Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8104 / Klingsor

Posted by duncanshiell on October 4th, 2012


This was an interesting puzzle from Klingsor – well worthy of a Thursday Independent slot.




There were a number of &Lit clues leading to CIAO (9 across), COMPUTER DATING (21 across), INTOLERANT (23 across) and BASHFUL (1 down)

I thought the cluing was quite inventive – I liked the use of ‘you and I’ in the clue for RANCHER at 16 across.  I also enjoyed the clues for BEETLE (24 across) and EXECUTIVE (12 across).

While I liked the use of simple mathematics involving Roman numerals in the clue for DASTARD at 13 a cross, I also wondered what takes precedence in a setters mind – is it the desire to write a clever clue or is it the need to bear in mind that solvers have to know the vocabulary being used?  I wouldn’t classify DASTARD as an everyday word.  The crossing letters would have allowed BASTARD (although perhaps that’s not allowed) or TARTARE.  Nor would I would I consider the definition of ‘Tony’ used in 14 down to be known to more than a small percentage of Independent solvers.

As ever I am not a fan of slightly forced double definitions and the clue for FANCY-DRESS BALL at 10 across seemed to me to be rather weak.

Overall, though the positives far outweighted any negatives in this puzzle to my mind.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry

Asian boss almost sacked merchant’s friend (8)


Anagram of (sacked) ASIAN BOSS excluding the final letter [almost] S


BASSANIO (described by Shakespeare in the dramatis personae as a friend of the Merchant of Venice)



Rather small-minded about regulations, for a start (6)


PETTY (small-minded) containing (about) R (first letter of [for a start] REGULATIONS


PRETTY (rather)


8 Second route for public transport will conserve energy and improve efficiency (10)

S (second) + (TRAMLINE [the track on which a tram runs; route for public transport] containing [will conserve] E [energy])


STREAMLINE (to improve efficiency)

A greeting from Brescia originally? (4)


CIAO (hidden word in [from] BRESCIA ORIGINALLY)


CIAO (an informal greeting used on meeting or parting)  CIAO is an Italian word – Brescia is in  Italy giving an &Lit clue)



You can’t be yourself at this social event (5-5,4)


FANCY-DRESS BALL (a ball where you dress as someone other than yourself)


FANCY-DRESS BALL (social event)



Narrow hat worn by European bloke backwards (7)


(E [European] + TIM [man’s name; chap]) reversed (backwards) contained in (worn by) LID (hat)


LIMITED (narrow)



Chicken Madras, with starter halved, ordered – that’ll take time (7)


Anagram of (ordered) MADRAS with the first letter [starter] M (1000 in Roman numerals) replaced by D (500 in Roman numerals; half of M[1000] [halved]) containing (that’ll take) T (time)


DASTARD (a cowardly fellow; a chicken)



Farmer gets more sexy – sounds like you and I missed out (7)


RAUNCHIER (more coarsely or openly sexual; more sexy) excluding (missed out) (U [sounds like YOU] and I)


RANCHER (stock farmer)



For example, before special summons to meal, knocked back drinks (7)


EG (for example) + (GONG [an intrument sometimes used as a summons to a meal] reversed [knocked back]) + S (special)


EGGNOGS (drinks of eggs and hot beer, spirits, etc)



It leads to dudes getting romance, put another way? (8,6)


Anagram of (another way ) (IT and  DG [first letters of {leads to} DUDES and GETTING] and ROMANCE PUT)


COMPUTER DATING (the meetings arranged by an agency that matches seemingly compatible couples by using personal details held on computer)  The process can lead to dudes [and gals] getting romance.  An &Lit clue.



Magpie’s size related to type (4)


PICA (an old type size)


PICA (the magpie genus)  double definition



Keen on angry speech about extremely little, being this? (10)


(INTO [keen on] + RANT [angry speech]) containing (about) LE (first and last letters of [extremely] LITTLE)


INTOLERANT (easily irritated or angered and prone to sounding off)  Another &Lit clue



Busy person having to hurry, missing bus, gets car (6)


BEE (reference ‘busy BEE‘) + (BUSTLE [hasten; hurry] excluding [missing] BUS)


BEETLE (reference Volkswagen BEETLE [car])



Tough guy loses heart after shocking tale (8)


Anagram of (shocking) TALE + (HENRY excluding the middle letter [loses heart] N)


LEATHERY (tough)



Being so could make a fellow blush furiously? (7)


Anagram of (furiously) (A and F [fellow] and BLUSH)


BASHFUL (modest; shy, describing someone who may blush with embarrassment) &Lit clue



First off, not the right chap to support weight?  On the contrary (9)


