Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8071 by Radian

Posted by nmsindy on August 27th, 2012


A very entertaining puzzle from Radian, where, I think before a clue was solved, everyone would have realized there was a theme with all the cross-references in clues.

I was impressed by how much Radian managed to fit in and, in particular, the variety of cross-references which did not narrowly focus on the theme in just a single way.

The main theme was 1812 (two hundred years ago) and within that ‘The War of 1812′ between the US and Great Britain tho it was not confined to that conflict alone.      This war is not referred to very often as fairly soon after it finished, the two countries, while not formally allied then, came to have common interests and that has remained the case ever since.

When the war is referred to, the event mainly recalled is the burning of the White House by the British.

While I’ve not gone back to check I think this was by no means the first Radian puzzle dealing with American history so it may be a particular interest.       Solving time, 30 mins – I guess it would have helped if one was esp interested in history, geopolitics etc, as nmsindy is.     I won’t go into major details about the history which anyone can read up on the Internet or elsewhere, and will just explain the clues.

* = anagram


8 PASADENA      City in California – not thematic, I think, as it only came into being very much later.    a sad = pathetic   en = gap (printer’s measure) in PA (digraph for Pennsylvania)

9 OWNS  UP     Hidden

10 YORK     Dismiss refers to cricket – bowling by sending the ball under the bat      Yankee = code word for letter Y  OR = soldiers    heading to Kentucky = K (first letter)

11 WHITE HOUSE     4 = MADISON (US president in 1812)      Home of 10 (YORK) in earlier wars.    This, I think, refers to the Wars of the Roses (C15) between the Houses of York and Lancaster with the symbol of the House of York being the white rose so White House.    Lancaster’s symbol was the red rose.

14 OVERTURE   This was my penultimate entry.     This refers to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture written to celebrate the Russian success against the French invasion in the same year.

The wordplay just tells us to put the two numbers together.

15 BREWING    brewing = the quantity of a beverage brewed at one time.   BR = British   Ewing = Texan family (from TV series Dallas)

17 STRIPES     definition:  standard feature (standard = flag- ref. US flag)    S = Sioux chief (1st letter)  p = power in tries (attempts)

20 THE ROPES     know the ropes = be familiar with some particular area of activity   T = Tory leader (1st letter)  desires = hopes  containing ER (monarch)

22 FORAGE    forage cap = soldier’s undress cap    (of)*  rage (trend)

23 CASABLANCA      Spanish for white house  tho the noun comes first with them (casa blanca) and one of the best-known films of all time

24 DUTY     Singer from a while back, Dusty Springfield, losing her middle letter.

25 TOLEDO   7 is HUSSAR    (tooled)* and referring to the fact that Toledo (in Spain) was known for sword manufacture from centuries ago.

26 ENCLAVES     c (clubs) for s (small) in enslaves


1 MAN-OF-WAR     I guessed this straightaway from the definition (‘ship’) and letter-count but it took me a while to understand the rest.  I think what it means is the man of the war of 1812 was 4 (MADISON) because the war was known by some as Madison’s War.

2 YANK   (any)*  K = king   24D = DRAW

3 WEE-WEE      French is spoken in Quebec  so this is homophone of ‘oui’  ‘oui’  which is indeed something yellow that flows (flower)…

4 MADISON     President in 1812    (said)* o (nothing) in MN (digraph for Minnesota)

5 NONEVENT      on (working)   even (still) in NT (National Theatre)

6 UNWORTHIER    My last answer   defn “with reduced credit”   U (union)  (thrown)* as 19D = ASUNDER ie (that is)  r (right)

7 HUSSAR     spots = rash (revolutionary = going up)  containing US (American)

13 LOWER LAKES      The lakes of Erie and Ontario  – one of the theatres of the war, I think.   (all were OK)*   s = last letter of hostilities

16 NAPOLEON      Who invaded Russia    a Pole (European) in non (no in French) and an &lit touch also

18/12   EIGHTEEN TWELVE    Very clever this with the words at the appropriate clue numbers

19 ASUNDER   as (when)   under (not on top)

21 HEAD-ON     Surface reading refers to the war, I guess   E (English) in had on (worn)

22 FRANCE    16 = NAPOLEON    f = head of friary (1st letter) ran (organised)  CE (Church of England)

24 DRAW    definition:  tie    D = sad ending (last letter)   war = conflict (up = going upwards in a down clue)


9 Responses to “Independent 8071 by Radian”

  1. sidey says:

    Interesting and rather good fun. Thanks nms and Radian. Took ages to realise how ‘happily’ worked as an anagrind.

  2. crypticsue says:

    I struggled with this one, not helped by having put the French word into 3d. I did like the `1812 references. Thanks to both Radian and nms

  3. allan_c says:

    Yes, good fun as sidey says. It seemed to have several aspects of the theme, not all specifically linked in the clues; maybe that would have made it too hard. For example 19 might have referenced 7, 18/12, or 14.

    Regarding 17 I wonder if Radian was hoping to include ‘stars’ (or ‘stars and’) somewhere but couldn’t fit it in.

    Thanks to setter and blogger for a pleasant Bank Holiday diversion.

  4. Tees says:

    If it ain’t broke, why mend it? I don’t think this excellent puzzle needs any alteration.

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    A pleasing diversion for a wet Bank Holiday Monday – found it toughish with all the interlinked clues, but it fell out in the end. Several which I couldn’t parse, so thanks for those; I’m not a big expert on the themed material, but it was clued clearly enough.

    Thanks to Radian and to nms.

  6. flashling says:

    Thanks Radian/NMS didn’t start till late but loved this, after the inital confusion it fell nicely with some great clues.

  7. Dormouse says:

    Sitting in the lobby of my hotel in Chicago solving this. Wi-fi is free in the lobby, costs in the rooms!

    Once I started and spotted the theme, I had to continue, but jet-lag meant I did cheat a bit. The war is still very well known here and in Canada – here because the US beat the British, and in Canada because they beat the US, all very confusing.

    3dn, I guessed the answer, but couldn’t see why. I mean, I knew it was a homophone of “oui, oui” but I assumed there must be a yellow flower of the plant variety called a “wee-wee”. D’oh! Again I blame jetlag.

    14ac was the first in for me. I was a fan of the Tchaikovsky from a very early age.

  8. Tees says:

    What stopped you (being a fan of Tchaikovsky)?

  9. Dormouse says:

    Oh, I still am, although the 1812 Overture is no longer my favourite work. :-)

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