Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1193 Hypnos

Posted by scchua on January 6th, 2013


Quite a straightforward and enjoyable puzzle, with a touch of the Season included. Thanks to Hypnos. And a Happy New Year (not too late, I think) to all readers, bloggers and setters here. Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[The pictures at the bottom have unidentified links to the puzzle.]]


1 Around start of October, band grows in ground for winter sport? (12)

SNOWBOARDING : O{initial letter of(start of) “October”} contained in(around) anagram of(ground) BAND GROWS IN.

10 Substance in largely unmixed drink (7)

PURPORT : “pure”(unmixed;unalderated) minus its last letter(largely) + PORT(an alcoholic drink).

Defn. and Answer: Nouns for the meaning of speech or writing.

11 Take off from India and China laden with computers etc (7)

IMITATE : I(abbrev. for “India”) plus(and) MATE(whose rhyming slang is “China” from “China plate”) containing(laden with) IT(abbrev. for information technology: computers, etc.).

12 Old statesman protected by dour henchmen from the East (5)

NEHRU : Hidden in(protected by) and reversal of(from the East, in an across clue) “dour henchmen”.

Answer: Jawaharlal, the first Prime Minister of India.

13 Outfit for a butterfly? (8)

SWIMSUIT : Cryptic defn: What one wears if doing the butterfly stroke, usually in competitive swimming.

15 Neat gin mixed with a dash of Drambuie surrounded by tree – a seasonal occasion? (6,3)

BOXING DAY : {OX(an example of a neat;a domestic bovine animal) + anagram of(mixed) GIN plus(with) initial letter of(a dash of) “Drambuie} contained in(surrounded by) BAY(a small European evergreen tree, also called the laurel).

16 Foreign character in split of river (5)

DELTA : Double defn: 1st: Character in the Greek alphabet; and 2nd: Part of the river where it might split into many branches on reaching the sea.

17 Magazine feature found during some tennis (5)

INSET : IN(found during) SET(part of a tennis match).

19 See a new hotel in island – disreputable source of money? (4,5)

LOAN SHARK : LO(see, usually in conjunction with “behold”) + A + N(abbrev. for “new”) + {H(represented by “hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) contained in(in) SARK(a small island that is part of the Channel Islands in the English Channel)}.

21 Perhaps, fine writer confronts a tangle of lies (8)

PENALISE : PEN(a writing instrument;writer) plus(confronts) + A + anagram of(tangle of) LIES.

Answer: An example;perhaps of which is to impose a fine.

23 African city harbouring grand instrument (5)

ORGAN : ORAN(a city in Algeria, on the Mediterranean coast) containing(harbouring) G(abbrev. for a “grand”, slang for a thousand, usually dollars or pounds).

26 Expert on board that is diminutive figure (7)

SHORTIE : Edit.note:  Thanks Raich for the shorter explanation.  I thought wrongly.  Double defn: 1st: (I think) Short for a short seller, one who sells shares that he/she does not have yet in anticipation of a drop in price, in the stock exchange, the metonym of which is “the board” – presumably he/she’s got to be expert in it to keep on doing it; and 2nd: a

SHORT(Nigel, English chess prodigy, grandmaster at 19, expert on chess board, and of whom I was shamefully ignorant) + IE(that is;Latin id est).

Answer:  A belittling word for a person of little;diminutive;short figure.

27 Island athlete once rounding wild fell overlooking lake, hazard in wintry climes? (3,4)

ICE FLOE : I(abbrev. for “island”) + COE(Baron Sebastian, an retired English athlete) containing(rounding) anagram of(wild) FEL{“fell” minus(overlooking) “l”}.

Answer: A marine hazard in ice-cold regions.

28 Premier, ex-Labour leader, with a lot of Irish and Scottish celebrants? (5-7)

FIRST-FOOTERS : FIRST(premier;foremost) + FOOT(Michael, once leader of the British Labour Party) plus(with) ERS{“Erse”, the Irish Gaelic language minus its last letter(a lot of)}.

