Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6656 / Phi – Fairly straightforward

Posted by tilsit on February 15th, 2008


Solving time: 12 minutes

After yesterday’s tough Nimrod, and a generally tricky week all round in most papers, this made a nice change with a straightforward Phi challenge. 4ac was a bit of  a tease with either of two answers able to go in, and I went for the wrong one first!

Incidentally, there is a gathering of Guardian Crossword solvers meeeting for a cruciverbal natter on Sunday next from 1pm at The King’s Arms, Roupell Street, Waterloo.  If you are in the area, go and join them.


1   PUNCH     Double def – a drink and the late lamented magazine, beloved of dental waiting rooms and school libraries (well, Prescot Grammar School’s for one!)

4  STRAGGLER   Strangler with G for N.  I had this the other way round and this held me up for a little while.


10  NOSEBAG  First letters of Oats, Stuff, Every, Breakfast inside NAG

11 ROOM TEMPERATURE     ROO (Bounder) + TEMPER inside MATURE .

12  HIP FLASK    HIP (trendy)  +  FLAS(h) + K (last of “drink”)

14  MENIAL    IN (R) inside MEAL

17  NISSEN    Hidden answer –  Nissen huts are prefab type shelters from WW2, I think.

18  CARYATID      IT AY  (It always) (R) inside CARD

20  QUEEN OF PUDDINGS  OF  (Old Fellow) + PUDDING (Fat fellow) inside QUEENS

22  INTRADA    DA after  TRAIN*

23  OCARINA   Where would the crossword compiler be without the Ocarina?  OCA (Middle of “vocal”) + R (range) + IN A


25  FIEND     E inside  FIND




3  HEART    R inside HEAT

4  SKIRMISH   R inside SKIM + I + SH

6  GOSSAMERY  A thoroughly weird-looking word!    S + SAME inside GORY 


8  ROGUE  My favourite clue of the puzzle  


19  OFF AIR   O + (A)FFAIR

20  QUITE  Change the last two letters of QUIET

21  DWARF  WAR inside D (Germany / Deutschland) & F (France)

Thanks to Phi for an enjoyable puzzle.

11 Responses to “Independent 6656 / Phi – Fairly straightforward”

  1. Jon says:

    Yes, completed all of this very quickly, apart from 5+6D, and 17A (if it had been ‘hut’ rather than ‘hut man’ I might have got it earlier…) which held me up for a while.

    This one has also appeared a day early on the Independent site, which must be putting somewhat of a dent in the profits from the answer phone line, with all those Reveal buttons…

  2. eimi says:

    As Jon has spotted, there has been a change of policy at the Indy with the same day’s puzzles now available online. The Saturday puzzles remain a week behind, at least for now.

  3. Rishi says:

    They should remove the “reveal” button from the day’s online crossword and publish the solution the next day.

  4. Colin Blackburn says:

    You don’t have to press the reveal button! The Guardian’s system has always allowed solvers to ‘cheat’ with daily puzzles. I don’t think it’s a bad system for those who might give up altogether if the facility wasn’t there. Of course, the system has to disallow the ‘cheat’ facility for competition puzzles—not something the Guardian has always managed to do!

  5. Paul B says:

    I just went through the Phi puzzle – still up at Indy Online – to check out the technique, using the reveal button all the way.

    Despite this, the puzzle software still generated the message ‘congratulations, you have finished the puzzle’. Not bad, considering what it might have said.

    Really liked the ‘easy terms’ one, too.

  6. mohair_xw says:

    If the Indy has switched from beingaday behind to being up to date, does that mean that there is a day missing, i.e. the day before the change?


  7. beermagnet says:

    Yes, there was a day missing. I think it was the 6654 Dac for 13-Feb.
    I noticed that the Valentine’s Day Nimrod appeared on 14-Feb and assumed that someone (eimi?) had decreed that it appears on the correct day else the Nina wouldn’t work.
    Anyway, does it matter? I can’t see how you can access earlier day’s crosswords online, though that would be very nice.

  8. eimi says:

    I wish I could decree. I think there was a little bit of confusion about what crossword should appear on Saturday, but I’m pleased to see that Nestor’s puzzle is now on the site.

  9. fgbp says:

    On the subject of the actual puzzle, I thought this way a joy – the loveliest ideas incorporated into accessible clues. Terrific!

  10. mohair_xw says:

    It’s a good service, reliable, free (that’s two up on The Times), and has opened my eyes to just how good and full of ideas the Independent setters are.

    You can’t expect everything for free, so we accept the one-off, interactive format with gratitude, though why the serial number and compiler aren’t shown is a mystery. But we can track them down from this blog.

    Thanks to Eimi for telling us what is going on.


  11. eimi says:

    Thanks mohair

    Glad you’re enjoying the puzzles. The system currently used means that crossword numbers and compiler names can’t be included, but I’m working on persuading the powers that be to make the system a bit more flexible.

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