Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8177 (Sat 29-December 2012) Tees

Posted by beermagnet on January 5th, 2013


The gods of the old year brought me another Tees to blog, which is fine by me.
I always find Tees’ puzzles a pleasure as his clues always make some kind of sense on the surface.  Like this one they can sometimes be a bit tough for my brain.  Indeed, I struggled a bit with this.  When blogging the deconstructed clues seem very fair …


… apart from the ones I can’t explain of course: A couple of loose ends to be tidied on the wordplay front, and one major failure (12A).  Finally, I can’t see any theme.  (Here we go again – I’m expecting something blindingly obvious to be revealed in the comments.)

1 STEAMY Salacious girl sent back into corrupt place (6)
4 ASHRAM Retreat when sheep surround husband (6)
H[usband] inside AS RAM (when sheep)
9 TENDERFOOT Sentimental old Labour leader a new employee of mine (10)
TENDER (sentimental) FOOT (Michael – leader 1980-83)
I’m not sure why the clue mentions “of mine”.  I think of tenderfoot in context of outdoor activities, e.g. cowboys and indians
10 DARK Closed as theatre, sinister and bleak (4)
Double (Triple?) def. Last in – foiled by Radar – spotted soon enough when the D appeared
11 CARAFE Soldiers in bar drink from this (6)
RA (soldiers) in CAFE (bar)
12 SATURDAY Ace dropping in perhaps for time at weekend (8)
I cannot explain this one.  Who is the Ace?  What’s dropping? Is time part of def. or wordplay?
13 HERO Priestess at Sestos has male leave the room (4)
Remove TOM (male) from THE ROOM, so effectively hidden in tHE ROom.  See below for more.
14 INFIGHTING Say two GIs with Ninth tussling over female? (10)
(GI GI F NINTH)* AInd: tussling. &Lit
16 HIEROPHANT One into 13 visits local worker for mystagogue (10)
I inside HERO (13 see above) PH (local, Public House, PH as on ordnance survey maps) ANT (worker)
18 ELAN Knocking back northern beer shows style and vigour (4)
N ALE all reversed. First answer entered and the only one I would call a “write-in” in the whole puzzle.
20 A BIT MUCH Somewhat excessive answer to letter from Greeks spiteful woman receives (1,3,4)
MU (letter from Greeks) inside A BITCH (spiteful woman)
23/22 BEAR WITH ME Antigonus’ plea for patience? (4,4,2)
One of those quirky double defs. with the whole clue making a nice joke: Antigonus is remembered from Shakespeare for his exit “pursued by bear” in A Winter’s Tale.
24 EARTHBOUND Stuck here, or travelling back from the stars (10)
A very nice double def. My favourite clue in this puzzle
25 DONATE Prospective partner holds forth to give in kindness (6)
ON (forth?) inside DATE (prospective partner). Not 100% sure about this clue analysis – there is probably more going on as I cannot explain the apparently extraneous “in kindness” clue suffix
26 BODEGA Old alumnus in turn shows concern for alcohol (6)
AGED (old) O.B. (Old Boy – alumnus) all reversed.  “Concern” as in business concern
1 SEEPAGE Consult with servant, liquid having soaked through (7)
SEE (consult) PAGE (servant)
2/3 ENDEAVOUR MORSE Dexterous character maybe to strive for longer, collaring crooks at the finish (9,5)
ENDEAVOUR MORE (strive for longer) around (collaring) [crook]S. Author and noted cruciverbalist Colin Dexter created the Oxford-based detective Morse, thus “Dexter-ous”
5 SITS TIGHT With vermouth carried in ship, drunk is waiting patiently (4,5)
IT (vermouth) inside SS (ship) TIGHT (drunk) I initially wrote in “sits still” which held up that area a while
6 RADAR Sat in posh car, an American lawyer waves to expose foe (5)
A DA (an American lawyer) inside RR (posh car – Rolls Royce) “Waves” looked so much like an anagram indicator that for a long time I thought the def. was just “foe” and was transfixed with the idea the answer was Rival
7 MURRAIN Year lost to our champion at court, in plague (7)
MURRA[y] IN Ref. Andy Murray and tennis court
8 HORSE FEATHERS Film sons, entertained by topless trollop, getting on down (5,8)
S[ons] inside [w]HORE, FEATHERS (down).  Marx Brothers classic (don’t forget the password for this clip)
14 IMPRUDENT Unwise to be disrespectful about leader in Russia (9)
R[ussian] inside IMPUDENT (disrespectful) What’s this? Advice for Pussy Riot?
15 TWENTY-ONE Score requires English to follow on in game (6-3)
TWENTY (score) ON E[nglish] Maybe a second “write-in” for some.  The game that I would call Pontoon
17 INBREED Astride brother, I want to reproduce with relatives (7)
BR[other] inside I NEED (I want)
19 ARMENIA Song about People’s Republic (7)
MEN (people) inside ARIA (song)
21 TURIN Persecuted boffin abandoning grand Italian location (5)
TURIN[g] Ref. Alan Turing, certified genius
22 WAHOO Sympathy expressed in court for swimmer (5)
AH (sympathy) inside WOO (court).  A Wahoo is a fish – I had to check but I think that’s one I will remember

