Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8070 / Anax (Saturday Prize Crossword 25/08/2012)

Posted by Bertandjoyce on September 1st, 2012


We always look forward to tackling Anax puzzles, albeit with a slight sense of trepidation at the devilish nature of his clueing. This lived up to our expectations, and despite some unusual words, it seemed a little easier than some previous offerings.

As expected, some excellent surface readings and clever anagrams – we particularly liked 3d and 4d, but overall a very enjoyable and challenging Saturday work-out. In fact 3d was one of the best clues based on an anagram that we can remember. Thanks Anax – we’re only sorry that we can’t say it in person at your birthday bash!

We will have posted the blog before we board a train from Florence but if there are any errors or comments needing a response we will be able to access wi-fi later in the day.

1   Married in haste, problem being alcoholic drink …
RUM SHRUB M (married) in RUSH (haste) + RUB (problem) = alcoholic drink (one we’d never come across before!)
8/9   … and that’s why feelings change over time?
WHEN THE FAT LADY SINGS Anagram of AND THAT’S WHY FEELINGS (anagrind is ‘change’) = over time – the phrase relates to the end of an event – ‘it ain’t over till the fat lady sings’.
11   The empty workshop, not one providing shelter
TESTUDO T(h)E (empty, or with the middle letter removed) + STUD(i)O (workshop, without I or one) = shelter – used by Roman soldiers under attack from above, so-called because of it’s similarity to a tortoise’s shell
12   Tyre on motorway surprisingly loud
REMOULD RE (on) M (motorway) + an anagram of LOUD (anagrind is ‘surprisingly’) = tyre
13   Sacks, for example, in the same place but for return
RABBI IB (in the same place) + BAR (but for) reversed, or ‘returned’ = Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
15   Appropriate locations for toll booths?
RING ROADS A play on two meanings of ‘toll’ – the RINGing of a bell, and the tax for using ROADS or bridges
17   State control apparatus is cutting spare money?
DIRIGISME RIG (apparatus) + IS in,or ‘cutting’ DIME (spare money, as in ‘Brother can you spare a dime?’) = state control
18   Blue movie watched from the back
WASTE ET (movie) + SAW (watched) reversed, or ‘from the back’ = blue – we had to look this one up, but there it is in Chambers – ‘to squander’
19/20   In some way soldiers serve the amateur playhouse
MERMAID THEATRE We thought that this must be the answer when we had a few checking letters, but we couldn’t parse it at first. When we realised that there could be no other solution, we concluded that the parsing must be: RM (Royal Marines, or soldiers) + AID (serve) + THE + A (amateurs) in METRE (some way, as in a measure of distance) (?) = playhouse
22   For thirteen stone vagrant, feeding provided
IN THE INTEREST OF An anagram of THIRTEEN STONE (anagrind is ‘vagrant’) in or ‘feeding’ IF (provided) = for
23   Soft centre, as yolk contains
EASY Hidden or ‘contained’ in (centr)E AS Y(olk) = soft
24   I will almost turn some games around
TESTATOR ROTAT(e) (turn, ‘almost’ or with the last letter missing) + SET (some games, as in tennis) all reversed or ‘around’ = someone who leaves a valid will
1   Is humming sound made by vents?
REEKS Sounds like WREAKS or vents, as in ‘venting one’s anger’ = is humming, as in smelling
2   German suit, poor copy as a rule
MEASURING TAPE Anagram of GERMAN SUIT (anagrind is ‘poor’) + APE (copy) = a rule
3   Children feel so excited securing a place at university
HALL OF RESIDENCE Anagram of CHILDREN FEEL SO (anagrind is ‘excited’) aroundor ‘securing’ A = place at University – brilliant surface reading and so topical.
4   Reform mustn’t ever end in low funding
UNDERINVESTMENT Anagram of MUSTN’T EVER END IN (anagrind is ‘reform’) = low funding – another excellent anagram
6   German guards on duty, half beginning to resent some natives
HONDURANS HANS (German) around or ‘guarding’ ON DU(ty) (half) + R (beginning or first letter of ‘Resent’) = some natives, from Honduras
7   Moved at low –p-e-?
NOSED ‘Nosing’ is moving at low speed, ‘-p-e-‘ is speed with NO S-E-D
9   Weighty junk carried by confident daughter
STATURED TAT (junk) in, or ‘carried by’ SURE (confident) D (daughter) = weighty
10   Piece of kit almost cooked in missile hit
SAM BROWNE BELT BROWNE(d) (‘cooked’ with the last letter omitted, or ‘almost’) in SAM (surface-to-air missile) BELT (hit) = piece of army kit, a belt with a shoulder strap.  Have a look at one here.
14   Ferry full of sailors to consider losses before gains?
BURN RATES BUS (ferry) around or ‘full of’ RN (sailors) + RATES (considers) = rates at which companies spend capital, resulting in possible losses before gains
18   Arab princes that girl with key’s primarily seducing
SHEREEFS SHE (that girl) + REEF (key, as in a small island) + S (first or ‘primary’ letter of Seducing) = Arab princes
19   Current passed through West US state
MAINE IN (current, as in ‘trendy’) in or ‘passed through’ MAE (Mae West) = US state
21   Show disapproval for losing head coach
TUTOR TUT (show disapproval) + (f)OR (‘for’ without the first letter or ‘head’) = coach