Answer: Celebrants of the Scottish tradition of first-footing. The first person who steps across a home’s threshold on New Year’s Day (midnight on New Year’s Eve) usually brings gifts representing good fortune. In some places, traditionally, the first-footer should be a dark-haired male, females and fair-haired males being regarded as unlucky (?). And of course, all this stepping is followed with a party.


 2 Northern man keeping paintings and cross in portico (7)

NARTHEX : {N(abbrev. for “northern”) + HE(pronoun for a man)} containing(keeping) ART(which includes paintings) plus(and) X(alphabetical character for a cross).

Answer: The porch;portico;lobby at the entrance to a church furthest from the main altar.

3 Exciting hunt in wood clearing old literary mystery (9)

WHODUNNIT : Anagram of(exciting) “hunt in wood” minus(clearing) “o”(abbrev. for old).

4 Curse in boathouse (4)

OATH : Hidden in(in) “boathouse”.

5 Maybe one in cutting banter cut short ordinary sort defending West (10)

RAILWAYMAN : RAI{“rail”(if done good naturedly, it’s to banter, if not it’s to complain bitterly) minus its last letter(cut short) + LAYMAN(a person with no specialised or professional knowledge of a subject;an ordinary sort)} containing(defending) W(abbrev. for “west”).

Defn: A reference to a cutting through which the railway runs.

6 Distinctive speech from old dictator getting award (5)

IDIOM : IDI(Amin, former dictator of Uganda) plus(getting) OM(the post-nominal letters for one who has been awarded the Order of Merit, by the monarchy).

Answer: A vocabulary or style of speaking peculiar to a specific group or subject.

7 Gentle drug a lab, not British, manufactured (7)

GRADUAL : Anagram of(manufactured) “drug a lab” minus(not) B(abbrev. for “British”).

8 Period of time in bridge (4)

SPAN : Double defn: 1st: As in “the span of recorded history”.

9 Port with provider of funds for arty area (4,4)

LEFT BANK : PORT(the left hand side of a craft, when facing the bow) plus(with) BANK(which might provide you with funds).

Answer: The area on the River Seine in Paris where arty people (and tourists) gather.

14 One close to a majority? (10)

ADOLESCENT : Cryptic defn: The majority is the state or time of being of legal age to smoke, vote, drink alcohol, get married without parents’ consent, etc.

15 Book by lecturer, mischievous reactionary (8)

BLIMPISH : B(abbrev. for “book”) plus(by) L(abbrev. for “lecturer”) + IMPISH(mischievous like an imp).

Answer: After Colonel Blimp, the British cartoon character depicting a person, especially a military officer, who is stupidly complacent and reactionary.

16 Not straightforward or fair person with forged notes (9)

DISHONEST : DISH(a fair person;an especially attractive person) plus(with) anagram of(forged) NOTES.

18 Gathering for departure complete among very good fellows (7)

SENDOFF : END(to complete;to finish) contained in(among) SO(very, as in “she’s so dishy”) + FF(abbrev. for “fellow” x 2). I guess “good” is there for the surface; otherwise it appears superfluous?

20 A lot of fear about unusual gun that’s stiff (7)

ANGULAR : “alarm”(fear) minus its last letter(a lot of) containing(about) anagram of(unusual) GUN.

Answer: Stiff in manner or movement, as opposed to graceful.

22 What Californian mayor might serve shortly in future? (5)

LATER : LA term{a period in office which an elected mayor from LA(Los Angeles, California) might serve} minus its last letter(shortly).

24 Requirement to work in bakery, reportedly (4)

NEED : Hidden in(reportedly) “knead”(manipulate;work dough in a bakery).

25 Lush piece of Gershwin orchestration (4)

WINO : Hidden in(piece of) “Gershwin orchestration “.

Defn. and Answer: Synonyms for a drunkard.




2 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1193 Hypnos”

  1. Raich says:

    I think that in 26A the reference may be to Nigel SHORT, the chess player ie expert on (chess) board.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Raich, you’re right. And apologies all round. (Given just “short”, googling didn’t help me much.)

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