Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8092 / Anax

Posted by Bertandjoyce on September 20th, 2012


It’s our turn to blog a Thursday puzzle so we were expecting to have some fun, especially when we saw that it was Anax! It had everything that you may expect from one of his crosswords although there were no long anagrams this time unless you count 16ac.

There were quite a few occasions when one of us wrote in an answer and the other one said – How did you get that one? Often the answer was – I don’t know, I’m just trying to work it out! Even after solving the puzzle we still had to scratch our heads a bit when it came to writing up the blog.

When we solved 16ac we started looking for other references to Anax until we had almost finished the puzzle. Finding the hidden setter along the top and bottom helped us finally complete all the clues.

Thanks Anax for a tricky but enjoyable solve and a belated Happy Birthday to you too!

9   The Hunter – old Duran Duran song name
ORION O (old) + RIO (Duran Duran song) + N (name) = hunter
10   A Colorado ski resort gets salt extremely late on
AVAILABLE A + VAIL (Colorado ski resort) + AB (salt as in sailor) + L(at)E (the first and last letters or ‘extremely’)  = On
11   Journey’s over, having left one port
TRIPOLI TRIP (journey) + O (over as in cricket) + L (left) + I (one) = port
12   Term so artfully describing ace
MAESTRO A charade of an anagram of TERM SO  (anagrind is ‘artfully’) around or ‘describing’ A (ace) = a term you may use to describe an ace!
13   Very dramatic 5 in/near rocks
WAGNERIAN WAG (comic, relating to 5d) + anagram of IN NEAR (anagrind is rocks) = very dramatic
14   Communication to make them upset
E-MAIL EM (shortened form of them) + AIL (upset) = communication
16   At this milestone newspaper’s opened for yes – daily cryptic
FIFTY YEARS OLD Anagram of FOR YES DAILY (anagrind is cryptic) around or ‘opened’ for FT (Financial Times – newspaper) = a milestone in terms of age. We first thought that this may relate to Anax’s recent celebration but the ‘unches’ in the top and bottom rows reveal who the puzzle is really dedicated to!
21   One greatly burdened eventually needs time off
ATLAS AT LAS(t) (eventually) without the final T (time) = this person who was greatly burdened
23   Part of bill covered by rent
CHARACTER AC (bill) inside or ‘covered by’ CHARTER (rent) = part as in a role in a play
24   Live broadcast reflecting parts in Spanish
IBERIAN BE (live) + AIR (broadcast) reversed or ‘reflecting’ in, or ‘parting’ IN = Spanish
26   Gallons in container leading to a rickety water tower
TUGBOAT G (gallons) inside TUB (container) + anagram of TO A (anagrind is ‘rickety’) = water tower. A good bit of misdirection here.
27   Mathematician makes you rub one out – flipping unkind
BERNOULLI Anagram of RUB ONE (anagrind is ‘out’) + ILL reversed or ‘flipping’ = Mathematician. We’d not heard of him before but we had come across one of his theories connected with probability – the law of large numbers.
28   Boxer’s name, for example
ALIAS A boxer may have another name he/she is known by, so if you were talking about Cassius Clay you could say ALI AS …….! Somewhat on the limit of plausibility perhaps although when we had some of the crossing letters it was a write-in. A difficult one to parse/explain though! Thanks Anax!!
1   Lifting bone up, wife of killer initially cringes
KOWTOWS Reversal or ‘lifting’ of SWOT(bone up as in study) + initial letters of W(ife) O(f) K(iller) = cringes
2   Instrument of death specified by victim
LIVING WILL An instrument can be a document containing a contract so an instrument connected with death could be a will. The person or ‘victim’ who specified it at the time would have been living! Oh Anax, you don’t make it easy for us bloggers when it comes to explaining the parsing!
3   Brash, funky sound
INSOLENT IN (funky) + SOLENT (sound as in sea inlet) = brash
4   For Christmas you get smart clothing in vain, oddly
NATIVITY NATTY (smart) around or ‘clothing’ odd letters of In VaIn = Christmas
5   Comic’s annual meeting covered by retired hack
GAGMAN AGM (annual meeting) inside or ‘covered by’ NAG (hack as in horse) reversed or ‘retired’ = comic
6   Record holder takes short rest before European victory
SLEEVE SLEE(p) (rest with final letter removed or ‘short’) + VE (European Victory) = record holder. This one brought back memories!
7   Portion of spaghetti Bolognese thrown up in funeral service
OBIT Reversed or ‘thrown up’ and also hidden within or ‘a portion of’ spaghet(TI BO)lognese = funeral service
8   You may hear many leaves getting on tyre
REMOULD Sounds like REAM (many leaves) + OLD (getting on) = tyre
15   Cool April winds restricting temperature in various forms
ALLOTROPIC Anagram of COOL APRIL (anagrind is ‘winds’) around or ‘restricting’ T (temperature) = in various forms. A new word that we needed to check but once we had a few crossing letters it was reasonably easy from the anagram.
17   Shambles, as a cricketer for Ireland
ABATTOIR A charade on an Irish cricketer or  A BAT TO IR = shambles.
18   In silence, fix major road in port
SHANGHAI HANG (fix) around or ‘in’ SH (silence) + AI (major road) = port
19   Girl pierced by doctor’s instrument
MARIMBA MARIA (girl) around or ‘pierced by’ MB (doctor) = instrument. Listen to it being played here.
20   Animal that is primarily concealed by undergrowth
BRUTISH Initial letters of That Is or ‘primarily’ inside or ‘concealed by’ BRUSH (undergrowth) = animal
22   Fleece a bit short? Change snow vehicle
SKIBOB SKI(n) (fleece with last letter removed or ‘a bit short’) + BOB (change – as in bell ringing) = snow vehicle
23   See with extremely little light?
CANDLE C (see – the third letter of the alphabet) AND (with) + L(ittl)E (first and letters or ‘extremely’) = light
25   Nobleman cut short in good time
EARL EARL(y) (in good time) with last letter missing or ‘cut short’ = nobleman

