Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8045/Koroi

Posted by John on July 27th, 2012


Yet another new setter in the Indy apparently. When I saw that it wasn’t the usual Phi, who is no doubt going to appear tomorrow, I had slight fears that it might be far harder, but this wasn’t the case. Koroi has had a very satisfactory debut: Several quite straightforward clues, but a few that stretch one a little. Neither too easy nor too difficult, and generally so far as I can see a good standard of clueing. Lots of them, though: Koroi has worked hard here and I shall have to.

All I can see is that 22 11 refers to the five Os that appear round the central block, and there are several references to the 22 11 in the clues and answers, but I suspect there is something else going on.

1 A C {contrac}T IV E
5 IN C{l}UB 1
8 MINI {omniu}M — slight quibble here: a minim is amongst other things a note (which can I suppose last for the length of a beat); the ‘beat’ sense isn’t mentioned in Chambers
9 P UN JAB — un = French one
10 P RE SET — set as in tennis
11 ARE(N)A
13 SQUARE — 2 defs, one of them as in cricket (square leg etc)
14 G{am}E NET — ref Jean Genet, the Jean who took pen — score = net as in football
15 ANGELO — an (o leg)rev. — ref Angelo in Measure for Measure
17 OR TEG A — ref Daniel Ortega, Nicaraguan president — a teg is a sheep in its second year, or the fleece of one
19 D RINK — a frozen Olympic Games is held partly on a rink
25 E-TAILER — (re{ta}liate)rev.
26 A{thletes} U{sing} R{oids} I{n} C{ompetition}
27 EX AC T
29 pooL AMericans
30 GR({m}EN)ADE
31 PUFFIN G{reenwich}
32 ERIN YES — I’m not sure if the exclam is there because the expression ‘to be sure’ merits one, or because it is a stereotypically Irish expression and the whole thing is a bit witty — maybe both
33 CULPRIT — sorry, quite lost here: I can’t see what the gymnastics are and I can’t see what the strip-club is — these things are always quite obvious once someone points it out and I’d be grateful if someone did so
1 AMPERSAND — (man spared)*
2 TENDING — one might say that ‘sprint’ has a t ending it, but in that case isn’t it more a description of ‘sprint’ than of ‘sprint’s finish’?
3 EMBARGO — (me)rev. B Argo [a constellation]
4 INFERNO — (for nine)* — the Nine Circles of Hell of Dante’s inferno
5 I’M PAST 0
7 IN T(HEW)ARS — at work = in, somehow, I can’t quite remember how, but I’ve come across the equivalence before
16 LIKE CRAZY — 2 defs
18 REGRETFUL — (r felt urge)*
20 {D}ISRAELI — the race with Ben-Gurion as a member of it is the Israeli race
21 OARLESS — if a rowing eight is an oar less it becomes seven
22/23 OLYMPIC GAMES — whose sign is around the central block — (employs magic)*
26 ANGLE — which is what a fisherman does, and the reference is to Izaak Walton‘s The Compleat Angler
28 TIGHT — 2 defs

36 Responses to “Independent 8045/Koroi”

  1. flashling says:

    It also appears to be a pangram, nice stuff, suspect this a new pseudonym rather than setter but can’t see the meaning to the name yet.

  2. sidey says:

    CULPRIT is an anagram of sTRIP-CLUb, anagrind gymnastics.

  3. Al Dente says:

    Thanks John for the splendid blog. I can help on 33a. Gymnastics is the anagrind of strip club unlimited,
    (s)trip-clu(b) giving person guilty. Great blog thanks again.

  4. Al Dente says:

    Apologies to sidey we must have been typing at the same time.

  5. Bertandjoyce says:

    We saw that it was a new ‘name’ today andthought we’d go for the early solve, especially as we’ll be watching the opening ceremony tonight!

    Our guess is Eimi – Koroibos was a baker and athlete who was the winner of the stadion race in the first recorded ancient Olympic Games!

    Whoever you are though it was time well spent over a cup of coffee – thanks for the enjoyment.

    Thanks John for the blog.

  6. Al Dente says:

    In 2d the definition is waiting.Sprint finish T ending.

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    Forgot to mention that there was only one race, so Koroibos would have been the first recorded Olympic champion.

  8. allan_c says:

    Nothing too difficult, and topically themed. But I would quibble with the construction of 9a. “… French one putting power behind punch”. How can that possibly describe the arrangement of the elements of the answer? P (= power) is at the beginning and “punch” comes after everything else. Unless I’ve missed something, that is…

  9. Bertandjoyce says:

    We think it’s the same debate we’ve had here before! If something is behind something else you could say that as the word is going left to right the right hand side of the word is at the front so being behind is at the other end!

    At least that’s what someone else said in response to our query in an earlier puzzle!

  10. crypticsue says:

    Whoever set it I thought it was a very enjoyable themed crossword for the opening day of the you-know-what! Thanks to the mystery setter (or was it setters??) and to John too.

  11. nmsindy says:

    Enjoyed this – not too difficult. Did not know about Koroibus, you guys, so that’s interesting. Quite happy with PUNJAB – UN has P behind it – then comes JAB = punch in the same order as in the clue. Many thanks, setter, and John for the excellent blog. While I think no one has specifically mentioned it, it’s a non-symmetrical grid to accommodate the five Os theme – which I saw v early on and that sped up solving.

