Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8151/Crosophile

Posted by John on November 28th, 2012


As always on the last Wednesday of the month it’s Crosophile, who makes a good job of being a Dac equivalent. Roughly the same level of difficulty, and some nice clues. I have my doubts about one or two of them but will almost certainly be shown to have been unnecessarily pedantic.

When it’s my day to blog, I’m usually so pleased to have reached the end that to look for a Nina is an afterthought and I usually confine myself to looking at the unches. In this case one can see a couple of artists in the across unches near the middle, but if there’s anything more than that (apart from 5ac) it has escaped me.

1 TEST CASE — try = test, accusative perhaps = case, test case, can’t quite see why, since a test case is surely something legal, and forensic proof may be involved in it but isn’t itself the case
5 {ch}ARTIST — from my sketchy knowledge of history I thought the Chartists were trying to stop progress rather than to reform, but this suggests otherwise
10 CLOSET 0 — now here’s a really good clue that makes up for any possible deficiencies so far
11 OU T(C{ommunards})OME
12 ACT UP — a (put)rev. around c{alm}
13 AMINO ACID — a in (Dominica)*
14 STEEPLECHASE — {bet}s (place these)* {hors}e, where ‘jockeys’ seems to be the anagram indicator, which I would have thought should be simply ‘jockey’, the imperative of the verb
18 OUT BALANCING — 2 defs
21 ETIQUETTE — ET (quite)* around ET, def ‘ceremony’
23 TOTE M — M is maiden over rather than the usual maiden
25 C{ocaine} RUM PET
27 ESOTERIC — (those – h)rev. Eric (Idle) — many words end …eric and the Python is increasingly used nowadays by the Independent
1 TIC-TAC — tactic with the lower order (tic) moved up
2 S(MOO T)H — sh is be quiet/put a sock in it
3 MiraCLE OP AT RAces — a good hidden in that initially I made the mistake of thinking that it was an anagram with ‘miracle’ as the indicator, a poor hidden in that the rather strange wording makes it stand out as one
4 STORAGE BATTERY — story around (ag (a better)*)
6 RETRO — metro with r replacing {Amersha}m
7 IRONCLAD — (No I l card)*
8 T READ LED — where ‘read’ is as in ‘the speedometer read 50 mph’
15 CO N STRU(C{hurch})T
16 HOMESPUN — “Holmes pun”
17 STA(IN(I)N)G — Chambers says that in the US stag = stag party, so perhaps this part of the clue is OK (initially I was unsure that stag = revelry), and staining = incurring disapproval is likewise not mainstream but is also there
19 STUPOR — (Proust)*
20 EMETIC — (cite me)rev.
22 UNTIL{e}

9 Responses to “Independent 8151/Crosophile”

  1. MikeC says:

    Thanks John and Crosophile. Largely agree with your comments. I’m also not sure about 1a. I suppose if you test something you “prove” it, and if it’s a criminal case it’s a forensic proof, but it does seem hard work! Likewise, to a lesser extent, 17d (STAG and STAINING). I did like 21a, ETIQUETTE, though.

  2. crypticsue says:

    I thought this was very enjoyable, although if the ESOTERIC TOTEM combination turns up in one more crossword I will definitely start to scream. Thanks to John and Crosophile too.

  3. NealH says:

    I couldn’t make much sense of 17 – I had sing for the revelry, which left I in tan. Thought it must be a reference to the Tan Hill Inn.

  4. flashling says:

    Was hoping someone would shed a bit more light on the Matisse/Chagall/Artist links, 17d likewise my last looking too long at SING=Revelry, otherwise a quick solve, under 10 mins – I actually ended up reading the paper, what’s the world coming to!

    Thanks John and Crosophile.

  5. AndyB says:

    I thought this was really good. Ticks especially at 5, 10, 13, 14, 22.

    The Chartists were indeed reformers – radical democrats demanding univbersal suffrage and one year parliaments.

  6. Crosophile says:

    Thanks John and for other comments.
    re 1a, I was using proof in sense of ‘exception proves the rule’ and ‘proof of the pudding’. ‘Forensic’ means ‘to do with courts and legal processes’ so I think this clue is all right. [Well, I liked it anyway!]
    re 3d, the ‘rather strange wording’ was my attempt at a naff tabloid headline [hence capitalisation].
    And re 17d, I hadn’t realised that I was being so off-mainstream with the clueing of STAINING. Sorry.
    Re the nina, I just like Chagall and Matisse – and there’s PAINTER and ARTIST. But which is which? Hmmm…

  7. Thomas99 says:

    I must say I liked 1a too. You just have to remember that proof and test can mean the same thing (think of putting something to the proof/test – see Collins, Proof (4): “the act of testing the truth of something (esp in the phrase put to the proof)”).

    Matisse surely has to be the painter?

  8. allan_c says:

    Started this late last night after a tiring day so didn’t make much headway, and even found it difficult this morning. Eventually got 17dn from crossing letters, but once I understood the parsing I didn’t have any issue with ‘stag’ for revelry. I think the US usage is catching on here; at least one can see adverts in local rags for party venues that just have “stags, hens” to indicate that they cater for such revelries.

  9. Crosophile says:

    Don’t suppose anyone will see this but thanks for that comment allan_c. That’s what I thought too. I wouldn’t take “There’s a stag at the Royal Oak tonight” to be the words of a psychic Springwatch presenter.

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