24 Responses to “Independent 8092 / Anax”

  1. JollySwagman says:

    Thanks B&J and Anax

    I read 28a as: Ali ‘as
    Stared at it for a while first.

    Not sure what the pedants will make of “you” in 27a – padding? or “makes you” as a link. Maybe I’m missing another reading. Stared at that too – knew the maths bod but unsure of exact spelling so had to ponder that one. Seemed strange when “makes one rub out” would have given it too.

    But otherwise a nice solve – and gentle for an Anax.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, both.

    Not sure I would describe it as ‘gentle’, JollySwagman! A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, they say; but a little knowledge was most helpful today, since the grid screamed ‘nina’ and once I’d got a few crossing letters at the top, KLINGSOR went in, followed by ALBERICH. Without that I would have struggled to finish it.

    I liked ALLOTROPIC (tick for a science clue) and MAESTRO was also cleverly done.

    Seems like 1962 was a good vintage for Indy setters … Happy Birthday to the man himself, who I fancy might just make an appearance in 12ac, 13ac, and the letter joining them: WAGNERIAN MAESTRO MAN. Or perhaps I’ve just made that up.

  3. Thomas99 says:

    Really enjoyed this. For once I spotted the Ninas and they really helped. Didn’t know it was Klingsor/Alberich’s birthday too. Many happy returns to both!

  4. nmsindy says:

    This was a very fine puzzle indeed – pretty hard without being fiendishly difficult and everything clear in the end esp now, B&J, that you have explained INSOLENT – I did not think of sound = Solent. In 27A, I think ‘you = solver’. Some really excellent clues and I think the appearance of WAGNERIAN is not just coincidence as I think both of the pseudonyms are characters from Wagner. Like others, I thought ‘Nina’ from the start and saw it when I’d about half of the letters in the top and bottom rows. Best wishes to Klingsor. Tnanks, Anax for the puzzle and B&J for the excellent blog as always.

  5. yvains says:

    Particularly liked 3, 17, 26 and 23D – thanks to Anax for an excellent puzzle, and to you, Bertandjoyce :) In 22, I read BOB as shilling, but your parsing seems perhaps more likely to have been the intention. Agree with nmsindy about 27, and the Wagnerian characters.

  6. crypticsue says:

    I started well and then ground to a halt and had to leave it to cogitate, which is usually what happens with an Anax. I never notice Ninas and didn’t see this one until I was trying to get 2d. I did like INSOLENT and several others too. Thanks to Bert & Joyce, to Anax for stretching me once again and Happy Birthday Klingsor and Alberich.

  7. rowland says:

    Happy birthdays are in order for Anax and Klingsor then, two of the compilers who make up this impressive Independent group. An easier style with Anax today, shockingly! But most enjoyable.

    Well done to all, and thank you B&J for a full and well-written blog.


  8. JollySwagman says:

    I think I twigged the “makes you” thing driving in the car a while back – thinking about something completely unrelated it suddenly popped into my head. It’s “makes you” as in “makes for you” (you the solver as per nms @#4) eg like “I’ll make you a cup of tea.”. So that’s me happy.

    In fact it’s a good twist – you’re expecting conciseness and you get a chatty link – nice.

  9. rowland says:

    Whoops JS @ #1! But yes, you’re right about that style. Very friendly.

  10. Donk says:

    A wonderful puzzle – thanks to Anax (and also to the bloggers). So many brilliantly crafted clues, it’s hard to pick favourites but 21a, 26a, 7d and 19d were particularly good to me. The Nina helped just as I was starting to slow!

  11. Paul B says:

    Fair enough, Swaggers reacts having seen the error of his ways, even where sage NMS’ gentle promptings seem to have helped him along.

