Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6812/Phi

Posted by John on August 15th, 2008


Only 24 clues here, which I think is about as few as it’s reasonably possible to have in a 15-by-15 crossword where the Ximenean edict of having no answers with more unchecked than checked letters is observed. Not that this helped my time, which was over 30 minutes: some of the films were rather difficult to find.

7 CHESTER TON — Chambers gives ‘ton’ as ‘fashion; people of fashion’, which was news to me
8 (c)HURL
10 U(psettin)G L(ad)Y
11 SHETLANDIC — (the island)* c(ouncil)
12 MERCANTILE — (article men)*
14 H(arrison) AIR
15 THE FISHER KING — presumably some connection with the fact that a fisherman is said to tell tall tales, but I suspect I’m missing something. This film
17 A SIS
18 BYSTANDERS — (brandy’s set)*
19 MAIDEN AUNT — (United a man)*
20 D OZ Y
21 DEAF — e in (fad)rev.
1 THE GREAT ESCAPE — the only film of which I’d confidently heard; if you escape you’re hardly released
2 ESPY — SP in (ye)rev.
3 HELSINKI — (he is in KL)* — KL is Kuala Lumpur (no I didn’t either)
4 (b)UNGL(U)E
5 SHANGHAIED — (and high sea)*
7 THE RIGHT STUFF — this film
9 RAISING ARIZONA — this film
13 CHEESE DOFF — is ‘cheese’ a request from photographer? Surely ‘Say “cheese”‘?
16 ROASTING — (organist)* — an unusually large number of complete anagrams in this crossword
18 BIN (v)ARY — is a ‘binary’ a star? I’d have said that it was a system of two stars, if indeed the word can stand on its own in this sense (which only the COD seems to allow as ‘a system of two stars revolving round their common centre’)
20 DU((Antri)M)P

5 Responses to “Independent 6812/Phi”

  1. Richard Palmer says:

    binary = binary star is given in most dictionaries. Phi is a professional astronomer so you can trust him on this.
    I had no problems with any of the films. Though Raising Arizona is the only one I’ve seen, the others are all well known.
    I loved the clue for MAIDEN AUNT.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Weak on films, I struggled with this – two of them were completely unknown to me. I liked DOZY and CHURL and, of course, MAIDEN AUNT.

  3. Kieron says:

    Pretty jolly stuff, some nice anagrams, although I thought 3D a little bit weak.

    Could someone please explain the SP/”estimate of chances” in 2D for me, though? I’m not familiar with it.

  4. Richard Palmer says:

    Kieron: SP = starting price

  5. Adrian Ord says:

    7a I’d never heard of ‘ton’ as ‘fashion’ either, but now I know what my friends in New York mean by ‘tony’ – e.g. a ‘tony’ apartment:-

    ton·y [ t?nee ]
    stylish: having an aristocratic, expensive, or stylish presentation ( informal )
    [Late 19th century. <tone]

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