Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8054 / Punk

Posted by Bertandjoyce on August 7th, 2012


Surprisingly, this is our first blog of a Punk puzzle. We’ve always enjoyed his quirky and sometimes slightly risqué cluing, and this was a good example, if perhaps not the best we’ve come across.

We’d not come across 11a before, but it was readily solvable from the straightforward wordplay.

Last one in was 19d, but when the penny dropped, we couldn’t work out why we struggled!

We looked for a theme or a nina, but couldn’t find one, unless there are more musical connections to 13/15a, 4d and 7/20d? We’ve missed a few in the past, so who knows!

9   Country initially in rush to be the fastest of all?
USAIN BOLT USA (country ‘initially’) + IN + BOLT (rush) = fastest of all – even after Sunday!
10   Serving of opossum, a mildly savoury taste
UMAMI Hidden in, or a ‘serving of’ (oposs)UM A MI(ldly) = savoury taste
11   Antipodean, a sweating crook
TASWEGIAN Anagram of A SWEATING (anagrind is ‘crook’) = antipodean – a Tasmanian seaman
12 See 4 down
13/15   King William found on Greek island with old British singer
ELVIS COSTELLO ELVIS (the ’King’) + TELL (William, the legendary Swiss hero) in COS (Greek island) + O (old) = British singer
18   Tatty brocade around sack of bones, perhaps, that has over a hundred holes in it
CRIBBAGE BOARD Anagram of BROCADE (anagrind is ‘tatty’) around RIB BAG (‘sack of bones’) = a cribbage board has 120 holes for the scoring pegs
21   Small measure of liquid is applied to flipping anything but wild flower
CLEMATIS CL (centilitre – a ‘small measure of liquid’) + IS around or ‘applied to’ TAME (‘anything but wild’ reversed, or ‘flipping’ = flower
22/28/26   Pen DM for book?
DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON DEATH (‘end’) IN THE AFTERNOON (‘pm’) = Ernest Hemingway’s book extolling bull-fighting – surprise, surprise, we haven’t read it!!
24   Perfect to steal rug for fiddling Italian family
AMATI A1 (perfect) around or ‘stealing’ MAT (rug) = family of Italian violin makers
26 & 28 See 22 across
29   Bum hid alpine plants
DELPHINIA Anagram of HID ALPINE (anagrind is ‘bum’) = plants
1   Top or bottom deck? Heavier on top!
BUSTIER The top or bottom deck of a double-decker bus could be described as a BUS TIER = ‘heavier on top’, or having a larger bust
2   Dodgy deals surrounding goalkeeper that’s saucy
SALSA VERDE Anagram of DEALS (anagrind is ‘dodgy’) around SAVER (goalkeeper) = sauce
3   Decapitated head in days of yore?
ONCE (b)ONCE (slang word for ‘head’ without the first letter, or ‘decapitated’) = in days of yore
4/12   Blade that is to take grass back in arbour, shortly
BOWIE KNIFE IE (that is) + FINK (grass, as in informer, reversed or ‘back’ in BOWE(r) (arbour, without the last letter, or ‘shortly’) = blade
5   Look down on canonised Hampshire town?
STAND OVER If Andover (Hampshire town) were to be canonised, it might become SainT ANDOVER = look down on
6   Come down hard on boy biting Oscar a great deal
BUCKETLOAD BUCKET (come down hard, as in rain heavily) + LAD (boy) around or ‘biting’ O (Oscar, as in the telegraph alphabet) = a great deal
7/20   Enrapture a rank sort of Asian player
RAVI SHANKAR RAVISH (enrapture) + an anagram of A RANK (anagrind is ‘sort of’ = Asian sitar player, friend of Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison and father of Norah Jones
8   The last George gets shy about his daughter seeing the sovereign’s governor
VICEROY VI (the last King George was the sixth) + COY (shy) around ER (George VI’s daughter is the queen) = a governor of a country or colony representing the sovereign
14   A number is wrong, right is the one under?
SUBMARINER Anagram of A NUMBER IS (anagrind is ‘wrong’) + R (right) = ‘one under’
16   Windstorm’s heading off in isolated novel
LORNA DOONE (t)ORNADO (windstorm with the first letter missing, or ‘heading off’) in LONE (isolated) = novel
17   Biscuit, a coarse one under last of icing
GARIBALDI A RIBALD (coarse) I (one) after, or ‘under’ in a down clue the last letter of icinG = biscuit – commonly called ‘squashed flies’ when we were at school
19   Circle lines up food for sheep killer
SCRAPIE ARCS (‘circle lines’) reversed or ‘up’ + PIE (food) = disease that kills sheep
20 See 7 down
23   Stand for delay
STALL Double definition: a) a stand, such as a market stall, and b) to delay
25   Car that’s taken to, sporting gold roof
AUTO TO with AU (gold) in front, or, in a down clue, above or serving as a ‘roof’ = car
27   German river I can’t hear between rivers
RUHR UH (‘I can’t hear’) in R R (rivers) = German river


6 Responses to “Independent 8054 / Punk”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks for blogging. I warmed gradually to this one, and finally ended up with a smile on my face when my last one in was BUSTIER. Lots of clues with less than 50% checking letters, which made it tough in places, but it all came together in the end. Favourites today were DELPHINIA and VICEROY.

  2. Wil Ransome says:

    As someone suggested the other day, we’re just going to have to put up with less than 50% checking in the Indy crossword. Whether we like it or not, and I don’t.

    In 19dn arcs are said to be parts of circles: not strictly accurate, since arcs are sections of any curves (and to be utterly pedantic those curves can include straight lines).

  3. allan_c says:

    One that took a bit of getting into, with several ‘of course’ moments when answers became obvious.
    TASWEGIAN was new to me; not in Chambers but I found it at (and it can be any inhabitant of Tasmania, not necessarily a seaman).
    1d of course was typical Punk but none the worse for that.
    Difficult to nominate a CoD, but ELVIS COSTELLO, DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON and GARIBALDI must be in the running.

  4. Paul B says:

    I’m waiting to discover why this grid is as it is. I’ve had a quick scan about to see what I can see, so far clocking nowt in the extras column. Spooky …

  5. Dormouse says:

    11ac, I toyed with it being an anagram but I’d never heard of “Taswegian” and I couldn’t see it from those letters, so I guessed “Tasmanian”, which meant I couldn’t get 3dn. On the whole, a difficult one this.

  6. flashling says:

    Thanks B&J and Punk, started the day with a stiff one as it were trying to decipher Bannsider in the i and was probably suffering brain malfunction when I tried this.

    Cheers for showing me what my synapses missed completely.

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