Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8097 / Crosophile

Posted by Bertandjoyce on September 26th, 2012


Our turn to blog the Wednesday puzzle and we weren’t sure what to expect. We’ve only blogged a couple of Crosophile puzzles. The last one in August had a mixture of some easy write-ins and some really ingenious ones.

This one had a similar feel to it. There were some clues with lovely surface reading (3d, 13d, 18d and 22ac for example) but a couple of others left us a little dissatisfied (24ac and 9ac). Perhaps we’re missing something and others will disagree.

We may not have access to wi-fi for the rest of the day as we are in Truro for a memorial service for a relative. If there are any errors the rest of you may have to sort things out between you. We trust that there will be no bickering amongst the contributors this week!

1   Back carrier or we might have mass redundancy
RUCKSACK RUCK (mass) + SACK (redundancy) = back carrier
5   Instruments gathered spuds etc
TUBERS Sounds like TUBAS (instruments, ‘gathered’, or as heard) = potatoes are an example of tubers
9   French Connection cop, low-down Doyle’s jacket conceals weapon
GENDARME GEN (low-down, as in information) + D(oyl)E (first and last letters, or ‘jacket’) around, or concealing ARM (weapon) = French policeman – the addition of ‘Connection’ seems somewhat superfluous, but it improves the surface reading by reference to the film starring Gene Hackman. At first, we wondered whether GENE was part of the solution, but it doesn’t seem to work – ‘low-down’ then becomes redundant.
10   Very large men rotting in grave
SOLEMN SO (very) + L (large)  + anagram of MEN (anagrind is ‘rotting’) = grave
11   Choice of ends for Nottingham leaguer as a rule
NORMALLY N OR M (choice of the first or last letters of N(ottingha)M) + ALLY (leaguer) = as a rule
12   Calling about article that’s been returned
METIER RE (about) ITEM (article) reversed, or ‘returned’ = calling
14   Administration bloke with a purchase is taking on the workers
MANAGEMENT MAN (bloke) + A + GET (purchase) around, or ‘taking on’ MEN (the workers) = administration
18   Adult helping to track teenager
ADOLESCENT A + DOLE (helping) + SCENT (track) = teenager
22   Look at Bible book, say, or have a nap
SIESTA Sounds like SEE ESTHER (look at Bible book) = have a nap
23   A number of ships in Gabon going fast
FLEETING FLEET (a number of ships) + IN + G (Gabon) = going fast
24   Where X meets Y after heading off for a drink
ORIGIN (f)OR (first letter or ‘ heading’ omitted) + I (a) GIN (drink) = where X meets Y (in a graph). As reasonably competent mathematicians, we understand the origin of a graph to be the intersection of X=0 with Y=0 – the clue really doesn’t work, as it implies that any intersection could be the origin – i.e. the entire graph. However, graphs axes are labelled as X and Y so if you are a non-mathematician it probably wouldn’t even enter your mind!
25   …One unit of alcohol perhaps a second…before end of spree united in cell, drunk
MOLECULE MO (second) + (spre)E (last letter or end) after an anagram of CELL (anagrind is ‘drunk’) around U (united) = the smallest particle, or ‘unit’ of alcohol or any other material
26   We stand by these, a feature of campsites around Spain
TENETS TENTS (feature of campsites) around E (Spain)
27   Smacker grabs son’s backside before final round for charity
KINDNESS KISS (smacker) around or ‘grabbing’ (so)N (last letter or ‘backside’) + END (final) reversed, or ‘round’ = charity
1   Replacement ruler is split round outsides of edging
REGENT RENT (split) around EG (first and last letter or ‘outsides of E(dgin)G) = replacement ruler
2   No runs scored in French cricket? Don’t believe this rumour
CANARD A charade on the fact that duck (no runs scored as in ‘out for a duck’ in cricket) is CANARD in French = rumour. We wrote the answer in after a word search and then sat and looked at it for a while. Once one of us said that they’d only come across canard on French menus, the rest quickly fell into place – a really good clue!
3   Sierra vehicle 21 places ahead of VW beetle
SCARAB S (sierra as in the NATO phonetic alphabet) + CAR (vehicle) + AB (VW are 21 places on in the alphabet) = beetle. We liked the surface reading of this clue.
4   Caught by policeman criminal shows deference
COMPLIANCE C + anagram of POLICEMAN (anagrind is ‘criminal’) = deference
6   Sealed without enclosure? Envelope is due for a shredding
UNOPENED NO PEN (without enclosure) inside or ‘enveloped by’ an anagram of DUE (anagram is ‘shredding’) = sealed
7   I said sentence in script right – it draws attention to the viewer
EYELINER EYE (sounds like I) + LINE (sentence in script) + R (right) = it draws attention to the viewer
8   Rio sent off and a miss from Valencia
SENORITA Anagram of RIO SENT (anagrind is ‘off’) + A = miss from Valencia
13   Has Eleanor permission to cut onions in half for pasta?
CANNELLONI If you were asking if Eleanor had permission to do ….., you could say CAN NELL ……? + ONI (half of ONI(ons) = pasta
15   Post-prandial request – you might need Visa with this
PASSPORT After eating you may ask someone to PASS the PORT = when travelling abroad you may need a visa in your passport. When writing up the blog we checked which way the port should be passed, only to find that one should never ask for the port to be passed. If someone doesn’t pass it on, you should ask instead, “Do you know the Bishop of Norwich?” We find the best way is to leave the bottle on the table and ask people to help themselves! Not very ‘Downton’!!
16   Catch up about love on the edge and Mimi’s end, such was her life
BOHEMIAN Reversal of NAB (catch – ‘up’) around or ‘about’ O (love) + HEM (edge) + (end of miMI) = Mimi, the bohemian and heroine in Puccini’s opera ‘La bohème’. Thanks Eileen for pointing outthe typo!
17   Check others with plenty of dosh will have time for hotel
RESTRICT REST (others) + RIC(h) (plenty of dosh) with ‘h’ being replaced by T (time) = check
19   Footnote to story?
LEGEND The footnote on a map, chart or diagram is called the LEGEND = story
20   Tone down one instrument after end of ballad
DILUTE I LUTE (one instrument) after D (end of ballaD) = tone down
21   For instance attire that’s topless and way out
EGRESS EG (for instance) + (d)RESS (attire with first letter removed or ‘topless’) = way out


