey – great definition!!
4   Wally’s better after drinking hard but it may go to his head
CLOTH CAP CLOT (Wally) + CAP (better, as a verb) around or ‘drinking’ H (hard) = a cloth cap would go on, or to(?) one’s head
10   A term for faithful, having sadly left us, being recollected around 2nd of November
ALL SOULS DAY This took a bit of parsing – but we finally decided it must be: A + L (‘term’ or end of ‘faithful’) + an anagram of SADLY L (left) US (anagrind is ‘recollected’) around O (2nd letter of ‘November’) = a cunning cryptic definition – All Souls Day is 2nd November and commemorates the faithful departed
11   Regularly visited sublime German city
ULM Alternate (regular) letters of sUbLiMe = German city
12   Clergymen are put out by piles
RECTORS RE(a)CTORS (nuclear piles with the ‘a’ (are) ‘put out’, or omitted) = clergymen
14   Failing to attend education, wrote music?
NOTATED NOT AT (failing to attend) ED (education) = wrote music
15   Primarily, they fine a few in cars illegally parked around road?
TRAFFIC WARDENS Anagram of T, F (first, or ‘prime’, letters of ‘they fine’) and A FEW IN CARS – anagrind is ‘illegally parked’, all around RD (road) = another cunning cryptic definition – traffic wardens fine people whose cars are illegally parked
17   Dish captivates one insensitive city dweller (not half!) and she’s fairly shocked
PLATINUM BLONDE PLATE (dish) around, or ‘captivating’ I (one) NUMB (insensitive) LOND(oner) (half of a city dweller) = someone with fair hair, or ‘shock’
21   Regrettably cut involving staff is an issue every year
ALMANAC ALAC(k) (regrettably, cut short – with the last letter missing) around or ‘involving’ MAN (staff, as a verb) = an issue every year – an almanac is published annually
22   Biographer produces book that’s nothing great
BOSWELL B (book) + O (nothing) + SWELL (great) = James Boswell, the biographer of Samuel Johnson, once claimed to be the greatest biography in the English language
23   Put trap back for convenience
BOG GOB (a slang word for mouth or ‘trap’) reversed or ‘put back’ = convenience – another slang word!
24   Holding up a liquor store? It’s a crime
SHOPLIFTING SHOP (liquor store, for example) + LIFTING (holding up) = a crime. We’re not sure about the inclusion of ‘liquor’ in the clue, although there is a question mark suggesting that this is an example of a store, and one that is perhaps more likely to be held up by criminals
26   Crack cocaine on vessel? Skipper at first’s detained
CREVASSE C (cocaine) + RE (on, or concerning) + VASE (vessel) around or ‘detaining’ S (first letter of ‘skipper’) = crack
27   A garment to take to the cleaner’s
FLEECE Double definition: (a) as a noun, a warm garment and (b) as a verb, to charge exorbitantly, or ‘take to the cleaners’
1   A review plugging song’s liveliness
ALACRITY A + CRIT (review – shortened form of ‘criticism’) in or ‘plugging’ LAY (song) = liveliness
2   English and American soldier dropped out of “Measure for Measure”
ELL E (English) + (gi)LL (a small liquid measure of varying amount with GI, or American soldier omitted, or ‘dropped out’) = another varying measure, of length
3   Who’s a poser?
SHOW-OFF An anagram of WHO’S is ‘show’, with ‘OFF’ as the anagrind = poser
5   With pound off, one and all dashed to get phone for a song
LA DONNA E MOBILE Anagram of ONE AND AL(l), with l (pound) omitted or ‘off’ – anagrind is ‘dashed’ + MOBILE (phone) = a song from Verdi’s opera ‘Rigoletto’ – opera is definitely not one of our strong points, so we needed some electronic help to confirm this – it was however readily solvable from the wordplay
6   Agreed to meet in attempt to locate one missing daughter
TRYSTED TRY (attempt) + S(i)TE (locate, with the ‘i’ (one) missing) + D (daughter) = agreed to meet – we’d not come across this as a verb before
7   Caught and detained in Oz, resident ultimately lost face
COUNTENANCE C (caught) + TENAN(t) (resident, with the last or ‘ultimate’ letter omitted or ‘lost’) in or ‘detained in’ OUNCE (oz, the abbreviation for the imperial unit of weight) = face
8   Man with a thick head of hair’s up for this?
POMADE ED (man) + A MOP (a thick head of hair) all reversed or ‘up’ (in a down clue) = cryptic definition – a man with a lot of hair might appreciate pomade, or hair ointment, to keep it under control
9   Students not put out, being aware of their place in society?
CLASS-CONSCIOUS CLASS (students) + CONSCIOUS (not put out, as in not being unconscious) = being aware of their place in society
13   Ruler of ancient France coined e.g. La Manche, right?
CHARLEMAGNE Anagram of E.G. LA MANCHE and R (right) – anagrind is ‘coined’ = ruler of ancient France in the 8th century
16   Garment that may be discounted with 50% off? Wow!
NEGLIGEE NEGLI(gible) (may be discounted, with half of the word missing or ‘50% off’) + GEE (wow!) = garment – we won’t go into the possible cryptic definition here!
18   Country air mostly is first class when going north
TUNISIA TUN(e) (air mostly, or with the last letter missing) + IS + A1 (first class) reversed or ‘going north’ (in a down clue) = country
19   Naughty slut gets dirty, withholding nothing – being this
LUSTFUL Anagram of SLUT (anagrind is ‘naughty’) + F(o)UL (dirty, with ‘o’ or ‘nothing’ omitted or ‘withheld’ = another slightly dicey cryptic definition – how a naughty slut might feel if she is withholding nothing?
20   Setter’s given writer description of some verse
IAMBIC I AM (Klingsor, the setter, is) + BIC (the pen, or ‘writer’) = description of some verse
25   Formality that’s somewhat archaic essentially
ICE Hidden in (or ‘somewhat’) (archa)IC E(ssentially) = formality


