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Independent 8,154 by Monk (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 01/12/12)

Posted by Simon Harris on December 8th, 2012

Simon Harris.

Monk always puts us through our paces, and this week’s puzzle was no exception.

I spent most of the week on this one, and in fact didn’t quite manage to finish it off by blogging day. The biggest problem was of my own making, having written in WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL at 16, and not finding reason to revisit it.

There are some very nice clues in there, of course. I don’t see anything obviously thematic, but the unchecked letters in the top and bottom rows do all happen to be musical notes. Perhaps the notes CEGCEGGCE and DGBDFABD will mean something to someone, or perhaps it’s entirely a coincidence.

Across
9 IMPEACHED Found fault with fruit–half returned for wrapping (9)
PEACH in DEMI<
10 RIOJA Wine or port served before Munich Agreement (5)
RIO + JA. “Ja” is of course German for “yes”
11 INCRUST Wrapped in this month’s vintage coat (7)
CRU in INST. The initial “I” surprised me a little, but it turns out to be a perfectly cromulent spelling 
12 TREACLE Sentimentality born of Electra complex (7)
ELECTRA*
13 LAP UP Scoop secured by conceited young man from Hollywood? (3,2)
An L.A. PUP could be a young man from Hollywood
15 PARSIMONY Closeness of singer-songwriter in timeless gathering (9)
Paul SIMON in PAR[t]Y
16 WHATS THE BIG IDEA Baathists endlessly weighed up a question when confused? (5,3,3,4)
(BAATHISTS + WEIGHE[d])*
20 HARMONICA Mostly tough girl donates an organ (9)
HAR[d] + MONICA
22 HOLES Scrapes line in scraping tools (5)
Line in HOES
23 PREAMPS Power is inclined to suppress what’s right in morale boosters (7)
Power + ([moral]E in RAMPS)
24 TOOLBAR In which you’d often edit help file? (7)
I’m not really sure here. Edit, Help and File are common options in the menu bar for a lot of software programs (if you look a few pixels north of this post, you’ll probably see them!), so we might be dealing with a cd. That said, in my mind a toolbar isn’t quite the same thing, so perhaps I’m missing some wordplay.
26 AIOLI Boxer once touring west of Ireland, round Mayo, in part? (5)
(I[reland] + O) in Muhammad ALI
27 EXFOLIATE Make outside shed (9)
cd.
Down
1 CIVIL LAW It states rules about toilet outside one country house (5,3)
(I + VILLA) in W.C.<
2 EPIC Large-scale constants of mathematics and physics (4)
E + PI + C, all of which are well-known constants
3 GAZUMP Almost look upon arbitrator to break agreement? (6)
GAZ[e] + UMPire
4 CHUTZPAH Dwelling in Cape Cruz finally getting fortune up front (8)
(HUT in (Cape + [cru]Z)) + HAP<
5 EDITOR One expected to make final over tried to run (6)
(Over + TRIED)*
6 GREETING Hello!, say, causes weeping for some (8)
dd. To “greet” means to cry, in Scotland at least, and no doubt elsewhere
7 CONCHOIDAL Shelly caught boss losing head over heartless model (10)
Caught + [h]ONCHO + ID[e]AL. I thought the definition, “shelly”, rather nice here
8 EATERY Discovered heater on railway diner (6)
[h]EATE[r] + RY. “Dis-covered” is also a nice touch
14 PRAIRIE DOG Animal display that is at last filmed to fill TV slot (7,3)
(AIR + I.E. + [filme]D) in PROG
17 STORM JIB Rage and refuse to go under sail (5,3)
STORM + JIB. The “refuse” meaning of “jib” was new to me, but it seems to be fairly common in the context of animals, such as a horse refusing a jump
18 BLASTOFF Launch the ultimate in entertainment (8)
LAST in BOFF. Another new one for me, “boff” can seemingly mean “a box-office hit” or “a joke or humorous line producing hearty laughter”, either one of which might constitute entertainment
19 ASSORTED Classified advertisement about fancy stores (8)
STORES* in AD
20 HEPTAD Point in uppermost part of the Pleiades, for example (6)
PT in HEAD
21 ISSUED Turned out kids regularly with most of their skin (6)
[k]I[d]S + SUED[e]
22 HOOPLA Breaking shopaholic’s heart is fair game (6)
[sh]OPAHOL[ic]*. We all know someone addicted to shopahol
25 BOAB Fluffy scarf found on black tropical tree (4)
BOA + Black

* = anagram; [] = removed; < = reversed

5 Responses to “Independent 8,154 by Monk (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 01/12/12)”

  1. allan_c says:

    “Monk always puts us through our paces, and this week’s puzzle was no exception.” I’d agree with that, but nevertheless this was an accessible puzzle with nothing obscure. I thought we were heading for a pangram but in the end there was no K or Q.

    One quibble regarding 19dn; I wouldn’t equate “assorted” with “classified”. I’d have thought an assortment of things was more likely to be unclassified and they’d need to be sorted to be classified. But I haven’t checked Chambers or Collins so I’m open to correction.

    Thanks, Monk and Simon

  2. Monk says:

    Thanks, Simon H, for excellent blog, to whom: the top and bottom rows (a seed, rather than a Nina) are respectively the (first eight) “blow” and “draw” HOLES (22ac) on a diatonic HARMONICA (20ac, my instrument of choice) in the key of C. To allan_c @1, the first definition of “assorted” in Chambers is “classified”.

  3. Wil Ransome says:

    Isn’t this crossword 8154? Certainly that’s what the paper says.

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Wil
    You are absolutely right. I’ve made the correction.

  5. Graham Pellen says:

    16A is not (Baathists + weighe[d])* but (Baathist[s] + weighed)*.

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