Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent Crossword 8082 by Anarche (Saturday Prize Puzzle 08-09-2012)

Posted by twencelas on September 15th, 2012


My first blog of an Anarche puzzle – should be an interesting challenge.

On the occasion of my father’s 82nd birthday, I did sense some form of celebration contained within this crossword – even his age 82 was present in the crossword number. As a further example of reading something, completely unintended, into the crossword, the name he is commonly known as is present on the right hand side of the grid in the top corner “Les” – so “Happy 82nd Birthday – Dad”.

However, the intended recipient of birthday greetings in this crossword was not my father, but a certain compiler by the name of “Anax” – The L’s along the top row indicating the fact that he has reached the half century mark, and his pseudonym from the Independent visible in the 6th row down samoAN AXolotls and symmetrically reversed in the 6th row from the bottom chateauX ANAdem (revealing his daughter’s name and the source of his pseudonym – see comment below). But that’s not all he’s “Loroso” in the Financial Times in the penultimate row gigoLO ROSOglio and “Elkamere” in the Telegraph, see the middle row anELKA MEREst. Almost forgot, his real name is present in the 2nd row “Dean” (layasiDE ANimal).

There is even more hidden than this, A quick check of Anax’s website reveals he plays BASS (10 across) guitar in a band LeFunk (forecastLE FUNK – fourth row from the bottom). There may well be even more secreted, that I have not yet found.

Quite a feat to contain all of the above, within a single grid. My congratulations to Anarche (for she has produced an exquisitely crafted puzzle) and my belated congratulations to Anax for notching up a half century.

As to my favourite  clues – well 7ac and 5dn provided an interesting image of the birthday boy – smoking 50 a day, with a penchant for heavy drinking and adult entertainment. Or could that be writing 50 clues a day, whilst drinking copious amounts of coffee whilst providing  crosswords to the adult masses?

7ac – Fifty a day is unhealthy – time at last to give up! (3,5)

5dn – Hard drinker in pursuit of free party with adult entertainment (5,5)


DD Double definition; * Anagram; Rev. reverse


7              L (fifty) + (a day is)* anagrind (unhealthy) + e (time at last) = LAY ASIDE (to give up!)

9              Anima (part of psyche) = l (origin of lust) = ANIMAL (Sensual)

10           Bass (low fellow) and Bass – homonym of Base (utter reprobate) = BASS

11           Eve (woman) around [(why)* within er + er (Queens)] = EVERYWHERE (Common)

12           Sad (Blue) – d (tailless) + moan (carp) = SAMOAN (from part of Polynesia)

14           (wAXy + cOLd + lOTs + aLSo)* (shredding skins removes first and last letters = AXOLOTLS (Salamanders)

15           a + (ankle)* = ANELKA (French Striker – as in Football Nicolas Anelka)

17           Hidden soME RESTaurants = MEREST (Extremely small portions)

20           Chat (gas) + eau (water for Frenchman) + x (ten) = CHATEAUX (Vineyards)

22           (maenad)*  = ANADEM (Garland)

23           Cryptic definition – salt being sailor and digs being accommodation = FORECASTLE

24           Fun (game) + k (king) = FUNK (Stew)

25           Gig (live performance) + o (old) + lo (love half cut) = GIGOLO (Male escort)

26           (hOROLOGISt)* = ROSOGLIO (Cordial)


1              Lava(Slag) + lava (heap indicates more than one) = LAVA LAVA (Cover for Samoan (12))

2              lambs (meek souls) – b (bishop) = LAMS (Attacks)

3              (evil)* + I (current) + n (player as in North in bridge) = LIVE IN (Resident)

4              lad (boy) + y + love (fronts of Lightest + Organza + Very + Expensive) = LADY LOVE (darling)

5              h (hard) + Toper (drinker) + a (adult) under lig (free party) = LIGHT OPERA (Entertainment)

6              DD = LAUREL (Laurel and Hardy, plant)

8              (seamen)* = ENEMAS (Medical procedures)

13           DD OVER-THE-TOP

16           Rev. (Ark(ship)) + Katona – n (north) = KRAKATOA (Island)

18           (e (drug) + latrine)* = TREENAIL (Ship’s fixer)

19           Hidden annEX ETERnal = EXETER (city)

21           Homonym of Who fit (which person’s ready) = HOOF IT (to Dance)

22           Aver (declare) + Se (Stature void i.e. empty) = AVERSE (Unwilling)

24           Fig (Monkey’s as in worthless I think) + s (beginning to search) = FIGS (Fruit)

9 Responses to “Independent Crossword 8082 by Anarche (Saturday Prize Puzzle 08-09-2012)”

  1. anax says:

    Words can’t describe my gratitude to Arachne for this truly wonderful puzzle.

    Thanks for the blog twenceslas; the only thing to note is that the 6th row nina Xana is actually the name of my daughter (and thus the source of my own pseudonym – nothing to do with emperor dragonflies other coincidental references).

  2. flashling says:

    An absolute cracker from Anarche, just a shame I couldn’t attend the do. Nimrod’s present was a belter too.

  3. Al Dente says:

    Thanks to twencelas for the excellent blog. There is another anax connection in the grid, his brother Kev (unchecked letters on the fourth row from the bottom in the middle). There are probably more secreted as you mention in your blog. Thanks again and also to Anarche for the super puzzle.

  4. Al Dente says:

    Apologies, its the fifth row from the bottom!

  5. Tramp says:

    Great blog twenceslas. Last Saturday was a wonderful day. I did a lot of this brilliant, tributary puzzle on the train to Hale to celebrate Anax’s birthday. I finished it on the return leg. Super stuff.

  6. Gervase says:

    Thanks twenceslas – great blog.

    And a splendid puzzle from Anarche. Lots of great clues and a forest of Ninas, none of which are necessary for the solve, so that a crossword full of insider references can be completed and enjoyed without ever realising its commemorative significance. A tour de force. Bravissima!

    I did, however, being privileged to spend some of last Saturday with Anax and friends. Here’s to the next half century!

  7. crypticsue says:

    Super birthday puzzle from Anarche. Thanks to her. Only wish I could have been at the party too.

  8. Eileen says:

    Ditto to all the above – great blog, marvellous puzzle and most enjoyable occasion.

    Huge thanks to all!

  9. Anarche says:

    Many thanks to twencelas for your sterling work, and to all for kind comments. As I couldn’t be at the Birthday Bash last weekend, sensibly opting instead for surly waitresses, the KGB museum and 26.2 miles of running in Vilnius, I was all too happy to try to produce a tribute worthy of my brilliant colleague (and friend). I do hope I managed to produce a puzzle which not only gave pleasure to Anax (and Xana) but could also be solved by people who haven’t the foggiest idea of who any of us setters are i.e. pretty much everybody!

    Love and hugs,
    Anarche x

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