Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8152 / Klingsor

Posted by duncanshiell on November 29th, 2012


Klingsor is a fairly regular contributor to the Independent series of daily crosswords.  He is known to have a strong interest in Wagner.  Today’s reference to Wagner occurred in the clue at 8 down when the opera Rienzi was mentioned.




There were a number of clues that I liked.  In particular I liked the ones for SCRIMSHAW, SWASHBUCKLING, UNDERPIN and HURON.  I was less enthused by the clues for SPARTACUS which didn’t read smoothly and GLADIATOR where I wasn’t convinced that ‘conceal’ meant replace although I recognise it could be interpreted as an instruction to overwrite AV with GLAD

It’s good to see a Scottish location getting a mention.  I have driven past KILLIECRANKIE a few times.

There were only a few complex wordplay constructions in this puzzle.  I think the puzzle would be a good one for a beginner to consolidate their solving skills and gain confidence for further puzzles.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry



Sycophant, one who’s persistent? (6-2)


HANGER-ON (sycophant)


HANGER-ON (someone who HANGS ON is persistent)  double definition




First off, joke by speaker’s completely outrageous (6)


PUN (play on words to form a joke) excluding the fist letter [first off] P) + HOLY (sounds like [speaker’s] WHOLLY [completely])


UNHOLY (outrageous)




A lawyer’s first case, right, involved slander? Not at all obvious (5,2,3)


Anagram of (involved) (A and L [first letter of {first} LAWYER] and CASE and R [right]) + MUD (slander)


CLEAR AS MUD (not at all obvious)




Strong-smelling rubbish?  Ton gets dumped (4)


TRIPE (rubbish) excluding (gets dumped) T (ton)


RIPE (strong-smelling)




Massacre that is repeated with crackpot entering site of battle (13)


KILL (massacre) + (CRANK [crackpot] contained in [entering] [IE {id est; that is} + IE {id est; that is – again, repeated}] )


KILLIECRANKIE (reference the Battle of KILLIECRANKIE, fought between Highland Scottish clans supporting King James VII of Scotland [also known as James II of England] and troops supporting King William of Orange on 27 July 1689, during the first Jacobite uprising.  The Pass of KILLIECRANKIE is situated between Pitlochry and Blair Atholl)




Case of depression?  Conclusion not reached (5)


CRATER (circular rimmed depression in the surface of the moon) excluding the final letter (conclusion not reached) R


CRATE (strong case)




Two thirds of writing by Master Playwright is Jack’s handiwork (9)


SCRIPT (writing) excluding the last two letters of six [one third] to leave two thirds + (master) + SHAW (reference George Bernard SHAW [playwright])


SCRIMSHAW (a sailor’s [Jack Tar’s] spare-time handicraft, such as engraving or carving fanciful designs on shells, whales’ teeth, etc; Jack’s handiwork)




Entertaining copper, governor’s about to show 3 (9)


SATRAP’S (a SATRAP is a viceroy or governor of an ancient Persian province, hence SATRAP’S is governor’s) reversed (about) containing (entertaining) CU (chemical symbol for copper)


SPARTACUS (leader of a revolt by slaves in ancient Rome, he became a GLADIATOR [3 down])




Senior member gives party money (5)


DO (party) + YEN (Japanese currency; money)


DOYEN (the most senior and most respected member [of an academy, diplomatic corps, class, profession, etc])




Adventurous band tours West before folding (13)


(SASH [band or scarf worn round the waist or over the shoulder] containing [tours] W [West]) + BUCKLING (bending; warping; folding)


SWASHBUCKLING (acting as a swaggering daredevil; adventurous)




Leading character in Red Dwarf? (4)


STAR (leading character in a show)


STAR (a Red Dwarf is a small STAR of high density and low luminosity.  Red Dwarf is also the name of a television comedy – it has three or four STAR actors)  double definition




Fur wraps become cool in Asian country (10)


CHINA (Asian country) contains (wraps) CHILL (become cool)


CHINCHLLA (the soft grey fur obtained from a rodent of the same name)




Military dictator gets one fired heartlessly (6)


SHOT GUN (fired) excluding the middle letter (heartlessly) T


SHOGUN (any of the hereditary military governors who were the effective rulers of Japan from the 12th century until the 1860s.)




