Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8078 / Tyrus

Posted by Bertandjoyce on September 4th, 2012


Greetings to all from Soriano nel Cimino! We really should be tackling this offering from Tyrus over a 1across, but we really don’t like milky coffee!

We found this an enjoyable solve, although we were a bit worried by the very long anagrams at 7 and 8 down. Some solvers really don’t like these, but it’s all part of a compiler’s arsenal, so we find them okay every so often – these were cleverly constructed thematic cryptic definitions that we found we needed quite a few checking letters to sort out.

We used to be fairly regular viewers of the theme (28a), but the phrases used by 25aG 20d, such as 8/14/5 have put us off the programme.

Our COD was 9A – nothing to do with the theme, but beautifully constructed.

1   Catering establishment let tea stew – have this instead
CAFFE LATTE CAFF (catering establishment) + an anagram of LET TEA (anagrind is ‘stew’) = a possible alternative to stewed tea available in a cafe
7   Right to abandon joke motion
CACK C(r)ACK (joke, with R or ‘right’ omitted or ‘abandoned’ = a slang word for excrement, or ‘motion’
9   Act like Tiger on-course and off?
PLAY AROUND A reference to Tiger Woods, playing a round of golf (on-course) and playing around, or being unfaithful to his wife (off-course)
10   Very strong press
IRON Double definition – a) very strong, as in IRON-willed, and b) to press (clothes)
11   Taking a gamble accepting odds: 1-100
ON SPEC SP (starting price, or ‘odds’) in, or being ‘accepted’ by ONE (1) C (100) = taking a gamble
12   Need severe economic downturn to merge
HARDSHIP HARSH DIP (severe economic downtown) ‘merged’ by mixing last and first letters of each word = need
13   Home in which one’s settled
PAID PAD (home) around I (one) = settled
15   What’s supposed to protect the house from burglars
LAR Hidden in (burg)LAR(s) – a Roman guardian deity who was believed to protect houses and households
16 & 17   See 7D
See 7D
18   Mention boy’s colour
HUE Homonym (as ‘mentioned’) of HUGH (boy) = colour
19   27 bird
HAWK HAWK is a slang word for spit (27A) = bird
21   Suspect behaviour is current issue
GOINGS ON GOING (current) + SON (issue) = suspect behaviour
23   Game husband loves to perform, finishing prematurely
HOOPLA H (husband) +OO (loves) + PLA(y) (perform, without the last letter, or ‘finishing prematurely’) = game
25   Germans keep on this man, as 20 said
GREG G G (Germans) around, or ‘keeping’ RE (on) = this man, a reference to ‘Masterchef’ presenter Gregg (as said) Wallace (20D)
26   Starts to heed Ashcroft – guess tax is terrible waste
EXHAUST GAS Anagram of H, A (first letters or ‘starts’ of ‘heed Ashcroft’) and GUESS TAX (anagrind is ‘terrible’) = waste
27   It’s easy to keep quietly turning means of 8
SPIT Anagram of IT’S (anagrind is ‘easy’) around, or ‘keeping’ P (quietly) = a means of cooking (8D) by turning
28   Show bosses one’s heartless
MASTERCHEF MASTER +CH(i)EF (two words for ‘bosses’, with the middle letter or ‘heart’ of one omitted) = show (which provides a theme for the puzzle)
2   Worker stops in one Olympic venue or another
ATLANTA ANT (worker) in AT LA (in Los Angeles – an Olympic venue)  = another Olympic venue.  Thanks to David@8 for pointing out the missing ‘T’!
3   US agreement with French over 8 considered unhealthy
FRY-UP YUP (US agreement) with FR (French) in front, or ‘over’ in a down clue = a style of cooking (8D) considered unhealthy
4   Emotionally involved, Cyril and ‘friend’
LYRICALLY Anagram of CYRIL (anagrind is ‘involved’) + ALLY (friend) = emotionally
5   See 8D
See 8D
6   Witch here close to Salem location briefly
ENDOR END (close) + OR (abbreviation for Oregon, where the state capital is Salem) = reference to the Witch of Endor in the 1st Book of Samuel in the bible
7/17A/16A   Charlie in work – hey, he’s writing TV play (unsuitable for 28)
CHIPS WITH EVERYTHING C (Charlie in the phonetic alphabet) + HIP (in) + an anagram of HEY HE’S WRITING TV (anagrind is ‘work’) = the play by Arnold Wesker, unsuitable for ‘Masterchef’ (28A) for obvious reasons
8/14/5   “Doing egg on toast…the kitchen’s hot…” You are talking rubbish! (as 20 in 28)
COOKING DOESN’T GET TOUGHER THAN THIS An anagram of DOING EGG ON TOAST THE KITCHENS HOT and U R (‘you are’ as heard when ‘talking’) (anagrind is ‘rubbish’) = a phrase that might be (or probably has been) used by Gregg Wallace (20D) in ‘Masterchef’ (28A).
16   Superior accommodation built there by river
TREE HOUSE Anagram of THERE (anagrind is ‘built’) + OUSE (river) = superior (in the sense of height) accommodation
17   Like to put up rent – it’s totally selfish!
EGO TRIP EG (like) +TO reversed, or ‘put up’ + RIP (rent) = totally selfish experience
20   Patriot an expert climber?
WALLACE Someone who is expert at climbing might be called a WALL ACE = William Wallace, the legendary Scottish patriot immortalised by Walter Scott and the film ‘Braveheart’ (but also the surname of one of the 28A presenters)
22   Stop conserving one’s energy
STEAM STEM (stop) around, or ‘conserving’ A (one) = energy
24   Teacher’s maybe dispensed with this subject – work’s gone up
OPTIC TOPIC (subject) with OP (work) moved to the front, or ‘gone up’ in a down clue = something that could be used in a bar to dispense Teacher’s (whisky) or other spirits


