Thirstier Choppers (anag. 11, 6)

On Friday last week and without any warning, the Independent published the crossword below, no. 7919 in their excellent series, and compiled by ‘Phi’. I consider it to be an honour, in spite of 1 Down, which if I were feeling a bit paranoid I might interpret as a comment on my style. Even in the glory years of his reviewing, Rat Animism (anag. 6, 4) never quite got around to using this particular word when praising my novels, but exhausted every other synonym from that page of the thesaurus. 8 Down also has the potential for pejorative use, but that’s another one I don’t take too seriously.

The image should be more legible when enlarged, but if anyone would like a clearer copy drop me a line and I will send it as an attachment.

I’m grateful to Paul Dormer for spotting this, and to Dave Langford for passing on the news with enough time left for me to dash out and buy a copy of the paper before it became yesterday’s recycle stuff.

Answers are published here.