Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8228 / Crosophile

Posted by duncanshiell on February 27th, 2013


I found this to be a puzzle of two halves today.




There seemed to be some fairly easy clues with well known words, such as ASKS at 19 across and CARAT at 8 down.  On the other hand there were some fairly obscure references in the wordplay and entries, e.g. COPROLALIA as part of 14 across and JUVENILIA at 7 down..  As a result, about half of the puzzle went in quite quickly, but it took some time to finish.  The first two in were 1 across IMMOVABLE and EJECT at 6 across, so I thought this is going to be a doddle.  It wasn’t.

The bottom left hand corner was the last to fall.  I thought HONEYED (22 across) had an excellent clue, as did FLYING SAUCER (20 down / 9 down).  I took longer than I should have done to see the hidden word in 29 across, HANDSHAKE.  Clues that have words like ‘the’, ‘and’ and ‘is’ in the wordplay always seem to include good misdirection.

We have a family with four huskies living in our street, so the MUSH in 1 down posed no problems.

I don’t think there was theme in this puzzle, although there did seem to be quite a few food and drink references (ORANGE, CHOCOLATE, COCONUT, LEMONS, FRUIT SALAD, HONEY, STOMACH, BARS, MUSHROOMS, ONION, ANISEED, FLYING SAUCER, CRU and CARROT)

No. Clue Wordplay Entry



Farah introduces himself – very fit and fast (9)


I’M MO (I am Mo [Farah]) + V (very) + ABLE (fit)


IMMOVABLE (firm; fast)




Discharge Jack into the community before time(5)


(J [jack, in cards] contained in (into) EEC [{European Economic} Community]) + T (time)

E (J) EC T

EJECT (discharge)




Wanting to get high from drug (1000 mg) (8)


ASPIRIN (drug) + G (gram=1000 milligrams)


ASPIRING (striving for high things)




Commercial TV and radio essentially are due for shake-up (6)


Anagram of (shake-up) TV and D (middle letter of [essentially] RADIO) and ARE


ADVERT (commercial)




Fruit – on the other hand risk keeping the doctor away (6)


OR (alternative; on the other hand) + DANGER (risk) excluding (keeping … away)  DR (doctor)


ORANGE (example of a fruit)




Not a chocoholic? I’m into piña coladas (7)


COCONUT (sounds like COCOA NUT [chocoholic?]) but isn’t a chocoholic in this case.


COCONUT (piña colada is a sweet, rum-based cocktail made with rum, cream of COCONUT and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice)


14 I help back film – not half obscene language, crude anyhow (2-8)

COPROLALIA (obsessive or repetitive use of obscene language, for example as  a characteristic of Tourette’s syndrome) excluding the last 5 letters of 10 (not half) LALIA  + an anagram of (anyhow) CRUDE

CO-PRODUCER (someone who helps exercise general control over, but does not actually make, a cinema film; I help back film)



Layabout cycles and chucks up (4)


SLOB (layabout) with the letters cycled one place to the left, such that the first letter cycles to the end.


LOBS (lifts a ball in a high arc; chucks up)




Requests time off work (4)


TASKS (work) excluding (off) T (time)


ASKS (requests)




Oranges and Lemons etc is suitable for a boy, entertaining sport (5,5)


(FITS A  [is suitable for] + LAD [boy]) containing (entertaining) RU (rugby union; sport)


FRUIT SALAD (a mixture of pieces of FRUIT, fresh or preserved, e.g. oranges and lemons)




Henry I – in his time you’d like words of flattery (7)


H (henry, as a unit of inductance) + ONE (I) + YE’D (how one would say you’d in the time of Henry the First)


HONEYED (like words of flattery)




Apprehension as university kept changing round the highest grade (6)

U (university) + (an anagram of [changing] KEPT containing [round] A [the highest grade])

U PT (A) KE*

UPTAKE (mental apprehension)



Swift perhaps to embrace Metal and have a stunning effect (6)


DEAN ((Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels among other books, was the DEAN of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin) containing (to embrace) FE (chemical symbol for iron, a metal)


DEAFEN (stun with noise)




Stomach’s ultra wobbly sound from the throat (8)


GUT (stomach) + an anagram of (wobbly) ULTRA


GUTTURAL (throaty in sound)




Everyone’s allowed into empty bars by bouncers (5)


ALL (everyone) contained in (allowed into) BS (the letters remaining after taking out all the central letters [emptied] of BARS)


BALLS (BALLS bounce, hence bouncers)




A link between Wordsworth and Shakespeare? (9)




HANDSHAKE (an exchange of signals [on a separate line] between two or more devices, which sestablishes a link and ynchronizes them in readiness for the transfer of data).





