Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8175 / Klingsor

Posted by duncanshiell on December 27th, 2012


There were some clever clues in this puzzle, including at least three &Lit ones.  Also , a good bit of lateral thinking was required in places.  The puzzle, to my mind, was an excellent Thursday mental workout.




I took a while to solve this puzzle and finished in the South East corner where DEMITASSE (15 across), ASTRAKHAN (16 down) and UTTER (19 across) were the last to fall.  It took me a long time to realise that ‘say’ was the definition in 19 across.

I liked both the clues referring to the internet, DONGLE (28 across) and SWIFTNESS (2 down).  For a long time I was looking for a word with LESS (reduced) rather than NESS (headland, point) at 2 down.

Other clues I liked were the ones using ‘Billie Holiday’ at 1 across and ‘Crouch End’ at 22 down.  24 down was inventive in its reference to the colours of wires.

I think it is Klingsor who often sets puzzles under his given name in Scotland on Sunday. Clearly different crossword editors have different policies on required difficulty of puzzles, as the Scotland on Sunday puzzles always seem to me to be far easier than Klingsor puzzles.  I prefer the Klingsor challenges.

Blog number 200.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry



Fats, I fancy, keeps closer to Billie Holiday (6)


Anagram of (fancy) FATS I containing (keeps) E (last letter of [closer to] BILLIE)


FIESTA (holiday)


5 University student finally acquiring a cracking degree? (8)

([U {University} + T {last letter of (finally)} STUDENT] containing [acquiring] A) contained in  (cracking) GRADE (degree)

GRAD (U (A) T) E

GRADUATE (as defined by most of the whole clue – a University student finally acquiring a [cracking] degree)  Not sure that ‘cracking’ is relevant to the overall definition.  Many graduates are just happy to get a degree, well they were in my day.  &Lit clue



A bit of music making the house shake (10)


SEMI (semi-detached house) + QUAVER (tremble; quiver; shake)


SEMIQUAVER (a short note in music; a bit of music)


10 Extremely slothful old b—— (4) SL (first and last letters of [extremely) SLOTHFUL) + O (old) + B

SLOB (lazy person, who could well be described as an extremely slothful old b—-) &Lit clue




My offer to pay brings forth abuse (3-5)


I’LL (I will) + TREAT (pay the bill for), the words together meaning I’ll offer to pay.


ILL TREAT (abuse)




Get a bit lost in New Orleans on the way back (6)


Anagram of (lost) A BIT contained in (in) (NO [New Orleans] reversed [on the way back])

O (BTAI*) N<

OBTAIN (get)



Nerd offered wee bairns clothes (5)


DWEEB (hidden word in [clothes] OFFERED WEE BAIRNS)


DWEEB (nerd)


15 Cup Final for one is team’s day to be excited (9) Anagram of (to be excited) (E [last letter of {final for} ONE] and IS TEAMS and D [day])

DEMITASSE ([the quantity contained by] a small cup of, or for, [especially black] coffee)




High jinks in Equus? (9)


HORSEPLAY (Equus is a play by Peter Shaffer, written in 1973, telling the story of a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a young man who has a pathological religious fascination with horses; horse play)


HORSEPLAY (rough boisterous play; high jinks)




Abandon bow of boat, say (5)


CUTTER (powerful motor launch; boat) excluding (abandon) the first letter (bow of) C


UTTER (say)




Sound detector that may be used in church (6)


CENSER (sounds like [sound] SENSOR [detector])


CENSER (a ceremonial container in which incense is burned, often used in churches)




Klingsor is into rock, primarily Slade, Rolling Stones (8)


ME (Klingsor, setter) contained in (into) (an anagram of [rolling] [R {first letter of (primarily) ROCK} and SLADE])


EMERALDS (gemstones)




Hawaiian island’s coral oddly lost colour to a large extent (4)

OA (even numbered letters [oddly lost], 2 and 4 of CORAL) + HUE (colour) excluding the final letter (to a large extent) E


