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Independent on Sunday 1209 Commoner

Posted by scchua on April 28th, 2013


I believe this is only the second IoS from Commoner.  Many interesting surfaces.  The last answer that I parsed took a bit longer than the others.  Thanks to Commoner.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[The pictures at the bottom have unidentified links to the puzzle. Please enclose any comments on them in double brackets. Thank you.]]

1 Some Plymouth gin knocked over nobleman (6)

KNIGHT : Hidden in(Some) reversal of(over) “Plymouth gin knocked“.

4 Small item of furniture is fixed (6)

STABLE : S(abbrev. for “small”) TABLE(an item of furniture).

Defn: Steadfast;unchangeable as in character or purpose.

9 Buffet comprised of joint and filled bread (7,8)

KNUCKLE SANDWICH : KNUCKLE(a joint in your hand) plus(and) SANDWICH(bread with, say, a meat, vegetable and relish filling).

Answer: Slang for a buffet;a blow;a punch in the mouth with a clenched fist.

10 Press  club (4)

IRON : Double defn: 1st: To use an iron on your clothes; and 2nd: A golf club made of, well, iron.

11 Love’s in other words being ready to make change (10)

ADAPTATION : “adoration”(love) with its(…’s) “or”(in other words;alternatively) replaced by(being) “apt”(ready to;is likely to, as in “she’s apt to lose her temper”).

Answer: A change to fit, say, one’s circumstances/environment. The last one to be parsed.

12 Heated, dry out? (9)

DEHYDRATE : Anagram of(out) HEATED, DRY. A WIWD(wordplay intertwined with definition) clue.

15 Dog training command doctor voiced (4)

HEEL : Hidden in(voiced) “heal”(to doctor;to make well).

16 Bathe in part of London with maiden (4)

SWIM : SWI(letters that look like SW1, a postcode area of London) plus(with) M(abbrev. for a maiden over in cricket; also for “married”, which a maiden is not).

18 Rascal enthusiastic about European city (9)

ROTTERDAM : ROTTER(a rascal;a scoundrel) + reversal of(about) MAD(enthusiastic;keen about).

21 Artisan concocting kitsch balm (10)

BLACKSMITH : Anagram of(concocting) KITSCH BALM.


23 ‘Ang out with female relative (4)

AUNT : “haunt”(to visit often;to frequent a particular place;to hang out in) minus its “h”(as “hang” does to get “‘ang”).

24 Group of former workers fish – this may be hoped for on retirement! (6,9)

GOLDEN HANDSHAKE : G(abbrev. for “group”, used in mathematics for a set of objects, or, more familiarly, in G8, a group of 8 industrialised countries) + OLDEN(former;of time past) + HANDS(workers, usually doing manual work) + HAKE(a food fish).

Answer: A generous severance pay to a retiring worker in recognition of long service or to induce a worker to retire/cease employment earlier. The latter is now the more common.

25 10:50, I go with daughter and son to see Cats (6)

FELIDS : FE(the chemical symbol for the element iron, the answer to 10across) + L(Roman numeral for 50) + I plus(go with) D(abbrev. for “daughter”) plus(and) S(abbrev. for “son”).

Answer: Members of the taxonomic family of Felidae, the cats.

26 Journalist in news broadcast in European country (6)

SWEDEN : ED(short for “editor”;a journalist) contained in(in) anagram of(broadcast) NEWS.

1 Josh has new revolutionary 19 (7)

KINDRED : KID(to josh;to tease) plus(has) N(abbrev. for “new”) + RED(a revolutionary;a radical).

Answer: Descriptive of a group of people related to one another, as in a tribe;tribal(answer to 19down).

2 Old Peruvian food container with top removed (5)

INCAN : “tin can”(a food container) minus its initial letter(with top removed).

Answer: A member of the South American Indian civilisation centred round Peru, which lasted until the Spanish conquest.

3 The French name picked by proprietor is one from 18, say (9)

HOLLANDER : { LA(French for “the”) + N(abbrev. for “name”) } contained in(picked by) HOLDER(a proprietor;a person who has ownership).

Answer: One from the Netherlands who might;say, come from Rotterdam(answer to 18across).

5 Doctrine written up remains the same (5)

TENET : Cryptic defn: A palindrome, which written up or down, in a down clue remains the same.

6 Gripped, bit and chewed bananas (9)

BEWITCHED : Anagram of(bananas) [BIT plus(and) CHEWED].

Answer: Gripped in a witching spell.

7 Heads of executive note-taking company mislay pen (7)

ENCLOSE : Initial letters respectively of(Heads of) “executive note-taking company” + LOSE(to mislay;to misplace).

Answer: To place within eg. a pen;a fenced area.

8 Eritrea’s marathon is in its capital? Quite the opposite! (6)

ASMARA : Cryptic defn: The capital city of Eritrea, hidden in(is in) “Eritrea’s marathon“, the opposite of how the clue reads.

