Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8238/Punk

Posted by Pierre on March 11th, 2013


Punk is a regular contributor of the Indy Monday puzzle when Quixote’s having a long weekend, and I’m always pleased to see him when it’s my turn to blog.  This was a tough one, though.

The usual contemporary feel to an Indy crossword, with trade marks and living people finding their way into the solution.  And it wouldn’t be a Punk puzzle without reference to rude bits or a bodily function, would it?



cd  cryptic definition
dd  double definition
(xxxx)*  anagram
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x]  letter(s) removed

definitions are underlined


Designer’s initial in hat, Spanish mark
An insertion of the first letter of Designer in TILE for ‘hat’ to give you the squiggly mark that goes above the letter ‘n’ in Spanish to change its sound to the one you hear in the middle of mañana, which makes it different from the one you hear in the middle of ‘banana’.

10  Domestic chore done at home, accessing corner
Corners tend not to be accessed in our house with this task, but that’s another story.  An insertion (‘accessing’) of OVER for ‘done’ and IN for ‘at home’ in HOG for ‘corner’.

11  Good to bottle wine that’s fortified
Another insertion, of ASTI for ‘wine’ in BON for ‘good’.  It’s French, of course, but I suppose we can let Punk off the hook for not signalling that specifically because we use it in phrases we’ve nicked from the French like bon vivant.

12  Italian dish is ridiculous wrapped in hide of rhino
Another insertion, of IS and OTT for ‘over the top’, or ‘ridiculous’ in RO for the outside letters or ‘hide’ of RhinO.

13  Yes, jolly gruesome boxing contests ultimately without cheer
And another: of S for the last letter of contestS in (YES JOLLY)* with ‘boxing’ as the insertion indicator and ‘gruesome’ as the anagrind.

14/21  Cook sweet food that is duck meat
I did like this one.  It’s a charade of JAM for ‘sweet food’, IE for id est, that is, O for ‘duck’ in cricket, and LIVER for ‘meat’.  The cook who gave us bish bash bosh and all that.

15  Limits of ultraviolet in dark, sticky stuff
The stuff that students are not allowed to use to stick their posters of Che Guevara onto the walls of their college rooms is another insertion, of UT for the outside letters of UltravioleT in BLACK.

17  Act of stopping a horse with heel in difficult case
Another insertion, of CAD for ‘heel’ in (CASE)* with ‘difficult’ as the anagrind.  I knew this word in its sense of ‘jerking movement’, particularly when passing one’s eyes over words and moving quickly from one to the next.  Punk’s equine definition isn’t in my SOED, but Collins gives: ‘a sudden check given to a horse’.

20  Water and wine, but no success for port
The south coast port is a charade of POOL and [WIN]E.

22  Man after wife adorned with feathers, perhaps – appearing like a parrot?
Well, that’s what parrots (apart from Norwegian Blues) do – a charade of SQUAW and KING for a ‘man’ on the chessboard.

24  Saying grace finally, a couple of animals
A charade of E for the last letter of gracE, PIG and RAM.

26  Methane gas leak, leak avoiding a running system
My CoD.  A type of training regime derived from the Swedish for ‘fast play'; and a charade of FART and LE[A]K.  Methane is a flammable gas produced by flatulence; but if produced through this route, I strongly suggest that you don’t try to set light to it.

28  Austere registrar, extremely unpleasant club official
(AUSTERE RR)*  ‘Unpleasant’ is the anagrind.

29  Tack taken from pine, thin wood
Punk’s asking you to take PIN for ‘tack’ out of [PIN]E and then add BONY for ‘thin’ to give you the dark wood.


Knife nuts from below
Sounds extremely painful.  A reversal of BATS for ‘nuts’.

Reaction to mild explosion by souls at sea gripping stern of frigate
Santé!  Gesundheit!  Gezondheid!  (BY SOULS)* surrounding E for the last letter of frigatE, with ‘at sea’ as the anagrind.

Consider as intentional
A dd.

4/18  Tom in cat from Sri Lanka that’s very much appreciated
One that you were likely to get from the enumeration and the definition, I fancy.  It’s an insertion of the actor Tom HANKS in TAMIL LION.

Regularly, visibility not all there, say, for speccy child
I think, but only think, that this is the alternate letters of vIsIbIlIt[y], which would make four letter Is, which is a homophone of FOUR-EYES.

All bridge players seeking information
The four players at bridge are North, East, West and South.

One boy on top of another, preyed upon
A charade (since this is a down clue) of VIC and TIM, two boys.  I’m not head over heels in love with VICTIM as the definition of ‘preyed upon’.

Turn a blind eye to Italian women going topless
[S]IGNORE  Good surface.

13  Line in book
A dd. ‘What’s your line?’ in the sense of ‘What’s your job?’ and the Old Testament book.

14  Old actor in The Lighthouse?
Punk was on something when he set this, I swear.  JACK WARNER is indeed an ‘old actor’, but you’d have to be of a certain age to remember him from Dixon of Dock Green.  And of course The Lighthouse would be a warning to sailors, so whimsically a JACK WARNER.