11 Responses to “Independent 8020 / Klingsor”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I liked this one a lot – got very little on the first pass, and solving wasn’t helped by a grid meaning it was effectively four separate puzzles. Managed it in the end with a little judicious help from the ‘check’ button.

    I specially liked the surfaces for 2dn and the cheeky one for 19dn. POMADE was also good. Would never have parsed TRAFFIC WARDENS or ALL SOULS DAY, so thanks for those two.

    I did know LA DONNA E MOBILE, despite never having seen an opera in my life. The tune has been adopted by football terraces across the land. When Roy Keane was manager of Sunderland and Jose Mourinho was manager of Chelsea, the Stadium of Light came up with:

    Who needs Mourinho?
    We’ve got Roy Keane-o
    Who needs Mourinho?
    We’ve got Roy Keane-o

    And so on ad nauseam. Just proving that the beautiful game can overlap with high culture.

    Why does a = are in the clue for RECTORS, please?

    Thanks to Klingsor and B&J.

  2. Polly says:

    I would guess that ‘are’ in the clue for RECTORS is a hundredth of a hectare and would be abbreviated ‘a’ (as is ‘acre’).

  3. nmsindy says:

    Yes, I thought this was a very pleasing puzzle with some of the excellent surfaces and misdirection one associates with Klingsor. Esp liked AGEISM, NOTATED, CLASS-CONSCIOUS, SHOW-OFF. Not an esp difficult puzzle – many thanks B&J and Klingsor.

  4. Klingsor says:

    Many thanks to Bert and Joyce for the excellent blog. It’s always nice to get positive feedback but just as important (if not more so) is to know that one’s clues can be understood correctly by competent solvers.

    The use of “are” is just as Polly explains. It’s probably an abbreviation that’s really more suited to Azeds and the like, but it’s a useful one when all other indications for A lead to gibberish. I try to use it sparingly.

    Thanks again, Klingsor.

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    An excellent crossword, though not as hard as a Klingsor can be.
    While I had the ‘mobile’ part of 5d early on, it did not ring enough bells to get a song.
    But then, Ah!: LA DONNA E MOBILE, one of my late father’s favourites. The b-side of a single he had (and put on the turntable very often), the a-side being Questa O Quella – or was it the other way around?

    3d’s SHOW-OFF (very nice) was quickly found since I also solved today’s Crucible …. (which hasn’t been blogged so far).
    Btw, a musical puzzle in which 5d would be wholly appropriate.

    Today IAMBIC, yesterday (Brendan, on ‘the other side’) IAMBICS.

    I think the long across ones, ALL SOULS DAY and TRAFFIC WARDENS, are stunning clues. And AGEISM is a, er, gem too.

    B&J, needed your splendid blog for understanding COUNTENANCE.

    To cite RCW, thanks all!

  6. Dormouse says:

    Another day of completing it with a large number of guesses. 15ac was obviously going to be “traffic wardens” and I got the gist of how the clue works, but I seem to have kept on looking at the wrong mix of words and letters for the anagram. And my first guess for 17ac was “peroxide blonde” but then I saw how the clue worked and changed my answer.

    And no electronic help but I did use Chambers at the end and boobed. 1ac was the last in and having all the crossing letters I thumbed through Chambers for words starting a-e and quickly spotted “ageist” which I thought was so obviously right I didn’t think it through.

    I did like 20dn.

  7. Wil Ransome says:

    Excellent crossword. I thought 15ac was quite outstanding. Only one quibble: in 13dn, how on earth is ‘coined’ an anagram indicator? For something to be an anagram indicator there must be an indication of some kind of disturbance, I should have thought. Perhaps there is some sense of ‘coined’ of which I am unaware.

  8. flashling says:

    @wil I took coined as “a new usage of” hence an anagrind, nice tricky but gettable with a bit of effort from Klingsor, cheers B&J still supporting/exploiting the Greek economy??

  9. Klingsor says:

    Wil, “coin” is defined as “to fabricate” (verb transitive) in Chambers. So “coined” = fabricated. Not sure I like it myself too much but it does the job. Ish.

  10. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Klingsor for stopping by and everyone else for the comments. Yes, flashling we are still supporting the Greek economy so we are out of sync with UK time and not able to reply during the day – or later at night!

    Having read Eileen’s blog this morning before we set off on a walk, we hope all is well on the 225 front with Gaufrid and Schuua.

  11. JollySwagman says:

    Thanks K and B&J – enjoyed this greatly – it just kept on giving.

    “Mobile” for “phone” was a doh-ahah-haha moment. I had the B and couldn’t get BELL out of my head.

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