13 Short moral discourse about detectives, one is out for blood (9)

HOMICIDAL : “homily”(a moral discourse;a moralising talk or writing) minus its last letter(Short) containing(about) { CID(the department of criminal investigators;detectives in a police force) + A(one;a single item) }.

14 That man in East London certainly had on women’s make-up (3,6)

EYE SHADOW : ‘E( “he”;that man, as pronounced by a Cockney from East London) + YES(certainly;for sure) + HAD + O'(with the apostrophe, an archaic and/or dialectic short form of “on”) + W(abbrev. for “women”, as in the Women’s Institute).

17 Rich source of fluorine (4-3)

WELL-OFF : WELL(a source of, say, water or oil) + OF +F(chemical symbol for the element fluorine).

19 Ethnic origin of Tony Blair disputed (6)

TRIBAL : The initial letter of(origin of) “Tony ” + anagram of(disputed) BLAIR.

20 Reportedly crazed, chic model (7)

MANIKIN : Homophone of(Reportedly) “manic”(crazed;suffering from mania;excessive excitement) + IN(chic;fashionable).

Answer:  Could be either a live or a merely lifelike one.


22 Extremely silly fellow upset group of clergymen (5)

SYNOD : The 2 outermost letters of(Extremely) “silly ” + reversal of(upset) DON(a fellow in an academic institution).

Answer: A council of clergymen to discuss ecclesiastical affairs.

23 Ace detective died arresting hard little sucker (5)

APHID : A(abbrev. for “ace”, eg. in bridge notation) + { PI(abbrev. for a private investigator;a detective) + D(abbrev. for “died”) } containing(arresting) H(abbrev. for “hard”). And that would be Ace Ventura, Pet Detective?

Answer:  A tiny sap-sucking insect.


For the answer to pic#5 please click here


9 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1209 Commoner”

  1. Muffyword says:

    Thanks scchua and Commoner,

    I couldn’t parse EYE SHADOW or ADAPTATION, but thought this was a very good crossword.

    [[1, 4 and 6 look like Dicks York and Sargent, and Elizabeth Montgomery from BEWITCHED (I don’t think it’s Xavier HOLLANDER). Ants such as that in 5 might feed from APHIDS, but that’s probably not what you are after]]

  2. sidey says:

    [[2 is Haille Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia when it controlled Eritrea]]

  3. michelle says:

    Thanks for the blog, scchua.

    My favourites were 12a, 22d, 25a, 20a, 18a & 13d.

    I was unable to parse 23d & 11a.

    New word for me today was ‘felid’.

    I don’t understand the parsing of 20d as described above. I parsed it as MANIK (homophone of ‘manic’ = ‘reportedly crazed’) + IN (chic). Can someone explain the “hidden in (reportedly)” bit to me please.

    Also, Collins describes ‘manikin’ as “an anatomical model of the body or a part of the body, esp for use in medical or art instruction” so I don’t think it is ever a live person. In contrast, a mannequin can be either a live model or a life-size jointed model/dummy.

  4. scchua says:

    Oops, that was a typo. Well spotted, michelle. I use codes, “h” for hidden and “ho” for homophone when typing out the blog, which a macro later replaces with the appropriate words in full. In this case I missed out the “o”. I should have spotted it during my reviews.

    Collins and other dictionaries give one of the meanings of “manikin” as a variant spelling of “mannequin”, the latter including both alive and lifeless forms.

  5. sidey says:

    The OED does not have manikin a a live model, the only ‘live’ meaning is A little man (freq. depreciative); a dwarf, a pygmy. Also fig. .

    [[is 3 the bloke from Iron Man?]]

  6. sidey says:

    Oh dear, I’ve just read their mannequin entry which does say manikin is an alternative, sorry.

  7. grandpuzzler says:

    [[Agree with sidey, #3 is Robert Downey, Jr from Iron Man.]]


  8. scchua says:

    [[Muffyword, sidey and grandpuzzler, yes, those were the 2 Dicks and the bewitching Elizabeth Montgomery from the series BEWITCHED; the lionised (as hinted by the picture) Haile Selassie, who annexed ERITRIA whilst Emperor of Ethiopia, resulting in the Eritrian War of Independence; and Robert Downey Jr. from IRON Man, 2 and 3. Later on, I’ll add a link under the pictures to the last answer.]]

  9. Eileen says:

    Thanks, scchua, for the blog – and Commoner for the puzzle.

    I ticked 12ac but have two quibbles:

    Re 9ac: I reached fearfully for Chambers, dreading that yet another misuse had become acceptable but found – hurrah! – ‘comprise: to consist of [often, incorrectly, with of]’

    Re 22dn: a SYNOD is an ecclesiatical council but not a group of [exclusively] clergymen, as we know all too well, after the vote at the General Synod of the Church of England re women bishops.

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