Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8026/Rorschach

Posted by John on July 5th, 2012


So far as I know Rorschach is a new name to crosswords, although I suppose it might be an amalgam of other setters. At first sight, with its references to Bob Marley and a rock group, I had misgivings and anticipated a difficult time, but it didn’t turn out to be too bad at all. There were some very pleasant accessible clues, although as usual there were one or two whose explanations escape me.

1 BRECCIA — not a good start since I’d never heard of the rock and am unable to parse this: help please: I’m as far as seeing that ‘roughly about number one’ is c(1)a — presumably someone’s first album was brec**** [Rock band’s first album (50% off) roughly around number one]
5 CYCLOPS — c({Jo}y{ce} c{a}l{m})ops — Ulysses and the Cyclops is a Greek legend, and Episode 12 of James Joyce’s Ulysses is called Cyclops
9 AUTHENTIC — I don’t quite see where the c comes from, for the definition seems to be ’24 carat’ and it looks like (au the tin)* [24 carat gold is melted down with the tin]
10 NADIR — (and)* i{nsula}r
11 CHICKPEA — chic peak with the k moved to the left
12 BRANDO — brand 0 — Marlon Brando acted in A Streetcar Named Desire
14 ERA TO — this looks very chestnutty and I feel sure I’ve come across it before
16/23 TENNESSEE WILLIAMS — “tennis-y Williams” — ref Venus Williams the tennis player
18 ONE OF MANY — (None of my)* around a
19 TONED — presumably the opening of correspondence is ‘to’, as at the top of emails, but it took me a long time before I thought of Ned Flanders of The Simpsons — many other names like Michael, Stephanie and Moll came first
27 MEN AGE {g}RIE{f} — one of Tennessee W’s plays was ‘The Glass Menagerie’
28 LEAR ({patro}N) ER
29 CITIZEN — “city” Zen — it’s OK to clue ‘London’ with the word ‘city’, but the other way round, without a ‘for example’ or suchlike? Surely no
1 BLANC {c}HE{f} — Blanche DuBois is a female character in A Streetcar Named Desire
2 EXTRICATE — (exit car)* t {collaps}e
3 CHECK — “Czech”
4/26/21 A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE — (Dare I name trade secrets)*, a tragedy of Tennessee Williams
5 COCO — cocoa with its fifth letter missing (‘No’, although the setter is hoping that the solver will be unaware of the fact that it’s ‘No.’ not ‘No’)
8 SCROOGE — CD I think, where one is lured into thinking of Bob Marley and The Wailers rather than Jacob Marley and Scrooge — Marley howls to bring Scrooge to his knees and Scrooge is convinced by Marley to change his ways
13 UNHYGIENIC — unh{app}y GI (nice)*
15 OXFORD DON — Ford [= Capri, perhaps — we get a ‘perhaps’ here OK, which suggests that I may have misunderstood 29ac] in Ox don
17 SANTA CRUZ — “Santa cruise”
18 ORDINAL — cardinal numbers and ordinal numbers — (Roland i{s})*
22 SAMO{{chrysali}s}A
24 LEGIT — def ‘Reliable abridged’,’French translation of The’ is ‘Le’
25 AM I {Oma}R

17 Responses to “Independent 8026/Rorschach”

  1. Conrad Cork says:

    Fine debut (if that is what it is) but I take umbrage rather at chick pea being defined as hippy food. It is a staple in many of the world’s great cuisines. (I shall have some for lunch.)

  2. Querulous says:

    Thanks Rorschach and John.

    Re 1ac, it’s B=band’s first, REC=50% off record (album), CA=roughly, around I
    Re 9, the definition is just 24 (i.e. legit). Hence carat gives you a c to go into the anagram.

  3. anax says:

    A very warm welcome to Rorschach on his debut, with a challengingly unique style. It took a while for our brains to get in tune with each other but, once there, it was a highly enjoyable solve.

    Rorschach, by the way, joined the DIY COW clue-writing forum a while back and I believe this is his very first newspaper puzzle – so, hearty congratulations from me. The buzz of seeing your first puzz in print is unforgettable.

