Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,229 / Anax

Posted by RatkojaRiku on February 28th, 2013


An opportunity to blog an Anax puzzle is a rare and somewhat daunting treat, which I approached with a blend of excitement and trepidation this morning.

Would I be able to finish the puzzle and blog it quickly enough before work and yet still have time to savour every last one of his carefully crafted clues? This answer to this question is a resounding yes, although an hour and fifteen minutes probably doesn’t count as “quickly” for many solvers on here.

I got off to a very slow start on this one, filling in only short entries at 5, 7, 20, 22, 22, 24 and 27 on first perusal, so I knew that I needed a long entry or two to get me going. These came in the shape of 11 and 21, whereupon the puzzle gradually fell into place. 14 was the last in, since it fitted the letters, although I had no idea how it matched either the wordplay or the definition – total deception, in other words! Eventually, I unpicked the wordplay and then decided there had to be a goalkeeper somewhere called Given, and confirmed this via Google.

25 was a new word for me and I could hardly believe my eyes when finding Porgy in the Chambers definition! My favourite clues today are 21 for its smooth simplicity and 4 for its wordplay, which baffled me for ages until the penny dropped and I was transported to 1980s Weatherfield and the feisty Bet Lynch!

Many thanks, Anax, for an entertaining and head-scratching start to my working day.

*(…) indicates an anagram

1   PUSH   PU (UP=ahead, as in They’re a goal up; “turning” indicates reversal) + SH (=say nothing)
3   CLEFT STICK   LEFT (=deserted) in [C<left> (“start to” means first letter only) + STICK (=gum)]; the definition is “spot”, i.e. tricky situation
9   EVIL   LIVE (=in person); “from the other side” indicates reversal
10   APPOINTEES   [*(POP) in AINT (=are not)] + EES (SEE=get it, i.e. understand; “returned” indicates reversal); “fizzy” is anagram indicator
12/6   I LEFT MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO   *(CALIFORNIAN FISHERMEN + SCATTY (=entry at 18); “at sea” is anagram indicator; the reference is to the 1962 song (“number”) by Tony Bennett
15   LAP DANCE   PDA (=organiser, i.e. Personal Digital Assistant) in LANCE (=Armstrong, i.e. disgraced cyclist)
16   UNESCO   U (=United) + [ESC (=key, i.e. on computer keyboard) in NO (=certainly not)]
18   SCATTY   CAT (=animal) in STY (=enclosure)
19   FRUITFUL   RU (=football, i.e. Rugby Union) in FITFUL (=interrupted, e.g. of sleep)
21   STORE DETECTIVE   Cryptic definition: read “lift” as case of shoplifting, theft
23   CONTINUOUS   [TINU=UNIT(=one; “turning” indicates reversal) + O (=over, in cricket)] in [CO (=business) + NUS (=student, i.e. National Union of Students)]
25   SCUP   <bes>S (“ultimate” means last letter only) + CUP (=trophy); a scup is the northern porgy, an Atlantic marine fish
26   SELF-ESTEEM   [EL (=the Spanish, i.e. Spanish word for the) + FEST (=indulgence, as in sleaze-fest)] in SEEM (=come over as, i.e. appear)
27   SPAR   Double definition
1   PLEXIGLASS   X (=kiss, entry at 8) in *(SPILLAGES); “liquid” is anagram indicator; plexiglass is a light, transparent thermoplastic
2   SPIDER PLANT   PLAN (=idea) in *(STRIPED); “pants” (=rubbish) is anagram indicator
4   LIP-SYNCH   [I<diotically> P<unched> S<omeone> (“initially” means first letters only] in LYNCH (=Bet landlady, i.e. Bet Lynch, former landlady of the Rovers Return in Coronation Street); the definition is “(to) mouth”
5   FROZEN   FR (=father, i.e. religious) + <d>OZEN (=12; “beheaded” means first letter dropped); the definition is “like ice (=entry at 7)
7   ICE   Hidden (“buried”) in “VolcanIC Eruption”; the definition is “rocks”, as in scotch on the rocks
8   KISS   K is S describes transformation of “pun-s” into “pun-k”
11   STEAM TURBINE   *(MUST BE NEAR IT); “vibrating” is anagram indicator
13   IT’S A FAIR COP   *(IF CAPTOR IS A); “criminal” is anagram indicator
14   GOALKEEPER   RE (=again) + PEEK (=look) + [O (=old) in LAG (=loiter)]; “lifts” indicates (here full) vertical reversal; the definition is “Given one of these”, referring to Shay Given, the goalkeeper for Aston Villa
17   PROTRUDE   ROT (=my eye, i.e. nonsense) in PRUDE (=old maid)
20   ADJUST   A + DJ (=jacket, i.e. dinner jacket) + *(SU<i>T); “one (=I) removed from” means letter “i” dropped from anagram, indicated by “possibly”; the definition is “to make (to) suit”, adapt
22   ACTS   Double definition: ACTS is a “book” of the NT AND “bands, comedians, etc”
24   NIL   LIN<k> (=couple, i.e. join); “not quite” means last letter dropped; “retired” indicates reversal

