Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8032 / Mordred

Posted by duncanshiell on July 12th, 2012


This was a crossword that did not have complex wordplay, but it was still an enjoyable challenge.  The wordplay in  majority of the clues followed an additive or double definition route.  



There were a couple of container and contents clues and perhaps three ot four that I would describe as complex ( e.g. APOSTATE, TAKE A CAB and BARTERED).  The remaining clues used fairly standard cluing techniques (anagrams, subtractive and hidden)

There was no theme overtly spelt out in the cluing but there was clearly a transport theme in both the clues and the entries given the following entries – TRANSPORT, ARTICULATED, TRACTOR, ROAD, RAIL, FREIGHTER, RUN, TAKE A CAB, CLYDE, TRAILER, DRIVER

The clue for TAKE A CAB at 2 down was interesting in that it seemed to involve some words in double duty – see table below

It was slightly surprising to see ‘initially’ used in the same way in two down clues close together -16 down and 20 down – but I probably only noticed this when I was writing the blog rather than when solving the puzzle

If you are not a solver in  the UK, I suspect the reference at 7 across to the the A1(M) road was a bit obscure.

Overall, a  satisfying daily newspaper puzzle.  My favourite clues were the ones for NITRE with its references to salt, egg and soldiers, and APOSTATE with its clever linking of animator and Oliver POSTGATE.  My first entry was ARTICULATED and my final entry was MUTTER, simply because I took a bit too long over ARISTO and AIM  Classic music is the part of the Arts that I am most comfortable with so I was aware of the violinist before I realised the ‘low continuos sound’ meaning.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry

Type of lorry suitable for express delivery primarily (11)


ARTICULATE (express coherently) + D (first letter of [primarily]) DELIVERY


ARTICULATED (reference ARTICULATED LORRY [a lorry, etc made easier to manoeuvre by having its (sometimes detachable) front section flexibly attached to the rear section so that it can move at an angle to it)



End of the road (3)


A1(M) – A1 Motorway, the form of the road number in the United Kingdom that is the designation for motorway sections of the A1 road from London to Edinburgh. [Unfortunately north of Newcastle there are long stretches of single carriageway on the A1; dual carriageway would be a boon, let alone motorway sections])


AIM (target; goal; end)



Fool not starting in tune (2,3)


DONKEY (fool) excluding the first letter (not starting) D


ON KEY (in tune)



On paper it could be put back in the post (9)


Anagram of (could be) ON PAPER IT


REAPPOINT (put back in a job, put back in the post)



Order to pay for traffic notice (5,4)


TRADE (traffic) + BILL (advertisement; notice)


TRADE BILL (a bill of exchange drawn on and accepted by a trader in payment for goods)  A bill is a draft of a proposed law during its passage through Parliament.  The word ‘order’ also has parliamentary connotations, and I wondered if this was a addiitonal theme to clue.  On balance, I think it simply delaing with orders to pay bills in a trading environment.



Salt egg and soldiers (5)


NIT (egg of a louse or similar insect) + RE (Royal Engineers; soldiers)


NITRE (potassium nitrate or saltpetre; a nitrate is a salt or ester of nitric acid)



Bombardier possibly reported dogged men (7)


TRACT (sounds liked [reported] TRACKED; dogged in the sense of dog [to track and watch constantly]) + OR (other ranks; men)


TRACTOR (Google tells me that the Bombardier company of Canada made tractors at some point in its history.  Today Bombardier is best known  for aeroplanes; and the tractor business was mainly focused on vehicles used in snow.  That business now seems to embrace a variety of leisure vehicles for snow and sea.)  I may have got the allusion completely wrong here, but I can’t think of way to link the rank of Bombardier in the army to a tractor.



Way to get run out on active duty (4)


RO (run out [in cricket scoring notation]) + AD (active duty)


ROAD (a way)



Complain bitterly when perhaps Billy is sent back (4)


LIAR (reference Billy LIAR a 1959 novel by Keith Waterhouse) reversed (is sent back)


RAIL (use vigorously or mockingly reproachful language;complain bitterly)



Tug teat somehow getting covered in small drops (7)


Anagram of (somehow) TUG TEAT


GUTTATE (having droplike markings; covered in small drops)



Masses of written material Independent’s taken for a city in NE france (5)


REAMS (as a measurement of paper [written material] now considered to be 500 sheets; but a term used generally to mean a lot [masses]) with A replaced by (taken for) I (independent)


REIMS (city in North Eastern France)



