Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8056 / Anax

Posted by duncanshiell on August 9th, 2012


This is the first daily Anax puzzle that I have blogged.  I have blogged a couple of his Saturday prize puzzles in the past.




It seemed a slightly odd puzzle, to me.  For a start there were 34 clues which is on the high side for a daily puzzle, including four 3 letter words.  Also there were some obscure, obsolete or archaic words such as FARCIN, WEST SAXON, EMETICAL and KIRRI.  The c rossing letters restrict the options in the final three of these but _A_C_N could have been FALCON or CANCAN, both more common words.  On top of that we have CAD and CADDISH in the grid.

I am left wondering therefore whether I have missed something hidden in this grid that required the use of more obscure words.  The pizzle isn’t a pangram.  The only thing that I can see is that the unchecked letters in the middle row spell out ISLAND and an anagram of the unchecked letters in the middle column is KEROSINE which is a variant spelling of KEROSENE at 32 across.  There is a KEROSINE ISLAND in Bermuda but it appears to be very small and uninteresting.

There also seems to be a bit of gloom evident in the grid – SODOM, UNTOLD MISHAP, LIAR, LAWSUIT.  

Having said that, there were some challenging and entertaining clues- for example those for WEST SAXON, UNTOLD, MISHAP, TABARD, LAWSUIT and TAXIING.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry

Fertility is wasted unless keeping quiet (8)


Anagram of (wasted) UNLESS containing (keeping) SH (quiet)


LUSHNESS (abundance; richness; fertility)



Travesty in reporting old horse disease (6)


FARC (sounds like [reporting] FARCE [travesty]) + IN


FARCIN (chronic glanders, a disease especially of horses.  Chambers describes this as an obsolete word)



Old dialect is used in French society – keep talking about it (4,5)


WAX ON (keep talking) containing (about it) (EST [‘is’ in French; is used in French] + S [society])


WEST SAXON (a southern dialect of Old English, the chief literary dialect before the Norman Conquest; old dialect)



Bad city ground given award (5)


SOD (ground [poetic]) + OM (Order of Merit; award)


SODOM (one of the ‘cities of the plain’ (in the Bible, Genesis 18 -19); any place of utter depravity; bad city).



Not counted out – couldn’t, not at first (6)


Anagram of (out) COULDN’T excluding the first letter (not at first) C


UNTOLD (not counted)



Vomitory object wrapped in string and returned (8)


(ITEM [object] contained in [wrapped in] LACE [string]) all reversed (returned)


EMETICAL (vomitory; Chambers describes vomitory as an archaic word for EMETICAL)



Half finished message (4)


TEXTURED (finished [with a texture]) excluding the last 4 of 8 letters (half) URED


TEXT (message; reference text messaging)



Basically I treat wood with more starch (5-5)


FIR (tree; wood) + STAIDER (steadier; soberer; starchier)


FIRST-AIDER (one who gives immediate basic medical treatment; basically I treat)



Sign document, ultimately in gratitude for expert groups (5,5)


(INK [mark; sign] + T [last letter of [ultimately] DOCUMENT) contained in THANKS (gratitude)


THINK TANKS (groups of people, usually expert in some field, regarded as a source of ideas and solutions to problems)



Rejected bar, not straight one (4)


RAIL (bar) reversed (rejected)


LIAR (a person who lies; someone who is not straight)



From paper, cut out fine material (8)


ORGAN ([news]paper) + DIE (cut out)


ORGANDIE (fine translucent plain-woven cotton dress material with a stiff finish)



Plan to admit ‘sort of’ accident (6)


MAP (plan) containing (to admit) -ISH (forming adjectives signifying somewhat; ‘sort of’)


MISHAP (accident)



Old S African club helps to bring back irrigation (5)


KIRRI (hidden word in [helps to bring] BACK IRRIGATION)  I am not really sure whether ‘bring’ is part of the hidden word indicator or whether it is just a link word.


KIRRI (older variant spelling of KIERIE [stick, in South Africa]; old S African club)



As Spooner would say, flimsy weapon for urban activities? (9)


NIGHTLIFE (Spoonerism of LIGHT KNIFE [flimsy weapon])


NIGHTLIFE (activity in the form of entertainment at night.  Probably more likely to be found in an urban environment, than a rural one, but I am sure there is plenty of entertaining rural NIGHTLIFE throughout the world)



A top army writer (6)


TA (Territorial Army) + BARD (poet; writer)


TABARD (a medieval peasant’s overcoat; a knight’s sleeveless or short-sleeved coat; a herald’s coat or tunic bearing a coat of arms; a woman’s outer garment, a sleeveless tunic; I think all of those can be described as a top)



Perhaps one reeks of fuel (8)


Anagram of (perhaps) ONE REEKS


KEROSENE (paraffin oil obtained from shale or by distillation of petroleum; fuel)


No. Clue Wordplay Entry

Oddly, 21 was jurist in legal proceedings (7)


LAWSUIT (odd letters [oddly]) of LIAR (21 across) WAS JURIST


LAWSUIT (legal proceedings)

Son is a relative (3)


S (son) + IS


SIS (sister; relative)



Criminal is only in intruder’s way (6)


Anagram of (criminal) IS ONLY


NOSILY (in a prying way; in an intruder’s way)



Hot, as edges of stone axes (4)


SE (first and last letters of [edges of] STONE) + XY (reference the X and Y axes of a two dimensional co-ordinate system)


