Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8050/Monk

Posted by John on August 2nd, 2012


A good crossword from Monk today. I don’t know if I’m getting better at his crosswords (doubtful really) or if he’s becoming a bit kinder. Certainly there used to be a time when they took me ages and struck me as incredibly clever. Perhaps it’s simply that his cunningness is less effective nowadays.

There is no doubt a Nina there. Monk usually has one, but it’s beyond me.

9 {s}CRIB{e}
10 ENVELOPING — (even)* lop in g
12 MAID E{ntre} N{ous} — a clothes-horse = a maiden, an unusual meaning
16 LA(VENDER)W AT{omis}ER — vender is an alternative spelling of vendor; this might be of interest — certainly you only get about 61 million hits for ‘vendor’ in Google but more than six times that amount for ‘vender’ and evidently I’ve been in the minority for most of my life
21 TETHYS — (ste{al}thy)*
22 LANDLESS — land less
24 UNRESOLVED — (Louvre ends)*
25 WAR {relationshi}P
26 ATTESTOR — test in a{c}t or
3 {cer}EM{ony} BRACE
4 DWEEB — West and East are the partners and they are possibly in (bed)rev. — when you’ve retired you may only possibly be in bed (although I can’t think where else you might be) — there is no danger here of definition by example with WE necessitating ‘possibly’, so it doesn’t refer to the partners
5 RE(VILE)D — &lit.
6 GALUMPHER — (large hump)* — as Jo Brand says, a rubbish word, but it’s there
8 TENNER — te n n (re)rev.
14 OVERSHOOT — over shoot
15 DESSERTS — “deserts” — a cobbler is amongst other things a (usually fruit) pie with a thick crunchy topping
17 ACH(1)E V{ot}E — by ‘drawn’ Monk intends ‘with the insides taken out’
18 DE(LIVE)R — in Berlin ‘the’ = ‘der’
19 ALLOWED — all owed — if all were still owing, none had settled their bills
20 RENNET — ({i}nterne{t})*
23 ERIDANus — hidden rev.

13 Responses to “Independent 8050/Monk”

  1. MaleficOpus says:

    Not exactly a Nina, but STRESSED DESSERTS, TENNER RENNET and REVILED DELIVER appear symmetrically.

    Many thanks John and Monk.

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    What a treat to have two Monks in a row (after yesterday’s splendid FT)!
    And btw, I like the fact that he just uses one pseudonym: Monk = Monk.

    I got stuck in the SW, although I was fairly sure that 17d and 14d had to be ACHIEVE and OVERSHOOT.
    Then, all at once, I saw that DESSERTS was the reversal of STRESSED. After discovering a similar thing in row no 8, this nice little twist came to my rescue in finding 20d (RENNET) and the remainder of that troublesome quarter.

    Thanks, John, for your blog which helped to explain 12ac and 17d.

    Another great puzzle by Monk who, since his return to the broadsheets, has vastly become one of my favourite setters.

  3. allan_c says:

    Coincidentally, Tuesday’s cryptic in the i, a Virgilius from 2007, had the same device of reversals in symmetrical positions, including Stressed/Desserts and Reviled/Deliver among several others.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Monk, and John. I found the NE corner v difficult, only resolving it when I saw, very late on, TENNER and RENNET in symmetrically opposite positions – this gave me REVILED and confirmed DESSERTS – that was not a dessert I’d heard of. Thanks esp for explaining MAIDEN which I did not understand tho I got it right, being distracted esp by ‘first’ being in there (which could be maiden) and also ‘horse’ (ditto). Not having heard of GALUMPHER did not help either so very glad of the straightforward anagram clue. Favourite clue OVERSHOOT.

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, John.

    I was pleased to finish this, because Monk is usually pretty tough. Took a bit of inspired guesswork and the check button from time to time, but it was an enjoyable solve.

    Thought OSTEND was clever (and being familiar with the setter a bit, one of my inspired guesses was that ‘cardinal’ would be a number) and I also liked LANDLESS. Missed the paired anagrams, but hey ho …

  6. Bertandjoyce says:

    It’s a bit late but can anyone explain Tethys in more detail as there doesn’t seem to be an anagram indicator?

    Finished the tricky puzzle but looking back we are not sure why it took so long as all the clues were perfectly fair – apart from our query for 21 ac. We didn’t notice the palindromes unfortunately.

    Thanks Monk and John.

  7. Dormouse says:

    Another day of failing to get the final two – 8dn and 12ac in this case. I can only think of one clue at a time, it would appear, and once I’ve got an answer, I’ll forget it, so I didn’t notice those reversals. And I don’t think I’ve ever come across “maiden” meaning a clothes horse.

    Being a Lewis Carroll fan, and still being able to recite Jabberwocky from memory, I quickly spotted “galumpher” was an anagram of “large hump” but didn’t put it in at first because I couldn’t see what it had to do with camels. From the poem, I always took it to mean to run exuberantly – a portmanteau of gallop and triumph I see is suggested – wasn’t familiar with the “move clumsily” meaning.

  8. nmsindy says:

    B&J at #6, I think the anagram indicator in TETHYS is Protean (readily taking on various shapes). An appropriate one in the context (mythology).

  9. John says:

    Bertandjoyce@6: In 21ac the anagram indicator can only be Protean, which Chambers defines as ‘readily assuming different shapes; variable; inconstant; versatile’, and that’s good enough for me. And it also says that Proteus was an ancient Greek sea god.

  10. Dormouse says:

    B&J @6, the anagram indicator is “Protean” as I read it. Proteus was a shape-changing sea god (and also the title of a chapter in Joyce’s Ulysses) so Protean means changing shape. And I was so familiar with Tethys being an ancient sea, I’d forgotten that she was also a goddess.

  11. Dormouse says:

    Wow! Three almost simultaneous answers. :-)

  12. John says:

    Sorry, nms, I didn’t need to bother.

  13. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks to all of you!

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

four + 5 =