Aircraft possibly about to be captured by another (9)


RE (reference; about) contained in (captured by) FIGHTER (type of aircraft)


FREIGHTER ([another] type of aircraft designed for transporting cargo)



Two lads from somewhere in Oz (9)


VICTOR (boy’s name; lad) + IAN (boy’s name; lad) giving two lads


VICTORIAN (a person from the Australian [Oz] state of VICTORIA)



Deliver an ace? (5)


SERVE (render service to; deliver a service)


SERVE (in tennis an unreturned serve is termed an ‘ace’)

Ladder’s spoke needs shortening (3)


RUNG (spoke) excluding the last letter (needs shortening) G


RUN (a ladder in knitting or knitted fabrics, esp stockings)



Kindle could be a winner (5-6)


TITLE-HOLDER (I think this is a reference to the Amazon Kindle, an electronic reading device that HOLDs the TITLEs of books stored on the device)


TITLE-HOLDER (The HOLDERs of TITLEs have usually won something to achieve the distinction)



Leader of animators, creater of Bagpuss, discarding his fifth character, a rat (8)


A (first letter of [leader of] ANIMATORS) + POSTGATE (reference Oliver POSTGATE [1925 -2008], English animator of Bagpuss, [and Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine and Clangers, among others]) excluding (discarding) G (fifth letter of [his fifth character])


APOSTATE (deserter from any allegiance; rat)



Needing a lift back at around one, inebriate finally gets to do this (4,1,3)


BACK AT containing (around) (A [one] + E [last letter of [finally] INEBRIATE]) all reversed (needing a lift back)

(TA K (E A) CAB)<

TAKE A CAB (one solution to the problem of needing a lift)  The words ‘needing a lift back’ are doing double duty in this clue.



One running between banks is Bonnie’s partner (5)


CLYDE (reference the River CLYDE; a river runs between its banks; one running between banks)


CLYDE (reference BONNIE Parker (1910 – May 23, 1934) and CLYDE Barrow (1909 – May 23, 1934), well-known outlaws and robbers, immortalised in film and music; BONNIE‘s partner)



More fat I put in food store (7)


I contained in (put in) LARDER (food store)


LARDIER (fattier; more fat)



Print American medical drama advertisment (7)


TRAIL (track or series of marks left by a person, animal, etc moving over a surface; e.g. a series of footprints; print) + ER (Emergency Room [American equivalent of UK Accident & Emergency], also the title of an American medical drama seen on television wordwide). I think the ‘American’ goes with ‘medical drama’, but it could go with ‘print’ where there might be a US specific meaning of ‘print’ relating it directly to ‘trail’


TRAILER (a short film or broadcast advertising a forthcoming entertainment on television or in the cinema)



Subject to rely on Dec’s partner (9)


DEPEND (rely on) + ANT (reference ANT[hony] McPartlin and DEC[lan] Donnelly, a British presenting due rarely off UK television screens in recent years; Dec’s partner)


DEPENDANT (relying; contingent,subject to; also commonly spelt as DEPENDENT.  Chambers lists the ENT ending as the variant spelling)



Noble tsar is Tolstoy’s intrinsic character (6)


Hidden word in (intrinsic character) TSAR IS TOLSTOY’S


ARISTO (a member of the aristocracy [a privileged order].  Some of Tolstoy’s books were written through the eyes of an aristocrat.  Wikipedia tells me that Tolstoy believed that the aristocracy were a burden on the poor, and that the only solution to how we live together was through anarchism.)



Low continuous sound from German violinist (6)


MUTTER (utter words in a low, indistinct voice; low continuous sound)


MUTTER (reference Anne-Sophie MUTTER [born 1963], German violinist)



Send for a cab? (9)


TRANSPORT (to carry away by strong emotion; send)


TRANSPORT (A [taxi-]cab is a form of TRANSPORT) double definition



Haggled over exchange rate initially supplying trade adjusted to support Belgium (8)


B (International Vehicle Registration for Belgium) + ([E and R , first letters of {initially} EXCHANGE and RATE] contained in [supplying] an anagram of [adjusted] TRADE).  This is a down clue, so the letter B sits on top of, or is supported by the other letters

B (ART (E R) ED*)

BARTERED (bargained over terms of a trade deal; haggled]



Listen, I’m present, I tell you, and I quite agree (4,4)


HEAR (sounds like [listen] HERE [I’m present]) + HEAR (to have news from; I tell you)


HEAR HEAR (exclamation of approval of what has just been heard; I agree)



