Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8119 by Punk

Posted by NealH on October 22nd, 2012


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

An unusual Monday outing for Punk, which was a themed puzzle, the theme being people and things from Brighton. Since I didn’t know any of the people in question were from Brighton, the only place where the theme helped was with Brighton Pier. I also did my best to sabotage the puzzle by putting the components of 8/26 the wrong way round, something which took me a while to spot.

7 Weed: We + ed.
9 Credo: Hidden, reversed in “do-gooder constantly”.
11 Steve Coogan: (Gave notes)* around co.
12 End: [M]end.
13,5 Heather Mills: Hills (those inclined) around ea(ch) + therm.
14 Beer can: (Cree in nab)<.
16 Pie: Pie[r].
17/20 Chris Eubank: (Hunk + a scribe)*.
19 Figment: Fit around G Men.
21 Molotov: O lot in mov[e].
22 Tar: Rat (=heel in the sense of cad) reversed.
23 Brightonian: Right on I in ban.
24 Odeon: D(aughter) in o(ld) eon.
26/8 Lady Gaga: [Fault]y gag in lada.
1 Vegetable Garden: (Revenge dag)* around table.
2 Labour: DD.
3 Tangible: Tale around (big N)<.
4 Sconce: Scone around c[andles].
5 Terence Rattigan: G in (act entertainer)*.
6 Jordan: DD referring to the original stage name of model Katie Price.
7 West Ham: Set* in Wham.
10 Meshes: Seem< around sh.
16 Pithiest: Pest around it + hi.
17 Callow: DD, referring to the actor Simon Callow.
18 Seventy: Even (seventy is an even number) in sty.
19/25 Fatboy Slim: (Mostly fab I)*.
21 Mohair: Mo + Hair, Hair being the musical which famously involves a large amount of nudity.

13 Responses to “Independent 8119 by Punk”

  1. allan_c says:

    My experience was the same as yours, Neal, in not knowing the folk featured were BRIGHTONIAN. But crossing letters enabled me to get them all without external help.

    One or two references in the clues for older solvers, methinks. ‘Hair’ from the 1960s and ‘Lada’, Russian car of 1960s design last sold in the UK in 1997.

    Thanks to Punk for the workout and Neal for the blog.

  2. NealH says:

    Lada was in the news quite recently for having hired a British designer to do a make-over of the brand.

  3. crypticsue says:

    This took quite a lot of peering at before I got Heather Mills and Fatboy Slim and then worked out what the only thing they might have in common. Thanks to Punk for making me work unusually hard for a Monday and to Neal for the blog.

  4. NeilW says:

    Punk, as Paul, set an absolute stinker of a prize crossword in the Guardian in August of last year in which he revealed that the FC he supports is Brighton and Hove Albion (which was one of the solutions.) Even if he wasn’t born there, I guess that makes him a 23ac.

    Despite that knowledge, 23ac was my last in. I can’t remember when a theme was quite as useless!

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I’m seldom critical of Indy puzzles, but this just wasn’t enjoyable in the least. Gateway clue giving BRIGHTONIAN as ‘southerner’? Er, forgive me, but there are plenty of other southern towns/parts of the world. Let’s try getting the first letter to see if that helps. Oh dear, you need to get the gateway clue to understand what’s going on there. I did finally get BRIGHTONIAN, but only because I knew that Punk lives there and guessed; and you shouldn’t have to have that depth of knowledge to get going with a daily cryptic.

    And the theme just didn’t engage me, so I gave up with about a third left. If I remember well we had a puzzle somewhere a while ago with ‘well-known’ people from Stockport as the key clues. If I don’t ever see another one with this kind of theme, I won’t be too disappointed.

    Thanks to Neal for the blog.

  6. Eileen says:

    I wasn’t going to comment today, because I thought it was probably just me. K’s D, thank you for showing me it wasn’t – I agree with you in every respect.

    Thank you, Neal, for the blog.

  7. flashling says:

    rare to contradict K’sD or Eileen but actually the 23a references could have been removed and it would still be soluble. I only knew fatboy and Eubank were from Brighton but I knew Mr Halpern’s id at the Guardian blog. I quite enjoyed it, thanks Punk and Neal. The definition for Heather Mills were pushing it a little, but made me smile, even if I’m not legless…

  8. Simon Harris says:

    I’m with Phil here: in fact, apart from the former bassist from The Housemartins, I had no idea any of these people had any connection with Brighton (I assumed Steve Coogan was from Norwich!) and it mattered not one jot.

    A welcome and pleasing workout for a Monday, I thought.

    Terrible joke at #7 by the way – reminds me of the old “what’s got five legs and lives on a farm?” gag 😉

  9. Dormouse says:

    Too tough for me. About half a dozen clues I couldn’t get, and the theme seemed more a distraction.

  10. AndyB says:

    Agree with others. Some nice clues eg 1d but the theme was of interest to the setter rather than (many, at least readers). I got Steve Coogan early on but surely most people know him as a Mancunian. I had no idea he lives in Brighton and why should I? Same for Eubanks, Mills. Yes you can guess and look up but that’s hardly an answer.

    Self-indulgent. The editor should have passed and sent it on to the Sussex Evening Argos.

  11. flashling says:

    Was dammit not were, thanks Simon I’ll be here all week. Seems this is a bit of a marmite crossword, I thought Eimi lives in Brighton too…

  12. flashling says:

    Actually thinking about that, look at 7ac WE – ED screams the Brighton link now.

  13. Thomas99 says:

    Perhaps I just like themes more than some people, but I don’t really agree with any of the negative comments here. I only knew Eubank (Lord of the Manor of Brighton!) and Fatboy Slim were Brightonians but it seems to me Punk had made sure we could get the answers anyway: “Brightonian” was a bonus extra definition for the theme solutions. There was certainly nothing wrong with the “gateway” clue. The objection about the definition “southerner” doesn’t make any sense to me. I always use the same comparison – you wouldn’t complain if “Pacino” was clued as “Actor”, would you, and complain “but there are lots of actors”? And if people wasted time looking things up that they didn’t need to it’s hardly the puzzle’s fault.

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