Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8066 / Samuel

Posted by duncanshiell on August 21st, 2012


I have blogged Samuel puzzles in the Saturday Independent Magazine Inquisitor series, but I don’t remember even seeing, let alone blogging a Samuel in the Independent daily series.




This was a puzzle that must have been compiled some time on or after 7 August.  If it was compiled earlier, Samuel must have excellent forecasting powers.

The theme from 10 21 was VELODROME GOLD with the recipients of 10 21s in the grid being the majority of Team GB track cyclists who won one or more more GOLD medals at the recent Olympics.

I expect the solving time for the puzzle depended quite a lot on whether you were or weren’t interested in Olympic track cycling.  I have strong sporting interests so the grid filled fairly swiftly.  I can understand that solvers with no interest in Olympics or cycling may have struggled with this.

Whenever you come to solve a themed crossword, there are often parts of the theme that you think should be included, but aren’t because of limitations of grid size and available crossing letters.  Samuel has managed to get all the 2012 VELODROME GOLD medal cyclists surnames listed in BLUE below into the grid.  The ones in RED didn’t make it – most unfortunately for DOUBLE GOLD medallist, Laura TROTT.  ED CLANCY managed to get into a clue – for once ED wasn’t a reference to EDMUND SPENSER and his slightly odd vocabulary.

Philip HINDES, Jason KENNY and Sir Chris HOY – Men’s Team Sprint

Geraint THOMAS, Ed CLANCY, Peter KENNAUGH, Steven BURKE – Men’s Team Pursuit

Victoria PENDLETON – Women’s Keirin

Laura TROTT, Dani KING, Joanna ROWSELL – Women’s Team Pursuit

Jason KENNY – Men’s Individual Sprint

Laura TROTT – Women’s Omnium

Sir Chris HOY – Men’s Keirin

Often with themed crosswords some of the normal entries have to be slightly obscure or be constructed from slightly obscure words given the available crossing letters.  In this puzzle, some obscurities, to me, were SAL, SEA-BEATEN, and RED-WOOD

If anyone was looking for Bradley WIGGINS or Chris FROOME - neither performed in the VELODROME at these Olympics.  They were on the road along with Mark CAVENDISH who didn’t get a medal of any colour.

The clues were clear and not too complex in terms of wordplay.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry

Bank trick recipient of 10 21 (7)


ROW (tier; bank) + SELL (trick)


ROWSELL (reference Joanna ROWSELL - GOLD in Women’s Team Pursuit)



Tree UK imports at first – it’s silky and has bark (6)


SAL (a large North Indian tree) + UK + I (first letter of [at first] IMPORTS)


SALUKI (a tall, slender, silky-haired breed of dog, orignally from Arabia and Persia. – a dog barks; it’s silky and has a bark)



Recipient of 10 21’s cycling without leaning both ways (4)


BIKING (cycling) excluding (without) BI (bisexual; leaning both ways)


KING (reference Dani KING - GOLD in Women’s Team Pursuit)



Sting two hospital departments hiding damaged pram (10)


(ENT [Ear Nose & Throat – hospital department] and ENT [Ear Nose & Throat – hospital department, again] giving two hospital departments) containing (hiding) an anagram of (damaged) PRAM


ENTRAPMENT (the act of luring a person into the commission of a crime so that he or she may be arrested and prosecuted; sting)



More loved spinning here? (9)


Anagram of (spinning) MORE LOVED


VELODROME (a stadium containing a cycle-racing track.  Spinning is also a term related to high intensity training on a cycle machine in a gym, and more genteelly, a cycle ride used to be referred to as going out for a spin)



Stone antelope close to cabin for queen (4)


ORYX (African antelope) with N (final letter of [close to] CABIN) replacing (for) R (Regina; queen)


ONYX (agate; stone)



With upper-class absent obscure vote for yokel (8)


CLOUD (obscure) excluding (with … absent) U (upper-class) + POLL (vote)


CLODPOLL (stupid fellow; bumpkin; yokel)



Recipient of 10 21 smashed atoms containing hydrogen (6)


Anagram of (smashed) ATOMS containing H (chemical symbol for hydrogen)


THOMAS (reference Geraint THOMAS - GOLD in Men’s Team Pursuit)



Practise on stolen vehicle (6)


REHEARSE (practise) excluding (stolen) RE (about; on)


HEARSE (a type of vehicle)



Know nothing without final recipient of 10 21 (8)


KEN (know) + (NAUGHT [nothing] excluding the last letter (without final) T)


KENNAUGH (reference Peter KENNAUGH - GOLD in Men’s Team Pursuit)



Idol crossing line first gets this? (4)


GOD (idol) containing (crossing) L (line)

GO (L) D

GOLD (in many cases the first person across the line wins the GOLD [medal])



Write note to reveal recipient of 10 21 (9)


PEN (write) + D ([musical] note) + LET ON (reveal)


