Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6454/Hard-Phi – Moving to the Weekend

Posted by neildubya on June 29th, 2007


We had a tough Saturday Phi puzzle a couple of months ago but I think this one was harder. I solved this one in deepest Suffolk, with no access to a decent dictionary or other solving aids (ie, the Internet) so I was unsure about a number of answers; I filled them in anyway in order to make progress but I had to wait until I got home to be sure about the last two or three. There’s a Nina too – starting at the left-hand corner of the grid and going round clockwise, the unchecked letters spell out: IS THIS A HIDDEN MESSAGE OR ISNT IT.

9 OUT,FLUSH – reasonably straightforward wordplay but quite an unlikely word which I’d never heard of. With no dictionary to hand I was reluctant to fill this in until I was sure that OUT was correct.
10 IN,FIDE,L(ong-term),S(trategy) – The definition is again quite straightforward so this was probably get-able even if you didn’t know about FIDE.
11 MOI,RA,I – very tough, and one I had to look up once I had returned to civilization. “Affected me” is MOI, as in “Pretentious,moi?” and RA is the Egyptian god. The MOIRAI are explained here.
18 ST,URGE,ON – great clue, which had me deceived for a while as I thought that “egg-producer” would be something to do with chickens.
20 MUS(t) in (spelling) BEE
21 I,AMBUS(h) – in poetry, a metrical foot consisting of a short or unstressed syllable followed by a long or stressed one. Bung five together and you have an iambic pentameter, the foundation for most of the verse in Shakespeare, among others.
23 TWO in BAM,AN – another toughie. “Appropriate representation of heavy blow” is BAM, which you might find in a comic.
25 RIOT,L,RIG< – I knew the phrase RIOT GIRL as RIOT GRRRL (which is how the Chambers Online dictionary has it) but the wordplay leads to the former.
26 RANDOM – leapt out at me straightaway but I couldn’t see the wordplay at first. Eventually I saw R,AND,OM(e).
3 LEVER,IT in TEE – yet another tough one and an excellent clue. “Prize” (US spelling of prise) is particularly deceptive as it indicates LEVER and TELEVERITE is an uncommon word.
4 H,(ONE HAS A RED BLUE)* – HORSEHEAD NEBULA. I’d never heard of this but NEBULA seemed like the right option with N?B?L? filled in and HORSEHEAD was the only convincing thing to do with the rest of the anagram fodder.
13 (OR REACTION)* – E CONTRARIO. The tough ones keep on coming. My first thought when it emerged that the one letter in (1,9) was E was that I’d made a mistake but I also knew that TEEPEE at 12A (which crossed with this clue) had to be right. The wordplay was straightfoward enough and I could see that a word that looked like “contrary” was in there somewhere – the checking letters helped to get everything in the right order.

One Response to “Independent 6454/Hard-Phi – Moving to the Weekend”

  1. Quixote says:

    I enjoyed this one but found it quite easy – but I’ve solved a lot of Phi’s puzzles and can read him like a book maybe

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