Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8199 / Klingsor

Posted by duncanshiell on January 24th, 2013


Thursdays usually bring a challenging crossword.  I think today’s offering from Klingsor certainly falls into the challenging category.




For those who don’t know the names behind setters pseudonyms, Klingsor is NEIL Shepherd.  He lives in the CZECH REPUBLIC.  Neither of these pieces of knowledge are essential to solve the puzzle, but the first one helps with 20 across.

I thought there were some wonderful wordplay constructions in today’s puzzle, particularly RUN A TIGHT SHIP (26 across), EDITORIAL (10 across) and EXCELLENCE (21 across)

The clue for NIOBIUM was interesting but completely fair if you knew that Nb was the chemcial symbol for NIOBIUM.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry



Country inn secures survival? On the contrary, after auditor’s inspection (5,8)

CZECH (sounds like [auditor’s] CHECK [inspection]) + (RELIC [anything that is a survival from the past] containing [securing] [PUB [inn]) The second part is the opposite of  [on the contrary] of ‘inn secures survival’





Cold fish to have emotional attachment? (5) C (cold) + LING (a fish of the cod family, frequently found swimming in the crossworders world) CLING (adhere in interest or affection; have emotional attachment)



"Sorry I lied first of all" admits (almost) Conservative leader (9)

(Anagram of [sorry] I LIED and A [first letter of {first of} ALL]) containing (admits) TORY (Conservative) excluding the final letter (almost) Y


EDITORIAL (leader article in a newspaper)



Time to break into home to steal from idol (5-5)

(T [time] contained in [to break into] HEARTH [the home circle]) + ROB (to steal)

HEAR (T) TH ROB  - either T could be the one contained.

HEART-THROB (person who is the object of great romantic affection from afar; idol)



Captain Morgan’s foremost rum one drinks (4)

Anagram of (rum) ONE containing (drinks) M (first letter of [foremost] MORGAN)

NE (M) O*

NEMO (reference Captain NEMO, fictional character created by Jules Verne for 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and The Mysterious Island)



Element found in human being’s heart? (7) The letters NB, forming the chemical symbol for NIOBIUM are found in the centre (heart) of the words HUMAN BEING NIOBIUM (a metallic element discovered in the mineral tantallite and used in some alloys)



A strike in recession is first sign of economic depression (7)

(A + LAM [beat; strike]) all reversed (in recession) + IS + E (first letter of [first sign of] ECONOMIC)


MALAISE ([general air of] depression)



Caught out, implicated in secret goings-on (7) Anagram of (implicated) IN SECRET excluding (out) C   I don’t think I’ve come  across implicated as an anagram indicator before, but given that one definition of implicated is entangled, it seems fine. ENTRIES (to ENTER can be defined as to GO ON, so ENTRIES can be defined as goings-on)



Little creature keeps quiet for vet (7)


INSECT (small invertebrate creature) containing (keeps) P (pianissimo; quiet)


INSPECT (check;  vet)




I’ll be right back (4)


LIEN (a right to retain possession of another’s property until the owner pays a debt or fulfils a contract) reversed (back)


NEIL (Klingsor, the compiler, is the pseudonym of NEIL Shepherd [I])  I suppose this could just be a reference to anyone called NEIL, but  I would expect the clue to have HE rather than I in that case.




Old woman, about 100, with trappings of considerable greatness (10)


([EX {former; old} + ELLEN {woman’s name}] containing [about] C [Roman numeral for 100]) + CE (first and last letters of [trappings of] CONSIDERABLE)


EXCELLENCE (greatness)




E.g. estrange, removing option finally to mingle? (9)


Anagram of (to mingle) E.G. ESTRANGE excluding (removing) N [last letter of [finally] OPTION)


SEGREGATE (set apart [estrange]; ESTRANGE can be defined as alienate)




Resign as head in part is given axe to grind (5)


GNASH (hidden word in [in part] RESIGN AS HEAD)


GNASH  (to strike [the teeth] together in rage or pain, as one might do if one had an axe to grind)




Ladder in stocking initially and other legwear?  Keep things under control! (3,1,5,4)


(RUN [ladder] + HIP (following latest trends; part of the in-crowd; in]) containing (stocking) (A [first letter of [initially] AND + TIGHTS [other legwear])


