Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8245 / Hob

Posted by Bertandjoyce on March 19th, 2013


This is the second Hob crossword that we’ve blogged. There was quite a lot to enjoy here but a few of the clues left us a little disappointed after the recent wonderful debut Saturday Prize puzzle.

Maybe we are missing something in 9ac and 11ac. Perhaps someone else can help us out.

24ac however was a delightful clue.

There’s an African connection amongst some of the clues (as opposed to the answers).

8   Name given to counter-revolutionary piece
NOCTURNE N (name) + anagram of COUNTER (anagrind is revolutionary)
9   Pitch tents in interior part of Kenya, about to assume missionary position initially
ENCAMP EN (interior part of kENya) + CA (about) + M P (first letters of Missionary Position or ‘initially). We’re not sure what happens to the ‘Y’ in Kenya though as it is still part of the interior – we haven’t been told to use ‘part’ of the interior part!
10   Regulars in wind play in a lazy way
IDLY Hidden within the clue – taking every other letter of wInD pLaY or ‘regularly’
11   Conflict arising from 15 act by Egyptian leader (Christian)
CRIMEAN WAR CRIME (illegal (15d) act) + ANWAR (Egyptian leader as in Anwar EL Sadat). We cannot figure out why ‘Christian’ is included. The google search only revealed that he briefly went to a Coptic (Christian) school. Are we missing something? Could it be that we are being asked to look for the ‘christian’ name? However, it’s more correct nowadays to use the term ‘first name’.
12   Current with origin in Zambia, described by 4 foreign official (Muslim)
VIZIER I (current) + Z (first letter or ‘origin’ of Zambia) inside or ‘described by’ VIER (German or foreign’ word for 4)
14   Take the manual out of car going to China
AUTOMATE AUTO (car) + MATE (china as used in Cockney rhyming slang)
15   Wrong number secured by setter on adult line
ILLEGAL L (number) inside or ‘secured by’ I (setter) + LEG (on – as used in cricket) + A (adult) + L (line)
17   Following storm, upset about a little crack in these?
TEACUPS A play on what happens to these after a storm! Anagram of UPSET (anagrind is ‘following storm’) about A + C (the first letter or ‘little bit of’ Crack)
20   Buxom topless female is hot swimmer
LUMPFISH pLUMP (buxom) with initial letter removed or ‘topless’ + F (female) + IS + H (hot)
22   Environment of place beyond Malawi when a law’s ignored
MILIEU LIEU (place) after or ‘beyond’ MI (Milawi after ‘A LAW’ has been removed)
23   Erotic anti-war poetry reading?
RECITATION Anagram of EROTIC ANTI (anagrind is ‘war’). We’re not that happy about ‘war’ being used in this way but maybe that’s because we needed all the crossing letters to solve the clue!
24   Standard choice of letters to be typed in line with CV
NORM Two letters that appear on the Qwerty keyboard bottom row along with C and V are N and M so a choice of them would be N OR M. Really liked this clue!
25   Smelly fruit from Italy eaten by half of 80s pop group
DURIAN I (italy) inside or ‘eaten by’ DURAN (half of the 80s pop group Duran Duran). The fruit really is smelly and is banned from being taken into buildings in South East Asia.
26   Make uniform for one in a sequel that’s been cast
EQUALISE Anagram of A SEQUEL (anagrind is ‘cast’) around I (one)
1   Hunting for Hollywood’s benevolence
GOODWILL Taken from the film Good Will Hunting starring Matt Damon and Robin Williams
2   Guy from Scotland’s heading to place on river
STAY S (first letter or ‘heading’ for Scotland) + TAY (river)
3   One finding model on horse?
TRACER T (model as in the Ford Model T car) + RACER (horse)
4   Reference book with one page on a currency conflict arising in Greece
OEDIPAL OED (reference book as in Oxford English Dictionary) + I (one) + P (page) + A + L (Libra – currency). We are very familiar with Oedipus Complex but not conflict. Google searches revealed that it does exist as a term in certain scientific journals although we couldn’t locate it in any dictionary.
5   Number of letters from one pen – thence….
NEPENTHE Hidden within the clue onE PEN THEnce
6   … claim, one about housing company
ECONOMICAL Anagram of CLAIM ONE (anagrind is ‘about’) around or ‘housing’ CO (company)
7   Pass on setter’s role
IMPART A play on I’M (setter’s) PART (role)
13   Not clear it’s wrong going topless once soft bit of porn’s not 15
INEXPLICIT sIN (wrong) with first letter removed or ‘topless’ + EX (once) + P (soft) + LICIT (not illegal – 15d)
16   Bird life by Victoria Falls unlikely all to be greatly reduced in two separate areas
AVIFAUNA First two letters of VIctoria FAlls UNlikely (in other words – all greatly reduced) inside A A (two areas)
18   Complaint from Ugandan leader in reply is outrageous
PLEURISY U (initial letter or ‘leader of’ Uganda) inside or in’ an anagram of REPLY IS  (anagrind is ‘outrageous’)
19   Confessed in front of seedy hotel by 24D, say, almost at its source
SHRIVEN S (initial letter or ‘front of’ Seedy) + H (hotel) + RIVEr (Nile for example) with last letter removed or ‘almost’ + N (initial letter or ‘source of’ Nile)
21   Organ used by Erasure turns up
UTERUS Hidden backwards or ‘up’ within the clue eraSURE TUrns
22   Bold complaint of wimpy male that’s turned tail
MANFUL MANFLU (wimpy male’s complaint) with last two letters reversed or ‘tail turned’
24   Current Egyptian winger supports FA
NILE E (one of the ends or ‘wings’ of Egyptian) underneath or ‘supporting’ NIL (nothing as in F*** A**)