Balls concealing ultimate character of bowling? (8)


GOOLIES (testicles; balls) containing (concealing) G (last letter of [ultimate character of] BOWLING)


GOOGLIES (off breaks bowled with an apparent leg-break action by a right-arm bowler to a right-handed batsman, or conversely for a left-arm bowler) Tending towards an &Lit clue





Beryl Bainbridge holds up well (4)


ABLY (hidden word in (holds) BERYL BAINBRIDGE reversed [up; down clue])


ABLY (cleverly; skilfully; well)




Fighter pilot’s happy to conceal a victory (9)


AVIATOR (pilot) with GLAD (happy) replacing (to conceal) (A + V [victory])


GLADIATOR (fighter)



Actually join forces again (6)


REALLY (join forces again)


REALLY (actually)  double definition




Be much involved with running computer, extremely busy performing fast calculations (6,9)


Anagram of (involved) BE MUCH RUNNING and CR (first and last letters of [extremely] COMPUTER)


NUMBER CRUNCHING (carrying out large quantities of complex numerical calculations; busy performing fast calculations)




Subjected to pressure gains popular support (8)


UNDER (subjected to) + P (pressure) + IN (popular)


UNDERPIN (support)




Lake poet drops by after hour, oddly (5)


HU (first and third letters of [oddly] HOUR) + (BYRON [reference Lord BYRON, poet] excluding [dropping] BY)


HURON (reference Lake HURON, one of the Great Lakes in Canada)




Mount production of Rienzi, palpably not 2 (10)


Anagram of (production of) RIENZI and PALPABLY excluding (not) ABLY (entry at 2 down)


LIPPIZANER (a breed of horses particularly suited and trained for displays of dressage; mount)




Run with this reset to protect circuit, primarily? (4,6)


Anagram of (reset) (R [run] and WITH THIS) containing (to protect) C (first letter of [primarily] CIRCUIT)


TRIP SWITCH (circuit breaker; a switch or other device for interrupting an electric circuit; anything which halts or interrupts a process temporarily)   &Lit clue




Two ways to show affection for bird (9)


SPOON (to court, especially in a sentimental way; show affection) + BILL (to caress or talk fondly; a second way to show affection)


SPOONBILL (any bird of a family [Plataleidae] similar to the ibises, with long, flat, broad bill, spoon-shaped at the tip)




Pointed comment with which one is able to provide defence (8)


BARB (pointed comment) + I (one) + CAN (is able to)


BARBICAN (projecting watchtower over the gate of a castle or fortified town; especially the outwork intended to defend the drawbridge)




Fury created by court seizing a house? The opposite (6)


(A + LEO [house of the Zodiac]) containing (seizing) CT (court).  We therefore have the opposite of court seizing a house.


ALECTO (one of the Furies)




Young person with love for one schild (5)


SPRIG (young person) with O (love [score in tennis]) replacing (for) I [one]  


SPROG (child)




Run fast, being short of time (4)


FLEET (swift; fast) excluding (short of) T (time)


FLEE (run [away])



17 Responses to “Independent 8152 / Klingsor”

  1. Thomas99 says:

    Thanks for the blog. I enjoyed this a lot but unlike you found it harder than most of Klingsor/Alberich’s – it was possible to get to unfamiliar words like scrimshaw and lippizaner, but it took some time. I also only vaguely remembered Killiecrankie, which I should perhaps be ashamed of, and took ages to sort that clue out. I think GOOGLIES (26a) is definitely a full &lit. and probably my favourite clue. I was seeing TRIP SWITCH (12d) as a partial &lit. because I couldn’t see how “run” comes into the definition. I now think it may be a full &lit. after all if the sense is that you “run” an appliance with the trip switch on (or indeed reset)? The problem is I know far less about electrics than about cricket.

  2. flashling says:

    Good for beginners Duncan? can’t really agree at all there, like Thomas I found this quite difficult to crack after starting quickly.

