Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6366/Virgilius – Revelation

Posted by bensand on March 13th, 2007


A quick start and middle was followed by a gradual slowdown as I picked my way through the bottom left-hand corner. Enjoyed both the fast part and the slower part though.
Still not entirely happy about 5 down, suggestions or improved readings welcome.

9 VALUE – VAL(U)E, I always like to see a little Latin in a cryptic (not that I know much)
10 VALENTINO – (ANTINOVEL) got 5ac and this before I realised there were a whole slew of linked answers
15,17 THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE – The central clue around which the rest of the crossword is constructed but it seems to be a series of references to the other clues without it’s own cryptic element. There was a trick in the “picture produced by x and starring y” though as they’re different types of picture
20 PONY – The One Thousand Guineas is a race and taking pony as £25 and a guinea as £1.05 there would be 42 ponies in a thousand guineas
22 ALBRECHT – A + L + BRECHT, not sure how common a name Albrecht is but Durer was easier and Brecht is a fairly obvious playwriting compatriot
25 SAINT JOHN – The author of the book of Revelation and a single character change from Saint Joan
26 DURER – DU(R)E + R
26 TEE SHOT – TEES + HOT, an appealing surface and a good split of TEE SHOT
2 SPLURGE – SP (L) URGE One of three slangy answers providing a contrast to the biblical and cultural!
3 THEREFORE – sounds like “Their four”
4 EAVESDROPS – (PASSED OVER)* another seamless surface
6 RILL ? – R + ILL for hardly, &lit for a stream smaller than a river. I’m just not convinced about hardly for ill but I suppose in the sense of “ill-treated”, and “treated hardly” it’s ok.
I spent much longer wondering if it was right than solving it though.
13 TOUCHLINES – TOUCH + LINES. Quick to solve with checking letters in place but now that I look at this clue again I like it more. It reads well and has a nice play on words.
22 PSST – PS + ST, 21 and 22 both made me smile
20 COLT – horse and gun. With the central theme and pony at 20ac I had a second look to see if I could find another couple of horses for the quartet of Armageddon jockeys but I can’t find them if they’re there!

10 Responses to “Independent 6366/Virgilius – Revelation”

  1. says:

    My Collins gives ‘hardly’ as the 13th definition of ‘ill’ – a very succinct &lit, I thought. The querying of the meaning of hardly reminds me of being told by a friend who taught EFL that he had a student who, in the middle of a heavy downpour, claimed that it was ‘hardly raining.’

  2. says:

    RILL I read it to mean, as it’s only a very small brook, it’s hardly a river esp cos of the ? and the ! Think I’ve seen the idea used before somewhere.

  3. says:

    RILL : Flowing water comes from river, not well (pre 2004) was my latest effort for this one

  4. says:

    I must be very dim, because nobody has commented on 8D. I have entered HOOK and can’t for the life of me see why it is “shot in the air”. Perhaps it isn’t HOOK. Help?

    SAINT JOHN (26A) is what I entered, but if we allow the link-word “in”, which although perhaps inelegant surely isn’t a solecism, couldn’t it equally well be JOAN?

  5. says:

    Hook is a golfing shot into the air.

    I did consider it might be a golf shot and part of an air, a tune, but I think that is reading too much into it.

  6. says:

    I agonised about HOOK, thinking from earlier crosswords that “in the air” might mean there is some song about this. However then I saw that “shot in the air” might be a hook in sport, maybe golf or cricket or even rugby, and I was reasonably happy with it as there are only so many pirates. Will look with interest at solution tomorrow.

  7. says:

    Re Will Ransome’s other point, I thought the clue to 25 on its own could yield either SAINT JOAN or SAINT JOHN but that the ambiguity was completely resolved in favour of SAINT JOHN by the clue to 15/17. Not gone back to the old books to check, but am reasonably confident about it.

  8. says:

    I shall be interested to see if it really is HOOK. A hook can be in the air, but needn’t be. As a would-be golfer, I have plenty of experience of a duck hook: a hook shot that rapidly hits the ground.

  9. says:

    I’m more of a slicer myself – my greatest achievement: reaching the 18th green from the first tee. I think the hook in this case is a cricket shot, which would definitely be in the air, and makes it rather topical. Unpatriotically I’ve got a fiver on New Zealand, so you’d be advised to back anyone else.

  10. says:

    Hook is correct. I don’t think a cricket hook does have to be in the air. I’m fairly sure you can, in theory, roll your wrists over as you hit it and send it skating along to the boundary along the ground. Either a cricket hook or a golf hook would usually be in the air though and I didn’t hesitate to put it in myself. Sorry not to have commented on it originally as it’s caused such debate later!

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