9 Responses to “Independent 8070 / Anax (Saturday Prize Crossword 25/08/2012)”

  1. Tim Phillips says:

    Pretty chuffed that I got almost all of this – I’m a mere amateur amongst most of the bloggers on this site – so a word of advice to others who are not as dedicated as them (cue stream of abuse…!):

    Always check the EXACT parsing of the clue. For 5a I had TILL, which we checked as the correct quote (having questioned TILL -v- [un]‘TIL) but this doesn’t fit the anagram or, indeed, the syntax of the clue.

    Therefore no hope of getting 6d or 7d, hence missing a great laugh-out-loud solution at the latter.

    Similarly, I just couldn’t see how 22a worked even though the solution was obvious from all the crossing letters. But it is all there if you look hard enough, and would have opened the door to BURN RATES if only I had spent another 30 seconds before giving up.

    Always remember this is supposed to be an enjoyable pastime!

  2. Tramp says:

    Thanks Anax and bertandjoyce.

    Superb puzzle with too many excellent clues to list. I loved the ‘over time?’ definition — genius.

  3. crypticsue says:

    Ditto what Tramp said.

  4. Lenny says:

    Thanks B&J. I enjoyed this. Seeing that it was an Anax, I started early expecting it to last me all day. It fell out quite easily though, perhaps helped by the friendly grid. Unknowns for me were Shereefs, Burn Rates and Rum Shrub but the wordplay was clear.

    As Tim P says, the fat lady answer is not quite the usual version of the quotation but I carefully ticked off the letters of the anagram and found that I had WHEN left over.

  5. anax says:

    Hello friends. Super blog bertandjoyce, and thanks to all for adding your comments.

    Yes, as Lenny says the 8/9 combo is a corruption of the recognised form, but I was attracted to it after remembering the joke that goes something like:

    “I’m not saying she’s fat, but when she sings… it’s over”

    Always made me giggle.

  6. flashling says:

    As ever was excellent fun from Anax, even though I failed to get see why Mermaid Theatre was right, loved the devious definition in 22ac.

    Thanks B&J hope you had a good trip, I only had one night in Italy, somewhat unfortunately I was in Turin the night that Liverpool fans killed a load of Juventus fans back in 1985…

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks to everyone, especially Tim Phillips for the first comment and Anax for dropping by.

    Wi-fi now possible for at least a week so should be able to contribute without too many problems.

    flashing – no Turin supporters in sight but there is a festival tonight (and tomorrow!) in the very small town where we are staying so you never know ……..

  8. allan_c says:

    Yes, I too thought it was on the easy side for an Anax, but that’s not to say there weren’t a few challenges along the way. Never heard of a RUM SHRUB, and couldn’t figure out 14d, simply because I never thought of ‘ferry’ as a verb. On the other hand, with about three crossing letters HALL OF RESIDENCE was a write-in.

    So thanks, B&J for the explanations – and of course Anax for the challenge.

  9. Wil Ransome says:

    Excellent as we have come to expect. What some people are missing because they don’t do the Independent. Agree with B&J — 3d was magnificent.

    I had qualms over Hans being regarded as a German, but they were groundless — my Dutch brother-in-law was called Hans and I’ve always regarded it as a Dutch name, but obviously it’s Johannes, which is German. The old edition of Chambers, which I kept because of its section of names, doesn’t to my surprise have either Hans or Johannes.

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