Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8208 by Quixote

Posted by NealH on February 4th, 2013


After some tough puzzles last week, things were back to normal with a straightforward Quixote.

1. Beauty treatment? Female having a cold one gets a line reduced (6)
Facial F(emale) = a c I + a l[ine]
4. Produce chaps not primarily wanting sex (8)
Engender [M]en + gender
9. Delights of small children and their embracers? (6)
Charms Ch[ildren] + arms
10. Principle right for small boy and father to hold (8)
Standard Stan + dad around r(ight)
12. A learner just getting excited about the old man who was a philosopher? (4-4,6)
Jean-Paul Sartre (A learner just)* around pa
13. Course officials at Aintree, say (8)
Starters DD
15. What’s observed in the auditorium? (5)
Scene Hom of seen
17. Improve as journalist, enthralling about half the adult population? (5)
Emend Ed around men
19. Heavy rain has river flooding county and old city (8)
Downpour Po in (County) Down + Ur
21. Reporters offering similarity for the listeners (14)
Correspondents Not entirely sure of this – seems to be a hom, but not sure of what. The only thing I can think of is correspondence, but that seems too similar.
24. This person having chat with sailor is an A-list celeb (8)
Megastar Me + gas + tar
25. In big town there’s a very small space (6)
Cavity City around a v[ery].
26. What’s played esp. in inn? (8)
Ninepins (Esp in inn)*
27. Disloyalty with leader doing a bunk — motive? (6)
Reason [T]reason.
1. Fine performance conveys reality (4)
Fact. F(ine) + act
2. Smoked heroin — what George did? (6,3,6)
Chased the dragon DD
3. An isolated person engaging male hospital official (7)
Almoner A loner around m(ale)
5. Only some given a talent at birth (5)
Natal Hidden in “giveN A TALent”
6. Groups with members one over the eight — and seen to be drunk (7)
Enneads (And seen)*
7. Prepare for evening in to sketch out part of new decor? (4,3,8)
Draw the curtains DD
8. After Bible lessons maybe thought to be saved (8)
Redeemed RE (religious education) + deemed (=thought)
11. Useless bit of drudgery complete (3,3)
Fag end Fag (=bit of drudgery) + end(=complete as a verb)
14. Broadcasting jazz music when leader of orchestra has come in (6)
Sowing Swing around o[rchestra]
16. Female companion joining male, an abettor in crime? (8)
Henchman Hen + CH (Companion of Honour) + man
18. Get into a really good habit? (5,2)
Dress up CD
20. Fit out with material, trim all around (7)
Prepare Rep in pare
22. Map includes one stretch of level land (5)
Plain Plan around I.
23. Special song that man heard (4)
Hymn Hom of him(=that man)

13 Responses to “Independent 8208 by Quixote”

  1. flashling says:

    Yes very easy I felt, did this and the Rufus in under 25 mins on the train in today.

    Took 21ac the same way.

  2. Rowland says:

    CORRESPONDENCE is what you are looking for, Neal H, but this was very easy too. Bored!

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    It certainly wasn’t a fiendish puzzle, but then Quixote rarely if ever bowls googlies, doosras or ones that spit viciously off a good length. I enjoyed it – just right for a Monday morning for me. Never heard of CHASE THE DRAGON. Favourite today was DOWNPOUR.

  4. Paul B says:

    You could try Steely Dan’s ‘Time Out Of Mind’. Silver turning to gold, water to cherry wine, it’s all there.

  5. Dormouse says:

    Just about the right level of difficulty the day after staying up to four a.m. to watch the Superbowl. Certainly took me a lot longer than 25 minutes!

  6. Bertandjoyce says:

    Given that we only started this about 15 minutes ago plus we need an early night, we were glad that this was an easy solve!

    No complaints…….

    We hadn’t heard of CHASE THE DRAGON either!

    Thanks NealH and the Don.

  7. Wil Ransome says:

    Being very dim: what is happening at 13ac? It seems like a quite remarkably weak CD, which I’m sure it isn’t, but you say, Neal, that it’s a DD. OK starters are ‘course officials at Aintree, say’, but where is this cryptic?

    In 11dn I think the definition is ‘Useless bit’, and ‘of’ is a link-word. Drudgery = fag and complete = end. Otherwise ‘fag-end’ would have to be an adjective like ‘useless’, and in its normal sense it’s a noun.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Wil, STARTERS are ‘officials at Aintree, say’. They can also be seen as a ‘course’ – think food. That said, one may perhaps not like the solution being a plural.

    Apart from this, indeed an easy crossword, but well-clued.
    I enjoyed it.

  9. Quixote says:

    Thanks for the feedback. Ever since I returned to the Indy from the IOS I have made it a policy to use the same conventions for grids as are used for The Obsever Everyman. This means that checking will always make for a relatively easy puzzle, which is my intention — so that Indy readers get a balance. It is inevitable that some will like this and others be bored — you can’t please all the people all the time! In other papers my puzzles often lie at a harder part of the spectrum. This means that overall I can achieve some diversity in my own output and (hopefully) protract my setting career without undue repetition.

  10. Wil Ransome says:

    [13ac: Course officials at Aintree, say]

    You can have starters in the food sense anywhere, at Aintree as much as anywhere else. Is this it? Surely not. Is it a homophone, where ‘Aintree’ is to be read as some twisted form of ‘entree’, and the homophone is indicated by ‘say’? If so, then it’s a pretty dodgy homophone, isn’t it? Sorry Sil, but I’m not convinced.

  11. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Quixote for an enjoyable puzzle and NealH for the blog.

    My reading of 13ac is a double definition.

    1st definition “Course” in the food sense – it is a bit of a stretch from singular to plural, but not much of one. The first course of a communal meal can easily be called starters.

    2nd definition “officials at Aintree, say” in the racing sense – a clearly marked definition by example.

    I think this is what others have been trying to say. Maybe the above will help.

  12. Wil Ransome says:

    Yes Pelham of course you’re quite right — silly to miss this. For some reason, and it often happens, I linked ‘Course’ and ‘officials’ and couldn’t get ‘Course officials’ out of my mind as the definition.

  13. Graham Pellen says:

    Surely in 21A the homonym correspondence is “similarity for the listeners”, since if two things have correspondence they are similar.

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