Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6474/Virgilius – Magic Numbers

Posted by neildubya on July 17th, 2007


According to the A-Z of Crosswords by Jonathan Crowther, Virgilius (in real-life) studied Maths at Cambridge and is an academic specializing in the “cultural and political aspects of mathematics education” so I suppose it was just a matter of time before we got a maths-themed crossword – and here it is.  All the across answers are mathematical 15As.

1 MULTIPLICATION – “sign of times” being “x”.
11 AL GOR(e),(HIT)*,M – very apt surface reading for this clue, given Al Gore’s recent film An Inconvenient Truth.
16 (I DID NOT)* in AS
18 GEOMETERS – filled this in without getting the “moths” bit. I’ve just looked it up and found that a GEOMETER is a “geometrid caterpillar or moth”.
23 PAR,ALL,ELS – a reference to Ernie Els, “The Big Easy
24 (REPRODUCE)* – PROCEDURE. It’s always worth making a mental note of these one-word anagrams.
25 ANGLE – “Fish” is a verb here, rather than a noun.
27 DIFFERENTIATED – differential calculus explained here.
5 hidden in “castING OThers”
9 ARTIST – well, Constable is an artist but I don’t get the rest of the clue.
13 C OR D,ONE,DOFF – clever wordplay in this one. I like “either part of CD” for C OR D.
17 SID(e) going up,ORIENT – a reference to Leyton Orient.
19 ERE,GATE (going up) – ETAGERE was new to me so I got this one from the wordplay.
23 PAUSE – “paws”.
26 GEE – nice clue. “Gee” is the first letter of “gelding” and it’s the word you use to get a horse moving.

9 Responses to “Independent 6474/Virgilius – Magic Numbers”

  1. dupin says:

    7dn was contextual genius: Reading between the lines.

  2. nmsindy says:

    9 down is a homophone, I think. US painter – John Singer Sargent – and an excellent surface suggesting policing.

    Another wonder puzzle in the Virgilius tradition.

  3. bracoman says:

    Well up to the usual Virgilius standard. Is 4 down “place name”? If so, why? I have a mental block on this one.

  4. eimi says:

    “Place name” is correct – simply names derived from places (or vice versa, in the latter case, I believe). We’re probably all more used to the spelling Sophia, but Sophia Loren’s was born Sofia Villani Scicolone.

  5. eimi says:

    I mean Sophia Loren was born Sofia Villani Scicolone.

  6. bracoman says:

    Thanks Eimi. All is clear. I have kicked myself an appropriate number of times.

  7. nmsindy says:

    PLACE NAME I’d a little difficulty with this too, but there seemed no other answer. My first thought was that there might be well-known places e.g. Florence place, but a quick search yielded nothing. Then thought, as finally turned out to be correct, that they were names (of people) that were also places. Florence certainly fit that but not so sure about Sofia, thought of Sophia Loren. Thanks, Eimi, for explaining it all.

  8. Paul B says:

    There are three little places called Anus and one called Bollock in Indonesia: and who could forget Twatt in Orkney, or Chinaman’s Knob (Australia).

  9. eimi says:

    Quite serendipitously I have discovered today that Oprah Winfrey played a character called Sofia in The Color Purple.

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