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Independent 10,517 by Gila

Posted by Kitty on June 27th, 2020


The puzzle can be found here.


Hi everyone, and happy Caturday.  I hope your eyes are brighter than mine, and your tails bushier.  After wilting in the heat in what has felt like a very long week, the sight of lovely grey clouds in the sky has brightened up my day.  As has this: Gila has produced another enjoyable crossword, in which the MISTER at 8d even managed to make me laugh.  Thanks Gila!


Definitions are underlined in the clues below.  In the explanations, quoted indicators are in italics and I’ve capitalised and emboldened letters which appear in the ANSWER.



1a    Group of revolutionary old soldiers (3,8)
OF reversed (revolutionary), O (old) and FIGHTERS (soldiers).  The rock band

7a    Provide a piece cut from irregular material (3)
The answer can be extracted from (cut from) irregulAR Material.  Piece is a gun

9a    Blathered on – not quietly – and gave a critical opinion (5)
[p]RATED (blathered on) without P (not quietly)

10a   Drinks made in barrels always taking a long time (9)
B (barrels – a new abbreviation for me) + EVER (always) + AGES (a long time)

11a   Art deco building right by the eastern edge of Soho – tourists were entertained there (9)
ART DECO anagrammed (building) + R (right) + the rightmost letter of (eastern edge of) SohOI might have blithely called the whole clue an extended definition, but in crosswords and blogging we must never make assumptions.  Except the one about Wikipedia always being right

12a   Subject‘s art ultimately removed from far side of NY museum (5)
The last letter of (… ultimately) arT is removed from THE ME[T] (NY museum)

13a   Appointed region from the east supplies gas (7)
SET (appointed) and AREA (region), all reversed (from the east)

15a   Yarn that stretches? It might, say, in the middle (4)
SA (it, sex appeal) plus the central letters of (… in the middle) miGht and sAy

18a   Cry over an onion? (4)
BLUB (cry) reversed (over)

20a   Almost imbibe wine – it’s sweet! (7)
All but the last letter of (almost) SUC[k] (imbibe) + ROSÉ (wine)

23a   Lorry about to leave snowy area (5)
C (about) taken form (to leave) AR[c]TIC (snowy area)

24a   Northern person abandoning Hull in the end? It almost happens! (4,5)
N (northern) + EARTH[l]ING (person) omitting (abandoning) the last letter of (… in the end) HulL

26a   Spicy sausages go with Italian lager (9)
PEP (go) with PERONI (Italian lager)

27a   Politician taken in by excellent excuse (5)
LIB (politician) inside (taken in by) AI (A1, excellent).  I know this meaning of alibi from crosswords, and hence also know that it has dictionary support, but haven’t met it in real life – and if I did would almost certainly consider it a mistake.  Still, today’s mistakes produce tomorrow’s reality

28a   Support is there from time to time (3)
THERE, alternate letters (from time to time)

29a   Cool singer and a smashing director (7,4)
An anagram of (… smashing) COOL SINGER and A.  The film director



1d    Person leaving one fellow stuck up hazardous construction (8)
PARTER (person leaving), I (one) and F (fellow), all reversed (stuck up)

2d    Engine starts to overheat dangerously when modified with a turbo (8)
Initial letters of (starts to) Overheat Dangerously, when anagrammed (modified) together with A TURBO, produce our engine

3d    Institute found in Italy and maybe another country (5)
I (institute) Inside (found in) an anagram of (… maybe) I (Italy) and AND

4d    A man prepares leaves for a book (7)
HE (a man) + BREWS (prepares leaves).  I’m more used to seeing “he” clued as “that man” or similar, but I think this way works

5d    Green vines winding round the tops of oaks, unusually (7)
An anagram of (… winding) VINES goes round the first letters (tops) of Oaks Unusually

6d    With a clear plan of attack, tiger cats scattered (9)
TIGER CATS anagrammed (scattered)

7d    Fish finally gutted and put in a corner (6)
ANGLE (fish) plus the last letter of (finally) gutteD

