Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6606/Virgilius

Posted by Colin Blackburn on December 18th, 2007

Colin Blackburn.

Excellent puzzle as per. Any theme is lost on me although the grid suggests one.

9 IMMORAL — MM in I+ORAL — good surface though exam is often a giveaway.
11 CAPRICE — (R in ICE-CAP)* — definition by an opposite.
15 AESTIVATE — A + IV in E+STATE — classical quartet = IV and it adds to a nice surface.
21 ADMIRABLE — (BARMAID)* +(a)LE — as a drinker of northern beer this is my favourite clue.
25 GENERIC — GEN. + ERIC — until I had checking letters in I was convinced this was a word similar to B+LURRY.
28 TRIVIAL — IV or VI in TRIAL — good cricket surface possibly lost on some.
2 TRIP ? — I don’t see this one. I can see TRIP hazard but not the rest.
7 SPINNAKER — A+K in SPINNER — a spinner is a type of cricket bowler who turns the ball by applying spin to it.
8 SIENA — (AN+E+IS)< — I don’t know my Italian geography but I expect this is semi-&lit
10 LANCET — double def. — The Lancet is a medical journal.
14 ALARM — territoriAL ARMy — TA fully extended…
19 UNBACKED — double def. — great surface.
29 IVAN — I + VA + N — and a fine &lit to close.

10 Responses to “Independent 6606/Virgilius”

  1. Jon says:

    No real problems solving this one, apart from two. 15ac I thought was quite tricky. 3d I’m still confused by. I think the answer must be circuses (entertainments). I can see where the ‘us’ and final ‘s’ come from, but if that’s right, how does ‘enchanting female’ get me to the rest?


  2. nmsindy says:

    I think it’s CIRCE, Jon.

  3. Jon says:

    Thanks! That’ll teach me to check online dictionaries before Google and then Wikipedia… While rushed at the end of my lunch time, admittedly.


  4. bracoman says:

    I think 2D is TRAP.

  5. nmsindy says:

    TRAP – that’s what I had too (golf, I think)

  6. eimi says:

    If you seek a theme, look for the ‘outsiders’ in the across answers.

  7. mick h says:

    Yes, I spotted the theme eventually after setting out to look for it when the grid was amost done. I guessed that RANK OUTSIDERS must be the key word, but the theme’s still well hidden – the ranks – private, general etc – making up the start of the first across and the end of the second in each of the other rows. That helped with a few of the final answers. Amazing composition!

  8. Colin Blackburn says:

    Thanks for 2D. It’s so simple! If this had been the Times Championship I’d have lost on that one (not that I’m at all fast.) Once I thought about TRIP my mind was locked. I did think of the golf link and considered DROP but knew it was not a hazard. My golf knowledge stops about there.

    I did think that RANK OUTSIDERS was key and noticed that ADMIRABLE was almost a rank but in my rush to blog a few clues I looked no deeper.

    As ever, very, very clever. Too clever sometimes (for me at least.)

  9. nmsindy says:

    I did not spot it either – what an amazing construction by Virgilius! And a pleasure when you see it (even if it has to be pointed out).

  10. Wil Ransome says:

    These magnificent Virgilius Ninas are wasted. I can’t understand why they are not trumpeted louder – they are a definite part of the solution but the printed solution never says anything about them. I bet most people just complete the crossword and say that’s that.

    Week after week Virgilius keeps producing these masterpieces, and they are then lost to posterity. They are worth a book on their own.

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