  12. rowland says:

    Thanks to John for his great blog, and to the commenters, who have opened my eyes to this neat and accessible Olympics puzzle. In the dead tree, this one is attributed not to KOROI, but to KOROIBOS, who as B&J say was the first recorded champion.

    Reading back through, I see almost all the clues reference sport in some way. Re Flashling’s pangram note, I looked again and saw that the five Os in the middle are the ONLY ones. So it is very nice, with very neat clues, and a super image of a tired puffin!

    Thanks again John, and Koroibos.

  13. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, John.

    Enjoyed this one – a bit unusual. I too saw the asymmetrical grid and wondered what the theme might be, although today it couldn’t be much else. I saw the pangram as well, which makes a change. Lots of good clues; and we weren’t short of crossing letters in this one, were we?

    I too got halfway through this and felt eimi’s hand on the tiller. Will the mystery be solved before les jeux commencent? Any road up, thanks to the setter for a nicely themed offering.

  14. flashling says:

    Well K’sD Eimi did the i today – with a topical twist you can guess at and I couldn’t find it in the archives, feels like a Morph or Tees (who has some previous in choosing a new moniker to fit the puzzle)

  15. PeterO says:


    Thanks for the blog; small point, but 19A references not 22 23 (Olympic Games), but 22 11 (Olympic arena) which makes more sense.

  16. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Yes, flashling, I did eimi in the i as well today and enjoyed that one too. Even the i concise crossword had an Olympic theme! (First three acrosses were LONDONER LIMB PICKS …)

  17. sidey says:

    the asymmetrical grid

    It looks perfectly symmetrical (about the centre of column eight) to me.

  18. Bertandjoyce says:

    Well that’s all good then …… but who is the setter?

  19. Rorschach says:

    Must be Eimi!

    Good fun. Thanks both

  20. eimi says:

    Not me in the Indy, but the setter has form for changing pseudonym.

  21. Koroibos says:

    That’s right. I am a little ol’ Indy shapeshifter.

    Thanks indeed to John for his excellent blog, and to all for some great comments. As you have surmised, the ‘frozen Olympic Games’ are actually a frozen Olympic arena, or RINK; the P/ UN/ JAB reads (per NMS) as ‘State has UN putting P behind plus JAB'; and that’s about it I think.

    I doubt very much that I’ll be the only person to do an Olympic cryptic over the next few weeks, but I’m glad The Indy got in there on Day One.

    Many thanks to the lot of yous, mwah, mwah et cetera, and congrats to that new feller Jambazi.

  22. Rorschach says:

    hmm. Tees…? Although ‘ mwah mwah’ has a bit of the Anarche about it….

  23. Koroibos says:

    Ah, Rorschach old bean. It’s easy to guess me, while no-one has a clue who you are. Despite this, congrats to you too.

    Give me a shout on surfcake at tiscali dot co dot uk if you ever fancy a chat.

  24. Al Dente says:

    Looks like Jambazi took the gold and Koroibos took the silver!

  25. nmsindy says:

    Yes, as John will attest, I’d suspected this might have been Tees’ work. Thanks once more to both setter and blogger.

  26. Koroibos says:

    Oh, hello you. Again.

  27. Koroibos says:

    26 refers to 24, and not you NMS. We crossed, as cruciverbalists say.

  28. Dormouse says:

    What, the Olympics start today! Why didn’t anyone tell me?

    Got a bit stuck towards the end, mostly on the top right. Took me a while to see why 33ac was “culprit”.

    Didn’t have a problem with “minim” being a beat. OK, a minim is a note length, but usually in music (and I’m not a musician) you indicate what note length corresponds to the beat. So you might see the metronome marking that the tempo is, minim = 40, meaning that the beat is 40 minims a minute.

  29. Worried says:

    Thought the brand ‘fascists’ might have had this removed from the site for breaching the Olympic copyright.
    Glad they didn’t though – it was a smashing puzzle.

  30. flashling says:

    Cheers Paul B, it did rather have your fingerprints on it especially when B&J identified who Koroibos was. Who’s the better Jambazi or Koroibos? I think it’s a Harry Hill moment – FIGHT! :-)

    Although Jambazi will be louder after all he can go up to 11.

  31. Paul B says:

    When I see ‘Andrew Tollet says’ at the heading of a post, and not some name from a list of over forty, I’ll get the gloves on.

  32. Al Dente says:

    Just to clear things up a little. My gold and silver comments related to the number of comments received by
    Jambazi on his debut puzzle. duncanshiell himself said “I don’t think have seen 30 comments on an independent
    blog before”. Jambazi finished with 33 comments at the end and my taken the gold comment was a reference to
    that. I thought Paul and Jambazi’s puzzles were both gold standard. Also heard Paul that you are a very good
    musician, a gold standard drummer in fact. If you are playing tonight then have a great gig.

  33. Paul B says:

    And there’s me really wanting a medal from you.

  34. flashling says:

    So it’s a shared medal then – oops! PB trying for at least a yellow card if not disqualification, play nice people.

  35. Paul B says:

    No, it’s BS from Andrew Tollet. Award me a yeelow card for identifying that as soon as you like.

  36. Paul B says:

    And a yellow one.

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