16  Make Irish, not English, new language
(MAK[E]IRISH)* with ‘new’ as the anagrind.

19  Bird’s first home, brick if good?
The setter is relying on the fact that someone who’s a ‘good egg’ could also be described as a ‘brick'; both mean someone who’s ever reliable.

20  Somewhat fair
A dd.

23  Junk with refuse centres on both sides, spread out
A charade of UN and FU for the central letters of jUNk and reFUse, followed by RL for ‘both sides’.

25  Wine picked up
A dd, but with two different pronunciations, of course.

27  Fight’s ending, as old bovine turned over
Another way of representing KO for ‘knock out’ is a reversal (‘turned over’) of O YAK.

Entertaining puzzle from Punk, to whom thanks.

17 Responses to “Independent 8238/Punk”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Pierre, for a great blog of, as you say, a tough puzzle. I didn’t get the parsing of 5dn, so special thanks for that.

    I’m with you re VICTIM: I was held up for a while with 14, because I’d pencilled in TED for the second boy.

    Some new words for me: FARTLEK [what a gift for Punk! – I’m amazed he hasn’t used it before] and SACCADE.

    Favourite clue: IGNORE.

    Many thanks, Punk, for the fun.

  2. Paul B says:

    Well, if you’re learning new words Eileen, I dread to think what Michelle’s going to make of this.

    Evenin’ all.

  3. Trailman says:

    Refugee from the Guardian today, the paper apparently not venturing to Truro, though no problem as I’m rarely a Rufus fan. Settled back on the London train expecting a lengthy struggle so a tiny bit disappointed it’s all over by Bodmin.

    Enjoyed much however. Learnt SACCADE but not FARTLEK, which alas was a write-in. Son and partner (reason for the Cornwall trip) have parrot so that helped with 22a. Don’t mind the odd trade mark, a Guardian rarity, but COD for me JACK WARNER.

  4. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Pierre.

    Apologies if I’m wrong but I think the reason for your hesitation over your parsing of FOUR-EYES is just that it is the removal of the odd letters (regularly…not all there) rather than that just the evens are selected.

    Unlike Trailman, I found this a little tricky – I would like to think that Punk would approve of my only criticism: “rather a lot of insertions.” 😉

  5. Paul A says:

    Never heard of saccade or fartlek, but Jack Warner! – groan of the year so far :-)

  6. cumbrian says:

    Much enjoyed this, and I also had a huge groan reaction to Jack Warner, thus making it my favourite clue.

  7. Andy B says:

    I’m sure overseas solvers would have struggled with JACK WARNER, and it probably only clicked with me because I am the “certain age” that Pierre mentioned. I also failed to parse 5d but knew that FOUR EYES had to be the answer. All in all an excellent puzzle.

    Andy B.

  8. Andy B says:

    Forgot to mention that I didn’t know SACCADE. SACRATE also fitted the wordplay but I chose the right one.

    Andy B.

  9. flashling says:

    SE corner really hard for me, took ages, guessed at fartlek and thought no chance – ho hum, blindsided for a while looking at MAIN (sea) + (win)E thinking there may be a port called Maine. Thanks Pierre merci beaucoup et le PunK

  10. flashling says:

    Still think Kayo is duff, never seen that before. yes wordplay but…

  11. flashling says:

    yes kayo in BRB, still grumble whinge harrumph etc.

  12. Pierre says:

    Go and pour yourself a glass of something, flashling … it’s only a puzzle, and there’ll be another one tomorrow.

  13. Paul B says:

    In Collins too, cherub! Never mind. Am in agreement though: some words should have been strangled at birth.

  14. Bertandjoyce says:

    Merci pour le blog Pierre – witty as always but you had good material to work on here!

    Challenging puzzle we thought for a Monday – thanks for explaining 5d. We also didn’t know FARTLEK or SACCADE.

    Thanks Punk especially for 14d! Thankfully we are both of a certain age.

  15. Wil Ransome says:

    Nice crossword with some lovely clues (esp Jack Warner), not so dreadfully hard as all that I thought, although I invented the dressage movement ‘sacrate’. Well it might just have existed, just like fartlek, which I invented successfully.

  16. Colin Blackburn says:

    I feel I’m in a minority here, but as a runner FARTLEK came to me in a flash and having written eye-tracking software in the past SACCADE suggested itself as a plausible answer. I rare solve on paper for me (the paper being rare rather than the solve!) but an enjoyable one.

    Thanks for the blog

  17. George Clements says:

    I am sure that Pierre is correct in his parsing of 14d but was interested by a coincidence. Having Googled Jack Warner + The Lighthouse I found a link to a film buff website and discovered that in the movie Wait Until Dark another Jack Warner was a studio executive, and Audrey Hepburn played the leading role as a blind young woman. In preparing for the role, Hepburn spent time at an Institution for the blind called The Lighthouse. Warner insisted that Hepburn should wear contact lenses when playing the part, which she had to do despite her strong objection.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

two + 3 =