RUN A TIGHT SHIP (keep things under control)





According to Spooner, journalist with sincerity reveals ineptitude (4-10)


HACK (journalist) +  CANDIDNESS (sincerity) as expressed by Reverend Spooner would sound like CACK HANDIDNESS






Musical Director’s not there in case that’s taken the wrong way (5)


DATIVE (same as DATIVE case, a word expressing an indirect object) excluding D (director) and then reversed (taken the wrong way)


EVITA (a stage and film musical show)




Outside capital I light most of the fuses and rush off (8,2)


Anagram of (fuses) (I LIGHT and [THE excluding the final letter {most of} E]) containing (outside) AI (A one; capital)


HIGHTAIL IT (rush off)




Woman’s not the last to disgrace Worcs town (7)


EVE (woman’s name) + SHAME (disgrace) excluding the final letter [not the last] E


EVESHAM (town in Worcestershire)




Even Oxford perhaps has class (7)


UNI (university, e.g. [perhaps] Oxford) + FORM (class)


UNIFORM (even)




Air can kill? That’s not bad (4)

LOO (toilet; can [slang for toilet]) + KILL (excluding [not] ILL [bad])


LOOK (appearance; air) .  I spent some time here wondering about the relevance of the phrase IF LOOKS COULD KILL




Tree could be frosty, we’re told before long (5,4)


CHILE (sounds like [could be ….we’re told] CHILLY [frosty]) + PINE (long [for])


CHILE PINE (monkey puzzle tree)




Disorganised, as an overworked storekeeper may be? (3,4,3,4)


ALL OVER THE SHOP (if a storekeeper is busy and overworked,  he/she will be going to all places within the shop to find goods)


ALL OVER THE SHOP (scattered in every direction; disorganised)  double definition




It’s illuminating to beat lecturer in argument (10)


(LASH [strike; beat] + L [lecturer]) contained in (in) FIGHT (argument)


FLASHLIGHT (torch; something that illuminates)




Craft shop’s not allowed to set up tent (9)


OUT (not allowed) + RIG (set up) + GER (yurt; light conical tent of skins) Afternote: Thomas99 at comment 2 below has come up with a much better explanation of OUT as OUTLET (shop excluding [not] LET [allowed]


OUTRIGGER (a light racing-boat with projecting rowlocks)




Navigational instrument surviving after onset of storm (7)

S (first letter of [onset of] STORM) + EXTANT (surviving)


SEXTANT (navigational instrument)




Returning diver given location of Jersey calf? (7)


(GREBE [short-winged almost tailless freshwater diving bird]  + CI [Channel Islands; Jersey is one of the Channel islands]) reversed (returning)


ICEBERG (a CALF is an ICEBERG that has broken off a glacier or larger iceberg)




Light gas pipe?  That’s upset her! (5)


(H [hydrogen, the lightest of all known substances; light gas] + MAIN [principal pipe in a utility system]) all reversed (that’s upset)


NIAMH (lady’s name, pronounced neeve)




Check concerning exchanging parts (4)


IN RE (in the matter of; concerning) with the two components IN and RE exchanged (exchanging parts) to form RE IN


REIN (check)



15 Responses to “Independent 8199 / Klingsor”

  1. Ian SW3 says:

    Thanks, Duncanshiell and Klingsor.

    I was convinced 6d had two cryptic parts: Air [DEFINITION] / can kill? [e.g., a look] / That’s [lo!] not bad [ok]. Your parsing works more succinctly, but I wonder if the multiple layering is deliberate.

  2. Thomas99 says:

    I found 15d very puzzling. I think it’s actually OUTlet – shop – without “let”, ie “allowed”, then RIG, then GER. My original parsing was OUTFITTER (shop) with RIG replacing FIT but that doesn’t quite work. I don’t think your parsing accounts for “shop”. I also had a hard time with 14a, which seems rather straightforward when you finally get it. Hardest Klingsor ever? Maybe, and a very enjoyable challenge.

  3. duncanshiell says:

    Ian SW3 @ 1

    I thought about LO defining that’s but I couldn’t convince myself it was valid. I then came up with the LOO and KILL split.

