Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6789/Phi (19-07-08)

Posted by neildubya on July 25th, 2008


Spot the Nina time: the top and bottom rows of unchecked letters have SHOPPING PRECINCT. Inside the grid, there’s MARKS and SPENCER, along with BOOTS and BORDERS (although I guess one or both of those two could have been happy accidents). Has anyone spotted any more shops?

A very enjoyable puzzle but I still don’t really understand 2.

9 LOADS,TONE – another spelling of “lodestone”.
13 BO(O)TS – a “bot” is a type of malware (others are viruses and trojans) which allows a remote attacker to control a host machine.
14 H(ANY IDEA)*E – HYAENIDAE, another way of saying “hyenas”. I’d never heard of this before and it was the last one to go in so I had all the checking letters in place.
22 SPENCER – a close-fitting jacket and one of Winston’s middle names (the other was Leonard).
23 [-c]HANDLER – I think this is a very contemporary meaning of the word as it’s not in Chambers Online or the COED. However, “PR Account Handler” does seem to be a fairly common job title – try Googling “pr handler”.
2 HALF-HOUR – not really sure I understand this one: “30 minutes in house or old city”. “30 minutes” is the definition, and “old city” is UR but where does “house” come into it?
3 [-c]OSSIES – which I guess must be another spelling of “aussies”.
4 P[-r]OSY
6 IN,F(RING)E – FE is the chemical symbol for iron.
20 SKEWER – this looks like a not-very-cryptic definition, unless I’m missing something subtle (always a possibility).

7 Responses to “Independent 6789/Phi (19-07-08)”

  1. Paul B says:

    House is HO, old city is UR. It’s the old half-hour joke!

  2. Paul B says:

    PS 45 minutes, which we had quite recently, is HOU. Or, by the same token, OUR.

  3. beermagnet says:

    20D I too wondered about this and considered SKEWED and SLEWED before plumping for SKEWER even though the clue is simply a detailed description of the object. Does adding a question mark make it a cryptic clue?

    8D Given the Nina, I was left with GE-S and eventually opted for GEMS on the grounds that it is probably the most common word that fits, but even if it is right I don’t understand this one at all. Clue:
    Good ideas, original ideas, but not right (4)

    Coincidence corner: HOPI here so soon after its appearance in the Guardian the previous week.

  4. neildubya says:

    I didn’t understand 8 either but I guess I must have forgot to write about it my post. Odd that. Anyway, could an original idea be a GERM? Bit of a longshot but it’s all I can think of that would work with the wordplay.

  5. Harris says:

    Re. 8D: Ge(r)ms.

    Where a ‘germ’ is a new idea.

  6. beermagnet says:

    I see, thanks. Good ideas are GEMS and original ideas are GERMS. So the G doesn’t come from Good (which is what was confounding me) and I find the “Goodidea”/Gem relationship a bit of a stretch.

  7. nmsindy says:

    SKEWER I read in the cryptic part as the comparative of SKEW (twisted) without being 100% sure.

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