Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8126 / Radian

Posted by Bertandjoyce on October 30th, 2012


We found this a really enjoyable, and not too difficult, Tuesday puzzle, with a ‘hidden’ theme that really only revealed itself as we followed up the connection between 20A/18A and 2D/7A.

Whilst we had heard of the theme (2D/7A), we didn’t know the details of how it was exposed as a hoax (as recently as 1953!) – a bit of research soon revealed how many of the answers were thematically connected – 9A, 15A, 20A/18A, 23A, 24A, 27A, 4D and 22D are all relevant – follow this hyperlink for further details.

Thanks Radian for an intriguing puzzle with, as usual, some excellent surfaces.


1   E.g. calamari and cod help OAPs in need of treatment
CEPHALOPODS Anagram of COD HELP OAPS (anagrind is ‘in need of treatment’) = a squid (calamari) is an example of a cephalopod
7   See 2D
See 2D
9   It helps to munch onion, leeks and radishes for starters
MOLAR First letters or ‘starters’ of Munch Onion Leeks And Radishes = as a grinding tooth, a molar helps to eat anything! ….and is linked to the theme of the puzzle
10   About end of 90s Versace’s displayed plunging cleavages
CREVASSES Anagram of VERSACES (anagrind is ‘displayed’) around S (end of 90s) = plunging cleavages – a crafty definition!
11   Perhaps ‘Morning Star’ holds record for a fruit
RED PEPPER RED P(a)PER (‘Morning Star’ – a left wing newspaper) with the ‘a’ replaced by EP (record) = fruit – botanically peppers are fruits, although we tend to refer to them as vegetables
12   Awesome ring given by king to his mistress
KNELL K (king) + NELL (Gwyn, famously the mistress of Charles II) = ‘awesome’ ring (of a bell)
13   Carpenters’ output was withdrawn and Springfield’s cut
SAWDUST WAS reversed or ‘withdrawn’ + DUST(y) (Springfield with the last letter missing, or ‘cut’) = carpenters’ output
15   Height of oak said to be deceptive
HOAX H (height) + OAX (homonym (‘said’) of ‘oak’s’) = something deceptive, and another link to the theme of the puzzle
18   See 20A
See 20A
20/18   M&S stock one, only one, limited colour in so-called 2/7A
MISSING LINK M and S around or ‘stocking’ I (one) + SINGL(e) (‘only one’ with the last letter missing or ‘limited’ + INK (colour) = ‘Piltdown Man’ (2/7A) was presented as the ‘Missing Link’ between apes and humans
23   It erupts as warning to Herculaneum at first
TOOTH TOOT (warning) + H (first letter of Herculaneum) = a tooth erupts when teething – another link to the theme
24   Primate, old, called union before Brown
ORANG UTAN O (old) + RANG (called) + U (union) + TAN (brown) = primate – linked to the theme
26   Ring round theatres backing school broadcast
DISPERSAL DIAL (ring) around REPS (theatres) reversed or ‘backing’  + S (school) = broadcast
27   Thiamine’s for doctor
BONES ‘Thiamine is’ vitamin B1, or B ONE’S = slang term for doctor, and another thematic connection
28   Headless chicken’s relative
OWL (f)OWL (chicken without the first letter or ‘headless’) = a relative in as much as they are both birds
29   In supplements, comic strips cost about a penny
POSTSCRIPTS Anagram of STRIPS COST (anagrind is ‘comic’) around P (penny) = supplements
1   Priest comes round on Sunday to concentrate
COMPRESS PR (priest) with COMES around + S (Sunday) = concentrate
2/7A   Diplomat cleverly engages opponents in game number 15
PILTDOWN MAN Anagram of DIPLOMAT (anagrind is ‘cleverly’) around W N (‘opponents in game’ – west and north, as in bridge) + N (number) = 15 (across) – ‘Piltdown Man’ was proved to be a hoax
3   Match takes place over in beer garden
AGREE Hidden backwards or ‘over’ in (b)EER GA(rden) = match
4   Old Amazonians Cricket Club retire and head back
OCCIPUT O (old) + TUPI (people from the Amazon area of Brazil) CC (cricket club) reversed or ‘retired’ = head back, as in the back of the head – another connection to the theme
5   There’s another supply where you are
ON EARTH Anagram of ANOTHER (anagrind is ‘supply’ – in a supple manner) = where you are (even if some of us seem to be on another planet!)
6   Pick up tins (except in Kansas) in food outlets
SNACK BARS CANS (‘tins’) reversed or ‘picked up’ + BAR (except) in KS (Kansas) = food outlets
7   7A perhaps interrupts boss, as 15 did
MISLED ISLE (Man (7A), as in the Isle of Man) in MD (managing director – boss) = a hoax (15A) misleads
8   They make 6 get cosy
NESTLE Double definition – (a) Nestlé (the food company) make 6D – bars eaten as snacks, and (b) to nestle is to get cosy
14   Obsequious clerk in uniform locks up crate, say
URIAH HEAP HEEP U (‘uniform’ in the phonetic alphabet) + HAIR (locks) reversed or ‘up’ +  HEAP HEEP (‘sounds’ like HEAP = crate – both slang words for old cars etc) = obsequious clerk in Dickens’ ‘David Copperfield’. Thanks to Kathryn’s Dad for pointing out the error in the parsing!
16   Oyez! New ‘Itunes’ breaks record!
LISTEN UP Anagram of ITUNES (anagrind is ‘new’) in or ‘breaking’ LP (record) = Oyez – a call for attention
17   Article goes over province’s struggle
AGONISES A GOES around or ‘over’ NI (province – Northern Ireland)‘S
19   Mozart’s pieces help tourist attraction in Med
KNOSSOS K NOS (some of Mozart’s compositions were catalogued by Ludwig von Kochel using ‘K numbers’) + SOS (help!) = tourist attraction in Crete
20   Spots almost seamless transformation
MEASLES Anagram of SEAMLES(s) (‘almost’ or with last letter missing) – anagrind is ‘transformation’ = spots
21   He serves wino regularly in Elstree area
STUDIO STUD (a stud male animal ‘serves’ the female) + (w)I(n)O (alternate or ‘regular’ letters) = Elstree is known for its film studios
22   Plant remains in fine soil dug over with spades
FOSSIL F (fine) + an anagram of SOIL with S (spades) –anagrind is ‘dug over’ = plant (or animal) remains – another connection with the theme
25   He has a go at rock by Queen
GIBER GIB (rock, as in Gibraltar) + ER (queen) = a person who ‘has a go’ or gibes


