Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8241/Tyrus

Posted by John on March 14th, 2013


Rather late today I’m afraid for various reasons, not the least of which was that this was hard; for me, at any rate, although it all (or nearly all) makes sense now and some of the clues are very good.

I’m so far behind that I’m not going to study the grid to try to find a Nina. All I can say is that at a glance nothing is evident.

1 AT WOOD — Margaret Atwood — although I confidently entered WHITES (Shere Hite), not having read the clue properly
11 AmatEUR Taking — a good hidden rev. which defeated me for a long time
12 SA(F(E)T)Y SHOT — referring to snooker: when a pot isn’t available one has to play a safety shot
15 SO HO{t}
17 {Re}D RUM
19 MICKEY FINN — this defeats me utterly — well not utterly, because I can see that a Mickey Finn is a knockout, but … [Modern prophet in fancy hotel with female — a knockout]
21 FAIR ENOUGH — (of hearing)* around u
24 {a}SKIN{g}
25 DICIER — (I cried)*
26/13 TAKING TO THE STREETS — (Riot tanks these get {proletaria}t)*
28 RATBAG — again all I can see is that he’s horrible; where the crew members appear is a mystery [He’s horrible to crew members backing force]
2 THE ARCHER — (Heart)* Cher
3 OARLESS — (Owls reason – won)*
4 DRAWS — (sward)rev.
5 IT’S A FREE COUNTRY — (Fancy Tories True)* — lovely surface whether or not you agree with the sentiments
6 GOOD TASTE — (gets to do a)*
7 ATTESTS — (state)* (st)rev.
8 ERATO — (OT are)rev.
14 ROMANY RYE — The Borrow book is Romany Rye, a novel by George Borrow; it’s ro(many)ry e, referring to Rory McIlroy — both wordplay and definition excellent
16 HENRIETTA — (in theatre)*
18 MARMITE — “Ma might” — referring to the fact that you either love or hate Marmite
20 FAST NET — fast = fleet, net = clear
23 HIKER — h{owle}r around Ike [Eisenhower]

10 Responses to “Independent 8241/Tyrus”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, John.

    MICKEY FINN: (David) ICKE inside MY (fancy!) + Female INN

    RAT BAG: reversal of AB + TAR (two sailors) + Gravity

  2. Ian SW3 says:

    Thanks for the blog, John.

    In 28a, AB and TAR are both sailors, so crew members, reversed before G force. No ideas for 29, though.

  3. sidey says:

    Thanks for the blog and to Neil & Ian. Hard.

    I have a feeling that there may be references to a modern beat combo in the answers.

  4. flashling says:

    Agree very Hard with a capital H. Romany Rye had me beat, never heard of it and wordplay didn’t really help me, and TRUE took ages to spot too.

    I thought there might be a musical link too, but can’t see it.

    Thanks John & Tyrus

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Indeed. How much scribble paper I use during solving is usually an indication of how hard I found a puzzle, and I’ll be out planting trees this weekend if it keeps fine. Nothing wrong with hard, and this was all fairly clued; just devious and with lots of misleading surfaces. MICKEY FINN I would never have parsed – thanks to Neil for that one.

    MARMITE made me giggle, and I liked IT’S A FREE COUNTRY as well. Since John, our blogger today (to whom thanks) is not renowned for his love of the beautiful game and has therefore not mentioned it, I will just add that I thought the surface for 3dn, OARLESS, was clever because it references both the Sheffield teams, United and Wednesday, the Blades and the Owls respectively.

    Well done to Tyrus, but can we have a slightly less fiendish one next time, please?

  6. Tyrus says:

    Many thanks to John for the blog and to others for their comments. There’s no musical theme, at least not an intentional one.

    Will try to set an easyish one in due course – promise!

  7. flashling says:

    Hmmm Tyrus, nah we love tough stuff. But this was good for the brain, just really needed wits about me, about right really, the Indy should do a good mix.

  8. Bertandjoyce says:

    Don’t make them easier Tyrus please, we like the odd challenge and this certainly was one – enjoyable too.

    We hadn’t heard of 14d so thanks to John for parsing it but an electronic search revealed that this was the only option. Like flashling, 11ac took a bit of finding for some reason but it was so obvious when we solved it. It must be getting late.

    The anagram for 21ac was well disguised. We solved it but couldn’t see how. We needed you again John for this one!

  9. Phi says:

    I have to say that the smooth reading of 21 across with all its components beautifully judged gave me the sharpest pang of envy for some time.

  10. Jambazi says:

    Excellent puzzle. I couldn’t get ROMANY RYE as I haven’t heard of it but it is clearly clued. Some brilliant clues, as always: 12a, 17a, 21a (very clever), 25a, 3d (superb), 6d, 18d etc and the long anagrams were super. Nice one, Tyrus.

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