Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8113/Quixote

Posted by Pierre on October 15th, 2012


Another accessible but well-constructed Monday puzzle from Quixote.  Lots of different devices, including some clever anagrams, and some nice story-telling surfaces.



cd  cryptic definition
dd  double definition
(xxxx)*  anagram
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x]  letter(s) removed


Passionate second eleven ending with victory
A charade of S for ‘second’, TEAM for a cricketing ‘eleven’ and Y for the last letter of ‘victorY’.

Blemishes of holy folk?  Time to come forward
I wanted to put this in at first glance, but it took a while to see how it worked.  ‘Holy folk’ are SAINTS, and if you bring T for ‘time’ forward then you’ve got your answer.  For me, moving a letter from right to left is ‘backward’, since we write from left to right; but we’ve had this arcane discussion before and everyone seems happy with the convention (‘moving forward’, ‘moving nearer the front’), so we’ll move on.

10  Real nudes abandoned protection against the weather
(REAL NUDES)* with ‘abandoned’ as the anagrind.

11  Foreign city with one installed in seat
The Bulgarian capital is an insertion of I in SOFA.

12  A lot will be seen in this enterprise around university
Another insertion: of U for ‘university’ in ACTION.

13  Food with a fair amount of fat?  That isn’t true
Well, you can’t say that a pork pie is a low-fat option (even the real thing from Melton Mowbray).  If something’s not true, it’s a lie, and PORK PIE is Cockney rhyming slang for the same.  Often now abbreviated: ‘he’s telling porkies’.

14  Now, sir, weddings can turn out to be a sham designed to look good!
(NOW SIR WEDDINGS)* with ‘can turn out to be’ as the anagrind.

16  Fans boo, lots sozzled with ale, when the games are on
‘Sozzled’ is the anagrind here.  (FANS BOO LOTS ALE)*  Unlike Quixote to reference the beautiful game; I have him down as more of a cricket aficionado.  Although the surface isn’t kind to the masses huddled on the terraces …

20  Cold hovel leads to artist getting terrible disease
A charade of C, HOLE and RA for ‘artist’.

21  Political official is taken around a Queen’s vessel
An insertion (‘is taken around’) of A R’S for ‘a Queen’s’ in WHIP for ‘political official’.  It’s pretty difficult as a Chief Whip to get barred from your own party conference, but the current holder of the post for the Nasty Party managed to do just that last week.  What a pleb.

22  It’s a popular one with cruciverbalists!
Having spent time in alehouses with other crossword obsessives,  I can vouch for the fact that this is true.  But what the setter is getting at, I can’t fathom.  DR INK?  D RINK?  Someone is going to have to help me out here.

23  Audacity shows lack of judgement – not right

24  Bird – this is hiding by stream
A charade of TH (‘this’ with ‘is’ removed) and RUSH for the verbal sense of ‘stream’.  A bird from the unfortunately named Turdidae family.  Here’s the obligatory Pierre bird link.  Handsome, no?

25  Muscle has fabric around, hurting no end
A charade: a reversal of NET for ‘fabric’ and SOR[E].  A tensor is a type of muscle.


Complain, wanting guarantee without question
An insertion of QU for ‘question’ in SEAL for ‘guarantee’.

Medical expert consoling editor when unwell
This was my favourite today for an amusing surface and a cleverly spotted anagram.  (CONSOLING EDITOR)*

Admirer sadly disqualified from new romance?
Another clever anagram: of (ADMIRER)*  ‘Sadly’ is the anagrind and a semi-&lit.

Communications centres left with bits of steel lying round
An insertion of PORT for ‘left’ in (STEEL)* with ‘lying round’ as the insertion indicator and ‘bits of’ as the anagrind.  Not ‘Beam me up, Scotty’, but ‘a centre providing interconnections between different forms of telecommunications’.

Covers thrown with sunrise

Reliable but unspectacular person may be needed to effect a dismissal
Here we go with cricket.  A dd.  A SAFE PAIR OF HANDS is often used in political circles to describe someone who may perhaps be uncharismatic, but who will get the job done without a fuss; and you’d put your best fielder in a key position like backward point where he’d be most likely to catch someone out and ‘dismiss’ them.

Gas from old scientist carrying no weight
NE[WT]ON, referring to Sir Isaac, of gravity fame among other things.

Was the cartoon curate presented with one wicked person?
A dd.  The reference is to ‘a curate’s egg’ (good in parts).  The ‘cartoon’ part of the clue refers to the fact that the phrase comes originally from a cartoon published in Punch in 1895.

15  Silly people nicking sailor’s jumpers
Another fine surface reading, and an insertion of AB for ‘sailor’ in WALLIES for ‘silly people’.

16  A bad person held in fear, not half, is 14
The definition is ‘window dressing'; it’s an insertion of A CAD in FE for half the letters of ‘fear’.

17  At the end of a short holiday see Her Majesty wave
A charade of BREAK and ER for Elizabeth Regina.

18  A game requiring pack of cards to be cut
A charade of A and BRIDGE.

19  Look to make heartfelt request having changed sides finally
APPEAL with the last letter L changed to R.

21  Group of women given gym to mop
A charade of WI for Women’s Institute and PE.  As Mr Blair found out, don’t mess with the WI.