12 Responses to “Independent 8,229 / Anax”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Re 14D, Shay Given, now 36, is indeed these days a (reserve) keeper at Aston Villa. However he is one of the few to have won over 100 caps for his country, Republic of Ireland – he retired from international football last year after being first choice for almost 20 seasons.

    This was the hardest Indy puzzle of 2013 so far for me.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Well done with the blog, RR – solving and blogging an Anax under time pressure wouldn’t be my idea of fun. But it was a fun puzzle – either I’m getting slightly better at this or Anax is easing off the gas a bit here. I did finally manage it: there were enough clues on the first pass to get me going, and then it went in reasonably steadily after that. But there were three or four where I hadn’t the faintest idea of the parsing (KISS particularly), so thanks for explaining it all.

    I was pleased to discover SCUP, thought STORE DETECTIVE was clever, and admired SELF-ESTEEM once I’d worked out its parsing.

    (In 23ac, I took the O to be the usual cricket abbreviation for ‘over’, btw.)

    Another good Indy puzzle this week – thanks to Anax.

  3. MikeC says:

    Thanks RR and Anax. Very well done, both! Lots of neat clues, not all of which were parsed fully by me. COD 4d, possibly, with its leopard print connections. My reasoning on 7 (ICE) was very slightly different, in that I thought of ICE=diamonds=rocks – yours is more direct, therefore better.

  4. flashling says:

    Indeed well done RR and Given was sneaky. Found this tough to break into, not helped by no lights on the train.

    Thanks Anax and RR.

  5. RatkojaRiku says:

    Thanks, Kathryn’s Dad – I did mean to write cricket, but evidently lost leave of my senses momentarily – it happens at 7 am occasionally ;)

  6. sidey says:

    referring to Shay Given, the goalkeeper for Aston Villa

    Oh, of course, dreadfully clever that. Just another reason that Anax leaves me cold. Soccer is a minority interest and those with none have no way to confirm this sort of clue without internet access.

  7. Lancastrian Bluenose says:

    I solved the puzzle.That is an achievement for me to solve one of Anax’s !

  8. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Anax for a tough but ultimately satisfying puzzle and RR for the blog. I did not get the reference to Shay Given, but the wordplay was very precise and I thought it might have something to do with the number one shirt.

    However, even though it was the last one I solved, I must give my award for favourite clue to 19ac for recognising that soccer is not the only form of football.

  9. Raich says:

    Comment at #6: “Soccer is a minority interest and those with none have no way to confirm this sort of clue without internet access”.

    I’d say when used in this sense there very few things that would not be seen ‘a minority interest’ if ‘soccer’ is regarded as such.

    Internet access esp for those solving crosswords in UK publications is pretty widespread now not least with its availability on mobile phones.

  10. Sil van den Hoek says:

    A toughy, Anax!

    I thought 24d (NIL) was extremely well clued.
    Fantastic surface & fine construction for such a common word.
    A gem.

    That said, the relatively simple clue @22d (ACTS) is also quite good.
    A lot to admire today, constructionwise [if that is a word – probably not].

    Many thanks RR for blogging.

  11. Dormouse says:

    Bounced off of this one. Only managed four answers all day.

  12. Bertandjoyce says:

    It was a busy day yesterday and we started this puzzle late and finished it just before midnight. We found it difficult to start and also to finish! We can really sympathise with Dormouse!

    Perhaps if we’d had more time we may not have resorted to the couple of electronic searches which we needed towards the end. This doesn’t mean though that we didn’t enjoy it but as non-football fans we’d never heard of GIVEN.

    Thanks Anax and RR!

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