ST (stone; unit of weight) + (WRONG MAN (not the right chap) excluding the first letter [first off] W)


STRONGMAN ( person who performs feats of strength, in a circus, etc)  This being a down clue the letters RONGMAN are supporting ST  giving a construction contrary to the clue phrase ”not  the right chap to support weight’



Record-keeper dictated for Freud, perhaps (7)


ANALYST (sounds like [dictated] ANNALIST [keeper of records])


ANALYST (refernce Sigmund FREUD, found father of psychoANALYSIS)



Head to toe, William’s bloody rude (3-4)


BILL (William) with the first letter [head] B moved to the end [to toe; down clue] + RED (bloody)


ILL-BRED (uncivil; rude)



Force into action super-injunction, perhaps to conceal name (5-4)


PRESS GAG (Super-injunctions in English law prevent publication of the thing that is in issue and also
prevents the reporting of the fact that the injunction exists at all. Due to their very nature media organisations are not able
to report who has obtained a superinjunction without being in contempt of court) containing (conceal) N (name)


PRESS-GANG (force into service in the army or navy; force into action)



Restrain one leaving and heading for tradesman’s entrance (7)


(ENCHAIN [restrain] excluding [leaving] I [one]) + T (first letter of [heading for] TRADESMAN’S)


ENCHANT (entrance, pronounced with the stress on the second syllable)



One that’s dragged along for film preview (7)


TRAILER (a short film or broadcast advertising a forthcoming entertainment on television or in the cinema; film preview)


TRAILER (a cart or other usually two wheeled unit dragged along by a person, car or lorry)  double definition



Former First Lady must accept snub by current administration (9)


(EX [former] + EVE [referenced Adam and EVE; first lady]) containing (must accept) (CUT [snub] + I [current])


EXECUTIVE (the persons who administer the government or an organization; administration)



Tony gets worried after a crowd arises, showing hate (9)


A + (MOB [crowd]  reversed (arising; down clue) + IN (‘tony’ is defined in Chambers as fashionable; in) + ATE (worried)




16 High achiever wants one poor grade struck off record (7)

Anagram of (high) ACHIEVER excluding (wants) E (most people of my generation would associate E as a poor grade  in an examination – nowadays  I’m not so sure, says he showing his fuddy-duddy credentials)

ARCHIVE (a repository of public records)

Close agreement (7)


COMPACT (closely placed or fitted together; close)


COMPACT (mutual bargain or agreement)  double definition



Opening in shell-like structure’s bottom has a function – absorbing gas (7)


E (last letter of [bottom] STRUCTURE) + ([A + ROLE {function}] containing [absorbing] H [hydrogen; gas])


EARHOLE (opening in the ear [shell-like])



Most serious parties will be invested with the trappings of government (7)


RAVES Chambers gives a range of definitions:  mass gatherings of young people to dance to loud music under bright flashing lights, often associated with the use of certain drugs, esp Ecstasy.parties, or more conservatively a lively celebratios; wild, uninhibited, thoroughly enjoyable parties) conatined in (invested) in GT (first and last letters of [trappings of] government)


GRAVEST (most serious)


Attractive, but somewhat left out (7)


SLIGHTLY (somewhat) excluding (out) L (left)


SIGHTLY (pleasing to look at; attractive)


12 Responses to “Independent 8104 / Klingsor”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Duncan, fine blog as always. Perhaps not as tricky as some of the Thursday puzzles in the Indy, but still a fair amount of head-scratching required to finish. Some excellent clues today: GRAVEST, SLIGHTLY, BASHFUL, STREAMLINE and PRESS-GANG were only a few. I would never have parsed DASTARD if I’d looked at it till this time tomorrow, so well done with that one.

    ‘Ton’ I have come across for ‘fashion’ (although only in crosswords) so logically ‘tony’ must mean ‘fashionable’, but I think that might be better reserved for something other than a daily cryptic. Didn’t stop me getting the answer, though.

    Most enjoyable puzzle from Klingsor; hope he’s enjoying his second half-century on the planet and will continue to provide us with crosswords like this one for many years to come.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Klingsor for an enjoyable puzzle and Duncan for your usual excellent blog. A slightly unusual grid, but all the answers were at least 50% cross-checked and it satisfies my strictest reasonable requirements for interlinking between the sections.

    10ac: I just took this as a cryptic definition, and quite a good one of its type. I am generally happy with cryptic definitions for long answers, especially phrases, where the enumeration compensates for the lack of a true second indication.

    13ac: Technically an indirect anagram, but the benign type, as the replacement of M by D is signalled very precisely.