PENDLETON (reference Victoria PENDLETON- GOLD in Women’s Keiren)



Be surprised to make amends during tricky heats (3,4,3)


ATONE (make amends) contained in (during) an anagram of (tricky) HEATS


EAT ONE’S HAT (be very surprised, especially if something turns out completely different to one’s expectations)



Defeat bear (not black) (4)


BRUIN (a name for a bear, especially in children’s stories) excluding (not) B (black [on lead pencils])


RUIN (defeat)



Almost check second recipient of 10 21 (6)


HINDER (prevent progress of; check) excluding the final letter (almost) R + S (second)


HINDES (reference Philip HINDES- GOLD in Men’s Team Sprint)



Distance a cart reversed regularly grew (7)


(A + DRAY [a low strong cart for heavy goods] reversed) + GE (letters 1 and 3 [regularly] of GREW)


YARDAGE (distance)


No. Clue Wordplay Entry

Spin around on the spot to mix up once more (9)


REVOLVE (spin) containing (around) IN (on the spot)


REINVOLVE (re-entangle; mix up once more)



Terribly lewd gag went back and forth (7)


Anagram of (terribly) LEWD GAG


WAGGLED (moved from side to side; went back and forth)



Correct chaps carried by Clancy? (5)


MEN (chaps) contained in (carried by) ED (reference ED Clancy- GOLD in Men’s Team Pursuit)


EMEND (correct)



Hire commercial vehicle from the Eastern Mediterranean (3)


LEVANT (the Eastern Mediterranean and its shores) excluding (from) VAN (commercial vehicle)


LET (hire [out])



Base desperately consumed food lashed on board (3-6)


Anagram of (desperately) BASE + EATEN (consumed food)


SEA-BEATEN (lashed by the waves; lashed on board [ship])



Stagger over drained Palermo river (7)


LIMP (walk unevenly; stagger) + O (over [in cricket scoring notation]) + PO (first and last letters of [drained {of the middle letters}] PALERMO


LIMPOPO (major river in Africa, flowing into the Indian Ocean in Mozambique)



County cut short city recipient of 10 21 (5)


KENT (English County) excluding the final letter (cut short) T + NY (New York)


KENNY (reference Jason KENNY- GOLD in Men’s Team Sprint and GOLD in Men’s Individual Sprint)



Family sheltering under nuclear silo’s protection for Ainslie? (7)


Anagram of (nuclear) SILO + KIN (family)


OILSKIN (reference Ben AINSLIE, Olympic GOLD medallist in sailing [Laser class in 2000 and Finn class in each of 2004, 2008 and 2012] – an OILSKIN is protection for a sailor)



Break the back of lousy pro with serves (9)


Anagram of (lousy) PRO and SERVES


OVERPRESS (burden too heavily; put to much pressure on; break the back of?)



Inner gate melted like silver (9)


Anagram of (melted) INNER GATE


ARGENTINE (of or like silver)



Mad former Tory minister (7)


RED-WOOD (stark mad)


REDWOOD (reference John REDWOOD, Tory Minister when the Conservatives were in power in the 1990s.  A somewhat controversial politician, he remains the MP for Wokingham)



Teetotallers swallowing tripe cured bare skin patches (7)


AA (Alcoholics Anonymous; teetotallers) containing (swallowing) an anagram of (cured) of TRIPE


APTERIA (bare patches on a bird’s skin)



Sanction Greek character eating adult African animal (5)


(OK [as a verb, sanction] + PI [Greek character]) containing (eating) A


OKAPI (an animal of Central Africa, related to the giraffe; African animal)



Sell up without one goodbye (5)


(RETAIL [sell] excluding (without) I [one]), reversed (up; down clue)


LATER (goodbye [chiefly an American usage])



Topless sailor’s greeting for recipient of 10 21 (3)


AHOY (nautical term for hailing another vessel; sailor’s greeting) excluding the first letter (topless) A

HOY (reference Sir Chris HOY- GOLD in Men’s Keirin and GOLD in Men’s Team Sprint)


14 Responses to “Independent 8066 / Samuel”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Duncan. I’ve never done an Inquisitor, so was guessing that Samuel was another new addition to the Indy team – apparently not.

    I can’t say I really enjoyed this. The gateway clues were my first in, so it was pretty obvious that much of the rest of the puzzle would be a search for proper names, which is not my idea of fun really. The cyclists did very well of course, but apart from PENDLETON and HOY their names are probably not seared into the public consciousness just yet. In the end I lost enthusiasm and looked up the missing names to fill the grid. So a bit of a dud for me this morning.

  2. MikeC says:

    Thanks Duncan and Samuel. I rather agree with K’s D. As it happens I did manage to guess all the cyclists from the wordplay, then confirmed via google, but I was not sure that enjoyment of the theme compensated for the odd dodgy clue (SALUKI is a bit close to “silky” in 6a) and for obscurities like APTERIA. REDWOOD was odd – I didn’t know the whole word meant “mad”, so thought it was RED for angry plus WOOD for something that could be shaped (“former”) – but I rather liked the &lit-ish reference to the politician aka the Vulcan!