13 Responses to “Independent 8078 / Tyrus”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:


    Well, if the definition of a good puzzle is one that you finish, then this was a good puzzle. But it took an age, and more use of the ‘check’ button than I’d have liked. I’m one of those for whom 30-letter anagrams – no matter how clever they are – usually offer little solving pleasure. Too much interlinked stuff and a gateway clue that wasn’t exactly a giveaway, and you’re getting the picture. I have watched MASTERCHEF a bit, but have never clocked the phrase used for the long anagram.

    However, the inclusion of the bodily functions HAWK and CACK in the same puzzle did raise a smile.

    So sorry, Tyrus, not my favourite one of yours this morning, but ta anyway; and thanks to B&J as well of course.

  2. flashling says:

    Have to agree with K’sD, my thoughts exactly – a bit over-egged, guessed 7 etc ok but 8 was a lost cause.

    Cheers Bert and Joyce/Tyrus

  3. Conrad Cork says:

    I’m with B&J on this. Completed, despite never having seen the programme. (Difficult when you don’t have TV.)

    Potential blind alleys looking for Wesker and Braveheart conncections. Tyrus is good at that sort of thing.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, B and J.

    I’m with you re the programme: that irritating claim in the introduction to every show is enough to make anyone stop watching.

    I didn’t realise that the presenter’s name had a double G at the end, so didn’t fully understand the clue for 25ac, and I couldn’t see the wordplay in 12ac, so particular thanks for those.

    The Tiger Woods joke has been around for a while but, as you say, it was beautifully clued here. I also particularly liked the smooth surfaces in 15ac and 24dn and the reference to the Salem witches in 6dn.

    [I was feeling grumpy over the inexplicable error in the Guardian puzzle, so special thanks to Tyrus for an enjoyable puzzle, which put a smile back on my face. ;-) ]

  5. allan_c says:

    Didn’t quite finish this; not having ever watched 28 (or similar programmes) I couldn’t get 25, and only worked out 8/14/5 from crossing letters. I thought about CACK for 7a right at the start but left it as I only knew the word in the expression ‘cack-handed’ meaning clumsy, awkward or, more specifically, left-handed.
    Nice misdirection in 6, too, suggesting Massachusets rather than Oregon as the Salem in question

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Yes, Allan, I too was one trying to shoehorn MA into the Salem clue.

  7. rowland says:

    Agree with you K’s D. Another slog to add to The Guardian’s one today, and I’d never heard of the long anagram (which I cheated on). Currently trying the FT to see if any different.


  8. David Carslake says:

    The explanation for 2D doesn’t explain the first T. I interpreted it as “in one Olympic venue” being AT LA, and ANT ‘stops’ (plugs) it.

  9. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks David@8 – blog corrected. Well spotted!

  10. nmsindy says:

    My knowledge of this TV programme, though I’d vaguely heard of it, is pretty much nil. Nonetheless I did manage to solve the puzzle from the clues, while having to verify the long quote existed. I’d agree I’d not like to tackle 30-odd letter anagrams every day, but, their occasional inclusion, like here, can add to the variety of puzzles on offer. In practice I find I usually begin to see the answer to the long anagrams more with the help of crossing letters than from the anagram “fodder” which would then confirm it.

    Yes, it was a hard puzzle, but again I think this gives variety in the puzzle series with Tyrus being up there among the harder Indy setters. Many thanks, Tyrus, and B&J for an excellent blog.

  11. Tramp says:

    I loved this. I didn’t find it any harder than your typical Tyrus puzzle and I know next to nothing about the theme. I’d echo nmsindy’s comments in that long anagrams, when they are well done, are fun; but like Cream Eggs, I wouldn’t want one every day. I would say that 7,17a,16a is superb and is Bunthornesque in the way the surface paints a scene that goes with the solution. Admittedly, I know nothing about cooking but from the few snippets I’ve seen of the show I reckon Greg Wallace talks rubbish — this added to the clue for me. Too many good clues to mention but I did love 24d and its use of “Teacher’s”.

  12. Eileen says:

    As I said, I too loved the Teacher’s clue, not least because it reminded me of the hilarious [but weren’t they all?] episode of ‘Yes Minister’ [‘The Moral Dimension’] where they went off to Qumran, an oil sheikdom where alcohol was banned, so they set uo a “security communications room”, to which they were severally summoned, at intervals, to receive messages from Mr Haig [‘the one with the dimples’], Mr John[nie] Walker [from the Scotch Office], Mr Smirnoff, from the Soviet Embassy, the VAT man ‘re your 69 returns’ and ‘a delegation of Teachers’. Sir Humphrey concluded: ‘I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that the minister has had almost as many urgent messages as he can take.’

  13. Tyrus says:

    Many thanks to Bertandjoyce for the excellent blog and to others for their comments.

    Don’t know that much about the programme myself beyond the catchphrase. I assume it’s tongue-in-cheek but, then again, a lot of cookery shows do seem fairly pretentious.

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