Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent Crossword 8112 by Donk (Saturday Prize Puzzle 13-10-2012)

Posted by twencelas on October 20th, 2012


A new setter, I believe time for champagne and caviar?

Indeed it is. what a marvellous debut. I can’t remember when I was so engrossed in a non-barred puzzle. A lovely variety of devices employed subtly, with some great mis-direction – surface readings also made me laugh with 21 across – my favourite. As to my favourite clue – it has to be  4 down – pure beauty, but there are so many others.

Thanks Donk – look forward to your next one.

Key: Definition: * anagram Rev. reverse DD Double definition


9 Specialised track: kid (child) in span (space) = SKID PAN

10 Sport: Hidden reversed siGN IF RUSsia = SURFING

11 Criticism: B-road (less popular way) + side (bank) = BROADSIDE

12 Reject: ABH (Charge) + OR (Men) = ABHOR

13 Revives; = (securest)* around RR (Religious type) = RESURRECTS

15/24 Guff: Tall (Big) + s (society) + tory (conservative) = TALL STORY

17 Lugs missing Earl (nobleman) + e (suitcase finally) + ss (ship) = EARLESS

19 More than one big hitter: s (plans in the end) + ledges (shelves) = SLEDGES

20 See 6 down

21 Press tongue: Jose (Special one as in Mourinho) around (unreal)* = JOURNALESE

25 Grant: l (mitchell finally) in a plot (storyline) – p (top off) = ALLOT

26 Controversial: HotPot (stew) + ato (half tomato) = HOT POTATO

28 Being more prim: Rev. Red (Embarrassed) +  around M.Ure (Bob Geldof’s partner Midge Ure occassionally) = DEMURER

29 Fatty: A + d (diet’s first) + I (I) + pose (suggest) = ADIPOSE


1 One showing pressure: Is OB (has left school – Is old boy) + a (one) + r (basic educational requirement – as in 3 R’s) = ISOBAR

2 Big drinker: win (finish first) + o (bottle after starter i.e. second letter) = WINO

3 Weave: Spider (Homonym of Noticed – spied + ‘er (girl)) + web (complex) = SPIDER WEB

4 10 (i.e. Surfing): one (1) around Rev. nil (0 up) = ONLINE

5 Fire Defence: as (when) + best (defeat) + os (big) = ASBESTOS

6/20 To avoid losses: (banker)* around eve (first lady) = BREAK EVEN

7 Perhaps where planes hit: (the glaring)* = RIGHT ANGLE [as in mathematical planes]

8 From the Chinese?:  Poor spooning as in egg and spoon race = EGG ROLLS

14 Shows the route more clearly: (settler + map)* = STREET LAMP

16 Concerning reactions in the body: (Claim to be)* = METABOLIC

17 One’s found stunning: eye (spot) next to c & y (outskirts of city) = EYE CANDY

18 Squeeze: Shorn (mown) around hoe (weed) = SHOEHORN

22 Practice: I (Donk) in (ultra)* = RITUAL

23 Online Funds: Hidden itEM ON EYe = E-MONEY

24 See 15ac

27 In a frenzy: Rev. ko (punch) + ma (old lady) = AMOK

20 Responses to “Independent Crossword 8112 by Donk (Saturday Prize Puzzle 13-10-2012)”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you, twencelas, not sure whether I agree with you about the overall quality of this puzzle.
    That said, a warm welcome to Donk whose 15/24, 17ac and 4d were for me worth the price of last Saturday’s newspaper alone.
    However, clueing JOSE by ‘special one’ is, I think, perhaps witty but not fair.

    In 26ac, “B. Geldof’s partner occasionally” is M.URE (Midge Ure, of Live Aid fame – and, of course, Ultravox etc).

    BTW, I do not understand your explanation of 9ac. I do not see any reference to ‘child’ or ‘space’ in the clue.

  2. twencelas says:

    Sil – I take your point on 26ac but the clue I have for 9ac is “Specialised track of child sent into space” (4,3) – Paper version the online version appears different

  3. yvains says:

    I liked EARLESS (favourite), JOURNALESE, ISOBAR, ASBESTOS and EYE CANDY, but not so keen on web=web in 3D, or the fruit and veg in 26. Very enjoyable, though – thank you to Donk and twencelas!