  3. crypticsue says:

    Kathryn’s Dad has already said everything that I was going to say. So thank you to him, Dunczn and Samuel.

  4. nmsindy says:

    I’ll have to admit my knowledge of the cyclists concerned was very limited and having solved the ‘gateway clue’ straightaway (made easy, I guess, to help us), I knew I was looking for them. I did manage to work most of those on the right-hand side out from the wordplay but struggled more on the left eventually resorting to looking up a list of the medal winners. Also, as Duncan says, the theme forced a few unusual words into the grid. CLODPOLL and APTERIA were new to me as was that meaning of REDWOOD (tho I guessed the answer right). Three ‘subtractive’ clues on the LHS (8A, 17A, 4D) made it tricky too – I needed your explanation for some of them – but all the clues were excellent and fair. I doubt, Duncan, if this was written before August 7 because, if so the setter would surely be living off his gambling winnings, with no need to set puzzles. Many thanks to Samuel (for what I think is a début puzzle in this format tho many of his have appeared in Inquisitor and the other thematic series and are very highly regarded) and Duncan for the so thorough blog.

  5. rowland says:

    It’s interesting to learn about this compiler from NMS, and interesting to ponder that there may be a certain way to write ‘blocked’ puzzles that is not so easy to get a hold of. I don’t do those tougher puzzles myself, so mea culpa there. Many tricky words and clues here that had me resorting to the cheat button, and echo K’s D.

    Cheers all,

  6. allan_c says:

    First time I’ve come across Samuel, and of some of the words – e.g. CLODPOLL and APTERIA. I was led astray on 10 at first, trying to think of a place associated with Thomas(?) More and wondering where ‘spinning’ came into it. But once the penny dropped I was well away, being something of a cycling fan (though more into road racing than track events, butI knew the names). Nothing to do with the theme, though, for my CoD – HEARSE.

  7. Al Dente says:

    Having come across Samuel in the Inquisitor series of crosswords I was really pleased when I saw his name as the setter for today’s puzzle. Had to rely heavily on the wordplay as I’m not a follower of cycling, but all was confirmed in duncanshiell’s very thorough blog, so thanks to him and to Chris (Samuel) for puzzle.

  8. Dormouse says:

    Not as hard as it could have been! Some obscure words, but I found the word play easier on these and was able to solve them. Interesting what people have been saying Samuel being an Inquisitor setter as some of these clues reminded me more of Inquisitor and Beelzebub clues. Maybe my brain is more geared towards solving barred crosswords than blocked ones.

    For 19ac, I guessed “Kennough” and googled the name to see if I was right. Google asked if I meant “Kennaugh”.

    In the end, I found a list of British Olympic cyclists and looked for names the fit. And still needed a couple of e-searches towards the end. I’d forgotten “Redwood” and didn’t know the mad meaning.

  9. flashling says:

    Great blog again, must admit I gave up on this, not entirely due to my inabilities but the train this evening being packed with loud footie fans and I just couldn’t get a chance to do it, grrr.

    It seems very reminiscent of another recent one and frankly trying to remember so many gold medal winners after their 5 minutes of fame (harsh but probably true) without access to the internet is nigh on impossible.

    Anyway welcome to Indy main Samuel, Crosophile at least has been a fine crossover to the daily stuff.

  10. Bertandjoyce says:

    We enjoyed our visit to the velodrome during London Prepares and watched the cycling avidly during the games. Even so, we couldn’t remember all the medallists (must be our age) but we were determined to complete it without resorting to google especially after the heroic efforts of all the cyclists. The clues were all fair but occasionally tricky – as has been pointed out already.

    Had to check redwood = mad which raised a smile given the context.

    What a pity that Samuel didn’t manage to include Laura Trott. Perhaps a lap too far!

    We enjoyed this one, although we understand why others might not have done. We’re great Inquisitor fans so this one was right up our street.

    Thanks Samuel and Duncan.

  11. flashling says:

    @B&J well quite why Redwood means mad isn’t better known really surprises me, you’d at least have thought Private Eye and hence most of the press would have picked that up.

    But then wierd as he was, the more unpleasant parts of the party are better know.

    Anagrams of Norman Lamont and Virginia Bottomley are quite well known at least.

  12. Paul B says:

    Because it’s not in Chambers or Collins? It is in Bradford though, which redeems all.

  13. duncanshiell says:

    Paul B @ 12

    It is in Chambers, but it’s hyphenated (RED-WOOD) at the very end of the first entry for red, along with the alternative Scottish spelling of RED-WUD. I can’t find it in Collins or the Shorter Oxford

  14. Paul B says:

    Fair enough Dunks. WOOD I remember from Chaucer, but there are a lot of mad former Tory ministers (in my opinion anyway).

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