Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8251/Raich

Posted by John on March 26th, 2013


A pleasant solve from Raich. As always one or two of the clues were very simple, which is no bad thing, but a few were a little tricky. I think I have it all explained but no doubt someone will put me right if not.

I tend not to like crosswords that contain a lot of cross-refencing, but in this case everything was easy enough. The first of the thematic clues that I solved was ENGLAND and, knowing Raich’s tastes, I expected to find words like MONTENEGRO and SAN MARINO amongst the answers. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was about cricket instead, and Raich has included the ten test-playing teams (yes, Zimbabwe have returned to test cricket) — seven of them as answers and the other three as mentions in the clues. It would have been nice if all ten teams had been answers but no doubt this was too difficult. Raich made work for himself anyway by having 34 answers (from 32 clues), as many as I’ve ever seen in a daily cryptic.

1/30 T{her}E ST(T{errain})EAM — the 10 refers to the ten cricket test-playing teams — thanks Cumbrian, corrected now
11 LE XI CON — con is the word in musical terms like ‘con amore’ and ‘con brio’ — nice misdirection because we’re so used to Evita and Cats
12 PA(K 1ST)AN
14/13 SOUTH AFRICA — (h fractious)* around a
17 TI(EU)P
18 INDIA — “inn” (aid)rev.
20 COURTESAN — (can’t rouse)*
22 A S{wann} SET
24 SR 1 LANK {sp}A
27 EN(G LAN)D — a LAN is a Local Area Network in computing
29 NE W ZEAL AND — the Gateshead area is the North-East, and I think ‘that joins’ gives AND
1 TOP — 2 defs
2 SNORKEL — (onlookers – oo)* — inspiration in the breathing sense
4 EL M
5 meTAL Cabinet
6 NEXUS — (sex nu{de})* — def ‘group’ — I wonder if Raich intended a reference to Henry Miller’s ‘Nexus’ which is I believe, although I haven’t read it, thematic to the clue
7 INCLUDE — (n clue I’d)*
8 SAN CHOP AN(Z{imbabwe})A — Sancho Panza was Don Quixote’s sidekick
12 PUBLICATION — (Ba{ngladesh} unpolitic)*
17 TUTELAGE — tut (gale)rev. {sensibl}e
19 DISAVOW — (v{ie}w as I do)* — ‘view that’s dismissed’ is ‘view’ minus ‘i.e.’
21 SANTA FE — ant in safe — if you secure protection for an ant you put it in a safe
23 {even}T RITE
25 BELL — 2 defs, the second referring to one of England’s heroes of last night
27 {h}E{r}O{i}N{e}
28 DAM — (mad)rev.

10 Responses to “Independent 8251/Raich”

  1. cumbrian says:

    Thanks for the blog.
    For 1/30 I think there’s a T missing – I have T{her}E STT{errain}EAM.
    I’m no doubt being thick, but I can’t see where the ANA comes from in 8d? Help!

    No interest in cricket, never heard of Ian Bell, but that didn’t make the puzzle unsolvable for me – nice one, thanks Raich.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Cumbrian

    8dn SAN (hospital) CHOP (cut back) Z[imbabwe] in ANA (recollections)

    From Chambers under ‘ana’ – “A collection of someone’s table talk or of gossip, literary anecdotes or possessions”. Collins is more specific: “a collection of reminiscences, sketches, etc, of or about a person or place”.

  3. allan_c says:

    Pleasant enough, but it was one of those puzzles where once you solve the gateway clue the answers to the clues that depend on it are write-ins. They certainly were in this case, either from crossing letters or enumeration. So, a little disappointing, but thanks to Raich and John all the same.

  4. Doktorb says:

    Any help from Merlin in the “I” would be appreciated!

  5. flashling says:

    Have to agree with Allan_c about this one, over too quickly alas, as I normally really like Raich’s offerings, @DoktorB try

  6. cumbrian says:

    Thanks Gaufrid @2. I’ve never come across ANA = recollections before.

  7. sidey says:

    cumbrian, it’s quite common in crosswords. It’s also the suffix in things like Shaksperiana etc.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Well, it’s one of those theme discussions, isn’t it? Once I’d got ENGLAND, I managed to solve the gateway clue and then, as others have said, all the themed clues were a write in if you’re a cricket fan. But hey ho, I whinge when the theme is not up my street, so I’m not complaining.

    There were some good clues anyway in the non-themed bits; LEXICON was my favourite today. Thanks to John and Raich.

  9. Raich says:

    Many thanks, John, for the blog and to all who commented. Yes, reaction here and otherwise it is was maybe a bit easier for those solvers interested in cricket but that there were quite a few solvers who are not and were able to solve it, and, I’m happy to say, enjoy it.

    Dealing with some specific points raised.

    While I’m not saying no setter could do it, I did not really attempt to get all ten names in the grid as the words are quite long and in some cases eg Zimbabwe not particularly grid friendly.

    Re NEXUS, I had not intended, John, to refer to Henry Miller or, indeed, to the operators of the Tyne Wear Metro though they are very much in my mind as closing down huge sections of their network over Easter and telling those trying to get to the Sunderland-Man Utd early kick-off on Easter Saturday not to bother to try to use the replacement buses, but rather make their own arrangements.

    Good scheduling foresight from Eimi in putting it in the morning after England’s dramatic and rather unexpected comeback in the final test in New Zealand to ensure they did not lose the test series in a game that went to the very last ball…

  10. michelle says:

    I enjoyed this puzzle very much. However, I had “extra help” after having been told that it was a cricket-themed puzzle, and now I’m not sure if I would have picked up on the theme as quickly as I did today. Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot.

    My favourites were 3a, 28d, 29a, 16a, 12, 2d.

    I could not fully parse 1/30, (“one of ten”), & 8d (didn’t know SAN = hospital, nor ANA = recollections).

    I think there is a typo/omission in the parsing of 29a. I parsed it as NE (Gateshead, in the northeast of England) + W (with) + ZEAL (great enthusiasm) + AND (that joins).

    Thanks for the puzzle, Raich and the blog, John.

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