Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6375/Phi

Posted by Colin Blackburn on March 23rd, 2007

Colin Blackburn.

This was very tough for me today. I could only find a few windows of opportunity to look at the puzzle so I never really got into it. Three answers have left me baffled over the word play or definition.

Incidentally, the top row reads KIA ORA which I think is a Maori greeting (as well as a brand of sugary drink for kids.) Phi lives in New Zealand.

Across
7 WIND HARP — cryptic def.
9 MEASLE ? — cryptic def. — however, I’m not sure if this is a cryptic definition to MEASLE or MEASLY. I can see that MEASLE is a single MEASLES but couuld one spot be measly?
10 GRASP — G(RAS(h))P
11 LINGERIE — LINGER + I.E. — stays being an item of lingerie used from the past, for most people?
12 BEST-BEFORE DATE — double def. one cryptic — I’m not convinced by the cryptic definition here.
15 RUNNER — double def. — the reference is to Bow Street runner.
16 DIVERT ? — DI(V(ic)E)RT — is this the anwer? It fits the word play but I’m not sure what the definition is.
18 COUNTERMEASURE — COUNTER+MEA(t)+SURE
20 EGG TIMER — cryptic def. — soldiers are fingers of toasted bread for dipping into a soft-boiled egg.
22 TORSO — TO(RS)O — RS = Royal Society, ie leading thinkers (not TH!)
24 INJECT — C in IN JET — C = cocaine.
25 FREE LIST — F(REEL)IST
Down
1 KING LEAR — KIN+G(L)EAR
2 IDEA — IDEA(l)
3 APOLLO — A POL(L)O
4 OMEN — (w)OMEN — good surface reading.
5 RATEPAYERS — (PRET(t)YAREAS)*
6 ALPINE — A L(P)INE
8 AT PRESENT — TA< +PRESENT
13 TONGUE-TIED — (O(n)EDUETTING)* — good anagram.
14 EPICENTRE — EPIC+ N in (TREE)* — this had me for a good while as I read the clue the wrong way around, convinced the definition was “immense”.
17 TORTOISE — TORT(O+IS)E — I spent a while thinking of woodsmen and lumberjacks!
18 COGENT — CO(GEN)T — not sure how COT comes from “where one’s out”.
19 RAREFY — RA(REF)Y
21 MATY — MAT+(all)Y — Ally Pally is a reference to Alexandra Palace.
23 RULE — ? — I can see the definition but not the word play.

10 Responses to “Independent 6375/Phi”

  1. says:

    A bit tougher than the usual Phi. I think RULE is from RUffLE. Stays for the second day in succession (as older viewer may remember). Did spot KIA ORA at the end (you look for these things now, in the Indy).

  2. says:

    I also found this harder going than the usual Phi.
    I plumped for MEASLY at 9A.
    For 18D I thought out=fast asleep.
    For 16A I presumed that divert=entertain – thought it was a slightly strange clue, though.
    I didn’t know about Ally Pally – thanks for pointing that out.

  3. says:

    I don’t have the puzzle to hand but…

    18dn – I think COT = ‘where one’s out’ in the sense of ‘asleep’.

    9ac – If I remember correctly the clue was something like ‘Would just one spot be?’, so a kind of double definition to ‘measly’ in the sense of ‘meagre’ and ‘to do with measles’ (hence the question mark).

    16ac – Can’t really remember this clue but I think the definition was something like ‘person in showbiz would’, so I guess ‘divert’ in the sense of ‘entertain’.

    I found this exactly average for a Phi puzzle – on the other hand, I was cavalier in the extreme when solving today. I also missed KIA ORA, and had ‘[w]ides’ for ‘[w]OMEN’ briefly (and hence ‘deadly’ for ‘measly’, thinking it was some oblique Treasure Island reference).

  4. says:

    Harder than the average Phi for me.

  5. says:

    A touch maladroit for a Phi puzzle I thought.

    ‘might’ for ‘would’ makes 9ac read better.
    hoary: egg-timer, inject.

    Like cb, not convinced by the subsidiary / second def on 12ac.

  6. says:

    RULE (23D)

    I imagine that’s the answer, and that as Nmsindy says, its RUffLE. But f is “following”; ff is “following pages, lines etc”. Perhaps that’s being a bit picky, and perhaps “not following” means “with no appearance anywhere of following”.

  7. says:

    Never thought of MEASLY, I’d MEASLE (tomorrow will tell). Think I may be wrong.
    Did worry about BEST-BEFORE DATE. But finally settled (as nothing else will fit, surely) on “best” = “reduced to quivering wreck” i.e. best = past tense and “before” = “by”

  8. says:

    I think 9ac ‘measly': just one spot would be (a) ‘measle’ if one were being jocular, but I agree with you other chaps who pick up, on the cryptic radar, ‘just one measly spot’.

    * Kind of un-joke overheard tonight: how do you make an alarm clock out of a potato? Well, you cut it in half, and with a felt-tipped pen draw onto it a clock face with the time set for 8 o’clock. Place it on your bedside table, and when you wake up, the time will be 8 o’clock.

    And from Thursday: Wat Tyler? Forget it, but Which Tyler: he led the pedants’ revolt.

  9. says:

    Also found this harder than usual for Phi – just under 10 mins compared to a Phi par of about 6. Spotted Kia Ora, but for me it still meant orange juice substitute consumed at the interval on your half-term trip to the pictures, so had to look up the true meaning.

  10. says:

    It was MEASLY – Clue was “What only one spot would be?”

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