Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8257 /Tees

Posted by duncanshiell on April 2nd, 2013


I haven’t blogged a Tees puzzle for some time, so it was a pleasure to see his name on this one




Many of Tees clues have quite complex wordplay, constructed from many pieces.  That is the kind of wordplay I prefer.  Today I particularly liked the construction of ELEMENTARY (11 across), CONTRALTI (5 down) and LITTLE BO PEEP (16 down / 3 down).

Turning to the theme, I have not seen the film, nor have I read the book on which it was based.  However, I had heard of the film and its main male character.  The female lead took a bit longer, but STARLING rang a few bells leaving the remaining letters to generate CLARICE

Most clues parsed fairly easily although it took too long realise BAUDELAIRE (22 across) was simply an anagram.

Good to see a quadruple definition, FAIR at 24 down.  These appear in puzzles every so often

No. Clue Wordplay Entry



Fan of fire in Hell crosses lake, taking lead from Samyaza (7)


(BELOW ([Hell] containing [crosses] L [lake]) + S (first letter of [lead from] SAMYAZA)

BE (L) LOW S – either L could be contained

BELLOWS (instrument for producing a current of air to blow up a fire; fan of fire)




CIA’s girl, central perhaps in 13 3? FBI’s actually! (7,8)


Anagram of (perhaps) CIA’S GIRL CENTRAL


CLARICE STARLING (FBI Agent in the film SILENCE OF THE LAMBS [13 across / 3 down])




Depression holding firm in loopy pattern (5)


PIT (depression) containing (holding) CO (Company; firm)


PICOT (a loop in an ornamental edging; loopy pattern)




Actor Antonio’s cast as Leo mercurial in Renaissance feature (9)


BANDERAS (reference Antonio BANDERAS, actor) excluding (cast) AS + an anagram of (mercurial) LEO


BANDEROLE (a flat band with an inscription, common in Renaissance buildings; Renaissance feature)




English-American psychologist to receive writer – books not involved (10)


E (English) + (LEARY [reference Timothy LEARY, American psychologist and advocate of psychedelic drugs] containing [ME {the writer] + NT {New Testament; books of the Bible}])


ELEMENTARY (simple; not involved)




Year in Californian location for Asriel’s child (4)


YR (year) contained in (in) LA (Los Angeles; Californian location)

L (YR) A

LYRA (daughter of Lord Asriel in Phillip Pullman’s series His Dark Materials)




Play with toy for girls? (1,5,5)

Then definition could equally well be toy for girls?

A DOLL’S HOUSE (toy for girls?)


A DOLLS HOUSE (play by Henrik Ibsen) double definition




Overused fighters‘ action bit is taken out (11)


Anagram of (taken out) ACTION BIT IS


ANTIBIOTICS (substances produced by micro-organisms which, in dilute solution, have the capacity to inhibit the growth of, or to destroy, micro-organisms causing infectious diseases; some diseases are becoming immune to ANTIBIOTICS as a result of overuse [at least that what I think the clue is suggesting])




Standard letter (or one previously written) (4)


N (letter) + OR + M (the letter previous to N in the alphabet; one previously written)


NORM (standard)




Ear takes bashing with Audible Poet (10)


Anagram of (bashing) EAR and AUDIBLE


BAUDELAIRE (reference Charles BAUDELAIRE [1821-1867], French poet)




Dishevelled I’m sat with bin consuming 5 nutritional items (1,8)


Anagram of (dishevelled) I’M SAT and BIN containing (consuming) V (Roman numeral for 5)


B VITAMINS (organic substances present in minute quantities in nutritive foods)




Money back on explosive component (5)


TIN (money) reversed (back) + RE (with reference to; on)


NITRE (saltpetre; potassium nitrate; a component of explosives)




Runs into soldiers, which delays flight indefinitely (3-4)


R (runs [cricket scoring notation]) contained in (into) LEGION (in ancient Rome, a body of three to six thousand soldiers)


LEG-IRON (fetters preventing escape [flight])




Having finished, tuck into … more and more? (7)


OVER (finished) + EAT (tuck into)


OVEREAT (continue eating when one should have finished) &Lit clue





This from last sailor drunk embraces (5)


SOT (drunk) containing (embraces) AB (able seaman; sailor)


SABOT (wooden shoe or clog made on a shoemaker’s last)




They sing ‘rebel fighter left it cocked’ (9)


CONTRA (member of rebel fighting groups in Nicaraguafrom 1979 to the early 1990s) + L (left) + IT reversed (cocked)  (or alternatively + an anagram of [cocked]  (L [left] and IT)


CONTRALTI (plural of CONTRALTO, singer)




Wystan Hugh leaves university for foreign climes (4)


AUDEN (reference Wystan Hugh AUDEN [1907-1973], poet) excluding (leaves) U (university)  Is it AUDEN leaves university or university leaves AUDEN?


