Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8174/Anax

Posted by John on December 26th, 2012


A nice crossword from Anax themed around 16ac and 6dn that so far as I can see, apart from the fact that 16ac is often a Christmas show, has no connection with the season. Unfortunately my knowledge of 16ac is confined to awareness of some of the characters in it — I took 8dn on trust — but so far as I can see no more is required.

1 SUB F(US)C — a sub is a reserve, not, as I stupidly thought, an American reserve
5 TAFFETA — (fat)rev. feta
9 {Mordre}D AZED — the def is ‘almost out’ — on this site there has been some criticism of reference to setters who may not be all that well-known, but there is no need to know anything about Mordred and arguably Azed is such a major figure that to talk of him is justified
10 NUTRITION — (I turn into)*
11/21 COWARDLY LION — A character in the W of O, so a 6 — co(war)d l (only I)* — unfortunately it was necessary for Anax to make a grammatical mistake here, which gave the game away
13 MAGNETIC STORM — (strong it came)* m{usical}
16 THE WIZARD OF OZ — z in (zoo the dwarf I)*
19 kItChEn BoOt X — x = by as in multiplied by
20 TEAR DOWN — a Spoonerism of ‘dear town’, which Anax has indicated by ‘heads needed to trade’
22 MYSTIFIER — (my first)* round i.e.
23 Take Road Into Paradise Someone
24 NO(NAG)ON — 12 doesn’t refer to 12dn, but to midday
25 WAYWARD — I’m not 100% sure about this, but I think it’s way = much (as in ‘way too far’), then (draw)rev.
1 SIDE COMB — “sighed” co mb [= megabyte]
2 B(UZ ZW)IG — had never heard of such a thing, but Chambers calls it a ‘great bushy wig’
3 UNDERDEVELOPING — def ‘Failing with film’ — (genre line up DVD)* round O
4 CANELLINI — all I can see is that it’s apparently (can I) round {s}ellin{g} — but the trouble with this is that it’s both the head and the tail off trade, so there must be some other word meaning trade that is _ellin, surely not sellin’ [Would it be OK for me to keep heading off trade in beans?] — it’s (can I round ({s}ell in), thanks Ian SW3
5 TOT 0 — another character in the W of O, so a 6
6 FRIEND OF DOROTHY — (on fire odd)* in frothy
7 ELITISM — (tile)rev. 1 SM
8 AUNT EM — ‘aunt ‘em — another character in the W of O
14 SCARECROW — yet another character in the W of O, so a 6 — but I can’t quite see this — it seems to be c [= about] in scare row, but if it’s that then ‘about’ is doing double duty, so perhaps there is another way [6 that is about to worry bank] — it’s s(care)c row, thanks Flashling
15 O Z(ON IS)ED — the air in a magnetic storm is ozonised in that the oxygen is turned into ozone
16 {withou}T REASON
17 FLORIDA — Id [= Idaho] in Flora, a little advertisement for the spread Flora
18 TI{m he}NMAN — yet another character in the W of O, so a 6

11 Responses to “Independent 8174/Anax”

  1. flashling says:

    14d is SC (silicet) around care + row.

    Thanks John and Anax for the post festivity brain work

  2. Ian SW3 says:

    Thaks, John and Anax.

    In 4d, it’s just [s]ell. The ‘in’ is the next word in the clue. Can’t help on 14 though.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore …

    Good job it’s Boxing Day, since this one took a good deal of time to finally pin down. But if I can get going with Anax’s Indy puzzles, then I can usually complete them, and there’s always plenty to enjoy. I got THE WIZARD OF OZ quite early, but even looking out for references, I still struggled to find them.

    Some cleverly concealed anagrams, and I liked NONAGON too.

    I think maybe the Xmas connection is that since its release, THE WIZARD OF OZ has regularly been shown on American TV over the festive season. And I believe that Judy Garland has long been an icon for gay people, which is why we have FRIEND OF DOROTHY at 6dn.

    Tough puzzle, but a good one from Anax. Thanks to John for the blog.

  4. Trebor says:

    Really enjoyed this and got through it faster than usual for an Anax. First guess at theme came with TIN MAN, confirmed by COWARDLY LION. Never heard the phrase Friend of Dorothy, but very gettable. All in all, too marks.

  5. Trebor says:

    *top marks

  6. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Anax for an anjoyable puzzle, which does not require great knowledge of the theme, and John for the blog. My favourite clue was 10ac. I had 4dn and 14dn the same way as Ian@2 and flashling@1 respectively.

    20ac: Here the potentially ambiguous structure is resolved by the fact that the intended answer is a recognised phrase defined as a whole, while the possible alternative is not a recognised phrase and its two words are defined separately. It is obviously important that this clue is unambiguous, although it would be less so if Anax had positioned the answer with the odd-numbered letters checked.

  7. flashling says:

    @K’sD & Trebor having met quite a few friends of Dorothy, including the camp nephew I didn’t think it worth mentioning, time to click my heels and throw water over the wicked witch of an ex wife or two…

    Merry Crimble folks.

  8. anax says:

    Evening – sorry, morning – all. Thanks to John for a very fine blog and to all for your comments. I was sort of hoping the film might make its customary appearance on British screens this Yule but it looks like we’ve missed out this year. Not that I’d have watched it.

  9. allan_c says:

    Late on parade with this one, but is 20ac actually a spoonerism? Chambers defines a spoonerism as a transposition of initial sounds, which means that in the answer to 20ac ‘tear’ should be pronounced ‘teer’ rather than ‘tare’. A borderline case maybe. But, in the clue itself, with ‘heads needed to trade’ Anax has found a great way to indicate a spoonerism without using the Reverend gentleman’s name (see my comment on Punk’s Indy 8167 last week).

  10. John says:

    Thanks Flashling and Ian SW3, blog amended now. Very feeble of me.

  11. Graham Pellen says:

    6D “Friend of Dorothy” US slang originating in WW2 as code for gay, “Are you a friend of Dorothy?”, positive answer confirming gayness.

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