Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8141/Poins

Posted by John on November 16th, 2012


Not the usual Friday Phi today (no doubt he appears tomorrow), and rather a difficult crossword from Poins instead. Not everyone is happy with the device of requiring the solver to get certain clues before  being able to solve all of them, but in this case the three words required were fairly easy to find. I was still very slow to get some of the clues since the cast list seemed to bear no relationship to the answers. Oh yes it did.

There are one or two here which I can’t parse, but no doubt someone will explain. If the site lets them in.

The theme is the Nineties Channel 4 sitcom ‘Drop the Dead Donkey’, and its characters. I remember watching the programme with enjoyment,  but had to look up the cast list to get the names.

1 BI(P{olit}E)DS — not sure that ‘we are’ is quite enough as a definition — should it not be ‘we are this’, or ‘we are __’ with a bit of rearrangement to make the surface OK?
4 TRAIPSES — I think this is just traipse = walk aimlessly around, then {Bri}s{tol}, but this seems a bit thin and I may well be wrong [Tramps walk aimlessly around the centre of Bristol
10 CORPOREAL — (rope)* in coral
11 SALLY — 2 defs, Sally Smedley
12 DEAD — 2 defs
13 ALEXANDRIA — Alex [Pates] (Adrian)*
15 WHISPER — whi(S)p (re)rev.
16 SWITCH — 2 defs
19 G({epe}E)ORGE — George Dent
21 GON{e} DO LA — ‘la’ is ‘the French’, def is ‘mountain climber’, the bucket thing on a ski lift
23 OLD ENGLISH — (shield long)*
25 thIS LEwdness — ref Rum, the Scottish island
27 FARSI — (RAF)rev. S{pain} i — the official spoken language of Iran, so it is uttered
28 SPEARMINT — (spare)* m in [= at home] t
29 LARGESSE — large s in s{hortag}e
30 DON KEY — the river Don
1 BACK DOWN — I saw this but rejected it at first — it’s back = help, down = immediately [as in down payment, although here down = immediate, but no doubt someone can come up with a use for down that really does mean immediately]
2 P E(R{umour})VASIVE
3 DROP — 2 defs
5 RE(L AXE)S{t}
6 INSENTIENT — I can’t parse this — it seems to be ie n [that’s normal] with, earlier or at the front, insen [= because of (??)], finally t{ension} [Incapable of feeling excited? That’s normal because of earlier onset of tension]
7 SOL{d} A R{hetoric}
8 SKYLAB — s{taff} (balk)rev. around {batter}y
9 FEELER — (eel {bon}e)in Fr
14 APPRENTICE — (Canter Pipe)*, although as the clue is written surely it’s (Canter)* (Pipe)*?
17 CHOPSTICK — “Stop chick”
18 DAVENTRY — Dave [Charnley] NT ry
21 GUS SET — Gus Hedges
22 JOY F{o}U{r} L — Joy Merryweather
24 D URE R
26 B{alotelli} RIO

6 Responses to “Independent 8141/Poins”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Poins for a generally enjoyable puzzle and John for the blog.

    1dn: I made this work as “cash down” = “cash (paid) immediately”.

    14dn: I agree there seems to be an excess anagram indicator, but the clue is technically correct if you think of it as ((Canter)* Pipe)*. I would still be happy if anyone can come up with a better way of parsing this clue.

    I cannot help with 4ac or 6dn.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    I think I can do 6dn on another look. The definition is just “Incapable of feeling”. Then:

    excited = SENT
    that’s = IE
    normal = N
    because of = IN (to be placed earlier)
    onset of tension = T.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    What an odd theme! I vaguely remember the programme, though I never watched it, and when I saw that the gateway clue simply led to the names of the cast, I lost interest, I’m afraid.

  4. Rorschach says:

    4ac = definition + definition + s


  5. Dormouse says:

    Oh dear, completely failed on this and the show was a favourite of mine when it was on. Couldn’t get the gateway clues at all and guessed “monkey” for 30ac. Mon sounds like it should be a Scottish river. I did know the River Don in Yorkshire because every we time we drove over it going on holiday in the sixties, my father would say, “Quietly flows the Don.” Except that refers to yet another River Don.

  6. Bertandjoyce says:

    Well…… we didn’t know the setter as we were using Crossword Solver but were expecting a Phi. However, we couldn’t believe this was a Phi.

    We weren’t familiar with the theme and had no access to wi-fi so had no way to check any names. We weren’t that impressed with 4ac I am afraid. We did finish the puzzle though but needed to use the check button on occassions to confirm the names we’d guessed.

    Thanks Poins and John.

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