OAHU (third largest island of the State of Hawaii)




Description of mule worn out after covering much distance? (4-2-4)


A MULE is a backless shoe or slipper which is likely to have a very low heel and be described as DOWN AT HEEL


DOWN AT HEEL (a shoe after covering much distance will have the HEEL particularly worn DOWN)




Derby County’s foul overlooked at first (8)


KENT (English County) + YUCKY (disgusting; foul) excluding (overlooked) the first letter (at first) Y


KENTUCKY (reference the KENTUCKY Derby, a major horse race in the United States)




Daughter connected to internet (not at home) having installed good computer accessory (6)


D (daughter) + (ON LINE [connected to the internet] excluding [not] IN [at home] and containing [having installed] G [good])


DONGLE ( device plugged into a computer to allow an authorised application to run; computer accessory)





Best bargain for Apple users? (5)


IDEAL (the clue alludes to the range of Apple products beginning with I – e.g. Ipad, Ipod, Itouch)


IDEAL (perfect; best)




Stumped by point about reduced internet connection speed (9)


(ST [stumped] + NESS [headland; point]) containing (about) (WIFI [method of transferring data between computers using high frequency radio waves, frequently using for connecting computers to routers wired into the internet] excluding the final letter [reduced] I)






A cross to head off trouble (6)


A + MULE (offspring of a cross between a [usually] male donkey and a [usually] female horse ) + T (first letter of [head off {from}] TROUBLE)


AMULET (as defined by the whole clue, an AMULET is a charm to ward of evil) &Lit clue




Me, I have a waggy tongue extremely disposed to do this? (4,3,4,4)

Anagram of (disposed) (ME I HAVE A WAGGY and TE (first and last letters of [extremely] TONGUE)


GIVE THE GAME AWAY (by solving the anagram we are seen to GIVE THE GAME AWAY)




Over Ireland, aviator losing velocity switched from one plane to another (3-2-3)


(Anagram of [switched] AVIATOR excluding [losing] V [velocity]) + IR (Ireland)


AIR-TO-AIR (from one aircraft [plane] to another)




Disrupted the Riding Club? (5)


UP SET (a RIDING CLUB could be described as a SET of people who are UP on horses)


UPSET (dirupted)




What the Pied Piper did started a dispute (4,5)


TOOK + ISSUE (children) (The Pied Piper TOOK children from Hamelin when he wasn’t paid for his rat catching work)


TOOK ISSUE (started a dispute)




Shooter leaves part of ship full of punctures extensively (9)


GUNWALE (upper edge of a ship’s side next to the bulwarks) excluding (leaves) GUN (shooter) containing (full of) HOLES (punctures)


WHOLESALE (extensively and indiscriminately))




Prince supports amateur, potentially star material (9)


A (amateur) + an anagram of (potentially) STAR + KHAN (prince in Central Asia)  As this is a dwon clue, KHAN is supporting (A + STAR*)


ASTRAKHAN (lambskin with curled wool from the Middle East; a rough fabric made in imitation of it; material




Mount Ida covered by corn and barley?  That’s infrequent (8)


(IDA contained in [covered by] CROPS [corn and barley are examples of CROPS]) all reversed (mount)


SPORADIC (occurring now and then; infrequent)




Accepting rising price, paid for explosive device (6)


PD (paid) containing (accepting) (RATE [price] reversed [rising; down clue])


PETARD (a case containing an explosive, used for blowing in doors)




Crouch End in riot after band finally cancelled (5)


SQUAD (band) excluding the final letter (finally cancelled) D + T (last letter of [end in] RIOT)


SQUAT (crouch)




Contrarily, terminal for neutral (blue) is live (5)


(L ([last letter of {terminal for} NEUTRAL] + LEWD [obscene; blue]) all reversed (contrarily)


DWELL (live



10 Responses to “Independent 8175 / Klingsor”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Duncan. It was a tough Thursday puzzle, I thought, with the last four or five taking me ages. UTTER was last in, not helped by the less than 50% checking and unhelpful crossing letters. Like you, I admired DONGLE and SWIFTNESS.