    For BRECCIA, by the way, it’s B (band’s first) REC (50% of ‘record’) plus CA around I. There are a couple I haven’t fully worked out yet though.

  4. anax says:

    Sorry Querulous – we crossed!

  5. crypticsue says:

    Thanks to Rorschach for an excellent debut puzzle – look forward to seeing many more.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Many thanks to Rorschach for a challenging début puzzle – and looking forward to seeing more. Though I saw TW and ASND v early on, it took me quite a while to finish but I got there eventually. Esp liked NADIR, OLDEN, SANTA CRUZ, LEGIT. Many thanks too, John, for the blog.

  7. Newton says:

    Some very inventive wordplay in there!

    Re 9a. I think the “c” is from “carat”, included in the anagram, and the definition just 24 (“legit”)

    Like you, I wasn’t sure about “city” in 29.

  8. Newton says:

    Sorry, missed Q’s post too :(

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Yes, a sound and enjoyable first puzzle, but certainly a challenging one. Some nice inventiveness around the grid: I thought ORDINAL was cleverly done and liked BRANDO too. I could handle some more like this – well done to eimi for introducing a new setter to the Indy stable.

    (On a slightly negative note, in 3dn, many people find the use of the word ‘retard’ in the way it’s used here offensive.)

    Thanks to John for the blog and congratulations to Rorschach on a fine début.

  10. Arachne says:

    A flying visit to say how much I enjoyed this debut by Rorschach. Fab new talent, great originality, enormous potential. More please! TTFN. Love & hugs, Arachne x

  11. Rorschach says:

    Being a ‘slow’ solver at the best of times, I found this one ridiculously easy, finishing around the 3 minute mark. I don’t know why? Just seemed to be on the same wavelength as the setter 😉

    Jokes aside – thanks to John for a brilliantly lucid overview. I suppose I think of London as “the City” betraying my anglo-centric roots but I couldn’t point you to a precedence for this? The OX of OXFORD DON comes from OXO cut short (cut stock).

    And thanks to all of you who commented for making what is a surprisingly nerve-jangling experience into an enjoyable experience. Special thanks to Anax, Klingsor and the indomitable Arachne who have all helped me in their own ways. And major props to Eimi – the ‘sine qua non’ of the Indy cryptic world!

    Many thanks – Rorschach

    PS. Kathryn’s Dad – no offense intended – I suppose the point was misdirection rather than poor taste. Apologies.

  12. flashling says:

    Welcome as a setter Rorschach a rather tricky debut to me, probably explains the Thursday slot. Definitely a test this one.

  13. Bertandjoyce says:

    Welcome Rorschach – we solved this in two stages. First stage in Greece waiting for flight to be called on the ipad so we didn’t know who the setter was. It wasn’t until we were home and completed it using the dead tree version that we realised it was your debut puzzle. Congratulations.

    An enjoyable solve, a few tricky ones. We needed John to explain the Flanders connection and despite having taught Maths Joyce missed 6d – DOH!

    Thanks to Rorschach and John.

  14. Dormouse says:

    Been out all evening. Got about half of it done at lunchtime (including the theme) but struggled a bit to complete it. Needed help to get 9ac but once I got it, 5dn was obvious. However, I couldn’t see how 25dn worked, not helped by guessing the alternative spelling of “emir”.

  15. Paul B says:

    25D is simply ‘am I r(ight)’, with R a standard abbrev for same.

  16. JollySwagman says:

    Great stuff R (I’m not going to look around for how to spell your nom-de-puzzle and I’m damned if I can pronounce it). I would say that on the usual Big Dave scale you’d have got 4 for difficulty 5 for enjoyment. I’d certainly give you the latter for this one.

    The feel is to mind contemporary and in some ways similar to some of the newer but less frequent Guardian setters. That’s what I like so hope to see you around again soon – maybe over there too.

  17. Rorschach says:

    @15 Paul B

    It’s an attempted &lit so definition = “Is one close in Qatar?” – Qatar being one of the few remaining countries with an official Amir. And then “is one” = “AM I” and the “close to Qatar” is read as “the end of Qatar” which is R

    Hope that clears things up!

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