ADEN (port city in the Republic of Yemen; foreign climes)




In Troy UV destroyed seed from tree (5,3)


Anagram of (destroyed) IN TROY UV


IVORY NUT (nut [edible seed] from  the S American palm Phytelephas or other palm)




Railway couple given lift (8)


EL (elevated railroad) + (EVA [girl’s name] + TED [boy’s name].  Together EVA and TED could be a couple)  Possibly a coincidence that ELEVATED is used partly in a definition of a wordplay component as well as being the entry itself)


ELEVATED (given lift)




Film contest with She – and He able criminally? (3,7,2,3,5)


Anagram of (criminally) FILM CONTEST SHE HE ABLE


THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (very successful horror film focusing on two central characters SHE [CLARICE STARLING, 5/17] and HE [HANNIBAL LECTER 16/2,] so possibly an &Lit clue)




Old cattle people in gas production (9)


O (old) + ZO (one of many possible spellings of a kind of hybrid domestic catlle found in parts of the Himalayas) + NATION (people)


OZONATION (production of ozone; gas production)




Elephant Man, taking look round court, sees monster in 13 3 (8,6)


HANNIBAL (reference the military commander HANNIBAL who is reputed to have marched elephants over the Pyrtenees and the Alps) + (LEER [look lasciviously] containing (round) CT [court])


HANNIBAL LECTER (the central male [and monstrous] character in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS 13/3)




Guardian 3 Minute Dance Record’ after 23 biscuits? (6,2,4)


LITTLE (minute) + BOP (dance) + E (ecstasy tablet[s], also known as DISCO [23 down] BISCUITS] + EP (extended play record)


LITTLE BO PEEP (shepherdess; guardian OF THE LAMBS [3 down])




Excellent single out (6)

single out could also be the definition

SELECT (choice; excellent)


SELECT (single out) double definition




Dance, essential to aged, is conga (5)


DISCO (hidden word in [essential to] AGED IS CONGA


DISCO (club or party where music is provided; dance)



Sporting blonde – just fine! (4)

Any of the four words could be the definition

FAIR (blonde), FAIR (just), FAIR (fine) FAIR (sporting)  quadruple definition


6 Responses to “Independent 8257 /Tees”

  1. flashling says:

    Do like being Tees-ed on my morning commute, the linked stuff fell quickly seeing 5/17 immediately giving away the two immediately connected answers. Beaten by 4d, didn’t know who the WH bit was, but leaves meaning “gives away” was quite neat.

    Cheers Tees, good stuff, and Duncan for the as usual polished blog.

  2. sidey says:

    Never read His Dark Materials but the answer was easy-ish to find. Completely baffled by Wystan Hugh. I would dispute that a last is used in the construction of sabots which are either like Dutch clogs or Dr Scholl’s so no nailing into the soles is involved.

    Other than that, good stuff. Thanks both.

  3. allan_c says:

    Had to google for LYRA and CLARICE STARLING, but conversely I saw ADEN immediately – probably because I knew Auden’s full name.

    Took ages to work out what was going on in 19/1, though.

    Good stuff, all the same. Thanks, Tees and Duncan

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Wasn’t quite sure what to make of this when I finally finished it, but on reflection I quite like it. Couldn’t get THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS for ages, which didn’t help – I couldn’t see what the anagram fodder was. Ms STARLING was unknown to me; DISCO BISCUITS meant nothing because I’ve had too sheltered an upbringing; and I thought LEARY was a bit of an obscurity.

    But the definition of ANTIBIOTICS was creative, and FAIR was also inventive. Liked OVEREAT too. So all in all, well done Tees with this one, and thanks to Duncan for blogging.

  5. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Tees for a good workout and Duncan for the blog.

    Films are not an interest of mine, but I could get 5ac/17dn from the anagram. The only clue that I did not solve was 10ac, but having seen the answer and explanation I have no complaints with it.

    A slight grumble about 20dn: yes the two meanings are different parts of speech, but they are really the same root meaning. I was happier with 24dn because “blonde” is sufficiently different from the other meanings. In fact I took this as three meanings – I did not separate “just” from “fine”.

  6. Tees says:

    Many thanks to all who have contributed, and to Duncan for another super-blog. Thanks for the comments, which are duly noted.


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