11 Responses to “Independent 8126 / Radian”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Morning both, and thanks for the informative blog. I got the PILTDOWN MAN/MISSING LINK bit quite early, and was aware of some other related stuff, but well done for spotting it all.

    I did enjoy Radian’s puzzle – an interesting choice of theme and some clever clueing. Two of the shorter clues were my favourites today – OWL and BONES.

    You have a slight misparsing at 14dn, btw. It’s URIAH HEEP, and the ‘say’ in the clue is indicating a homophone of ‘heap’.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    And browsing your link, it’s 100 years since the hoax was perpetrated, so perhaps that’s why Radian chose the theme.

  3. Bertandjoyce says:

    Well spotted! Thanks for spotting the misparsing – will make the changes a bit later on when we have more time.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks, both, for the blog, and Radian for an ingenious puzzle – great stuff, as ever!

    Having got 20/18 [what a brilliant surface!] and 15 fairly early on, I thought we might be in for a theme of hoaxes but it turned out to be cleverer than that. There were several aha moments, as each link to the theme became clear.

    Lots of great clues with lovely surfaces – 9, 10, 12, 23, ac and 1, 6, 19dn, for instance.

    I wonder if Radian knows that this is International 8dn-free Week?

    On a lighter note, I’ll take any opportunity to quote the late lamented Miles Kington:

    Re 11ac: “Knowledge is knowing the tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting in your fruit salad.” – and the same would go for red peppers!

  5. allan_c says:

    Eileen @4. You beat me to it on the knowledge/wisdom quote; I came across it in a similar context recently but didn’t know where/whom it came from – so many thanks for enlightening me!

    And thanks, too, to Radian and B&J.

  6. Bertandjoyce says:

    The blog is now correct!

    Thanks for the link to the International 8dn-free Week Eileen. The number of comments on the blog just lately seems to be quite low but we do hope there are lots of ‘lurkers’ out there who follow the link.

  7. flashling says:

    Ahhh, after Tees with his ghost theme on ghosts now we have Radian with a missing link theme on the missing link, very nice.

    Thanks all three of you.

  8. Eileen says:

    Hi B and J – and allan_c

    Since, as you say, it’s a bit quiet, here’s some more of Miles Kington’s wit and wisdom – not entirely off-topic for cntributors to this site!

  9. Paul B says:

    Pleasantly so, though, and a smashing puzzle to enjoy from m’colleague (hope Don doesn’t mind me saying).

  10. Flashling says:

    Hmm Paul B when did you become a blogger too?

    @Eileen thanks for the Miles K link been gone too long alas.

  11. Paul B says:

    Ahh, I wish, Flash. As but a setter, nonetheless I still wondered whether my associations should bar me. The author of that other great tome, the Swag-Manual, thinks so.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

4 − two =