    And yet, had he been able to call upon the right knowledge and experience, he could have made instead a valid criticism of this rather nice clue. It’s nothing really, and depends very much on your preference for style: but it is, unarguably, there.

    Any thoughts, Swaggers?

  12. flashling says:

    Happy birthday to Klingsor, Anax’s website said today was for someone and I knew Klingsor’s birthday (don’t ask how) so was on Nina hunt from the off.

    Made it a lot easier than it would have otherwise have been to solve if not to set I guess, so many thanks to Anax for the work put into this and B&J for the write up, seems to be a spate of half centuries round here.

  13. Dormouse says:

    Definitely a puzzle of two halves. The top half, which I could solve – even spotted the nina for a change – and the bottom half which completely stymied me. I got just two clues there.

  14. Rorschach says:

    Usually when I struggle with a puzzle (as I did today) I rapidly forget about the whole experience as soon as possible. With Anax this is impossible because every clue is worth careful analysis (and self-kick). My trip to Reading and back in a van today didn’t help with the old brain cogs is my excuse. Thanks both and kudos to BandJ for a torturous parse I imagine.

  15. JollySwagman says:

    Further to 27a, the birthday boy’s views on linkwords are here:

    in which he regards “for”, “gives etc (“makes and “makes you” would be in that category) as unidirectional and “fair but rather untidily presented”. I have seen good arguments for “for” being bi-directional – “makes” would have to work a bit harder. Alberich goes on to say that he would reluctantly use it to rescue a worthwhile cluing idea which couldn’t otherwise be presented.

  16. Paul B says:

    But it wasn’t Alberich who mis-parsed the clue, was it, Mr Expert. ‘Leap before you look’ must be your mantra!

    But still you’re barking up the wrong tree. Any thoughts on the circumstances in which you might have had cause to alert ‘the pedants’ yet?

  17. allan_c says:

    Only got round to this one this morning after a busy day with grandchildren yesterday. Must say I found it on the easy side for an Anax, even getting ORION straightaway. Filled in the top half of acrosses fairly quickly but the bottom half faltered till I started on the downs, spotted Klingsor in the top unches and thought, ‘Aha, probably Alberich along the bottom’ and was well away.’

    Good stuff as usual, Anax; congratulations to you and Klingsor, sorry you can’t make it to Derby in November. And thanks, B&J, for the blog: I needed it for some of the parsing, especially AVAILABLE – the only Colorado ski resort I knew of was Aspen.

  18. JollySwagman says:

    There seems to be some confusion here.

    The “contributor” at #11 (which I hadn’t noticed) and now again at #16 seems to have the impression that I am interested in having a dialogue with him.

    That is not the case, and never will be unless expressly indicated.

    This is of course the same notoriously offensive individual who once asked:

    “Is it possible to search for a particular individual’s comments in 15^2? If so, how?”

    and when it was explained to him that it was not possible using the site’s own search facility replied:

    “Thanks Gaufrid. Probably best!”

    Sadly, as I later explained, and as any 6 year-old would confirm, it is perfectly easy to do that using a little-known facility called Google, and what a trail of condescension, ad hominem offensiveness and delusions of grandeur that presents to the world, in one particular case.

  19. anax says:

    Thanks to B&J for a great blog and to all for your comments. Glad to know the majority found this on the easier side; funny thing with Ninas – you don’t want them to be relied on but there’s always the nagging suspicion that solvers who spot them gain an advantage. I think I went into this with the idea that the acrosses would be slightly harder than the downs, but not sure if it ended up like that.
    Just for the record, while a few have noted MAESTRO it was just a lucky placement in the grid. The intended thematic match-up was the symmetrical pairing of WAGNERIAN/CHARACTER.
    Once again a very happy 50th to Klingsor/Alberich.

  20. Paul B says:

    Oh, so now you’re the expert in IT are you Swaggers? I hope for your clients’ sakes you’re better at that than you are at crosswords!

    Subtractive anagramming a few weeks ago: wrong. The simplest of parsings in an Indy puzzle just yesterday: wrong. And no idea, having slagged off knowledgeable people here as ‘pedants’ on more than one occasion, about the finer points when offered the chance to redeem yourself. That’s not condescension Swaggers, that’s simple fact.

    Up to you, but hopping around 15^2 with one foot in your mouth, Swaggers: it’s not a good look.

  21. Bertandjoyce says:

    Come on folks! Enough is enough…….. it’s a crossword …… it’s meant to be enjoyable, which this one certainly was!

    It certainly isn’t enjoyable reading some of these comments when you log on to find what people have to say about a great crossword from one of the best setters around.

  22. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Indeed …

  23. flashling says:

    Gaufrid’s back home I’m told, I expect a few words might be had soon… but B&J has it right, this isn’t the Guardian’s own website. :-)

  24. Klingsor says:

    A very belated thanks for all the good wishes. I celebrated my half century in deepest Dorset with family where I had no access to the Internet, so it was a lovely surprise to read this page on my return.

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