Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6582/Virgilius – All Square-d!

Posted by neildubya on November 20th, 2007


A couple of weeks ago I had an email from someone – let’s call him E – advising me to make sure I was blogging today’s puzzle. “How intriguing”, I thought at the time, and now I see why: it’s a puzzle all about things being SQUARED, including FIFTEEN. A lovely touch, and a great puzzle, so thanks to Virgilius for thinking of us. I usually throw puzzles away when I’ve solved them, but I’ll definitely be keeping this one.

1 FIFTEEN – the 14 of NINE x NINE + TWELVE x TWELVE = 225.
5 RE in SQUAD – when you run a crossword blog with SQUARED in the title, and you see the same word in a crossword, you might start to wonder what’s going on. Actually, as soon as I saw this I thought “I wonder if one across is FIFTEEN”.
11/16 TWENTY-FIVE – the 14 of TWENTY x TWENTY + FIFTEEN x FIFTEEN = 625.
14 SQUARE ROOT – sounds like “route”. “Get a score of 400″ does the deceiving here as a score is 20, which is the SQUARE ROOT of 400.
16 FIVE – the 14 of FOUR x FOUR + THREE x THREE = 25. This answer is part of 11/16 of course, so I’m not sure why it has its own clue; perhaps to help people with the maths?
20 (GRAPH SAY)* – in a maths-themed puzzle, it seems appropriate to have a reference to PYTHAGORAS. Even more so, given that the Pythagorean theorem is all about squares: “the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides”
22 THIRTEEN – the 14 of TWELVE x TWELVE + FIVE x FIVE = 169.
23 TWELVE – the 14 of TWENTY x TWENTY – (FOUR x FOUR) x FOUR = 144. Probably the trickiest maths clue to parse as it required squaring a number twice and deducting rather than adding. [Edit: as Hihoba points out in the comments I wrote out the sum incorrectly here. It should be TWENTY x TWENTY - (FOUR x FOUR) x (FOUR x FOUR) or 400-256=144)
1 (SUIT[-e])* in FLATS – FLAUTISTS. Excellent clue.
2 FLARE – I liked this too as it required separating the phrase “red light”.
5 COD (going up) in (CHENEYS)* – SYNECDOCHE. Probably the toughest word of the puzzle, so it was lucky I knew it.
7 (TERRIFIC E)* – RECTIFIER. This was a guess, although not a hard one with R?C?I?I?R and the remaining anagram fodder.
13 TROY-WEIGHT – Paris was the King of TROY. I’d never heard of the phrase before but the clue made it easy enough to get, once you got past the deceiving “City of Paris”.
22 THREE – I liked this: “oddly depleted militia”. Take the odd letters from “militia” to leave “iii” – “Number seen, in Rome”.
24 LOIRE – not completely sure I understand what’s going on here. The full clue is “Tours in France could be threatened by this rising”. Perhaps something to do with “tour” being French for “tower”, which would be threatened if a river rose?
25 FOUR – not positive about this either. “By itself, it’s a vehicle for crew”. A FOUR is a crew in a rowing boat; is the rest  of the clue something to do with 4 by 4 cars?

9 Responses to “Independent 6582/Virgilius – All Square-d!”

  1. nmsindy says:

    All the square used are Pythagorean. The classic 5,4,3 – also multiples of it 15,12, 9 and 25,20, 15 – and also 5,12,13. Nice to have the blog recognised.

  2. nmsindy says:

    24 Tours is on the River LOIRE – so a pun on Tour de France etc.

  3. petebiddlecombe says:

    Congratulations on having the blog commemorated. I didn’t quite understand all the maths but seem to have the right words.

  4. Paul B says:

    A four ‘by four’ (i.e. ‘by itself’) is a vehicle. And I agree about the towers being threatened by a rising Loire.

    More excellence from the B(i)G Man.

  5. Testy says:

    Tours is actually a city in France on the banks of the Loire.

  6. nmsindy says:

    That’s what I was trying to say in comment 2 but yours in 5 is much clearer.

  7. Hihoba says:

    Minor arithmetic error in answer to 23A which should be 20×20-(fourxfour)x(fourxfour) – i.e. 400-256=144. Don’t usually get much maths in crosswords!

  8. Testy says:

    Sorry Nmsindy, I completely overlooked your comment.

    Hihoba, presumably the minor arithmatic error is just in the blog and not the crossword itself. I would be amazed if there was ever an error in a Virgilius crossword, particularly a maths error. I’m surprised you don’t get a bit more maths really given that at least two of the Indy’s setters are maths academics (Monk and Virgilius) and there’s even one called Math! I have often wondered about the link between maths and crosswords. Most cryptic clues are very much like algebra problems involving language rather than numbers.

  9. Paul B says:

    Thanks for Tours with a cap T – missed it.

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