  4. nmsindy says:

    Thank you,twencelas, and Donk. Found this quite difficult so guess that was why it was scheduled for a Saturday. All very good and fair to the solver – favourite clue EYE CANDY

  5. Dormouse says:

    Well, I totally failed to get anything in the top left corner, although I guessed 1dn might be “isobar” but I couldn’t see why.

    I did get 21ac correctly, but even with your explanation I can’t understand it. Is Jose Mourinho known as “the special one”? Can’t say I’ve heard it.

  6. Paul B says:

    It’s ‘subtly’, twenceslas.

  7. Klingsor says:

    Excellent debut and welcome to the team, Donk!

    I’d be interested to see an explanation of the online version of 9 across which reads

    Specialised track for runner – where to take a break from hammer (4,3)

    The first bit’s the definition and I presume that SKI is the runner, but I get lost after that. Any takers?

  8. twencelas says:

    Paul B – Thanks – I’ve corrected it. My excuse – I’ve had a busy week.

  9. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Klingsor @7

    SKI (runner) D (where to take a break [snooker]) PAN (hammer)

  10. Klingsor says:

    Thanks Gaufrid!

    (applies palm forcibly to forehead)

  11. Rorschach says:

    It was only a matter of time before Donk appeared in the nationals and this was a belting debut. My favourite was ONLINE for its seemless surface. Here’s to many more in the future – thanks old boy!

    Thanks to twencelas too!

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I don’t normally do the Indy Saturday puzzle, but I picked up a copy last week and was intrigued to find a new setter. I remember enjoying this one, but finding the last few tricky to complete, and I needed you, Twenceslas, to help with the parsing of a couple.

    I guess JOSE for the ‘special one’ is going to disenfranchise those who aren’t into footie, but in the overall framework of the puzzle, I thought that was acceptable. EYE CANDY was also a contemporary definition, and my favourite clue in this one.

    Well done to Donk on the dayboo and thanks to Twenceslas for the blog.

  13. Ian SW3 says:

    Thanks for the blog and puzzle.

    I was stumped at the finish by 9ac, as I still have no idea what a skid pan might be, and I still can’t make sense of the on-line clue, despite Gaufrid’s reply @9. It’s odd that they went from a comprehensible clue in the paper to an incomprehensible one a week later.

  14. twencelas says:

    Ian SW3 – expanding a little on Gaufrid’s response

    Specialised track for runner – where to take a break from hammer (4,3)

    The definition is Specialised track: Answer is Skid Pan (Chambers definition: a piece of slippery ground on which motorists can learn to control a skidding car.) i.e. a Specialised piece of road or track

    Construction ski (runner) + D (where to take a break from – i.e. when you play snooker) + pan (hammer)

  15. Ian SW3 says:

    Thanks. I’ve now read the Wikipedia page on snooker but find no reference to “D” as the place where the cue ball is placed at the start of a frame, though it is obvious from a diagram of the table why it would be called that. It also appears, though, that “break” in snooker does not mean (as it does in pool) the opening shot when the cue ball is placed there — it is any run of shots taken by a player during a frame, whether starting from the “D” or otherwise. I think the terminology is too obscure and muddled here to make a fair clue, so I still wonder why it was changed.

    I assume you meant to write “pan” instead of “ram,” and I can vaguely see that pan might sometimes be interchangeable with hammer.

    Apart from this one clue, I thought this was an enjoyable and well-constructed crossword.

  16. anax says:

    It is, though, Ian. In fact it’s one of those unusual instances where a bit of terminology has a double meaning in the same field. Yes, a break is a run of scoring shots, but it is also the opening shot of the frame.
    “Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Fifth frame, Judd Trump to break”. To quote some referee or other.

    Marvellous debut from Donk – I had a lot of fun solving this.

  17. twencelas says:

    Thanks Ian – I’ve corrected my comment – as I said earlier, it’s been a long week

  18. Thomas99 says:

    Excellent debut. Does anyone know any more about the 2 versions of 9a? Both seem to be faultless, though the kid in space one seems easier to me (I did the other one, my last in, and I actually misparsed it a bit…). I wonder which was the original and which the replacement, and why. Thanks for the blog.

  19. eimi says:

    I thought the original a bit too tricky – and indeed several people have struggled to parse it. Unfortunately I failed to make the change in the 4D version.

  20. Donk says:

    Many thanks to twencelas for the fantastic blog and also to everyone for commenting so favourably!

    The online version of 9a was the original clue that was changed for publication as it was a little convoluted.

    Thanks again,

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