Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6570/Virgilius — pull the other one.

Posted by Colin Blackburn on November 6th, 2007

Colin Blackburn.

The theme for today’s Virgilius is lies, tall tales and shaggy dog stories. All the across answers are thematic and with the constraints imposed on the grid by the long themed answers there are lots of short down answers. All the across answers commented on are either cryptic definitions or double definitions with heavily cryptic readings for one of the defs.

1/12 LIES DAMNED LIES AND STATISTICS — famous Disraeli quote, which must irk statisticians.
16 FISHERMENS YARNS — ref to Guernsey sweaters originally worn by Guernsey fishermen when they started exploiting the cod fisheries of Labrador several hundred years ago.
19 TRAVELLERS TALES — travel broadens the mind!
22 TELL ME ANOTHER — account = story
30 BELIEVE IT OR NOT — buy = believe
4 AMY — A+MY — my is an expression that might cover admiration.
5 NAPES — P in SEAN< — Sean is second only to Pat in Irish male names.
7 IMP — I’M+P — this confused me for a while, “not under” essentially means over in this context but works well in the surface.
8 SLEW — double def. — SLEW is a US term for a lot, a great quantity. Slay = greatly amuse.
13 TAMIL — hidden &lit — nice concise clue. The question mark is needed since not all Tamils are militants.
14 SOREL — SOREL(y) — quite a tough clue this one. The answer is not a common word this but not much else fits the space. SOREL is a Shakespearean alternative spelling of sorrel, a buck in its third year. Sorely = extremely.
15 ISIS — I+SIS — the River Thames in Oxford is called the Isis. Not sure if “stream” isn’t under selling the river a bit.
16 FETE — “fate”
20 ECLIPSE — CLIPS in EE — my favourite clue. The wordplay and surface reading are both excellent.
23 MORSE — double def. — Inspector Morse was an avid crossword solver as is the Morse after whom the inspector is named.
24 HYDRO — HYD(e)+R+O — this clue was a close second. Part-time doctor could describe Mr Hyde’s occupation.
26 SWAB — cryptic def. — this is a nice cryptic definition playing on a nurse’s role in an operating theatre.
28 OIL — initials — I’m not sure if this is fully &lit. It’s definitely political.
29 SIT — S+IT — I think this is the answer but I’m not 100% happy. The clue is, “Instruction to boxer from second, exactly what’s needed (3)”

4 Responses to “Independent 6570/Virgilius — pull the other one.”

  1. Testy says:

    29d I think you’re right. Second = S and exactly what’s needed = IT (as in “That’s it”) and the boxer in question being the dog.

  2. nmsindy says:

    I saw SIT as exactly that, too, and, like Colin, SOREL (new to me) was last. The clueing, as always from Virgilius, is almost in a class of its own. Wonder if 28 down would have got into The Times for which Virgilius also sets, I think!

  3. eimi says:

    Re: 28 Down, there were reports that the original title for the war on Iraq was Operation Iraqi Liberation, but that it was changed when they realised the unfortunate acronym. I had wondered if the story was apocryphal until I discovered this on the official White House site

  4. eimi says:

    Sorry, didn’t manage to display the link properly (beyond my html ability) but it’s

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