Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6597 – Phi – O God …

Posted by petebiddlecombe on December 7th, 2007


Solving time: 10 minutes when I gave up …

… trying to work out 6D. I don’t know quite enough gods and ?A?A?A?A doesn’t help much. I guess the story is a SAGA, the Hindu god could be RAMA, and the Egyptian one could be RA, but that’s too much material it seems. So after searching a couple of god lists in vain, I surrender and wait for the name of the unknown god, or the revelation that I’ve completely misunderstood the clue. “Nice easy Phi”, thought I when I saw that this blogging slot was free. Serves me right! Part of the problem may be what an old Times champs rival of mine calls “vocalophobia” – a fear of vowels as the only checking letters, especially repeated common vowels.

And later on it turns out I got another carelessly wrong – 14D.

9 LAODICEAN = indifferent, referring to early Christians in Laodicea, apparently – one of those words whose meaning I can never remember. C in ((m)aid alone)*
10 ARTIE – (IT in ERA) rev.
11 NUANCED – “an, C” in nude*
14 NARRA=Arran rev.,TORS
16 ROCK OF GIBRALTAR – cryptic def., best clue in the puzzle for me
22 (d)ROSS,IN,I
23 BI(C,Y,C)LE
25 HOI POLLOI – Attic = relating to Athens or Attica. There is an etymological link with the storage area upstairs.
1 PLAN,ETARIA=(area it)* – Phi likes a bit of astronomy – studied it at university, I think.
2 RO(MAN)T,I/C – another very nice clue
3 OILC=Clio rev.,AN – Clio, muse of history, is the next one to remember after the xwd favourite Erato.
5 ENUMERABLE – (me,R) in nebulae* – told you he liked astronomy
6 ?A?A?A?A – see above
8 NEWS – hidden. Looked at first as if there were sloppy surplus words in the ‘hiding place’, but Phi wouldn’t do that – “would be good for gossip” is the def.
14 NIGHT=”knight”,LIGHT=land – corrected from my NIGHT-NIGHT = “knight, knight”
15 SARDINE TIN = (train end is)* – brings back memories of an old Underground or BR poster about rush-hour crowds
17 O,PINIONS=wings
18 TRINCULO – L(ords) in (in court)* – jester in The Tempest. I couldn’t remember the spelling, so my initial guess of Trulcino didn’t go into the grid.
20 PAST,R(ead)Y
21 HECTOR – ((Troi)C,T) in Hero*
22 (t)RUTH – T=”opening for that”.
23 BRIE(f) – found from checking letters after trying to make edam and feta fit.

6 Responses to “Independent 6597 – Phi – O God …”

  1. Ben Sandford Smith says:

    6D is Ramayana, definition being “Story about Hindu god”. Ra + Mayan a.

    Incidentally the top and bottom unchecked rows spell Proteron-Hysteron (Hysteron-proteron being a figure of speech where what would usually be first comes last I think). If this feeds back into the puzzle in any way then I haven’t spotted it!

  2. Ali says:

    Crikey, there’s a whole lot of Phi on here today!

    I too gave up with 6D and would have guessed at something similar involving SAGA and RA. Never heard of Ramayana.

    I also frustratingly missed 4D, which I can now see is TEND.

    A nice puzzle for a bus journey though, and easier than yesterday!


  3. petebiddlecombe says:

    RAMAYANA – about 80% my fault then – I should have thought of MAYAN, and one => A was elsewhere in the puzzle, so all the ingredients to make the answer were there, even if ramayana is a word I don’t remember. With the two rows of unches at top and bottom, I should have looked there too – recognise hysteron-proteron I don’t, but the sharing of -teron might have occurred to me.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Those 4As frustrated me also but I was lucky enough v near the end to see the HYSTERON PROTERON idea, and that helped me to finish the puzzle.

  5. Wil Ransome says:


    Isn’t it the latter? The first nine words give “NIGHT” and “Land” gives “LIGHT”. Or so it seems to me. A night-light may help anyone to sleep, but perhaps it is particularly used for children who are afraid of the dark.

  6. petebiddlecombe says:

    14D: You’re right – NIGHT LIGHT is the answer. Sloppy solving on my part.

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