12 Responses to “Independent 8097 / Crosophile”

  1. MikeC says:

    Thanks B&J and Crosophile – needed your explanation for CANARD (D’oh!). Re 9a and 24a, not much to add, except that the cop in French Connection was Popeye Doyle (so there is some justification for the word). I understood the ORIGIN of a graph as the intersection of the x and y axes (which is saying the same as you!) – can these be designated by capital X and Y?
    Overall I found this quite hard work, but good fun. Some ingenious clueing, as you say.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, both, for a comprehensive blog of a fine puzzle. Plenty to enjoy here today: my favourites were SCARAB, CANNELLONI, SIESTA and COMPLIANCE. I wanted to put CANARD in from the start, but couldn’t work out why (and to my shame, I speak French and love cricket …)

    Footie fans will have appreciated SENORITA, since both RIO Ferdinand and Antonio VALENCIA play for Manchester United, so the surface is clever. Those who have yet to fall in love with the beautiful game will be going ‘more bloody football clues in the Indy’. Or perhaps they wouldn’t have noticed.

    We will behave ourselves impeccably in your absence, worry not.

  3. yvains says:

    I interpreted 19 a little more simplistically, as foot=leg-end, but your parsing works better.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks, B and J, for the blog, and Crosophile for an enjoyable puzzle.

    Thanks particularly for the explanation of 24ac: I didn’t even know that meaning of ORIGIN.

    Favourite clue: COMPLIANCE – super surface and clever anagram.

    Like yvains, I took 19ac as the familiar leg-end = foot but couldn’t really account for the ‘note’ – apart from the question mark.

    When first reading through the clues, I was astonished to see ‘poat-prandial request’ as the definition for 19dn – identical to that in Paul’s Guardian 17dn clue yesterday – but with a different answer: ‘postprandial request to perform joke about vacant gay bishop [5,3]’!

    [Just for the record, when you get back – you have a mini-typo in 16dn: end of Mimi = I]

  5. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Eileen – just about to leave the hotel in Truro but had time to amend the blog!

    We also thought about leg-end as foot until we realised that note was then superfluous.

  6. allan_c says:

    According to “in a Cartesian coordinate system, the ORIGIN is the point where the axes of the system intersect” and “the coordinates of the origin are always all zero, for example (0,0) in two dimensions.” – which is how I’ve always interpreted it. Of course there are graphs where the point x=0,y=0 does not appear; the point where the axes intersect is then known as a false origin.

    Nice one from Crosophile, with a bit of a European flavour – GENDARME, CANARD, SENORITA, CANNELLONI etc. Favourites were the aforesaid ORIGIN and CANARD, plus MOLECULE.

    Thanks, B&J, for the blog and crosophile for the puzzle of course.

  7. Wanderer says:

    Thanks Crosophile and B&J, I enjoyed this very much.

    I got to ORIGIN via chromosomes rather than Cartesian coordinates. Does this work for anyone else? Where the X chromosome meets the Y chromosome is the origin of life? Maybe not, but the graphs never occurred to me.

  8. NealH says:

    I thought this was going to be quite hard, but managed to finish it comfortably over lunch. I didn’t follow the wordplay of 24 since I thought the “heading off” was referring to a word for “after” rather than the “for”.

  9. rowland says:

    Comfortable it was. Enjoyable solve with COMPLIANCE also standing out for me.

    Many thanks all.


  10. Crosophile says:

    Thanks to BertandJoyce for the blog and for all the other comments too.
    As a mathematician myself I have to agree re 24Ac (origin). I should have written:
    Where X might meet Y after heading off for a drink…
    Talking of which, time for my hot chocolate. :-) Good night.

  11. flashling says:

    Ta Crosophile, about 24 that made me doubt the solution for ages!

  12. redddevil says:

    I still can’t see why ‘after’ is required in that clue at all.
    It certainly confused me as I went the same route as NealH @8

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