8d    What do you call a guy who sprays plants? (6)
A joke, disguised as a double definition

14d   Criminal once hurt with butt of iron club (9)
An anagram of (criminal) ONCE HURT with the last letter of (butt of) iroN

16d   Mostly well-mannered, endlessly nice and ordinary government minister, perhaps (8)
Mostly POLITe (well-mannered), endlessly nICe and O (ordinary)

17d   Guests oddly dying to take off (3,5)
Odd letters of (… oddly) GuEsTs + GOING (dying)

19d   German inventor, foremost in oils and in command of resin (7)
BENZ (German inventor), the first letter of (foremost in) Oils, and IC (in command)

20d   Believable story involving a new dog (7)
SPIEL (believable story) containing (involving) A (from the clue) and N (new).  To give the cats above somebody to play with I asked the internet for a “cocky spaniel” and here is the result:

21d   Dress down in a pile on the floor? (6)
Two definitions, the second very nice

22d   Main item of office equipment (6)
Another pair of definitions

25d   Vehicles controlled with computers from the rear (5)
SMART (controlled with computers) reversed (from the rear)


9 Responses to “Independent 10,517 by Gila”

  1. Rabbit Dave says:

    As a (ex-)chemist, I wasn’t sure about BENZOIC meaning “of resin”, but sure enough it is there in Chambers.  I wasn’t too keen on PARTER but, that aside, this was good fun with MISTER my favourite.

    Many thanks to Gila for an enjoyable puzzle, and to Kitty, not only for a great review and pictures but also for explaining SAGA, the parsing of which escaped me.

  2. Ian SW3 says:

    To this old New Yorker’s ears, “the Met” is an opera house and company.  The art gallery on the other side of the Park is “the Metropolitan,” “the Museum” or perhaps (though I don’t like it much) “the Met Museum.”  The clue to 12 would work just as well with “NY cultural instiution.”

  3. Tatrasman says:

    I too associate ‘the Met’ with the opera, and not being familiar with NYC didn’t know of the museum, but the clue works very well anyway.  ‘Parter’ also  grated a little for me, but otherwise very enjoyable, so thanks Gila and Kitty.  When names of people crop up, I look for a related theme but none as far as I can see.

  4. jane says:

    I hadn’t heard of the film director and it’s just as well the ‘band’ turned up in a recent crossword otherwise I’d have been lost there as well!

    Like RD, I wasn’t overly happy with ‘parter’ and needed Miss Kitty’s help to parse SAGA.

    Another vote here for MISTER as favourite.

    Thanks to Gila and to our splendid reviewer – I’m a little worried about the felines riding on tanks and perusing books on military strategy!

  5. Hovis says:

    Didn’t spot the second cat in the tank pic at first glance. Cats pretty well rule over us mere earthlings already, so this is a bit OTT.

    Needed a word fit to get BENZOIC with BULB my loi.

    Thanks Kitty and thanks also to GILA for a very entertaining puzzle.

  6. allan_c says:

    An enjoyable crossword with just a few things we weren’t quite sure about – mostly dealt with above.

    We parsed 3dn as in the blog, but then saw another possibility in that INDIA stands for I in the so-called phonetic alphabet, so there are three ways of defining I – not quite sure that it works, though.

    Thanks, Gila for the puzzle, and Kitty for the blog and illustrations.

  7. Simon S says:

    Thanks Gila and Kitty

    Getting my crossword head back on after yesterday, which contained a terrible personal shock. I enjoyed this, and yesterday’s Phi, which I got round to thus morning.

    My only quibble is with STAPLE being an item of office equipment. Certainly the stapler is, but surely the staple itself is just a consumable?

  8. El_Gwero says:

    A bit too lateral/tricksy for me today (person/earthling; it/sex appeal/SA; excellent/A1/AI plus all those mentioned above) but plenty learnt. 18ac BULB My favourite. Thanks Gila and Kitty.

  9. James says:

    Thanks Gila, Kitty.
    Great pics today. I’m sure I’ve seen that spaniel’s grin somewhere before, but can’t place it.

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