Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6280 by Phi Easy, but top quality as always

Posted by nmsindy on December 1st, 2006


This has all I’ve learnt to expect from a Phi puzzle.    Perfectly worded clues, credible surface readings, variety, and a satisfied solver at the end.   I solved it in 15 mins.

* = anagram

1  PARKINSON’S LAW    “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion”.

Coined in the 1950s, with echoes of laws in physics re gases.   And, as anyone working in an office will tell you, many a true word is spoken in jest.   “Almost” stopping = parkin(g) with last letter off + (lass now)*

10  BOWDLER   Excellent surface.   Duck at outset = first letter d in bowler.   From the man who produced expurgated versions of the Shakespeare plays and the word’s gone into the language generally.

12  PLAY UP  lay in pup  Misleading because my first thought was a word meaning “bet”

13  DOOR  Do = party + OR (Other Ranks) – a crossword staple

18  RESILIENCE   RE (Royal Engineers – more soldiers familiar to solvers) + i in silence.

25 INDIANA   Indian = of Asian country  foremost in Asia = its first letter A.  Definition is State (of the US).

26 IRON MAN  New to me, this, apparently originated in Australia, series of sporting events, but the wordplay was straightforward.   What flattens = iron + man(y) = lots

27  NORTHALLERTON    In North Yorkshire.    (to holler ‘n’ rant)*    Hope some local worthies, not appreciating the cryptic crossword, do not see the clue.


1  PENDULOUS    Tricky enough   pen = son (v well-known to solvers  – short for penitentiary) + dul(l) + ous(t) –  “Nearly all reject”   The definition is the single word “hanging”

4  SUBS    Though main = sea is crossword cliche,  this was one of my favourites in the puzzle.     Subs meaning sub-editors and submarines in the two contexts.

5  NEW BLOOD    Double usage again here (the stage and the operating theatre).   Wondered though if this was close to breaking the normal convention of keeping serious diseases etc out of the grid.

8  STAGE DIRECTION  (Get actor inside)*   A wonderful &lit from the master i.e. the whole clue works as definition and wordplay.

15  DECEPTIVE  d = daughter + (r)eceptive   “Not right = r” 

16  ANCHORMAN   Another v good surface.    (monarch)* + an

17  SLAPDASH   PDA in Slash

24 PAUL   Paused with this, then saw it   U = university in China = mate = pal

4 Responses to “Independent 6280 by Phi Easy, but top quality as always”

  1. says:

    Poor old Phi! Puzzle full of good doable clues, no comments. I’ll just point out that Phi being Paul Henderson, 24D could be seen as a signature at the end of the puzzle.

  2. says:

    I think you may be right, Peter. Some months ago when checking the solution to another Phi Indy puzzle, I saw (though I had not noticed it when solving), Paul Henderson spelled out. From memory, this was in unchecked letters in the top and bottom rows.

  3. says:

    I’m a bit worried by the ‘Poor old Phi!’ bit… But thanks for all the positive comments.

    As for clueing PAUL – no, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar – faced with all the options available I chose PAUL as I have tended to avoid clueing it before! But the other hidden phrase was deliberate (don’t think you’d accept me saying that was just a coincidence). I may not hide things as often as others, but they are there and I’ll be watching to see if you spot them!

  4. says:

    Sorry to worry – “old” only means “good setter who I’ve been solving for 20 years or so”. I’m not just being nice, even though I’ve known Paul through crosswords for a long time. I’ll look harder in future, as the hidden PH passed me by.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

two − 1 =