Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6531 by Phi

Posted by nmsindy on September 21st, 2007


Solving time:  29 mins      I spotted a theme, I think, mentioned under the relevant clues.

< = reversed   * = anagram


1 DUN MOW FLIT CH     This is the theme, I think.   I was very pleased to work out the answer  (which is completely new to me) entirely from the straightforward wordplay and then try to discover what is what all about.     Apparently a flitch (bacon) is given to couples who satisfy a jury in Dunmow (Essex) about their relationship.    Goes back to medieval times (when it was very well known seemingly) and has been revived in recent times.    The symmetrically opposite 27 across is also relevant, I think, as noted below.

10 A VA (I) L (e)     One of two references to e = ecstasy in this puzzle, defined here as drug, in 25 as tablet

11 RAD I OGRAM    Margo<     Rad = excellent (from US apparently).

12 KOHL   “Coal”    Cosmetic used as eye make-up

15 HYDROZOA   (hard oozy)*

19 TUR GID    (Dig rut)<

20 ALASTAIR   a last air (swansong)

25 SAUTERN ES   (Nature’s)* + es      ‘bubbly’ indicates the anagram

27 C HE ESEMONGER   (some green)*   ‘crumbling’ a very apposite anagram indicator.  I solved this first time round and the word struck me as unusual (but it does exist).   I realised why later because a particular cheese monger famously sought 1 across, I discovered.    So I think this may be a theme item also.


2 UGLY   First and last letters.


5 LEOPARDESS  (Eros lapsed)*    Another word I looked up to confirm it existed, it’s in my Concise OED.



17 S (ERE NI) TY   NI = Northern Ireland = province

21 MAG NUM(b)

5 Responses to “Independent 6531 by Phi”

  1. Jos says:

    19a – I think a clever double def,as in order to dig one’s rut a degree of turgidity would be preferable?

  2. nmsindy says:

    Was reasonably happy after verifying in Concise OED that this was as explained – a single definition and the two wordplay parts reversed.

  3. Phi says:

    I have to admit not knowing a cheesemonger sought the flitch (with the aim of making savoury snacks, I assume), so this was unintentional.

    Not everything is a Nina…

  4. Jos says:

    Sorry that wasn’t a query of the answer, just an aside on the definition of turgid as swollen rather than pompous.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Having missed Phi’s Nina last week, I looked for too much this time! Thanks to Phi for clarifying it. Re Jos’ point, I never knew till today that turgid meant pompous but it does (Concise OED confirms) – I always thought turgid meant just what Jos says it does, with particular reference to boring writing.

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