Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6306/Virgilius – New Year, New Theme…

Posted by neildubya on January 2nd, 2007


…at least I think it’s new. I certainly don’t recall ever seeing it before. It’s a nice idea although it does make things very easy for you, once you’ve got the first one of the words in each “triplet”. Good to see yet more innovation though.

8 hidden twice in “earliER SEttlERS Especially” – I only spotted the first one when I solved this and spent a while wondering what “repeatedly used” was supposed to mean. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this done before.
9 (SEA A CRANE’S)* – the first thematic clue I got, although I didn’t know it was thematic at the time.
11 (CASE)*,AREA – this was easy as I’d already got 9A and 15A and had twigged what the theme might be; this one confirmed it.
12 TR,A,VERSE – another one I got after the penny had dropped.
15 SEA< in CAR – the one that caused the penny-dropping moment, which was handy as I’d got a bit stuck elsewhere.
18 JIGS,AW – not sure about this. Is “aw” supposed to mean “understood”? A couple of online dictionaries define it as a US expression for “disapproval, commiseration or appeal”.
20 BE(R)ATE(-R) – I’ve occasionally seen lazy anagram clues where you’re only required to move one letter so fair play to Virgilius for avoiding that and instead telling us exactly what we’re supposed to do.
22 G in LINER,IE – excellent &lit clue.
25 hidden in “hoteL IN GERmany”.
28 LING – after 22A and 25A this one is solved for you. Took a while to realise that “-ling” creates diminutive nouns, e.g duckling.
3 M in ACE
4 (SECURE)* – an &lit, in a way.
6 z,ETA – if you know your Greek alphabet, you’ll know that that “eta” comes after “zeta” (z).
7 A,N,GEL,A – I only realised, post-solving – that “gel” was a young, usually upper-class, woman.
16 last letters in “judgE iN caseS yoU and mE”
21 EX(C)ITED – perfect surface reading.
25 LIED – I liked this very much. A pun on “number” for song and “produced pork pies” is an excellent definition (and a reference to Cockney rhyming slang, of course).
26 (Little) NELL – a reference to the Dickens character from The Old Curiosity Shop and a twist on the “sounds like” clue – a death-“knell” is “tolled”.

8 Responses to “Independent 6306/Virgilius – New Year, New Theme…”

  1. says:

    Struggled a bit with this, not seeing the -ling = diminutive connection and concluding that the clue was just talking about the result of a process of diminution of LINGERIE and LINGER. Before that, it took getting stuck on CAESAREA and thinking “hang on, this is Virgilius so there must be something going on” to spot the gimmick. Result: about 50% slower than the average Virgilius Tuesday puzzle.
    The “tolled” pun is familiar to those who know their Thomas Hood – “They went and told the sexton, and the sexton tolled the bell” – from Faithless Sally Brown, not Faithless Nellie Gray, so he coundn’t use the Nell/knell pun.

  2. says:

    I found this tough, 36 mins. JIGSAW (great clue) is, I think, SAW (understood) after JIG (energetic steps). Hard to set such a precise pattern, I’d say.

  3. says:

    Re: JIGSAW. Of course, silly me. I thoughts JIGS had to be plural.

  4. says:

    2D: Is this BEAR? Obvious I’m sure, but I can’t see what it has to do with Northern river.

  5. says:

    There are many Bear Rivers in North America — including Alaska and Canada. Not sure which one is the “correct” one. Or if there’s something else sneaky going on: like BEA+R (for “Northern river”).

  6. says:

    Although Virgilius lives in Oregon you should assume he’s setting (primarily) for a British readership. Although I can see that BEAR would work, you need to look for something a little nearer to home.

  7. says:

    Not Bear, surely Wear ?

    but have every other letter for 22d yet still can’t see it!

  8. says:

    LEE+WAY, where LEE=rev(eel)

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