Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6324 / Virgilius – Hello Sailor!

Posted by tilsit on January 23rd, 2007


Solving time: 26 minutes

 A nautical theme for today’s puzzle with lots of linked answers and clues.  This was very much a puzzle of 10 minutes of staring blankly, followed by 16 of furious writing as the answers unfolded.  As usual, excellent clueing with one or two nice devices thrown in (19 and 23 across).


6  OUNCE  –  Where would crossword compilers be without the American wild cat?

8  CHAIN  –  IN following CHA

9  MOO  –  MOOD minus D

10  TAR –  Is this a1.5 definition clue?  Salt =  TAR  and TARTAR is something to cause dental trouble.

12  LASER  –  Homophone  LAZER –  I did wonder whther this clue should have had a question~mark after it to show the homophone is a little bit dodgy?

13  EXHALES  –  I was bothered about this def s I presumed EXHALE to just mean “breathe out”, rather than “gives off”, but Chambers does seem to support it.

15  IN THE DOLDRUNS  Def –  Down  –  The Doldrums is an area of wetahe rphenmenom

19  – ABSINTH – Cracking clue with a nice device – the lisp!

21  ONTARIO  — As usual Virgilius alwaus manages to hide answers cleverly

23  LENIN –  Another nice clue – “the next square after three” definine NINE which is reversed after L

26  WINDS  –  Double def.

27  EERIE  –  Connected to Lake Ontario is Erie  and 20  (SOUND) indicates a homophone.


1   BOATMEN  –  O inside BATMEN

2  VESSEL  –  Another hidden

3  CARDINAL POINTS  –  CARDINAL (Religious Leader) –  POINTS (HEADS) –  DEFINITION =  Main quarters i.e. on a nautical compass.

4  ONE-LINER  –  Double def,  A ship and of course a joke.

5/18  ROARING FORTIES – Two cryptic definitions! Loudly demanding restrictions  (ROARING FOR  TIES)  

7  NORTH AND SOUTH  –  The Mrs Gaskell novel.

8  CROSSED THE LINE  –  Nautical reference – going from North to South you cross the line (The Equator) 

9  MASTER MARINER  –  Young Silas – MASTER MARNER with I in it.  Another nautical clue

16  HAND DOWN  –  Pass over (definition)  crewman  (HAND) depression  (DOWN)

17  CAPSTAN  –   Give Stan a cap =  “put him in a team”  

21  TANKER  –  I couldn’t make my mind up whether this was TANKER OR TANNER but have settled for the former – can’t find TANNER as a ship.  I have heard of TONKING as to defeat someone, but Chamber doesn’t exactly define it.

5 Responses to “Independent 6324 / Virgilius – Hello Sailor!”

  1. says:

    21 Down To tank is to beat so it’s TANKER all right, I think.

  2. says:

    12ac: Is this homophone dodgy? I pronounce ‘laser’ and ‘lazer’ identically.

    23ac: Nine is the next square after four (as per the clue), not three!

    Agree with your comments re ABSINTH and ONTARIO, but maybe 17dn would have been even better with a reference to Matthews or Mortensen (or even Collymore)?

  3. says:

    Don’t understand how laser/lazer is dodgy. But then someone at Times for the Times reckoned “NICKED” and the first syllable of “NICTATE” sounded different yesterday. Maybe I’m going deaf…

  4. says:

    I hadn’t seen the word “lazer” before, hence my feeling that it was almost an artificilly created agent-noun.

  5. says:

    Yes, I quickly looked LAZER up on the day and didn’t find it.

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