Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6283 by Virgilius – Easy theme, some gems

Posted by nmsindy on December 5th, 2006


I pencilled BURDEN in over-confidently for 8 Across.  This delayed me.  Solved in just under 20 mins, a bit slower than usual for Virgilius, where a theme usually becomes clear to help the solver along.   I think this theme is so obvious that I need not mention it.

* = anagram


1  FAT ALIT countr(Y) 

8  PIGEON  Double defn

11  LIE EG   (chess)MEN

12  SIXPENCE   Very clever.   D-day is not 6 June 1944 but Decimalisation Day in 1971.   The sixpence coin (tanner) was half of a shilling, equivalent to 2.5 new pence.   Very small, hence football cliche that remains – “turn on a sixpence”.     I may be wrong in this, but I have a suspicion that the sixpence did not go on D-day;  that, after a pressure campaign, it was kept on for a while longer.     VI = 6 P = pence, though strictly that sixpence was old money, so may it should be VID.   However this is the wordplay element so I’d allow that licence.

21 HONE + D in YEW

24  INFER + ROI (French for King) (reversed)

25 S + A LUTE 

26  TWO-TIMES  My favourite clue   – Two-times multiplication tables are the easiest.   Is deceptive = second definition (Two-timing)  


2  DE (successive notes on the scale A to G) + COMPOSE

4  FOUR-LETTER-WORDS   Got this straight away – the four words that comprise the clue are examples too.

6 L on ISLE  (Man, for example, i.e. Isle of Man, v common in crosswords)

7  TENNERS  “Tenors”

14  EIGHTFOLD  (of delight)*

15 HINDUISM  U in (his mind)*

20 EVENS (chance of heads – in tossing a coin) + O

6 Responses to “Independent 6283 by Virgilius – Easy theme, some gems”

  1. says:

    I also put BURDEN for 8A, albeit with a sense of unease. I didn’t know that PIGEON = responsibility. I liked 12A and 1D was also clever.

  2. says:

    Tanners: yes, usable until 1980, in theory at least.

  3. says:

    My favourite was 4D, simple but cleverly done. Little wonder that Richard Browne singled out Virgilius (or Virgiuius) in the Times 2 article today.

    Incidentally, Nestor fans may like to know that his second Indy crossword will be the prize puzzle on Saturday 16 and in my humble opinion it’s better than his first.

  4. says:

    Thanks for the tip eimi. I expect I won’t be the only one looking forward to that.

  5. says:

    I think this theme is so obvious that I need not mention it.

    Really?! It took me longer to spot the theme than to solve the crossword!!

  6. says:

    Virgilius’s background, like my own indeed, is in maths. But this was very much at the basic end!

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