    14dn: This was my favourite clue. The definition of tony as “fashionable” is in Chambers 2008 (as noted by Duncan – I checked after solving but before reading the blog) and in my view is not excessively obscure: it is after all simply an adjectival form of the common noun tone¹. What I particularly liked about the clue was the way the word “Tony” was given its natural capital letter by being the first word of the clue.

    19dn: When solving, I wondered if “trappings” was a bit of a stretch for “first and last letters”, but on reflection I think it is less of a stretch than the well-established use of “extremely” (see, for example, 23ac).

  3. rowland says:

    Computer dating for me, though &lit-critters everywhere will be in session. A good puzzle, but with a few idiosyncrasies chucked to annoy Times solvers!

    I’m away for a business meeting in Spain for the rest of the week, so let me wish you all a lovely weekend. Thanks to Duncan for his cistomary brilliance, and Klingsor too.


  4. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Klingsor, for a puzzle that I found of about average Indy difficulty and Duncan for the so informative blog as usual. Favourite clues ILL-BRED, EXECUTIVE, ARCHIVE. Re Comment #2 about 13A, I’m not sure it’s correct to describe that as an indirect anagram. M halved leads, as you say, precisely to D (in Roman numerals). An indirect anagram (generally unfair IMHO, being a ‘clue to a clue’) usually means that a synonym of the word to be anagrammed appears in the clue.

  5. Pelham Barton says:

    nms@4 re 13ac: I certainly did not find this clue unsatisfactory in any way and am happy to make that clear.

    The question then arises as to the meaning of the phrase “indirect anagram”. When I searched for the phrase on Bing, the first page gave a link to a comment of mine from the Guardian website, made in February 2011, in which I gave the definition as follows: “For clarification, an indirect anagram is where you have to replace a word or phrase by a synonym before making the anagram.”

    Clearly, today’s 13ac does not meet that definition, and it is the requirement to make an anagram of a synonym that makes me feel that indirect anagrams are unsatisfactory, but I would now extend the technical definition of “indirect anagram” to anything in which the letters of the anagram fodder do not appear explicitly in the clue. This means that to me a clue can technically be an indirect anagram without being in any way objectionable. This change of view was almost certaintly prompted (at least in part) by reading the following in the Azed slip archive, which can be linked from this site and was on the slip for Azed 75:

    Finally, I am accused of perpetrating an indirect anagram with my clue to MORONIC in a recent puzzle: ‘Stupid, getting what comes before pi wrong’. Strictly speaking, my accuser is right. The solver has to determine which letter precedes ? in the Greek alphabet and form an anagram of it to find a word meaning ‘stupid’. Since, however, there is only one letter which does precede it and this is easily discoverable if not known, I regard this as permissible. ‘Stupid getting omicron wrong’ would have been too easy (and incidentally nonsensical); ‘Stupid getting Greek letter wrong’ would have constituted an indirect anagram, and you can rest assured that I would never have used it.

  6. Pelham Barton says:

    Clarification of 5: In the last paragraph, the Greek letter pi showed correctly in the preview, but has come out as a question mark in the published version.

  7. flashling says:

    I struggled a bit in places, must be said, personally I’m ambivolent to indirect anagrams, remember one from over 20 years ago in the G – Bird flying to asian city (Ousel/Seoul) but I know some folks loathe them. Ta Klingsor and Duncan

  8. Paul B says:

    They’re unfair, whether we like them or not.

    I think I like some of them very much, but would never do one myself. Well, not a whole one anyway. Azed’s example is excusable in my view, as solvers, or at least solvers with a rudimentary knowledge of Greek, will not be faced with looking for some synonym or other: as Phil’s example shows, the cryptic element in such a clue can be worse than useless, and an unnecessary extra pain.

    On another level, anagrams involving what we might see as indirect single-letter indication are extremely common.

  9. Paul B says:

    As up own bum, forgot to say thanks to m’colleague Klingsor for another excellent piece. Many thanks to Duncan too – for another top-class blog.

  10. Klingsor says:

    Thanks for the blog Duncan and also to those who commented. Glad you all enjoyed it!

  11. Bertandjoyce says:

    This was one of those occassions when we were really thankful for 225. We were too tired last night to finish it but even with a fresh mind or minds to it this morning we still couldn’t parse 13ac, 14d and 21ac.

    Thanks Duncan.

    Also thanks to Klingsor – we thought it was going to be one of your easier ones when we started!!

  12. Wil Ransome says:

    I detected a hint of lukewarmness about some (not all) of these comments. It seems to me that Klingsor is to be congratulated on a very high-class construction. Really good I thought.

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