Thanks as always to Quixote for the Monday morning diversion.

18 Responses to “Independent 8113/Quixote”

  1. Conrad Cork says:

    I suspect that ‘it’ for Italian vermouth is indeed a fairly popular drink with cruciverbalists.

  2. Pierre says:

    Thanks, Conrad, I’m sure that’s what was intended. I was always going to fail on that one: I’m a bit more of a Marston’s Pedigree man myself.

  3. NealH says:

    I got through this fairly quickly, but was also stumped on the parsing of drink. I’m not sure to what extent “it” is ever used as the name of a drink outside of “gin and it”. For sure, I think you’d get some puzzled looks if you went into a bar and ordered a large glass of it.

  4. Colin Blackburn says:

    Thanks for the blog and the comments for clearing up DRINK, I knew there had to be more to it!

    Not too happy about the Wood Thrush picture. I’d be happier with a nice UK thrush, Mistle or Song (or, of course, one of the ones that don’t have thrush in their name, Blackbird, Ring Ousel, Fieldfare or Redwing.) Here’s a Mistle Thrush


  5. rowland says:

    I don’t go with MARRIED as & lit at all, though your blog was very good indeed. I can see what you mean, but ‘disqualified’ etc is a perfectly good defining phrase.

    I would like to know what others think on that.

    Many thanks

  6. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Don for a crossword of which I thoroughly enjoyed all but one clue, and Pierre for the blog. Favourite clues the two long anagrams at 14/16ac.

    22ac: My last answer in. Yes, I got it from the cross-checking letters (but not when I only had D-I–), and I managed to parse it unaided. I think I took it in the same way as Conrad @1, but just to clarify I took the “very popular” as meaning that cruciverbalists often use “drink” as an indicator for “IT”, rather than that may of them drink the stuff. Having said that, the clue struck me as self-indulgent.

  7. Pelham Barton says:

    Correction to 6: “many of them” not “may of them”.

  8. allan_c says:

    A nice gentle start to the week from Quixote; it was one of those puzzles where long anagrams fall into place, helped by a few checking letters, without having to do a detailed dissection of the anagram fodder.

    Not sure about &lit-ishness in 3dn but it certainly has a very smooth surface.

    The cartoon referenced in 9dn can be seen at

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  9. Pierre says:

    Thanks for the link, Colin – our feathered friends are certainly getting an outing today …

    As for the &lit for MARRIED, well, maybe not; but I’ve always been a bit confused about &lit, semi-&lit and &littish, which occasionally get used here. Whatever, it’s a good clue.

    I was going to have a crack at another Quixote over lunch, in the Indy i, but the paper has printed two sets of across clues, which could make things a bit tricky …

  10. allan_c says:

    Pierre @ 9 and other frustrated would-be solvers. The full clues are available at

  11. Bertandjoyce says:

    Merci Pierre pour ‘le blog’.

    Our last one in was drink although we had it pencilled in for a while. Not a lot else to add to the comments but an enjoyable Monday solve as usual.

    Thanks Quixote

  12. Dormouse says:

    Thanks, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to have trouble with 22ac. I quickly saw “drink” fitted, and finally a word search told me that it was the only word that fitted, but I couldn’t see why. (I couldn’t parse 20ac, either, but I sure “cholera” was correct for that.)

    Two words used in senses I wasn’t familiar with. Actually, I think I vaguely knew “tensor” could be a muscle, but for me it was the point in university maths where I could go no further. And I can’t find “teleports” as communication centres in Chambers.

    In the fifties, the great SF writer Alfred Bester wrote two classic novels, Tiger, Tiger and The Demolished Man. The former is set in a world where teleportation is commonplace. In the latter, a criminal tries to hide the fact that he has committed a murder from telepaths by thinking of an earworm called “Tenser said the tensor”. Is this a mini-theme?

  13. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Quixote, for the puzzle and Pierre for an excellent blog. It took me a while to see the “It” idea but I did in the end. I guess “cruciverbalists” are not too particularly bothered one way or another about “It” as a drink but Quixote is referring to its frequent use in puzzles where, it should be noted, ITALIAN VERMOUTH has a very convenient 15 letters.

  14. Rorschach says:

    Implication: All cruciverbalists are alcoholics…

    Nice start to a week. Completed without any helps which is a rarity for me (I only have limited time to do crosswords and don’t want to agonise all day over a puzzle).

    Thanks both!

  15. Pierre says:

    I’m sure I’ve mentioned it here before, but if you produced a Venn diagram of crossword fanatics and beer lovers, it would look like a solar eclipse …

  16. Pelham Barton says:

    Pierre @15: I cannot let that pass. It may be true that the vast majority of crossword fanatics are beer lovers, but not quite all – I for one have been teetotal since July 1981, and I did not really like beer before then. What is certain is that only a small fraction of beer lovers are crossword fanatics.

  17. Pierre says:

    Maybe a partial solar eclipse, then, Pelham. I was being tongue in cheek, as you know.

  18. Paul B says:

    I admire Pelham’s tee-totality (please note solar eclipse punning in that one), and suggest to Pierre that among compilers, the percentage of persons regularly consuming more than the recommended amount (21 units, is it?) of booze per week is staggeringly (!) high.

    I am not sure how many consume more than 21 units per day.

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