    Thanks Klingsor for another fine if less musical than usual puzzle and Duncan for the customary full blog.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    This one had me beaten with about half done. All good stuff now I’ve seen the blog, but a bit over my horizon this morning. Thanks to S&B.

  4. BertandJoyce says:

    We also found this a little tricky. We hadn’t come across SCRIMSHAW before but one of us had vaguely remembered a strange horse and the site of a Scottish battle!

    Thanks to Duncan and Klingsor.

  5. sidey says:

    I didn’t find this particularly difficult to complete. Unravelling some of the cryptic bits was another matter, not very beginner friendly to me either.

  6. Pelham Barton says:

    I enjoyed a lot of this puzzle, but gave up with 10ac and 8dn unsolved. I would regard 8dn as the sort of obscure answer for which an anagram does not help, although it should have helped me to get 10ac as the possible third letters were limited by the need to fit the anagram. Thanks Duncan for your usual excellent blog and Klingsor for the parts I did enjoy. My favourite clue was 26ac, which I agree with Thomas @1 is a complete “& lit” clue – and great fun, too.

    2dn: This sort of thing seems to be cropping up quite a lot at the moment. No problem for those who regard crossword solving as a series of conventions to be learned, including a convention that “up” is a valid reversal indicator in a down clue, and as always I have no quarrel with people who think along these lines. However, if you go back to first principles, the reversal here is in the clue, not the grid, so the justification for “up” does not really apply.

  7. Raich says:

    PB at #6 – Yes, it is a convention. A similar example in this puzzle is the use of false capitals in Red Dwarf (23A). I guess it is how puzzles have developed and these conventions are here to stay, I guess.

  8. duncanshiell says:

    Ah! – I seem to be in a minority of one over the beginner friendliness of this puzzle. I suppose it just illustrates the old axiom that it’s on;y easy if you know the answer!

    Both SCRIMSHAW and LIPPIZANER were familiar to me and KILLIECRANKIE is not that far way from where I live.

    My main reason for suggesting beginner friendliness though was the nature of the wordplay constructions which tended to focus on variants of additive or reductive components.

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Indeed, Duncan – easy if you know it is the story … And being a cricket fan, GOOGLIES should have gone in without too much thinking.

    On reflection, don’t know why I couldn’t finish this one. It wasn’t for lack of enthusiasm, because I always look forward to a Klingsor puzzle. Just not in the zone today, perhaps.

  10. Paul B says:

    The UP thing is, as Pelham says, utterly incomprehensible in terms of logic (and God woot there are plenty of logical terms, especially at logic schools), but at least the convention has led to a new breed of reversal indication with attendant compilerly tomfoolery. IIRC Times maestro Mark Goodliffe, whose opinion surely merits consideration, is not a fan of grid geometry leaking into the clue text.

    Not sure re 26: if it’s enough to lead to the answer it ought to be classed &lit, I suppose.

  11. Rorschach says:

    Another brilliant offering from Klingsor.

    Thanks both!

  12. Wil Ransome says:

    Klingsor’s puzzles are always good and this was no exception. How Duncan sees it as something good for beginners I’m not sure, because it struck me as pretty hard. Lots of clues that are easy enough to understand when you’ve got the answer, but are difficult to solve (at least for me), like 20ac SWASHBUCKLING.

    I know that Klingsor makes a big effort to be, to use a word that is not popular in some circles, Ximenean in his clues. How then is it that he has used a grid that offends so much? 13ac and 18ac are of the dreaded 2-out-of-5-checked type.

  13. Paul B says:

    He is a rebellious old duke-magician, I shouldn’t wonder.

  14. Lurchio says:

    Er .. but 12D is not an anagram of R THIS WITH C – too much H and not enough P …

  15. Paul B says:

    Er … yep!

  16. Klingsor says:

    The parsing of 12 down is TRIP (using definition of run in Chambers) + anag W (abbrev WITH) THIS round C.

    Belated thanks to all those who commented.

  17. Graham Pellen says:

    26A A googly is still a googly if bowled by a right-handed purveyor to a left-handed batsman. A googly is a googly.

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six + = 7