Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8250 by Donk

Posted by flashling on March 25th, 2013


A rather rude awakening here from Donk in places, I found this rather tricky and can’t explain 17ac.
Seems ages since I last wrote a blog here, with Uncle Yap kindly taking over for me whilst I was indisposed.

There are ongoing references to a part of the male physique…

Thanks Donk


1 Having taken oral at last, fails horribly – yeah, right! (2,2)
(ora)L removed from FAI(L)S*

4 Like spreadsheet, perhaps, when requiring a fresh start (6,4)
A clean sheet. TABULAR & AS (when) & A

9 Soldier dropping in 5? The Spanish equivalent (8)
PARA & 5 (by lines) LL & EL

10 Party axes many stars (6)
GALA & XY (axes)

11,20 Find reference meeting description of 8/10 (1,5,3,4)
8 and 10 cross at the letter X

12 Kiwi bird is after zero rent (8)

13 Relatives gossip about both starters in Racing Post (8)
GAS about R(acing) AND P(ost)

15 Less taxing of savings account backed in Lords, marginally reduced? (6)
ISA rev in (p)EER(s)

17 In bistro, where starter for two is sweet (6)
Can’t see this one other than definition being sweet, help please.

19 Star act involved nothing this singer couldn’t reproduce! (8)
[STAR ACT]* & 0

21 Arrangement for improved energy supply (4,4)
Cryptic def.

23 Sedative offered as private parts turned red (6)
OWN in (parted by) RED rev

24 Handsome chap who’s lecturing? (6)

25 Measure of energy they plan to be manufactured (8)

26 Bay could use this bar – it’d help with development (6,4)

27 Delayed investment in Crossrail at Ealing (4)
Hidden in (crossrai)L AT E(aling)


2 Radical met with arms delivery issue (7)

3 Tease that country houses smell (9)
RAG being housed by FRANCE

4 Foot’s part in brief dialogue with America (5)
TAL(k) & US

5 11 writers recognised here (7)
See 9ac LL or 11, cryptic double def.

6 Grace’s Kindle dropped on head? (9)
LIGHT (kindle as a verb) & NESS

7 One who regrets drinking large measure (5)
L(arge) in RUER

8 Look about 40, providing record of it (3,4)
(XL (roman numerals for 40) & IF) in SEE

14 Express as 20, perhaps? (9)
20 is THE SPOT, [THE SPOT & AS]*

16 Freak donut split in two! (9)
Bit of a groan spotting this, the American DONUT needs to be split as DO & NUT, hence SCREW as in DO and NUT as in BALL (see 22d….)

18 Racing senior member of team trying to catch rivals? (7)
F(ormula) 1 & ELDER

19 Fancy that bloke in race with two cycles (7)
HIM in CERA, RACE having been “cycled” twice

20 See 11 across
See 11 across

22 Retiring setter, perhaps, framing article one 19A’s missing (5)
DOG (setter) rev about AN

23 Day-long scrap (5)
D(ay) & ITCH


19 Responses to “Independent 8250 by Donk”

  1. eXternal says:

    Re 17ac – in the word bistro, the starter for two ie T comes AFTER S

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks, flashling – good to see you back.

    Great stuff from Donk, as usual, with lots of smiles and ‘ahas’.

    I couldn’t see 17ac, either, so thanks for that, eXternal.

    Many thanks to Donk, for the fun – glad to hear you’ll be at the Ivy in May!

  3. Eileen says:

    What am I talking about? – I mean The Vine, of course. :-(

  4. flashling says:

    Thanks eXternal, spent ages looking at that :-(

  5. NeilW says:

    Thanks, flashling. As you say, very tricky!

    I couldn’t parse AFTERS either. My parsing of BYLINES was a little different to yours: X – BY as in multiplication, followed by MARKS – LINES.

  6. Rowland says:

    Well, T comes after S anyway, you don’t need BISTRO to demonstrate.

  7. Aztobesed says:

    Lovely puzzle and thanks for the blog. BISTRO is a fine piece of fooling – there for the surface and illustrates the idea. It’s also exemplified by the following clue CASTRATO, which is tempting. I really enjoyed resisting the checks and cheats and was rewarded with some real light-bulb moments. PARALLEL was a beast to work out. Great fun.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks flashling, and welcome back.

    I thought this was a splendid puzzle, quite difficult but ultimately gettable. There was some inventive clueing (I liked X MARKS THE SPOT and GONAD) and some interlinked clues that were fun to solve rather than frustrating.

    Well done to Donk – look forward to the next one.

    [Eileen, thought for a moment you were fessing up to you and Donk having arranged to rub shoulders with the celebs in the West End …]

  9. Rorschach says:

    Great puzzle as we’ve come to expect from the young lad Donk. Faves 21ac, 24 ac, 22dn, 23dn.

    Thanks old bean and thanks for the blog flash!

  10. Eileen says:

    [Hi K’s D

    Yes, it must be wishful thinking – I’ve no idea where that came from! ;-) ]

  11. Aztobesed says:

    Eileen –

    Ivy is a vine (genus Hedera).

  12. Andy B says:

    With reference to Rowly’s comment, T may well come after S, but using bistro in that way was extremely clever, and although I solved the clue from the definition the parsing eluded me. Some people are way too picky. I wouldn’t have got ENTHALPY under competition conditions. It was an obvious anagram and I’d have plumped for ENTYALPH first, although neither of them trip off the tongue. Very good puzzle.

  13. flashling says:

    Quite Andy B fortunately I knew ENTHALPY but I really struggled on this on the train this morning, Eileen, the Ivy?? if only us crossworders could afford there, maybe, perhaps some rich benefactor will provide. Ok perhaps not :-) NeilW I think you’re right about BYLINES.

  14. Eileen says:

    Hi flashling

    Yes, although I knew that hedera = ivy = a kind of vine, I still don’t know how my confusion arose, especially since I’ve been to The Vine – but not The Ivy [yet – I live in hope!].

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing you in Manchester!

  15. andy says:

    didn’t know 12a, live and learn. Thanks Donk and Flashling

  16. allan_c says:

    Don’t you just love those clues with numbers in them? All good stuff though, and a few clues/answers that would have done Punk credit (e.g. 19ac, 22dn). Thanks, Donk and Flashling.

  17. Donk says:

    Many thanks to flashling for the excellent blog and to everyone else for dropping in and commenting.

    Regarding AFTERS, I thought it would be unfair not to add an example indicating that the solver needs to think about letter positions. ‘Where ‘T’ is’ would still need a little something to suggest we were looking at the alphabet, in my opinion.

    Looking forward to meeting lots of you in May,

    Best wishes,

  18. Rowland says:

    I was merely suggesting that there could be a neater way forward with that one, folks, nothing more. eCONOMY! But i did ENJOY THE PUZZLE!!

  19. Bertandjoyce says:

    We were very late starting this yesterday and had to finish it this morning. There was us thinking that Monday would was an easy start to the week!

    Anyway, an enjoyable and amusing solve. Thanks to Donk and also to flashling.

    Many thanks also to eXternal for parsing 17ac – we couldn’t work it out!

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