    Thomas99 @ 2

    I think you are right and I have updated the blog. I had completely overlooked the word ‘shop’

  4. Klingsor says:

    Thanks for the blog Duncan, and for the positive comments so far. I shall be out all day so just to clear up the questions raised:

    Thomas’s parsing of OUTRIGGER is correct

    Ian, you give me undeserved credit – the link between the clue for 6 down and “if looks could kill” is a coincidence, which I hadn’t noticed

    In 20 across I chose the pronoun “I” rather than “he” as it allowed me to exploit a common (mainly US) phrase – I think “He’ll be right back” is far rarer. That the answer happens to be my name is another coincidence.

    I hope it’s warmer in the UK than it is here in CZ!

  5. Rowland says:

    Not much I suspect!!


  6. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Klingsor for an enjoyable puzzle and Duncan for the blog. I needed help with the parsing of 26ac, 6dn, and 15dn (although I had got the OUTlet bit in the last of these).

    24ac: I took this as a complete “& lit”: I think every word is relevant to the definition.

    22dn: Possible quibble here. H is the symbol for the element hydrogen or for a single atom. The gas is molecular hydrogen, whose formula is properly H2 (except that the 2 should be a subscript). Personally I am happy with the clue as it stands – it is not much more of a stretch than the way Quixote argued a few days ago – but I thought I would raise the point in order to dismiss it.

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    Enjoyable challenge for Thursday. Some devious clueing which meant we had the answer but it took a while to sort out why!

    Thanks Duncan – we needed the blog to explain 26ac. Thanks also to Klingsor for making lunch and tea more enjoyable!

  8. flashling says:

    Started badly thinking 6d might be (mal)aria with Klingsor’s habit of operatic stuff, but quickly then finished, under 15 mins so I don’t think it was one of Neil’s hardest tbh. Did wonder if Chile Pine was a nod to the Rev Graham.

    Thanks Duncan & Klingsor

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, flash, finished it under 15 minutes?
    Bloody Hell, as a solver I am really not one living on the same planet as you.
    But I agree, not the toughest of Klingsors.
    A good one it was, though.

    I didn’t like 22d at all. For me, very very obscure. In many senses.

    But, wow, “I’ll be right back” for NEIL – a real gem.
    Of course, technically speaking, it’s only fair when you know Klingsor’s name is Neil.
    But I think Klingsor must have gushed about this clue when he got the idea.
    Well, I would have.
    My Clue of the Year already.

  10. Wil Ransome says:

    Some really good stuff here I thought. In places it defeated me and I put in NIOBIUM, OUTRIGGER and ENTRIES without understanding why and had to come to the blog to see how they worked. Thanks, Duncan. Yes, I agree, Thomas99, the hardest Klingsor ever, but all the clues make good sense now. Actually I did a lot of it reasonably quickly but in due course became utterly stuck.

    Although the surface for 20ac does indeed need I, and the clue is sound as it is, I felt what a number of people have pointed out in the past: there is a small group of people who actually know, but the general solver will have no idea that Klingsor is called Neil; you could argue that this is a little claustrophobic and that the Indy setter shouldn’t just appeal to this small world.

  11. anax says:

    I’m perfectly happy with ‘I’ as the def – there’s no reason why we need to need it’s K’s real name. ‘I’ is simply pointing to the identity of a name/grid entry (in fact we often see ‘I’ used as part of the def for an answer). It’s just a belting clue full stop and, as Sil suggests, a COTY contender.

  12. anax says:

    ‘Need to know’ – sorry; hasty digits.

  13. Paul B says:

    We see ‘I’ as a def for just about anything, in fact. An old tradition, too.

  14. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, PB, agree (even if I said something else @9), but our beloved setter must surely have had a special feeling when writing this clue.
    For me, this is one of those rare clues that make my heart beat faster. So natural, simple and wonderful! (in alphabetical order)

  15. Pelham Barton says:

    Just popping back after finishing today’s puzzles.

    17ac: “Implicated” is in the long list of anagram indicators in the section of Chambers 2011 called A Wordgame Companion, not that it needs justification.

    20ac: When solving, I was of course aware that Klingsor has a real name, but I did not know what it was. I decided that it must be Neil from the clue. On reflection, and reading the later comments, I agree with the view that the clue does not depend on that fact.

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