Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1189 Alchemi

Posted by scchua on December 9th, 2012


A comparatively new setter in Fifteensquared’s coverage, and, as far as I can tell, his/her first in the IoS.  Straightforward solve.  Thanks to Alchemi.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[The pictures at the bottom have unidentified links with the puzzle.]]

1 Renouncing what oaths can be? (11)

FORSWEARING : Oaths, whether solemn promises to a deity or irreverent or blasphemous uses of the name of anything sacred, are for swearing.

7,28 Went off embarrassed about worker (6)

RANTED : RED(the colour you become when you’re embarrassed) containing(about) ANT(a caste of which social insects is the worker).

Answer:  If one was raving and ranting, one went off;became bad-tempered.

9 Fearful, though not about flier (5)

RAVEN : “craven”(cowardly;fearful) minus(though not) “c”(abbrev. for “circa”;about, especially when referring to dates).

10 Following your text, setter enters sports body ballot as the leading contender (9)

FAVOURITE : {UR(abbrev. for “your” when texting on mobile phones) plus(following …) I(pronoun referring to the setter of this crossword)} contained in(enters) {FA(the Football Association;sports body for football) + VOTE(ballot)}.

11 Potential galactic gateways in rocky Welsh moor (9)

WORMHOLES : Anagram of(rocky) WELSH MOOR.

Answer: Theoretical, and therefore only potential, gateways/short cuts through which matter could travel in spacetime between stars, galaxies, other universes, and time. That’s about as far as I can explain them.

12 Woman will shortly get ammunition (5)

SHELL : With an apostrophe, the contraction of(shortly) “she(woman) will”.

13 Taking up a lot of time, sadly, they long to drop round (7)

LENGTHY : Anagram of(sadly) THEY LNG{“they long” minus(to drop) “o”(the round letter)}

15 Determined one in Spanish car (4)

SEAT : SET(determined) containing(… in) A(one).

18 Network sending unfinished lament back (4)

GRID : Reversal of(back) DIRG{“dirge”(a lament;song of mourning) minus its last letter(unfinished)}

20 Traditionalist movie? (3-4)

DIE-HARD : As two words, title of the Bruce Willis movie.

23 Instrument showing temperature in tube (5)

FLUTE : T(abbrev. for “temperature”) contained in(in) FLUE(a tube or pipe for carrying off smoke, gas, etc.)

24 Losing pressman once I hauled away old Communist leader (4,2-3)

CHOU EN-LAI : Anagram of(away) ONCE I HAUL{“once I hauled” minus(losing) “ed”(short for newspaper “editor”;pressman)}.

Answer:  Alternatively Zhou Enlai, the first Premier of China, under Mao Zedong.

26 It’s not nothing to be very satisfied greeting new government leader (9)

SOMETHING : SO(very, as in “she was so good”) + MET(having satisfied, eg. standards) + HI(an informal greeting) + N(abbrev. for “new”) + G{first letter of(leader) “government”}.

27 African shows disapproval of ironic opening (5)

TUTSI : TUTS(utters verbal expressions of disapproval) + I{initial letter of(… opening) “ironic”}.

Answer:  An ethic group in Central Africa.  Historically referred to as the Watutsi or Watusi.

28 See 7across (3)

29 Singer from Florence? (11)

NIGHTINGALE : Double defn: 1st: The songbird whose name is derived from Anglo-Saxon for “night songstress”; and 2nd: The “Lady with the Lamp”, of the Crimean War, regarded as the founder of modern nursing.

1 Goodbye to remote Surrey town (8)

FAREWELL : FAR(remote;a long way off) + EWELL(the town in Surrey).

2 Priest always going after the right conclusion (8)

REVEREND : {EVER(always, as in “ever faithful”) placed after(going after) R(abbrev. for “right”)} + END(the conclusion;finish).

3 Hoist the western edge (5)

WINCH : W(abbrev. for “western”) + INCH(to edge very slowly towards something).

4 Arnold Wesker initially having had enough, play ending very badly (7)

AWFULLY : AW{initials of “Arnold Wesker” – British playwright of kitchen-sink drama} + FULL(having had enough) + Y{last letter of(… ending) “play”}.

5 Gives significance to wearing lots of underwear (7)

INVESTS : IN(wearing) VESTS(undershirts).

Answer: To give authority, power and such, things of significance, to a person.

6 Rootles around to steal funding (9)

GRUBSTAKE : GRUBS(rootles;searches for eg. roots, by digging up the ground) + TAKE(when done without permission, to steal).

Answer: North Americanism for providing money for a speculative project or gamble.

7 Jockey capturing a marauder (6)

RAIDER : RIDER(a mounted jockey) containing(capturing) A.

8 Pin requirement on empty luggage (6)

NEEDLE : NEED(a requirement) plus(on) LE{“luggage” minus its internal letters(empty)}.

14 Region where bird and bear lose their feet (9)

TURKESTAN : “turkey”(a bird) plus(and) “stand”(to bear;tolerate) minus their respective last;bottom letters (lose their feet, in a down clue).

Answer:  Literally Land of the Turks.  In modern times, it refers to a region which is inhabited mainly by Turkic peoples in Central Asia.  It includes present-day Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Xinjiang.

16 Capital manservant accepting pound with thanks (8)

VALLETTA : {VALET(a manservant) containing(accepting) L(abbrev. for pound sterling; £)} plus(with) TA(short for “thank you”).

Answer:  Capital city of Malta.

17 Vita died, perhaps as a result of this ingredient (8)

ADDITIVE : Anagram of(perhaps) VITA DIED.

Answer: Some substance added to a mix.

19 Ruler has something to chew over before getting out of the way (7)

DUCKING : KING(a ruler) placed after(has … before) reversal of(over) CUD(what cows spend their time chewing).

20 Partial contribution to arid, rough terrain (7)

DROUGHT : Hidden in(partial contribution to ariD, ROUGH Terrain) . A WIWD(wordplay intertwined with definition clue).

21 Kills alien to compensate (6)

OFFSET : OFFS(slang for “kills”) + ET(abbrev. for “extra-terrestrial”;alien from outer space).

22 Coloured covering for vacant mausoleum stank (6)

HUMMED : HUED(being coloured) containing(covering for) MM{“mausoleum” minus its internal letters(vacant…)}.

Answer: Smelt of a bad odour, eg. BO.

25 Energy a number consumed (5)

EATEN : E(abbrev. for “energy”, in physics) + A + TEN(a number).




5 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1189 Alchemi”

  1. Raich says:

    I think it’s a ‘he’, scchua. Hint: make an anagram of the pseudonym.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks raich, got it, as in “…row the boat ashore”.

  3. Raich says:

    That’s it, scchua.

  4. crypticsue says:

    Alchemi is one of the most prolific setters I know and it is great that his crosswords can now reach a wider audience. Thanks to him and scchua too.

  5. allan_c says:

    I think this is only the second Alchemi puzzle I’ve encountered. All pretty straightforward, although GRUBSTAKE was new to me (but gettable from crossing letters) and I never realised VALLETTA is spelt with two Ls.

    Signing off now till the hosting company move is complete, but not before saying thanks to setter and blogger.

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