Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6,773/Virgilius

Posted by Ali on July 1st, 2008


A nice games-themed puzzle today. A number of references in clues and I spotted at least ten in answers scattered throughout the grid.

4 TIC TAC TOE – i.e. the US version of Os and Xs
9 CHESS – Hidden in duCHESSes
10 ORIEL – Oxford Uni college, and also a type of window
12 ANTIETAM – ANTI,MATE rev. – Had to use the Reveal button to confirm this one. Had never heard of the battle before
13 POP ART – I can see the idea here, but the Dada part would work better if ‘A’ was an accepted abbreviation for ‘art’. As it is, it feels a bit forced to me
15 ASSES – ASSES[-s]
17 PATIENCE – “…is a virtue” and an operetta by G&S
20 SHREK – SHR[-i]EK – Nice clue
23 STEEPEST – EPEE rev. in ST x 2
26 URN – “Earn”
27 UVULA – “You luvva” rev.
30 DARTS – STRAD rev.
2 WHEAT – E in WHAT?
3 SUSPENSE ACCOUNT – Charade on ‘spine tingling story’. In banking terms, it’s ‘an account in which items are entered which cannot at once be placed in an ordinary account’. Whatever that means!
6 TWO CAN PLAY AT THAT GAME – Today’s theme is of course games, and 17A is the only game which is (usually) played solo
16 SEA CHANGE – “See”,CHANGE (coins). Have just realised that there are quite a lot of homophones in this puzzle!
18 SKITTLES – S,K (first of suits king),(LET SIT)*
25 LUDO – (LOUD)*

5 Responses to “Independent 6,773/Virgilius”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Even by Virgilius’s exalted standards, this was a marvellous puzzle with the penny-dropping moment of the twenty-letter entry very good indeed. SUSPENSE ACCOUNT is pretty well known, I’d say – basically where you put money temporarily pending a decision on where exactly it should go.

  2. Richard Palmer says:

    Very nice puzzle.
    27 A is actually U + a luv (rev).
    I counted 12 games – all the perimeter entries plus chess, patience, ludo and crib. Pity you can’t get both whist and chess in the top-left corner.

  3. Mick H says:

    I’d never heard of Antietam either.
    I rather liked 13ac, and I don’t think it relies on ‘art’ being A, it’s just a joke on ‘dada’ and ‘pop’ both being art movements and words for father.

  4. Ali says:

    Of course, I overlooked the fact that Da-da is a word for father, so perhaps I was a little harsh.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Yes, that’s also how I also read POP ART and liked it. I’d not heard of ANTIETAM either but was pleased to work it out (eventually) from the wordplay and verify after. The entry for Virgilius in the Azed book reveals a big US connection and this often shows itself in the puzzles as here (4 ac, 12 ac, 24 dn for example), not to mention the Nina in his recent puzzle re the US Presidential election.

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