Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6592/Phi

Posted by neildubya on December 7th, 2007


I’d read four or five clues before I realised that something odd was going on and at first I thought the wrong grid had been printed. Then I spotted that there was no Across or Down, just “Clues”. And it was only when I’d completed the grid that I saw the Nina: the unchecked letters in the top row and along the bottom (starting from the 25 square) spell out ADVENT CALENDAR. I’m guessing it wasn’t possible to create a workable grid that had 25 entries as that would have replicated an advent calendar exactly – one clue per door.

1 PA (going up),PARENT
3 V,ASSA[-i]L
4 TAR,CO,RUE (going up) – cleverly constructed clue.
6 [-b]EER (going up) in TUN
7 PRO in APACH[-e] – took me a while to pick out “style” as the definition.
9 [-ab]USED UP? – this must be right but I’m still not sure how it works: “Handled badly after first two departed exhausted”. “Handled badly” could be ABUSED but where does UP come from?
13 (OIL CAPITAL)* – APOLITICAL. I’m still wondering what “supply” is doing in the clue, other than making the surface a bit better?
15 U in TROPE
18 ALL AT SEA – got this from the definition (“confused”) and crossing letters as the rest of the clue – “regarding of Eternal Father, strong to save” – meant nothing to me. A bit of Googling though and it became clear. Eternal Father… is often known as the Royal Navy Hymn.
19 hidden in “farMER IN Otago” – I thought this might be a hidden answer as soon as I saw the clue but it was sometime later before I worked out where exactly it was hidden.
21 I ERR in SA – “it” is S[ex] A[ppeal].
22(a) I in V,RILE – one of two 22s in the puzzle so I had wait for a couple of checking letters before I could fill this in.
22(d) V,I in I,SON – and here’s the other.
23 (CIGARS TIRE)* – GERIATRICS. Quite an easy anagram to spot.
24(a) ET,IS< – ET must be the favourite film of all crossword compilers.
24(d) SE[-me]ED

3 Responses to “Independent 6592/Phi”

  1. eimi says:

    This must be the first time a setter has had four puzzles in a row blogged on this site.

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    I thought I had seen it before from Phi but it might have been only three last time. Is it possible, assuming reasonably prompt blogs, for anyone other than Phi?

  3. Wil Ransome says:


    I think the “supply” is a cunning anagram indicator, to be seen as “supple-ly”. Isn’t it (OIL)* in (CAPITAL)*, rather than as blogged?

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