Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6785/Virgilius

Posted by neildubya on July 15th, 2008


Easy, enjoyable and cleverly constructed puzzle from Virgilius with a theme explained in the three across answers in the middle of the grid, all of which are homophones of Ts. Every answer has at least one T in it and there are another 8 black Ts in the grid.

6 hidden in “TestamenT EXTracted”
9 ATTILA – not really 100% on this but I think “midst of battle” is ATTL, which gives ATT(I)L,A.
10 UN,TWIST – “Darnay’s a” is UN because Darnay is a French aristocrat in A Tale of Two Cities. TWIST is, of course, Oliver, from that other Dickens novel.
15 T,EASE – “temper” can mean a state of calm or self-control, which fits with EASE.
17 TEES – a tee is a pile of sand and a river but I’m still not sure how the clue actually works: “Piles of sand originally found in river”. Is it just a simple double def?
22 LI(TOT)ES – a rhetorical device which often negates the opposite for effect. E.g. “not a little angry”, meaning “furious”.
24 (TO TUNE)* – TENUTO. Had to guess this, although I’m sure I must have come across it before somewhere.
26 (TEST)* – STET, literally “let it stand” in Latin.
3 STATER – a silver coin equivalent to 4 drachms.
4 A,TT,IRE – nice misleading use of “clobber”.
7 TRI[-p],TONS – the last one to go in, mainly because I had trouble working out what “make most of voyage” was all about.
8 hidden in “MexiCO ALTITude”
12 TO A(S)T
13 hidden in “evenT HE BEAT LESs”
20 (CO[-n]TETS)* – OCTETS.
22 LET,T – another word for Latvians I think.
23 STAT[-e]

7 Responses to “Independent 6785/Virgilius”

  1. rayfolwell says:

    Apart from the homophones of T, every answer had at least 2 T’s in it. I hadn’t spotted the T’s in the grid.

    Chambers has 11A hyphenated (3-3).

  2. nmsindy says:

    Yes, another great themed puzzle from Virgilius – I agree with you about ATTILA.

  3. Ali says:

    Classic stuff indeed. Didn’t we have a SEAS/SEIZE/SEES puzzle from Virgilius not long ago too?

  4. Geoff Moss says:

    “17 TEES – a tee is a pile of sand and a river but I’m still not sure how the clue actually works: “Piles of sand originally found in river”. Is it just a simple double def? ”

    Chambers and the on-line Collins and Oxford dictionaries define ‘tee’ as a (plastic or wooden) peg with a concave top etc. with no mention of sand. I am not a golf historian but I can imagine that the predecessor of the peg was a small pile of sand hence the ‘originally’ in the clue.

    Having just consulted my 25 year old COD, I find that ‘small pile of sand’ is included as part of the definition for ‘tee’. Perhaps someone could confirm that this is still in the current version. If it is then ‘originally’ is superfluous.

  5. petebiddlecombe says:

    Geoff: by the 1999 edition, COD had changed to “plastic peg” – which just reflects the fact that you won’t see many golfers using sand these days.

  6. Geoff Moss says:

    Thanks. That explains the need for ‘originally’.

  7. eimi says:

    Re: Tryout. Collins and Oxford both have the unhyphenated version. Where there are discrepancies between the dictionaries I use the Collins version, except with Beelzebub puzzles where use of Chambers is recommended.

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