Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6680/Phi

Posted by neildubya on March 14th, 2008


A very nice puzzle with a mini-theme based on 28a. Eminently solvable, even for occasional wine drinkers like myself.

9 IN THE SOUP – “noodle” can mean a simpleton or blockhead, someone who could end up in difficulty or IN THE SOUP.
10 ADIE,U – a reference to Kate ADIE, former war correspondent of the BBC.
11 KABUL – filled this in without understanding why but have just spotted the key word – “cycling” (i.e. going round). “A mass” is A BULK, so “cycle” the K round to the beginning.
12 GEOMETRIC – must be right but some of the wordplay eludes me: “Government recalled French company absorbing overhauled Metro, dealing with points and lines”. It’s the first four words that I don’t get.
19 I,N, I in TROT – an INTROIT is sung at the beginning of a service.
26 hidden in “nigHTLIFe”
28 G,RAPE – the keyword for the mini-theme of the puzzle.
3 MER,LOT – MER being the French (“Nice”) word for sea.
4 GO[-i]NG
5 SPOONERISM – another one I filled in without knowing why but I think I have it now: “lack of pies” comes out as “pack of lies” when it’s Spoonerized.
6 CAB[ER for I]NET
7 I in (IGNORAMUS)* – I’d heard of MIGRAINE of course, but not MIGRAINOUS. Still, an easy enough word to guess.
15 BASIL (SHRUB)* – Boom boom! An explanation  for non-Brit solvers is here.
18 V,I E in RINGO (going up) – VIOGNIER was the only wine in the puzzle I didn’t know but it wasn’t too tricky once I’d settled in RINGO as the Beatle.
25 DR,U,G
27 [-b]LINK

8 Responses to “Independent 6680/Phi”

  1. nmsindy says:

    GEOMETRIC Cie is abbrev for Compagnie in French (a bit tricky for a daily puzzle) G = Government (metro)*

  2. Testy says:

    I struggled with the theme (even though all but one of the grapes were known to me).

    I have to admit I went for ASSAM for 11A ( “a mass” with the first two letters cycled to the end) but Assam is just an Indian state and not a capital.

    GEOMETRIC is G for Government CIE (short for compagnie, the French version of Co.) reversed around METRO*.

    I liked the “spoonerism” clue as I’ve been waiting for the day it would turn up as an answer rather than an indicator (but despite this it still took me a while and made me chuckle when I got it).

  3. Jon says:

    I surprised myself by doing well with this, given what I thought was a pretty poor knowledge of 28a. Evidently, the Friday night bottle of wine has left some sort of impression beyond the Saturday morning hangover! A lot of words here that were straightforward enough to guess without fully understanding the wordplay helped, too (10ac, 12ac, 3d…)

    11ac defeated me, so thanks for explaining that one.

  4. Colin Blackburn says:

    You and me both, Testy. I also wrote in ASSAM assuming Assam might be the capital of Assam (it isn’t and had it been I’m sure Phi would have been more precise.) I then compounded this by putting in BATS rather than STAB at 2. It took me a while to unlock that top corner.

  5. Ali says:

    Ahhhhhh, now I know why I couldn’t get 1D, 2D and 3D! I too had ASSAM at 11A. With KABUL there, all the other answers fall into place.

    I thought this was a bit trickier than the average Phi, but it was an appropriately good challenge for a hungover bus journey. I loved the Spoonerism clue!

  6. Paul B says:

    I loved that Spoonerism clue too, especially as a lack of pies to anyone English is potentially so serious a problem. And with wine also prevalent, can anyone doubt the motives of this fine, upstanding (most of the time?) compiler?

  7. Wil Ransome says:

    I also made the Assam mistake, as well as carelessly putting in DIANA at 16, as well as being only able to think of guava as a fruit, so the unusually fast start juddered to a halt. Never heard of viognier -thought it might be vnonneel, which seemed almost as likely.

  8. Jill and Tamzin says:

    That was a weird word. We pressed the cheat button a couple of times in this.

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