Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6635/Virgilius

Posted by John on January 22nd, 2008


A tour de force from Virgilius. Somehow he has managed to get some reference to a topic that continues to increase in importance into every clue, either in the answer or in the clue itself, sometimes more than once.

1 CARBON (=duplicate) FOOTPRINT. This was particularly hard since I had 2D as ODORISE, thinking that somehow or = as, and the Oxford Dictionary of English. If that actually exists (OED, NODE, …?).
9 HOT AIR. I got this from the definition and numeration, but it helped with 15/19.
10 TROUSERS – user in sort rev. Lower gear is a nice definition.
12 If you break “heart”, i.e. HEARTBREAK, then you can get “earth”. I always think these clues are nice.
13 SO in (SOLAR E)*. Brilliant semi-&lit.
15/19D GLOBAL WARMING – (blog)* w in alarming. Easy enough in conjunction with 9/22, although I can’t quite see why “alarming” = “scare”. They seem the wrong parts of speech.
16 GALORE – Al Gore with G moved. Marvellous clue.
18 SPAR((WOR(ld))REV.)S
20 NO BEL(PR)IZE. I don’t quite understand “recent”.
23 K(yoto) I LOG RAM
25 RENEWABLE ENERGY – (green era be newly)*. I suppose one could carp and say that “new” appears in each without a different meaning, but otherwise a perfect &lit.
4 NORTH POLE – (help or not)*. This took me a long time since I was fairly sure that 1A was double something.
5 OUT (= spent) L AYS ((say)*)
6 TROUT. I wasn’t sure about this, but I think it’s out (= extinct) with r (= river), then t (= temperature) rising above it all.
8 NIRVANA – van in (rain)*
14 O ZONE HOLE. This term, to my surprise, is in Chambers – I’d only ever heard about a hole in the ozone layer.
15 GRACE NOTE – C in (not eager)*. Seems a rather odd definition.
17 CO IN (AINT)* E
21 ARK in P(er) A(nnum). Reminds me of that old joke about per anum and paying through the nose.
22 oF ALS Examples

10 Responses to “Independent 6635/Virgilius”

  1. neildubya says:

    15/19d – I think it’s “causing scare” for ALARMING.

    Agreed, great puzzle.

  2. Jon says:

    Yes, thought this was brilliant. The theme made it fairly easy to guess a lot of the answers, though I found the bottom half a lot easier than the top.

    16ac I liked – not the first time Al Gore’s been referenced as an environmental campaigner in crosswords lately, if I remember rightly. Sure it was in The Independent a while back…

    I’d pencilled in ODORISE for 2D as well, and so got myself into a mess thinking that 1ac must be DOUBLE something… Explaining, really, my problems with the top half of the grid.

    I still can’t get 7d, and have no idea where the ‘van’ in 8d comes from!

  3. Jon says:

    7d I’ve just got… The hazards of putting in SWALLOWS instead of SPARROWS for 18ac.

  4. nmsindy says:

    8d ‘van’ is ‘leaders’ the van(guard).

  5. Jon says:


  6. eimi says:

    This puzzle is now available online at the new Indy website

  7. Testy says:

    Woohoo! That’s fantastic news!

    Just a couple of questions. Is it going to be updated daily? Is it going to continue to be one day behind the printed version? Is it going to have a byline?

  8. eimi says:

    At present the plan is for the crosswords to run one day behind, apart from prize puzzles which will be a week behind. I’m not sure about the byline situation yet.

  9. Jon says:

    Looks good. Like the Reveal Letter / Reveal Word buttons – is this part of a big push to attract novice solvers? I’d have liked to have seen the link to the crossword more prominent on the home page – ‘Extras’ wasn’t the first place I thought to look for the link. Perhaps ‘Games’ would have been better? But there again, I did find it quickly enough, so perhaps I’m just being picky?

  10. Testy says:

    That sounds fine (although I would be quite keen to know who I’m doing!). Publishing a day behind is a good compromise on the phoneline issue and the “reveal” option is helpful for beginners.

    Congratulations on getting this up and running! I am definitely converting to be a regular Indy kid from now on (rather than flitting between FT, Indy, Guardian and Times).

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