Re 13A. First few lines of Christopher Marlowe’s (unfinished) poem Hero and Leander:

On Hellespont, guilty of true love’s blood,
In view and opposite two cities stood,
Sea-borderers, disjoin’d by Neptune’s might:
The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair,
Whom young Apollo courted for her hair.


10 Responses to “Independent 8177 (Sat 29-December 2012) Tees”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, deermagnet :).

    I got everything right – hurrah – but couldn’t explain three of them.
    “Closed as theatre” for DARK is still a mystery to me, but that’s perhaps because it’s me.
    I am not a very literate person so 23/22 was wasted on me, but I had my thoughts on where it might come from.
    Yes, and 12ac – well ??? (three question marks).
    Tees, where are thou?

    Re 9ac, Chambers gives us for TENDERFOOT: “A person not yet hardened to life in the prairie, mining-camp, etc”, so that’s it methinks. Poor boy!

    Another good (and challenging) crossword by Tees with my COD the easy but oh so effective 19d (ARMENIA).

    And, finally, 14d: “Unwise to be disrespectful about leader in Russia”. Wasn’t that what Gérard Depardieu recently said … ?

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, beermagnet.

    I’m just a beginner on the Indy crosswords and came here looking for illumination on 12ac but, since you’ve forced me to do the work…

    A(ce) TURD (dropping) in SAY (perhaps)

  3. allan_c says:

    A nice one from Tees, not too difficult. Quite a contrast to the recycled Tees in yesterday’s i, which I struggled with for ages – and incidentally had an almost identical clue for BODEGA.

    But as for today’s (OK, last Saturday’s) offering, quite a range of refernces – Shakespeare, the Marx Brothers, Greek legend, to name but a few. HEIROPHANT was a new word to me, but easily worked out from the clue, and SATURDAY made me smile once I saw the parsing.

    A nice touch bringing in Colin Dexter and his creation, Morse, both being cruciverbalists.

    Thanks, Tees and Beermagnet.

  4. Raich says:

    Sil at #1, DARK is used when a theatre is closed – not so common nowadays perhaps.

  5. jmac says:

    Another great offering from Tees with 23/22 providing a nice follow-up to Araucaria’s 31ac in that setter’s Christmas prize puzzle.

  6. beermagnet says:

    Thanks Neil for sorting out last Saturday’s SATURDAY this Saturday.
    One of those that seem so simple when explained.

  7. Robi says:

    Thanks Tees & beermagnet.

    HIEROPHANT and WAHOO new to me. My Googling of Antigonus did not help – I got three Macedonian kings! :(

    I especially liked the BODEGA clue – maybe it’s the wine talking. 😉

  8. Tees says:

    Thanks beermagnet for a really splendid blog, and to all commenters.

    I think you’ve nabbed all the references now, so I won’t bore you with a list. However, I will bore you with this, a link to the download page for the new The Far Meadow album, which is called Where Joys Abound.

    Here you can listen to all the tracks in full I think (I recommend the long one at the end if you dig prog and have fifteen minutes to spare, though they’re all pretty good), but you have to pay if you want to download either any track, or the album. The good news is … it’s cheap! Enjoy, and have a decent Saturday yourselves.


  9. George Heard says:

    A bit late coming here to comment, but I have to tip my hat to Tees and I’m surprised it hasn’t been commented on here, 17 down is one of the most staggeringly wonderful clues I’ve ever read and it made me spill coffee all over the crossword. Excellent stuff!

  10. Phil Richardson says:

    I’ve just recently got back into cryptics after years of absence; the luxury of having some free time over Christmas.

    I really enjoyed this puzzle and thanks to some googling have found this wonderful site which explained 12ac

    Thanks Tees for a puzzle which made me laugh as well as curse. Excellent.

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