14 Responses to “Independent 8245 / Hob”

  1. Prolixic says:

    Thanks to Hob and to BertandJoyce. The African theme is maintained around the perimeter of the grid.

  2. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Prolix! We can’t believe we missed it. We were in a hurry to complete the blog but that’s no excuse as we did look, especially given the grid. In fact, as soon as we saw the grid we both thought – NINA!

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Well, first things first: welcome to Hob (I didn’t know (s)he’d already done a Saturday puzzle).

    I just found this really hard, and more importantly a bit of a slog; in fact I was about to give up with less than a half done when I saw the possibility of PRESUME down the rhs and then put the rest of the first letters in. Without that, I would never have finished it. Does it matter that I got to the solution that way? Not really.

    But there were parts of it I didn’t much like. Unlike you, I think NORM is wilfully obscure. There was the common problem of puzzles with a Nina in that there were some less common (I won’t say ‘obscure’) words shoehorned in. ‘War’ as an anagrind? And if I want stuff like ‘all to be greatly reduced’ in 16dn or ‘interior part of’ in 9ac, then I can always try the good Reverend in Another Place. Which is why generally I don’t.

    So sorry to be a bit negative, and I will look forward to another Hob puzzle or two before I say more. Sounds like the Saturday Prize was a good one.

    Thanks to B&J for blogging.

  4. Gregjohn says:

    Hi Bertandjoyce,I’m a novice cryptic crossword solver and I’m happy this site exists to help me understand the baffling clues, liked also 24a, I use an AZERTY keyboard the choice of letters after CV are
    B or N,perhaps useful info for a future clue,
    keep up the good work,I appreciate your contributions greatly.

  5. Bertandjoyce says:

    Welcome to fifteensquared Gregjohn. We also appreciate YOUR comments!

    We were ‘lurkers’ for a long time but ever since we de-lurked – thanks to Kathryn’s Dad – we have really enjoyed checking the blog each day and adding our thoughts about the puzzle.

    Hopefully we’ll see more of your comments and it’s good to see novice solvers adding to the blog.

  6. Smartie says:

    Hard slog for me too. Great and clever puzzle, and I am always happy to expand my knowledge, although I have a feeling that too many of the solutions were words not in common knowledge, and it took longer than my commute!

  7. NealH says:

    I wasn’t keen on oedipal – would never have worked that out from “Greek conflict” – and plump for buxom.

  8. Raich says:

    Today was the 200th anniversary of Livingstone’s birth in 1813.

  9. Wil Ransome says:

    This took me a long time. In 13dn I can’t see how Hob hasn’t included P twice (soft, bit of porn). The blog doesn’t mention the bit of porn, so did Hob, Eimi, Bert and Joyce all miss it, or did I?

    And count me among those who didn’t like ‘war’ as an anagrind.

  10. Bertandjoyce says:

    A valid point Wil Ransome. We think it was one of the last clues we filled in and we were fairly desperate to get the blog completed. However, that’s not a good enough excuse or are we all missing something? If it was in Another Place we would think that there had been an error but that doesn’t often happen in the Indy.

  11. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Wil & B&J
    I don’t see a problem with 13dn. The ‘soft bit of porn’ is simply the initial P (which is also the abbreviation for piano or soft). It needs to be read as a whole rather than ‘soft, bit of porn’ which would indeed give PP.

  12. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Gaufrid – as we said, it’s not like the Indy to make a mistake. A bit of lateral thinking was all that was needed!

  13. Wil Ransome says:

    Well fair enough, but it does seem to be rather odd clueing. It would have worked perfectly well without the word ‘soft’, and is it really true that the first letter of a word is ‘a soft bit’ of it? ‘A bit of it’ yes (although this has its detractors), but ‘a soft bit’ of it?

    It looks to me as if Hob wanted to have some reference to soft porn, but this doesn’t seem possible here.

  14. NealH says:

    The soft bit of porn is the bit of porn that is a word/abbreviation for soft i.e. the letter P. It doesn’t mean the first letter.

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