Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6683/Phi

Posted by neildubya on March 18th, 2008


An entertaining puzzle from that nice man we usually see on Fridays.

5 M[i]CE,WAN – the last one I filled in and the toughest clue of the puzzle I thought. Ian MCEWAN has written a number of excellent novels – I’d single out The Cement Garden and Enduring Love as my particular favourites.
17 RIG,O,L in MARE – as I was flying through the puzzle by this point I was tempted to fill in “imbroglio” and work the clue out later. Luckily I didn’t.
19 AS in RED – AS for “when” is always a tricky one to spot.
20 SANDWICH MAN – cryptic def with a nice pun on “hoarding”.
25 R,LAN[-e] in MOOD
26 G,UR,KHA[-n] – “acclaimed” seemed a bit superfluous at first reading but I guess the GURKHAs do have a reputation that sets them apart from other soldiers.
1 (ICES)* in IN DIVE
3 CRACK – three parts to this one: “drug”, “expert” and C,RACK. Despite all of that my first thought, which I luckily refrained from filling in, was “kiosk”.
6 CAME,H in LAIR – “dromedary” gives it away somewhat.
7/8 (SNAP)* in WEST – not too tricky as “bridge partner” could only be EAST or WEST.
14 WED,DIN D in GAY – I liked the way this clue linked with the previous one.
16 A,O,IS in TEACH – the TAOISEACH (pronounced “teashock”) is the PM of Ireland. Beast of a word to spell but the clue makes it easy.
22/23 KIN,L in GEAR.

7 Responses to “Independent 6683/Phi”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Tougher than usual for me for a Phi puzzle. I too was a little perplexed by ‘acclaimed’ and dicts just say it’s a soldier. Was not sure of SANDWICH MAN till I’d crossing letters – ‘hoarding’ was the key but did not quite understand the rest – not that I’m suggesting it’s a well-paid job! MCEWAN was my last too. I’d say you were in a minority to find TAOISEACH easy.

  2. Testy says:

    Re 16D I guessed the answer and knew the pronunciation but the spelling was made all the more difficult by me being convinced that the “train” bit yielded “COACH”.

  3. Jon says:

    Very slow to get going – a good five minutes before I found 4d and 12a, and then everything started to fall into place fairly easily. Wonder what we’ve got in store for (Good) Friday?

  4. Berny says:

    Surely its LAN(-e) in 25 across.

  5. neildubya says:

    It surely is, yes. Have corrected now. Thanks for pointing it out.

  6. Ali says:

    Nice puzzle. Faultless clueing as ever from Phi. I too found 16d very hard. Don’t think I’ve ever written the word down before and frustratingly took the ‘one head of office’ to be IO, leaving me with TIOISEACH. Ah well, all bar one square correct will do for today.

  7. Kieron says:

    I want to hit my head very hard. 5A taunted me from very beginning (when I pretty sharpish had all the checking letters) to very end (when I still had all the checking letters, but still no answer). Made it very difficult to focus on the rest of the puzzle throughout. If it weren’t for fifteensquared, allowing me to give up, I might very possibly have had a nervous breakdown by now. I can honestly say I would never have got it.

    Otherwise enjoyable and, as you say Al, sweetly clued. Although SANDWICH MAN was a brain-drain for a while and turned out to be not as involved as I thought it was going to be. (I went through all Dutch and cattle-related professions at one point to try to decypher the “low”-paid cryptic definition.) There’s only so many times you can stare at the checking S and hear your brain nonsensically say “Steer-herd Man”, even though you know it’s not a real set of words and doesn’t fit anyway, before you want to cry just a little bit…

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

four − 1 =