Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8197 / Scorpion

Posted by Bertandjoyce on January 22nd, 2013


This was an enjoyable, not too tricky, themed offering from Scorpion.


The theme at 10 / 8 was relatively straightforward, and the thematically connected 7ac was moreorless a write-in. Seven of the story-tellers in the book feature in the solution – quite an achievement given that there are no particularly unusual words in a grid that has a high proportion of longer entries.

The definition for 27ac raised a big smile (or should that be a wince?) – it had to be our COD!


7   Religious traveller moved one girl into Prime Minister’s    accommodation
PILGRIM Anagram of I (one) GIRL (anagrind is ‘moved’) in or ‘accommodated by’ PM (Prime Minister)
8   See 10
See 10
10/8   Worker in park, returning later, buys unusual book
CANTERBURY TALES ANT (worker) in REC (park) reversed or ‘returning’ + anagram of LATER BUYS (anagrind is ‘unusual’) The theme for the puzzle
11   Business fair – 7 in the 10/8
COOK CO (business) + OK (fair)
12   Greeks regularly keep carrier here?
RHODES (g)R(e)E(k)S (alternate or ‘regular’ letters) round or ‘keeping’ HOD (carrier)
13   Unknown phoned in to harass, ignoring drill
STRANGER RANG (phoned) in (pe)STER (harass) with PE (drill) ‘ignored’
14   School paper - 7 in the 10/8
SQUIRE S (school) + QUIRE (paper)
16   Audibly, Charlie kissed face
ASPECT Homonym (‘audibly’) of ASS (Charlie, as in a silly person) PECKED (kissed)
20   Grade learner that’s flanked by stabiliser - 7 in the 10/8
FRANKLIN RANK (grade) L (learner) in or ‘flanked by’ FIN (stabiliser)
23   Middle-distance athlete grabs second place in Olympics – 7 in the 10/8
MILLER MILER (middle-distance runner) around L (2nd letter of ‘Olympics’)
25   Dress gets women’s attention
WEAR W (women) + EAR (attention)
26   Caribbean offbeat ground close to beach – 7 in the 10/8
WIFE OF BATH WI (West Indies  – Caribbean) + anagram of OFFBEAT (anagrind is ‘ground’) + H (last letter or ‘close’ of ‘beach’)
27   Stern action from nurse perhaps, redirecting blokes in casualty
ENEMA MEN (blokes) in A E (Accident and Emergency or ‘casualty’) all reversed or ‘redirected’
28   Old English latterly tutored in building near school
ROEDEAN O (old) E (English) + D (last or ‘latter’ letter of ‘tutored’) in an anagram of NEAR (anagrind is ‘building’)
1   Artist might apply such pressure during cuts
SPLASHES P (pressure) in SLASHES (cuts)
2   Fine music player opening in denims. Groovy?
FLUTED F (fine) + LUTE (music player) + D (1st or ‘opening’ letter of ‘denims’)
3   TT race’s start is marginally edgier for firefighter
DRY RISER DRY (TT – teetotal) + R (start, or 1st letter of ‘race’) + IS + E R (‘margins’ or 1st and last letters of ‘edgier’)
4   Rogue application takes root in laptop’s drive
IMPULSE IMP (rogue)  + USE (application) around or ‘taking’ L (‘root’ or 1st letter of ‘laptop’)
5   Racehorse perhaps showing reserve jumping over river
STAYER RES (reserve) reversed or ’jumping’ around or ‘over’ TAY (river)
6   Adventurous girl boxes six-footer here in Iberia
ALICANTE ALICE (‘adventurous’ girl – as in her Adventures in Wonderland) around or ‘boxing’ ANT (‘six-footer’)
9   Charity work in church follows Sabbath
SCOPE OP (work) in CE (church) after S (Sabbath)
15   Rattled Arsenal player, initially dropped, very brief with newsman
UNNERVED gUNNER (Arsenal player, with the 1st or ‘initial’ letter ‘dropped’) + V (very – brief) + ED (editor – newsman)
17   Cricket side enriches season – 7 in the 10/8
SUMMONER ON (cricket side) in or ‘enriching’ SUMMER (season)
18   Husband’s in screening film from 1970s
THE STING H (husband) in TESTING (screening)
19   Posh type circulating provided livery
UNIFORM U (posh) + NORM (type) around or ‘circulating’ IF (providing)
21   Ever-evolving earth? 7 in the 10/8
REEVE Anagram of EVER (anagrind is ‘evolving’) + E (earth)
22   Sheriff finds Alpha male rolling in grassy area
LAWMAN A (alpha) + M (male) reversed or ‘rolling’ in LAWN (grassy area)
24   Clumsy type with eraser, changing hands
LUBBER RUBBER (eraser) with R (right) changing to L (left)


8 Responses to “Independent 8197 / Scorpion”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Lovely themed puzzle from Scorpion. I habitually start with the first across clue, so when PILGRIM went in I looked at the gateway clue and it just popped into my head – unusual for me. I wouldn’t say I’m familiar with the work, but it’s well-known enough to be able to get all the themed answers without recourse to Mrs Google. I did have a look subsequently to remind myself of Chaucer’s work, though.

    ENEMA was indeed good.

    Perhaps it’s random, but STING, who features in 18dn, produced a 1993 album called Ten Summoner’s Tales, referring to one of our pilgrims today, but which is also a pun on his surname (his real name is Gordon Sumner).

    Thanks for blogging, B&J.

  2. NealH says:

    I was quite surprised to get through a Scorpion as quickly as this. The theme came fairly quickly after I’d got Reeve (although I did briefly consider actors who’d been in Superman films as an alternative). Not having actually read the Canterbury Tales, I was mostly having to work out the pilgrims from the wordplay, but the clues weren’t too difficult on the whole.

    I think the men in A&E wordplay for enema was used in another puzzle recently, but the definition was very good here.

  3. allan_c says:

    There is another 7 in the 10/8 in the grid, though not named in the form used in the 10/8.

  4. crypticsue says:

    Given where I live and the fact that I did Chaucer’s Prologue for A Level many many years ago, I really should have ‘got’ the theme much earlier than I did.

    Another very enjoyable crossword from Scorpion so thank you to him and B&J too – I agree about the COD.

  5. flashling says:

    Agree that 27ac is a rather nicely done clue, I’ve never read the theme at all but I think the tales have appeared often enough to drill the names into my brain to complete this without needing to consult the interwebs. Quite a quick solve compared to some Tuesdays.

    Thanks B&J and Scorpion

  6. Quixote says:

    About 20 years ago or more the Indy crossword editor (Louise Levene) made me rejig a magazine puzzle to avoid ENEMA — times have changed!

  7. eimi says:

    Winter draws on.

  8. allan_c says:

    Further to #3, it’s at 22dn – LAWMAN. Chaucer has a Man of Law in the 10/8

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