    Bravo, Klingsor and well done to Duncan for the double century of blogs.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Klingsor for a really enjoyable puzzle and Duncan for the blog.

    5ac: I think with the question mark on the end, you can take the clue as a definition by example, which makes it a complete “& lit”.

    13ac: Particularly nice to see the singular verb “clothes” for the containment indicator.

    6dn: There is an alternative construction possible here. “Over” could be taken as an inclusion indicator making the wordplay IR in ATOAIR. If this were an across clue I think the alternative parsing would be better, but the one Duncan has given works perfectly for the down clue which this in fact is.

  3. allan_c says:

    Yes, a nice one from Klingsor. With K, Q and V emerging fairly early I wondered if it might be a pangram, but of course it wasn’t. I too was trying for ages to think of something ending in ‘less’ in 3dn, and DEMITASSE was my last in (after resorting to a word finder).
    I think AMULET has been clued in very much the same way before, though not very recently. And with CENSER we had the situation commented on not long ago about homophones of the same length, although as the crossing letters would be the same here for ‘sensor’ it wouldn’t affect the rest of the grid.
    Thanks, Duncan, for the usual comprehensive blog.

  4. Al says:

    Thanks Duncan. I’m shakily returning to Cryptics and have been struggling to get into the Indy setters’ mindsets. This site is hugely helpful, I’ve bookmarked you and really appreciate your blog.

  5. Wil Ransome says:

    The usual excellent crossword from Klingsor, who clearly spent a long time honing the clues. Duncan says at least three &lits. I think there are four (5ac, 10ac, 4dn, 5dn). With this type of checking a Nina cries out, but nobody has mentioned one and I can’t see what it is; for there must be one — otherwise what justification can there be for the two clues with only 40% checking?

    I seem to remember that last time we had a crossword from Klingsor it was very good but had this bad checking, and that I commented on it then. Evidently my words of wisdom haven’t been listened to. More likely they’re not words of wisdom, and the Indy has taken a decision that this doesn’t matter, and old fuddy-duddies like me can be ignored.

    By the way, what is the need for the word ‘Get’ in 12ac [Get a bit lost in New Orleans on the way back — OBTAIN]? The clue works perfectly well without it.

  6. Trebor says:

    @5 – Get = Obtain?

  7. Rorschach says:

    Another brilliant puzzle from Klingsor but that shouldn’t surprise us!
    The &lits are always beautiful.

    Another brilliant blog from Duncan but that shouldn’t surprise us!

    Thanks both!

  8. Bertandjoyce says:

    We started this late last night which was a really bad idea as we had to abandon it and finish it this morning. We use the word ‘finish’ rather loosely here as we needed some help from the blog to help us sort things out, thanks Duncan!

    When we looked at things afterwards we wondered how we missed Kentucky- excellent clueing as we expect from Klingsor but we just couldn’t fathom it out!

    Thanks Klingsor.

  9. Klingsor says:

    Many thanks for an excellent blog and the nice comments. I hope you all had a good Christmas.

    I can’t claim credit for the Scotland on Sunday puzzles. I have at least one namesake in the crossword world!

    Regarding grids: unlike most papers the Indy doesn’t have a prescribed set of these. I generally use ready-made grids which have been approved by at least one editor of a national paper’s puzzles and this was one of them. I agree that “blank-letter-blank-letter-blank” isn’t ideal, but clearly the consensus among editors is that this doesn’t matter too much. Some care has to be taken when selecting grids obviously – there are some horrors out there! On the other hand I take the view that for non-thematic puzzles the grid is simply a place to put words and if it’s good enough to get past two respected editors, it’s good enough for me.

    Trebor’s explanation of 12 across is correct.

    A Happy New Year to all!

  10. Wil Ransome says:

    How unbelievably stupid of me. Of course 12ac needs ‘Get’. My apologies.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

four + = 11