Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent Crossword 8172 by Tyrus (Saturday prize puzzle 22-12-2012)

Posted by twencelas on December 29th, 2012


‘Tis the Saturday before Christmas and a puzzle from Tyrus to blog – what could be better?

Another Tyrus puzzle full of original ideas led to much head scratching for me, for which I am grateful. Some nice general knowledge touches in the clues also (Bros, Disraeli, Boris Johnson, Hugo Boss, Tony Curtis, Amis, George Bush, Benjamin Netanyahu and Tom Watson (not the golfer)) to keep us solvers away from the dictionaries.

A couple of risque answers ON THE JOB (took me a while to see the derivation of this one, but in my defence we get less exposure of his buffoonery up here in Newcastle) and SHORT AND CURLIES (a marvellous clue).

Probably my favourite clue is 1dn – just because the leader of the richest country in the world has come out with such immortal lines over the years of his presidency and he would have been better keeeping quiet. 5dn also deserves a mention for being such a short and simple clue (when you see it).

13across has me a little stumped. Over to the audience.

Thanks Tyrus and a Happy New Year to all setters and solvers. It is always a pleasure to pit my wits against your clues.


Rev. Reverse, DD Double definition, * Anagram


1 B (Bonus initially) + Reverse (Not so (untrue)) = BOSTON (City)

4 Bros (Old boy band) in (seen)* [anagrind is rarely] = EN BROSSE (Hairstyle)

9 (a hairdresser could nt – dear)* = SHORT AND CURLIES (A hairdresser could n’t perm these)

11 Disraeli (PM) – D (Leader ignored) = ISRAELI (Benjamin Netanyahu?)

12 SETTING – DD What Tyrus is doing and In the backround

13 Mutt (dog) on lead (being walked) somehow the l changes to h with home not lost = MUTTONHEAD (Idiot)

15 BOSS (DD Head and Hugo Boss (Designer)

17 Hidden reSIDEnt = SIDE (Party)

18 (country)* + (tis)* = TONY CURTIS (Old hairstyle)

21 (remain)* [Anagrind vulnerable] around K (a thousand) = MANKIER (not so good)

22 It (sex) + or (an alternative) after Visa (method of payment) – a (a lost) = VISITOR (She calls)

24 (he makes lots)* [Anagrind Mistakes] + tory (right) = THE SAME OLD STORY (It’s nothing new)

25 Amis (novelist) – a (head) + tress (hair) = MISTRESS (Lady)

26 as (like) + Guard (Sounds like – protectors) = ASGARD (Where gods are)


1 Bum (no good) around sh (quiet) + is = BUSHISM (a fatuous thing to say – George Bush’s legacy to the world!)

2 Rev. (Troops (forces) – t (town)) = SPOOR (Scent)

3 Rev (BoJo (as in Boris Johnson)) around then (“after” cycling i.e. nthe) = ON THE JOB (Bonking)

5 NECESSARY EVIL Cryptic definition

6 Rear (back – e(pointless)) + i + try (go) – r (right away) = RARITY (something out of the ordinary)

7 Spout (tell me) about it + it (italians) = SPIT IT OUT (Go on!)

8 (Guinness – u (uniform))* = ENSIGNS (Old soldiers)

10 (br (empty backwater) + single house)* = NEIGHBOURLESS (could be so described)

14 TV DINNERS DD Scoff watching soaps? as in soap operas and easy to do (as in microwaved)

16 sub (advance) + assissts (helps) – as (when) = SUBSISTS (Lives frugally)

17 say (state) – a (heartless) + MP Tom (Tom Watson is the MP for West Bromwich East) = SYMPTOM (Sign)

19 stayed (kept) around r romeo = STRAYED (was unfaithful)

20 Rev Dim (Cloud) + hair (barnet) – h (hard) = MIDAIR (During flight)

23 Thor (God) + a = THORA (Woman)


7 Responses to “Independent Crossword 8172 by Tyrus (Saturday prize puzzle 22-12-2012)”

  1. Dormouse says:

    No comments yet? I found this incredibly hard going. Started on the train last Saturday on the way to visiting family and barely scratched the surface. Then, because of family gatherings, I had little chance to look at it again till Thursday when I got all but five clues. Those haircuts gave me a problem, never heard of “En brosse” and didn’t know there was a Tony Curtis hairstyle. And I couldn’t for the life of me see why 3dn was “On the job” so thanks for explaining that. And 9ac did make me smile.

  2. allan_c says:

    Certainly a challenge but I got there in the end, though I needed the blog to understand some of the clues, so thanks Tyrus and Twencelas.

    A small quibble about 2dn in that I’d not come across ‘t’ as an abbreviation for ‘town’ – it’s not in Chambers (1998) or Collins (2006), although the answer was obvious.

    To the general knowledge touches might be added Asgard and Barnet – although both are in Collins, and Asgard in Chambers.

  3. MikeC says:

    Thanks twenceslas and Tyrus. A good challenge, with some very neat devices. I couldn’t parse 3d, either. For 21a, I had MANGIER, which I suggest is equally valid (either G or K for 1000).

  4. flashling says:

    Thanks Tw and Tyrus, was too hard in the end, but fun enough for the bits I did, I blame the Christmas shopping…

  5. Tyrus says:

    Many thanks to twencelas for the blog and to others for their comments.

    Re 13a H for home and L for lost are football abbreviations , as is T for town in 2dn. These appear often in newspapers so I think they’re fair game.

    I think MANKIER is probably more obvious for 21a as it’s a more general term than MANGIER but apologies for the confusion.

    Think next puzzle’s a bit easier. Happy New Year to all.

  6. ewwo says:

    Thanks for the nice blog and puzzle. It’s a bit late I know, but I can see M (Roman) and k (kilo) for thousand. But responding to MikeC why G? To me as a scientist, G can only be Giga, ie a billion, not a thousand. I guess you are thinking G for grand but that seems obscure to me.

  7. twencelas says:

    Ewwo – I agree but Chambers has the following entry:
    G or G.
    abbrev: Gabon (IVR); Gauss; German (as in G-agents below); giga-; good; gourde; Government (as in G-man below); grand (1000 dollars); Group of (as in G5, etc below).

    G is thus valid as an abbreviation for a 1000.

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