Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6585/Math

Posted by neildubya on November 23rd, 2007


In his blog yesterday, nmsindy was wondering why Phi had been moved from his usual Friday slot; this puzzle might provide an explanation…

8 A,(LIFE)* – I was all set to deride “promiscuous” as an anagram indicator only to find that it has another meaning: “haphazardly mixed”. ALFIE was a film starring 12/14A.
11 A,UGU in GIN
12/14A (A CHILE CINEMA)* – the star of the puzzle, MICHAEL CAINE starred in 8A, 16/17/19A, 9/26D and 23D (twice). I wasn’t keen on the clue for this though – seems a bit long-winded.
13 IM in (PALAVER)* – the last one I filled in and I didn’t really get it at the time but now I think that the definition is “first” as PRIMAEVAL can mean “belonging to the Earth’s beginnings” – I’m not completely convinced though.
16/17/19A THE ITALIAN [J for M]OB – the film which gave us the classic Caine line: “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off”.
20 UNPEG – a cryptic definition but not a very strong one I think. The clue – “Take off-line” – is supposed to make us think of disconnecting a computer from a network, or perhaps the modern business jargon sense of the phrase meaning, “let’s discuss this outside of this meeting”.
22 BISH,OP,RIC[-k] – I didn’t know that BISH meant a mistake or blunder so I filled this on the basis of the definition (“See” is always difficult to spot, especially at the beginning of a clue) and OP,RIC[-k]
25 LOP<,A RI,S
28 T,R,EAT ME,NT – quite a deceptive clue, especially the clever “direction to Alice” for EAT ME, a reference to the Alice in Wonderland books.
4 GRIM,AL,DI – the House of Grimaldi is “associated with the history of the Republic of Genoa and of the Principality of Monaco”, according to Wikipedia.
5 EPIC[-ure] – “Midge” being a reference to the former Ultravox frontman.
9 (CADET GUN I)* – the film of EDUCATING 26D starred 12/14A and Julie Walters.
16 TA,U – not quite sure why but lots of fraternities seem to have TAU in their names: Phi Kappa Tau, Theta Tau etc.
19 JERRY CAN – “if Tom can’t then…”
21 PAL,MER – I think this might be another thematic reference as Harry PALMER is a character (created by Len Deighton) played by 12/14A in a number of films. Ironically, the most famous of these films is probably “The Ipcress File” but the narrator of the novel from which it was adapted is never named.
23 (HUSTLE)* – probably the reason why this puzzle was published today. SLEUTH was a film adapted from a stage play and made in 1972 starring Laurence Olivier and 12/14A. Today, a remake of the film is released, starring Jude Law (playing the role that Caine played in the original, and who also starred in a poor remake of 8A) and with Caine taking the part originally played by Olivier.
26 hidden in “hairdresseR I TAught” – a very apt surface reading as RITA (in the play and film EDUCATING RITA) is actually a hairdresser and is taught English Literature by 12/14A’s character.

5 Responses to “Independent 6585/Math”

  1. nmsindy says:

    UNPEG Taking off a clothes line!

  2. neildubya says:

    Yes, I got that – I was talking about what I thought the clue was trying to make you think of instead of clothes lines.

  3. nmsindy says:

    You probably know a lot about computers – once I saw the off-line misleading computer context I thought no more about precisely what it might technically mean in that context. Good puzzle, I’m weak on films but Michael Caine and his films are very well known so I’d no problems really.

  4. fgbp says:

    I was wondering whether to go and see the new Sleuth, but reviews are not favourable. Suprisingly :-)

  5. Testy says:

    I think that the long-windedness of 12/14A is perhaps due to an attempt to refer to Michael Caine’s supposed catch phrase “My name is Michael Caine”.

    Yes it is a surprise about Sleuth given big names involved but I guess you meddle with a classic at your own peril.

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