Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8035 by Morph

Posted by nmsindy on July 16th, 2012


I found this a mixture of quite easy and very tricky, solving it in 32 mins though I’d all but the last four answers in around half that time.      There are two where I don’t so far understand the wordplay (3D and 7D).      Any help appreciated.

* = anagram


1     CLEAN  SLATE       cleans  late   (does overtime perhaps)

6     SWAP     paws reversed

10  RHINO    “wry” = ironic    No  (refusal)

11 NO-BRAINER        nob    Prince Rainier  (Monaco) less I = Italy

12 AVARICE    a  vice (bad thing) around   a (about)  r (right)

13 DEFRAUD    (fare)* in dud (counterfeit)

14 SHAMEFACEDNESS   (as fence smashed)*

18 AS THE CROW FLIES  Cryptic definition.  Brilliant surface here.    I got this straightaway but that was because I knew  murder was a collective noun for crows which I learned when tackling a Listener crossword some years ago – if memory serves it had something to do with RED RUM (Grand National winner) being reversed.

22 TWOFOLD    of old (long ago) after wt = weight (reversed) indicated by over in overweight

24 RAW DEAL    raw (untreated)   deal (wood)

26 TERMINATE    definition:   end     term (expression) I (one) nat (native)  E (end).    So the clue cleverly splits at East/End and Cockney slang is not involved at all so good misdirection

27  DRAPE    Would = d  as in I’d = I would   rap = charge   lead to execution = e (1st letter)    defn:  hanging so good misleading context

28 STEW    wets reversed

29 CATS CRADLE     Cats = musical   cradle = that’s supported by rockers (rocking cradle).    The rest is the definition of the game.


1  CARNAL    r = end of skewer (last letter) in canal = cut

2 EPITAPH  (I tape)* over PH = public house

3 NAOMI    “Upcoming Bowie Squeeze covers (No. 2) Goodbye Girl.”        Got this when I’d crossing answers and have confirmed it’s correct.    Definition is maybe girl but I’ve no idea how the rest works.

4  LONGED-FOR    (golden)*   fo (e) = enemy    r = rule

5   TUBED     debut (going upwards ie “start” up)    Refers to London tubes using Victoria station

7  WANNABE     “Aspirant girl entering Carroll’s place (in fantasy)”     Got this quickly from the definition which is probably ‘aspirant’ or maybe ‘aspirant girl’   The rest may refer in some way to Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) and the girl could be Ann or Anna but I can get no further than that.   Or the Carroll reference could also be designed to mislead and refer to something else entirely.  Have confirmed answer is correct.

8 PARADISE    para (warrior dropping)  dis (hell)  e (earth)

9 DAFFODIL    lid of fad   (all going upwards)

15 MNEMONIC    M(a)N  (income)*


17 MASTITIS     ma’s tit is

19 TOO TRUE    toot (inhale drug)  rue (herb)

20 EMERALD    m (money) in (leader)*

21 FLEECE    flee   CE

23 DRAMA     dram (tot)  a (adult)     I liked this – excellent misleading surface

25 WADER    wander less N = north



20 Responses to “Independent 8035 by Morph”

  1. crypticsue says:

    Very nice to have a Monday morning that put up a fight. I too am not sure about the wordplay of 3d – The Squeeze did a cover version of Goodbye Girl but apart from that>>> I do however completely understand 7d. ANN (a girl) is inserted into WABE (lewis Carroll’s Jaberwocky ‘did gyre and gimble in the wabe’.

    Thanks to Morph for a very nice crossword and to nmsindy for the eqaully nice explanations.

  2. flashling says:

    Iman is David Bowie’s wife around gOodbye rev for 3d

  3. NealH says:

    I thought this was a very enjoyable puzzle and about the right level of difficulty. I got most of it done quite quickly but was held up by some of the clues in the bottom half of the grid. The explanations for Naomi and wannabe required a bit of research.

  4. star-system says:

    Good stuff, and I did like the cryptic definition using MURDER for ‘crows’. CoD the pork and beef clue. Thanks Morph and NMS.

  5. allan_c says:

    A reasonably easy start to the week, especially when I’m feeling a bit under the weather. 16d was interesting; I first saw it as (s)OW in CORKERS and wondered how corkers = cattle until the penny dropped.

