Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent Prize Puzzle 8100 / Tees

Posted by Bertandjoyce on October 6th, 2012


Sorry, Tees, but we didn’t really enjoy this as much as we had hoped – but then again, maybe we’re missing something?

We found some of the definitions a little too tenuous, and still cannot parse 1A and have some doubts about 4A, 21A and 23A. However, it is a prize puzzle, so we did not expect it to be straightforward – if there is a theme or something else that we have missed we’d be grateful for enlightenment.


1   Abrasive in having advantage over often luckless schemers
PUMICE UP (‘having advantage’, reversed, or ‘over’) + MICE (??) = abrasive. We cannot work out the link between MICE and luckless schemers. Dictionaries and internet searches have come up with nothing and our Chambers Thesaurus didn’t help either!
4   Wife, free to enter church after time, makes bit of history
TWOPENCE W (wife) + OPEN (free to enter) + CE (church) after T (time) = bit of history – we think this must refer to the old coin, the tuppenny bit
9   Like some ancient scripts amusing writer keeps at home
LINEAR LEAR (amusing writer, Edward) around, or ‘keeping’ IN (at home) = like some ancient scripts, as in Linear A & B used in ancient Crete
10   One’s less than flexible pole and feather duster?
STICKLER S (pole) + TICKLER (feather duster) = someone who is less than flexible
11   Wily lochsman sits to fish
SCOTTISH SALMON Anagram of LOCHSMAN SITS TO (anagrind is ‘wily’) = fish
13   Unsteady patients about to receive iodine treatment
ANTISEPTIC Anagram of PATIENTS + C (about) (anagrind is ‘unsteady’) around, or ‘receiving’ I (iodine) = iodine is a form of antiseptic that might be used to treat patients
14   Sport in river, deep but not wide
POLO PO (river) + LO(w) (deep) without ‘w’ (wide) = sport
16   Leader from Tarentum in the past pulled on this garment
TOGA T (first letter or ‘leader’ of Tarentum) + AGO (in the past) reversed, or ‘pulled on’ = garment worn by Roman citizens
18   Having no sex, Cagney actress gets closer in
GENDERLESS GLESS (Sharon Gless, who played Cagney in ‘Cagney & Lacey’) around, or ‘getting in’ ENDER (closer) = having no sex. We’d never heard of her so had to resort to the internet to check the connection with Cagney. If you’re interested in what she looks like you can find out here!
21   What chinless wonder wants is gift of sports psychology
MENTAL STRENGTH A chinless wonder is a facetious term for someone who is ineffectual and not very bright, who might therefore want Mental Strength. Apparently sports psychology is all about improving players’ mental strength as opposed to their physical skills, so this is a double definition, but we had to spend a lot of time convincing ourselves that this was the answer!
23   Shot through – as this, with cinnamon and raisins?
TURNOVER TURN (shot) + OVER (through) = a pastry which could be filled with cinnamon and raisins. Actually we are more familiar with a turnover being filled with apples or with a savoury filling. This was one of our last ones in and we still weren’t completely convinced it was the correct answer although the cryptic part seems to work.
24   Anger appropriate to principal motorway an illusory thing
MIRAGE M1 (principal motorway)  + RAGE (anger) = illusory thing
25   Gets beds back into chamber, but the other way around
COLLECTS COTS (beds) around CELL (chamber) = gets. You have to reverse CELL instead of COTS. Also COTS is outside rather than being placed ‘in’ – hence everything being ‘the other way around’. All very devious!
26   Gambler now attending Gamblers Anonymous?
BETTER BETTER (gambler) = hopefully the person is now better after attending Gamblers Anonymous!
1   Athena being cast in shadow
PALL PALL(as) (Athena also known as Pallas Athena) with AS (being) removed or ‘cast’ = shadow. This took us a while to sort out and needed some searching on the Internet.
2   Joe 90 occupied with creature of endless renown
MANX CAT MAN (Joe) + XC (90 in Roman numerals) + AT (occupied with) = creature known for having no tail or ‘endless’
3   Painter following companion to become political reformer
CHARTIST ARTIST (painter) after CH (companion as in Companion of Honour) = political reformer
5/17   Clift grinned – we hear wrong one to try charming women!
WITCHFINDER GENERAL Anagram of CLIFT GRINNED WE HEAR (anagrind is ‘wrong’) = one to try charming women (i.e. witches) During the Civil War Matthew Hopkins claimed to hold this office although it was not actually given to him by Parliament. It is believed (according to wiki) that he was responsible for the deaths of 300 women between 1644 and 1646 who he believed practiced witchcraft. In 14 months he and his associates sent to the gallows more people than all the other witchhunters in the 160 years of persecution in England.
6   Find fault with spirit that enters ancient Briton
PICK AT KA (spirit) inside or ‘entering’ PICT (ancient Briton) = find fault with
7   Flower arrangement for one covering chimney, black
NELUMBO Anagram of ONE (anagrind is ‘arrangement’) outside or ‘covering’ LUM (chimney) + B (black) = flower. As soon as we had M as a crossing letter we were able to make a guess at the flower although it needed a dictionary check to confirm it. We know it by its common name – lotus.
8   Firm shows up to collect document with mistakes
ERRONEOUS SURE (firm) reversed or ‘shows up’ around or ‘collecting’ RONEO (document) = with mistakes. We had only ever come across Roneo as a duplicating machine.
12   Angry miners set about MP drawing people into service
IMPRESSMENT Anagram of MINERS SET (anagrind is ‘angry’) about MP = drawing people into service as in the Press gang
13   Self-loading washing-machine?
AUTOMATIC A charade on the fact that a washing machine is commonly referred to as an AUTOMATIC and an automatic weapon is self-loading. We needed quite a few checking letters to sort this one out.
15   Old tax collectors working towards same goal as sleuth
IRONSIDE IR (old tax collectors as in Inland Revenue) + ON SIDE (as in working towards the same goal) = this TV sleuth
17   See 5D
See 5D
19   New member has boozy natter with new resident
ENTRANT Anagram of NATTER (anagrind is ‘boozy’) around or with N (new) ‘residing’ = new member
20   Persons from South African region importing books
CAPOTE CAPE (South African region) around or ‘importing’ OT (books as in Old Testament) = Truman Capote, whose real name was Truman Streckfus Persons. Again, we needed crossing letters to help us and some research to get the connection to ‘Persons’
22   Expensive address for partner
DEAR You may call your partner DEAR = expensive