Get moving – accommodation undergoes a boom (9)


MUSH (command to start dogs to start moving over snow) + ROOMS (accommodation)


MUSHROOMS (expands rapidly, undergoes a boom)




Bulb‘s working again with current running through (5)


(ON [working] + ON [working, again]) containing (with … running through) I (electric current)


ONION (pungent edible bulb)




Plant production is 60% is mechanised consuming energy (7)


ANISED (final 6 letters of 10 [60%] of MECHANISED) containing (consuming) E (energy)


ANISEED (an umbelliferous plant)




Soldier captive in confined place mostly – this makes sense (5)


GI ([American] soldier) contained in (captive in) LOCK (narrow confined place) excluding the final letter (mostly) K


LOGIC (sound reasoning; makes sense)




Portrait Of the Artist As A Young Man etc – Joyce’s first to see value in composition about oneself (9)


J (first letter of [first] JOYCE] + (an anagram of [composition] IN VALUE containing (about) I [oneself])


JUVENILIA (writings or works produced in the childhood or youth of the author, artist, etc)




Not a large weight of veg we hear (5)

CARAT (sounds like [we hear] CARROT [vegetable])


CARAT (a unit of weight; metric carat=200g; not a large weight)




Indignant now there’s no parking, almost chocker (9)


PRESENT (now) excluding (no) P (parking) + FULL (chocker) excluding the final letter (mostly) L


RESENTFUL (indignant)




Vintage case of tail wagging the dog? (3)


CUR (dog) with the last two letters changing (wagging) from UR to RU


CRU (vintage)




One out of two cards – it’s a club (9)


There are two  BLACK JACKs in a pack of card, so one will be a BLACK JACK


BLACKJACK (a short leather-covered club with weighted head)


20 / 9


Is _________ up for the cup? (FA’s known about this) (6,6)


FLYING SAUCER (if a SAUCER is FLYING it is up in the air for the cup that goes with it)


FLYING SAUCER (an object that we know nothing about scientifically. We know sweet FA about it – you can interpret FA as you see fit – Chambers gives two alternatives)




Had faith corroded by leader of Tories (7)


T (first letter of [leader of] TORIES) + RUSTED (corroded)


TRUSTED (had faith)




Hard currency collected together by a scavenger (5)


H (hard) + YEN (Japanese currency) + A


HYENA (carrion-feeding carnivore; scavenger)




Bitch with pups? Some believe it certainly (5)


DOG (a female dog is a bitch) + MA (and if it’s a mother, it has pups)


DOGMA (a code of belief opr doctrine laid down with authority, which smany of the faithful believe in without question)




Graze edge of wrist – that hurt! (5)


T (last letter of [edge of] WRIST) + OUCH (that hurt!)


TOUCH (graze)



8 Responses to “Independent 8228 / Crosophile”

  1. flashling says:

    I thought Coconut was COCO(a)NUT – it does say “Not A”

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Duncan.

    FRUIT SALAD, FLYING SAUCER, BLACKJACK and ANISEED BALLS are all types of sweet – by an amazing coincidence, Paul had the same theme in yesterday’s Guardian.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Duncan. I had the same experience as you, with much of the puzzle falling quickly, but the last few taking quite some time. Well done with parsing CO-PRODUCER – I would never have seen that.

    Indeed, the sweet theme is an amazing coincidence (and is meant to be there, since the completion message in the online version alluded to it).

    I liked JUVENILIA and thought HANDSHAKE was very cleverly hidden. Well done to Crosophile, who is proving to be a consistently good setter on Dac’s day off.

  4. Rowland says:

    An amazing, and unfortunate coincidence. Felt so familiar! Damn and blast, someone is no doubt saying, but a good puzzle all the same. I probably like 20 9 best for its punning silliness.


  5. Ben Smith says:

    Coconut Mushrooms too…

  6. Crosophile says:

    Thanks, Duncan, for another great and painstaking blog.
    As part of Plench, who were responsible for a recent pair of puzzles ending on Groundhog Day, I was surprised to see that EV also had a Groundhog Day puzzle, from Kcit aka Phi. Now as Crosophile I find I’m part of a bizarre sequence of sweets-related puzzles. Same thing again. I’m beginning to wish I’d never gone to Punxsutawnie…

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    We enjoyed the puzzle but the theme passed us by despite having completed Paul’s puzzle yesterday. This was more enjoyable though so thanks to Crosophile.

    We liked 13ac, 20d /9d, 29ac and 23d raised a smile.

    Cheers to Duncan for the blog!

  8. pennes says:

    I’m a day late posting as I was thoroughly stuck on 2 dn and 10 ac last night; looked at it with this morning’s coffee and they went straight in.
    I think Crosophile has done Dac’s missed Wednesday before and for me this is as neat, tidy and satisfying as a Dac puzzle. Only doubt is coprolalia which I feel asks too much of the solver, but against that is the fact that a solution of 2-8 letters is not going to be too hard

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