Radical politician quit in the lead (7)


LEFT (quit) + IST (1st; first; in the lead


LEFTIST (radical politician)



Inexperienced initially is ecofriendly Australian conservationist (7)


GREEN (inexperienced) + (I and E [first letters of [initially] IS and ECOFRIENDLY)


GREENIE (term for an environmentalist in Australia)



Motorists’s club? (6)


DRIVER (motorist)


DRIVER ([golf] club) double definition



Publicise vote against temperature control (3-3)


AIR (voice; broadcast; publicise) + CON (against)


AIR-CON (air conditioner, a means of temperature control)



Relish strict observance direction? Not I (5)


GIUSTO (musical direction meaning in strict time; strict observance direction) excluding (not) I


GUSTO (zest; relish)


17 Responses to “Independent 8032 / Mordred”

  1. sidey says:

    Thanks for your effort duncan.

    Bombardier, even with the ‘possibly’ qualifier is spectacularly obscure as a definition. I suspect that it is impossible to confirm without internet access unless you happen to be from the ex colonies.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Duncan. I just about managed this, although had to resort to a bit of online help for the last few. I liked very much AIM and NITRE, and managed to tease out GUTTATE because the French for ‘a drop’ is ‘une goutte’, so that gave me a good guess for the first letter (une gouttière is a ‘gutter’, which I’ve just realised is pretty much ‘a dropper’ of water).

    I agree with sidey about Bombardier. My first thought, living near Derby, was the train company; my second was the real ale; my third the military sense. Tractors were not at the forefront of my thinking.

    But that aside, a tough but enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Mordred for that.

  3. Thomas99 says:

    Thanks for the blog. I enjoyed it – it seemed hard but there were no agonising sticking points.

    I don’t see any double duty in 2d: “Needing a lift” is the reversal indicator (in a down clue), and “back at” is what’s reversed. A nice “partial &lit” overall.

  4. flashling says:

    Was lost on explaining MUTTER GUSTO or TRACTOR so thanks Duncan, Good job I was in another place today.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Many thanks, Mordred and Duncan. Was pleased to finish this puzzle without consulting anything – some the answers or references were new to me but I finally managed to get there through the ‘other’ part of the clue – eg had never heard of (or forgotten) MUTTER – this was my last answer, Postgate, Giusto or GUTTATE. A quirky, unusual, style, sometimes skilfully avoiding the obvious. About average Indy difficulty for me – favourite clues LEFTIST and DRIVER. Also I agree with Thomas99’s interpretation of TAKE A CAB in comment #3.

  6. aztobesed says:

    Did I spot Eddie Stobart reversing his truck?

  7. duncanshiell says:

    Thanks to Thomas99 @ 3 and nmsindy @ 5 for pointing a more accurate way of parsing the clue for 2 down.

  8. flashling says:

    @aztobesed #6 well not reversing but certainly appearing, nice spot sir.

  9. NealH says:

    I strove in vain to remember the name of Bagpuss’s creator and it came to me just after I’d got the answer to 1 down, when of course it was completely useless. I found this quite easy to start with but got a bit bogged down with all the clues that referenced things I’d never heard of (Mutter, Giusto, Bombardier tractors etc). It was almost impossible to get these until you’d got enough crossing letters to guess the word, which made finishing the puzzle off a bit of an effort.

  10. lizard says:

    Has anyone out there done today’s “i” puzzle? The old blog doesn’t give the answer to 28 across, which I think must be “red”, but I don’t know why. Oh, how I miss being in step with the Indy. Any chance of a quick link to the old blogs, and opening them up for new comments?

  11. NealH says:

    Haven’t seen it. What’s the clue?

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I haven’t had a crack at the i yet, but the clue is

    Sun representative in Egypt died in capital (3)

  13. NealH says:

    I think it’s rad rather than red. Sun representative in Egypt = Ra + d(ied). Rad is slang for excellent, wonderful etc = capital.

  14. flashling says:

    It’s RAD – RA (Sun God) + D and diminutive of Radical US slang for excellent, capital…

  15. lizard says:

    Thank you very much, everyone!

  16. Dormouse says:

    Didn’t think I was going to finish this but did eventually. I certainly had never heard of “guttate” and did an electronic anagram search for that. Couldn’t parse 2dn, and 13ac took ages for me to get – my first thought on “bombardier” was a beetle.

  17. upvc windows in bangalore says:

    Really when someone doesn’t know then its up to other people that they will help, so here it happens.

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