Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,183 by Tyrus (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 05/01/13)

Posted by Simon Harris on January 12th, 2013

Simon Harris.

It’s the first Saturday prize puzzle of 2013, and it looks like we’re in trouble!

Instead of the usual New Year wishes and pleasantries, we received A GOOD TALKING TO, followed by A RAP ON THE KNUCKLES, and finally SLAP ON THE WRIST. Funnily enough, they were welcome, since the three longer answers helped to open the grid right up, and this turned out to be quite a swift solve – so perhaps Tyrus was going easy on us all along.

I was held up a little with the crossing entries at 11ac, which I’m still not sure about, and 5dn, which I hadn’t heard of, and where I cannot fathom the wordplay as yet.

1 A GOOD TALKING-TO OK again – got told to change during this (1,4,7-2)
8 HASSLE Annoy by fluttering lashes (6)
9 LATITUDE Commonplace – leader stamped out freedom (8)
[p]LATITUDE. I was a little surprised to see “commonplace” used as a noun, but it turns out that’s completely acceptable
10 BOTTLE UP Keep secret – pub left to female going bust (6,2)
(PUB LE[f]T TO)*
11 WARBLE Green backed down after slaughtering you on Twitter (6)
RAW< + BL[u]E. If my reading is correct, this is slightly odd, as “Twitter” seems to be doing double duty: first denoting the “u” as “you on Twitter”, but also as the definition. If that is also the definition, some may take umbrage at the capital T, but really, worse things have happened in life
12 STOPS Checks notices on retirement (5)
17 EYESIGHT Sense crew’s in agreement? The reverse (8)
18 BY FAR Very much why fellow boozer drinks (2,3)
(Y + Fellow) in BAR
20 BASSET Dog’s bottom nearly on TV (6)
BAS[e] + SET
22 WITH CALF Galloway’s expecting constituents to watch short film (4,4)
(WATCH + FIL[m])*. One of my last few in. The surface reading misleads very well, but a rather large penny dropped when I realised that “Galloway” might be a breed of cattle, and so it is
24 SVENGALI Amorous manager’s given girl one – he’s very persuasive (8)
SVEN-Göran Eriksson (former England football manager, known for his rather unlikely-seeming conquests) + GAL + I
25 RANCID Rotten what the Chief Super did (6)
RAN + C.I.D. Nicely done
26 CLOSE TO THE BONE No clothes to be worn – direction that’s almost indecent (5,2,3,4)
1,14 A RAP ON THE KNUCKLES Handy alternative to 4 (1,3,2,3,8)
a fairly simple cd., I think
2 ONSET Attack working group (5)
3 DIETER German who’s getting reduced fare (6)
dd., as in one who diets, and Dieter, a common German name
4 A SLAP ON THE WRIST Earl breaks criminal law – that’s prison (or something less harsh) (1,4,2,3,5)
5 KATOWICE Old women looking after Cambridge female round foreign city (8)
This one beat me, and I still can’t parse it at all
6 NATURALLY Turn up without a friend as normal (9)
(A in TURN<) + ALLY
7 TIDAL Like the sea rising, it covers most of valley (5)
IT< + DAL[e]
13 PHEASANTS Has to conserve energy in bad game (9)
(Energy in HAS) in PANTS
15 SMALL-TIME Mo being petty (5-4)
16 DISTRACT CD artist made to amuse (8)
19 STERNE Writer back on radio (6)
hom. of “stern”. Laurence Sterne, I assume
21 ANVIL Bone inhabitant of Balkan village (5)
[balk]AN VIL[lage]
23 CAN-DO Positive in attitude, they make company (3-2)
C AND O, which makes “co”, the common abbreviation for “company”

*=anagram; <=reversed; []=removed; hom.=sounds like; dd=double definition; cd=cryptic definition

11 Responses to “Independent 8,183 by Tyrus (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 05/01/13)”

  1. Tramp says:

    Superb puzzle, every clue was a delight to solve. I like the thematic, long answers but my faves are 10, 18, 17, 22, 24, 13d and 23d.

  2. MaleficOpus says:

    Thanks Simon and Tyrus.

    Like you, KATOWICE and WARBLE were my last in, and I found the right-hand side harder in general.

    I parsed KATOWICE as O(ld) W(omen) I(n) C(harge) with KATE round.

    As Tramp said, superb.

  3. Dormouse says:

    I’ve just realised why KATE was “Cambridge female”. D’oh!

  4. allan_c says:

    A fairly gentle amble but some head-scratching required. I liked 5dn; the clue would have worked perfectly well without ‘Cambridge’ but its inclusion was just what was needed for a spot of misdirection. And another nice misdirection in the surface of 22ac.

    Thanks, Tyrus and Simon.

  5. Simon Harris says:

    Anyone care to explain the Cambridge connection?

  6. Flashling says:

    Duchess of Cambridge perhaps Simon…

  7. Tyrus says:

    Many thanks for the blog and comments – glad the ‘punishment’ didn’t prove too severe.

    Happy New Year to all.

  8. redddevil says:

    what was the anagrind in 22 ac?

  9. Simon Harris says:

    Hi RD –

    I think it’s “constituents to”, meaning the letters of. It’s a little oblique as it doesn’t explicitly say “shuffle these letters around”, but I think the very smooth politically-themed surface reading justifies it.

  10. Graham Pellen says:

    24A is SVEN + GAL + I.

    2D is ON + SET.

  11. Simon Harris says:

    Thanks, Graham, you’re absolutely right of course.

    The tool I use to get started on these posts seems to drop the “+” character for reason. I try to stick ‘em back in but inevitably miss one or two sometimes.

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