SEXY (exciting; hot)



Wagging tail, as a new dog (8)


(Anagram of (wagging) TAIL AS A) + N (new)


ALSATIAN (breed of dog)



Funny person has no right designing software (3)


CARD (comical or eccentric person; funny person) excluding (no) R (right)


CAD (reference Computer Aided Design package; software)



Spymaster in Berlin potentially more alert (7)


M (James Bond’s boss; spymaster) contained in (in) an anagram of (potentially) BERLIN


NIMBLER (more swift; more alert)



So-called human being (8)


NAMESAKE (one named [called] the same [so] as another)


NAMESAKE (a person [human being])



Running along the ground is hard with extra one (7)


TAXING (hard) containing an additional (with an extra) I (one)

Alternatively could be interpreted as simply doubling up (with an extra) the I


TAXIING ([of an aeroplane] running along the ground)



Dishonourable theologian, one breaking bread (7)


(DD [Doctor of Divinity {theologian}] + I [one]) contained in (breaking) CASH (bread [slang])


CADDISH (dishonourably)



A cap over can full of old spread (8)


(A + LID [cap]) reversed (over) + (TIN [can] containing [full of] O [old])

(DIL A)< TI (O) N

DILATION (expansion; spread)



Not a fat as one described by comedian (8)


I (one) contained in (described by) SKINNER (reference Frank SKINNER, comedian)


SKINNIER (not as fat as)



DIY stuff left – thought about it (7)


(TOOK [thought?], as in TOOK TO MEAN (thought it meant?] containing (about)  L [left]) + IT


TOOLKIT (a set of implements that can be used for do it yourself [diy] projects)



Full theatre, grant ultimately worthwhile (7)


REP (repertory theatre) + LET (grant) + E (final letter of [ultimately]) WORTHWHILE


REPLETE (full)



Restaurant twice served up scrap of food (6)


BIS (twice; a musical direction indicating that a section is to be repeated) + (ORT [scrap of food] reversed [served up; down clue])


BISTRO (small bar or restaurant)



Eye sharp bend where sides have fallen away (4)


DOG-LEG (sharp bend) excluding the first and last letters (sides have fallen away) D and G


OGLE (eye)



Kid – spare one? (3)


RIB (tease; rib)


RIB (reference the phrase SPARE RIB [a piece of pork consisting of ribs with a little meat adhering to them])  I don’t think this has anything to do with the myth that women have more ribs than men.



Some misdirected fury (3)


IRE (hidden word in [some] MISDIRECTED)


IRE (anger; fury)


17 Responses to “Independent 8056 / Anax”

  1. allan_c says:

    Yes, a bit on the tough side for a weekday puzzle. Definitely a help to be doing it online or via Crossword Solver with the check button handy. You make a guess at a word and even it’s not correct some of the letters are; or again you can try some of the letters in a word to see if they’re right. I was helped in this way with FARCIN, WEST SAXON and EMETICAL among others.

    Can’t see any obvious theme or nina; nor is it a pangram despite K, X and Y coming up fairly early on. But I agree about the inventive clues.

    Thanks, Anax and Duncan

  2. rowland says:

    Unfortunately I had to press the cheat button A LOT with this one, though I do appreciate that the compiler tries well in his clueing. This afternoon, if time allows, I will scour the grid for ‘Indy extras’!

    Many thanks,

  3. rowland says:

    By the way, this is a really thorough blog, so well done blogger.

  4. anax says:

    Thanks for a fantastic blog Duncan – brilliant stuff.

    Glad you made the comment about the ‘unusual’ FARCIN. ‘Tis for a reason, associated with your well-spotted central nina.

  5. Thomas99 says:

    Very enjoyable stuff. Thanks for the blog. Is it just that there are so many “i”s? There’s probably more to it. I haven’t got it in front of me now, but I couldn’t find anything else.

  6. MaleficOpus says:

    Thanks Duncan and Anax.

    I was defeated by FARCIN, but the nina just about makes up for it. Pedants’ corner: isn’t one of them a group?

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Duncan. I was pleased to finish this one, although the last few (mainly obscure) ones took me ages and needed judicious use of the ‘check’ button. Some easyish ones to give you a start, but I found this overall pretty tough. I thought THINK TANKS was good and also liked WEST SAXON.

    The nina? You’re asking the wrong person. Thanks to Anax – a good puzzle.

  8. flashling says:

    In the corners I can see circling Dominica, Tenerife and Kiribati, can’t see what in NW corner yet.

  9. flashling says:

    Oh and Sri Lanka round the middle

  10. malc95 says:

    Sulawesi in NW.

  11. anax says:

    And that’s your 5 – well done chaps ;o)

  12. Paul B says:

    8055 Dac on the website at the moment.

  13. anax says:

    Strange – shows correct puzzle for me, but numbered 8054.

  14. Paul B says:

    Back now.

  15. Paul B says:

    … 8054!

  16. Dormouse says:

    Defeated me, I’m afraid. Couldn’t get most of the left side.

  17. Bertandjoyce says:

    Too tired to finish it last night but needed a little electronic help for 13d and 5a. Last one in was 17a – couldn’t believe that we hadn’t thought of it already!

    Saw island across the middle but totally missed the 5 related items! All is explained now as we were wondering about the inclusion of some of the more obscure words.

    Lovely clueing and thanks Anax for another well hidden theme!

    Thanks Duncan for the blog – we needed you to explain 17a.

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