Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6609/Phi

Posted by John on December 21st, 2007


As usual with Phi, everything very enjoyable. There doesn’t seem to be a Nina, but there probably is.

1 RAM with ASH first. The letter combination ASH often appears and “remains” is a common way to clue it.
5 B(L)ANKS. I think a blank is a “coin to be”, in other words a piece of metal waiting to be made into a coin.
8 COMMERCIALISED – (mediocre claims)*. Excellent.
10 S(PART)A. SA is sex-appeal or “it”, something that seems to appear mainly in crosswords, although “it-girl” is perhaps one of its few appearances since probably the 1920s.
13 COR(P[erhap]S)E, but I don’t understand “Start to”. To corpse is to laugh inappropriately, not to start to do so, surely?
14 IMP AIR. The “‘s” is short for “has”, or “has next to it”.
16 (PONYS)rev SE[[even[t]]S
18 CLIMA[c]TIC. But spurning which occurence of Celsius, you may ask.
20 U L(T[heatre])IMO, a word meaning “last month” in old business-speak, quite as dreadful as some of the worst modern excesses.
21 STORE DETECTIVE – ([s]ecret video test)*
22 S(KIM)PY. Before I got this, I was sure my lack of knowledge of Bond girls would let me down.
3 RE MORSE. R and E are the concluding elements of “warfare”; Morse code.
5 BUILDING SOCIETY. In the game “Civilisation” (although it seems to be “Civilization”) you build societies.
6 Probably ALL IN, but I can’t see why. It surely isn’t just a contraction of “all-inclusive”, which doesn’t I think have any out of bounds connotations.
7 KASHMIR – (his mark)*
9 DISASTER MOVIE – (smarties video)*. The second use of “video” in this crossword as anagram material. Either it’s very clever and its significance escapes me, or “Smarties” is a bit odd.
15 A R(M[olecular] L[ife])OCK
17 POTS TIP, all rev. Not sure whether “Pots” is a snooker or a gardening reference; it doesn’t much matter.
19 THE([labou]R)M. “Us” and “them”.

4 Responses to “Independent 6609/Phi”

  1. nmsindy says:

    ALL IN is from Falling, I think. Re BUILDING SOCIETY I thought this was a general historical reference rather than to a game. Thanks for BLANKS which I solved but did not understand.

  2. Jon says:

    re: 4d. I’ve got MERGANSER, which is indeed a seabird. I can see ‘coming together’ = MERGE to secure ANSWER, but nothing to indicate a homophone or that the E and W should be dropped?

    Apart from that, very enjoyable. 14ac and 22ac especially. The first Phi I’ve completed this year. Whether I’m getting better at this or the puzzle was particularly easy I don’t know.


  3. nmsindy says:

    I think it’s ANS (answer) in MERGER, Jon. A bit harder than the average Phi for me.

  4. Jon says:


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