  6. Dormouse says:

    Definitely a bit of a challenge for a Monday. Needed a bit of help at the end, but as I typed the letters for 9dn into a word search I saw the answer before I pressed the button. Only thing I could think to fit 29ac (without 25dn) was “bass fiddle” which is certainly “musical” but I couldn’t see why. Needed the word search there. Similarly for 7dn, “Wantage” was the only thing I could think of, and that’s certainly a place. When I finally got the right answer, it did bring a smile to my face. (Great Lewis Carroll fan, so I knew what a wabe was.)

    I thought a murder of crows was one of those obscure facts that was so obscure that everyone knew it.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I did enjoy this puzzle this morning, but like nms found it a mixture of straightforward and tricky in equal measure. I understood WANNABE, but couldn’t see NAOMI – David Bowie’s wife is a step too far for this solver, I’m afraid. And is TUBE really a verb? ‘I tubed to Victoria then caught the 123 bus’? Doesn’t sound right to me.

    But apart from those two little niggles, I thought it was a well-crafted crossword with lots of light-hearted moments, especially RHINO and CARNAL.

    Thanks to Morph and nms.

  8. Tees says:

    Nice one, co-worker.

  9. nmsindy says:

    Re #7, K’s D, Chambers has it as a verb – to travel by tube. Funnily enough in 7D I saw the possibility of WABE, put it into Google at the time and nothing like that seemed to come up. Had not heard it myself at all nor have I read that work by LC.

  10. Tees says:

    … or co-workers: NMS as usual makes an excellent blog. Thanks guys!

  11. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Morph for a crossword which gave a lot of pleasure in solving and NMS for the blog.

    Three minor grumbles. The first relates to the grid. It looks as though there is a lot of linking between top and bottom halves, but in fact you have to go through either 14ac or 18ac to get from top to bottom or vice versa. Having said that, the excellence of those two clues more than compensates in this case.

    22ac: I feel it necessary to point out that the device “Overweight” = “Over weight” = (WT reversed) does not have universal approval. As usual, I have no quarrel with those who like this sort of thing, as long as they remember that it is a question of personal preference. For me, 5dn was the right side of the dividing line in this grey area.

    8dn: Similar to one on which I commented in Independent 8025 – by coincidence also 8dn. The linking “‘s” jars with the grammar of the cryptic indication.

  12. Paul B says:

    It is the siren lure of a perfect surface, Pelham, that sinks the unwary cryptic sailor. As it were. Hic sunt dracones and all that.

  13. Morph says:

    Thanks very much for the blog, Neil, and all your comments. I realised David Bowie’s wife’s name might be a reference too far for some, but wanted to get away from the obvious I MOAN reversal, so I hope it was gettable anyway.
    I note Pelham Barton’s complaints. I know using ‘overweight’ for ‘over weight’ divides opinion, so use such devices sparingly. Interesting to hear that the hyphen in 5dn makes it better. And point taken about 8dn. But I think Paul’s going a bit to call me a hic sunt!

  14. Morph says:

    I mean “a bit far”. Hic!

  15. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Morph for dropping in and responding so nicely to my minor grumbles.

  16. Paul B says:

    Ahoy Morph! Nice to do you today!

  17. Wil Ransome says:

    Some good clues here, nicely pithy. I particularly enjoyed 17dn and 19dn. Iman was far too much for me, but it had to be Naomi so I just stuck it in.

  18. pennes says:

    17d was very, very funny. Struggled to finish but I hadn’t heard of either toot for inhale nor dis for hell. Can anyone elucidate?

  19. nmsindy says:

    Dis = underworld is something of a crossword staple as dis is part of quite a few words. Toot = inhale was new to me too – dicts suggest it’s of US origin.

  20. Dormouse says:

    Apparently “Dis” is the city in Hell in The Divine Comedy (Dite in Italian). Been a long time since I read that, but Dis for hell does seem to be generally understood. I seem to recall that in one of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, written about the time the Psion Organiser became popular, someone has a Discworld equivalent, powered by a demon, so it’s called a Dis Organiser.

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