13 Responses to “Independent Prize Puzzle 8100 / Tees”

  1. flashling says:

    Sorry to miss this one, 22d though could have been written for me alas.

  2. Paul B says:

    Hello you two. Thanks for your blog. I would only add the following:

    1ac dust off your Steinbeck.

    4ac yes, bit of history = old coin.

    9ac A is Cretan, B is Mycenaean Greek (the only one deciphered), C is Cypro-Minoan.

    21ac yes, dd, but check your defs for ‘mental’ in a good dictionary.

    23ac yes, but the filling itself would be ‘shot through’ with whatever, e.g. cinnamon and raisins.

    5 17dn yes, but Clift was famously gay.

    13dn dd not charade: think guns.


  3. Paul Really says:

    How twoderfully smug of you young B.

  4. Dormouse says:

    It seems there are always a couple I can’t get in the Saturday puzzle, and this was no different, so thanks for this. As it happened, I’d thought of “turnover” for 23ac from the letters I had and “Capote” for 20dn from the word play, and the crossing letter checked out. But I couldn’t see the word play for the former nor the definition for the latter and didn’t have the courage of my convictions and left them blank.

    For some reason, I did remember Sharon Gless was Cagney even though I was not a fan of the show. In fact, a few months ago I was descending an escalator on the London underground and saw posters for two separate plays in the West End, one starring Gless, and one starring Tyne Daly who played Lacey.

  5. tupu says:

    Hi B & J and Tees

    I’ve just looked in on this one so apologies for kibbitzing..

    Re 1a – as PaulB says ‘dust off your Steinbeck’ – and of course your Robert Burns.

    PaulB :) Hope this doesn’t sound too motherly!

  6. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks for the comments – tupu, you are certainly not ‘kibitzing’ as we asked specifically for help!

    We now see what we missed in 1ac. We have heard the relevant quote but as we are not Steinbeck fans it certainly passed us by.

    Thanks also to Tees for pointing out the other meaning of ‘mental’ that we missed. It was in our online Chambers which we did check but it was hidden right at the bottom of the page!

  7. tupu says:

    HI B & J

    Thanks. The original comes from Burns’s poem ‘To a Mouse’ (on turning up her nest with a plough). He writes ‘The best laid plans of mice and men gang oft agley’.

    For the whole very charming poem see

  8. jmac says:

    I enjoyed this tremendously. To my mind Tees always sets out to entertain, and his clues are always fair. I also appreciate the way he doesn’t dumb down and includes references as diverse as Linear B and Steinbeck. Helped with “automatic” by having solved a puzzle by that other very talented setter Neo recently which included “Unmanned gun” amongst the clues. Neither of these setters clues “on automatic” I hasten to add! Thanks to B&J and Tees.

  9. Tees says:

    Most kind jmac.

    I’m a firm believer in not wasting time teaching dolphins to swim.

  10. allan_c says:

    Re 4a, we currently have a twopence – or at any rate two pence (no longer called ‘new’) – coin so why ‘old’?

  11. Tees says:

    The definition for that answer is based on information contained in Collins. I might have used Chambers, but opted out under a Government scheme.

  12. JollySwagman says:

    Toughening up simplistic cluing with obscurity doesn’t really make for a decent prizer. First disappointing puzzle in the Saturday Indy slot for a long time.

    Twopence historic? Well I suppose pennies are too on that basis.

  13. bertandjoyce says:

    Hi JollySwagman

    Chambers has twopence as pre-decimal and two pence as decimal currency. We remember calling it a tuppenny piece or tuppence but Chambers has them down as informal forms! We were never ones for formality even in those days obviously.

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