Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6,884/Math – Now we are two

Posted by Ali on November 7th, 2008


Well well, this was very nice! If Phi gets bumped from a Friday, there’s usually something afoot. For any newcomers (and, with any luck, there will be some), today is the 2nd anniversary of this site, and what better way to celebrate than by having a Nina in its honour. The perimeter message running clockwise from 14A reads FIFTEENSQUARED DOT NET, which is of course where we all are right now.

I spotted there was something going on fairly early, though the DOT NET part took a while longer to piece together. And, no, I had no idea that today was the day, but vaguely remembered a post about the one year anniversary, so decided to hunt it out (you can read it here). Let me be the first to congratulate Neil and everyone else on the site, which has definitely helped my solving abilities no end and has been fun to contribute to. Thanks also to Eimi and the setters who allow us a peek behind the magician’s cloth every now and then!

On to the puzzle itself, this was good stuff as ever from Math, with some nice anagrams, good surface readings and casual swearing. Here we go then…..

(abcd)* – Anagram
[-abcd] – Subtraction
rev. – Reversal

9 ENGLISHMAN – As in “An Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman….”
10 AURA – Hidden in restAURAnt
13 FRONTIER – FR + NO rev. + TIER – Nice and misleading, as you don’t often see the word ‘bound’ used in favour of ‘boundary’
16 FACE – (CAFE)*
27 SINATRA – Very well hidden in singS IN A TRAvelling…
28 CARES – CARES (i.e. the answer to 6A) with S moving down
1 EARL – EA,R,L (i.e. right, then left)
3 SCAM – MACS rev.
4 QUANGO – QU(estion),AN(swer),GO
12 PRE-EMINENT – (Tracey) EMIN in PREEN + T(ango)
13 FLATS – L in FATS
16 SUBTRACT – T,CART,BUS all rev.
18 CLARETS – L in CARES, all about T
21 SHIITE – I in SHITE – Nothing wrong with a bit of a casual effing and blinding in your daily crossword. I’d like to see somebody clue this word with a reference to the way that Liam Gallagher would sing the word SHITE
25 LEAN – Hidden in compiLE A New…
26 AFRO – (FOR A)*

13 Responses to “Independent 6,884/Math – Now we are two”

  1. neildubya says:

    What a lovely surprise this was! I knew that we were coming up to our 2nd anniversary but I certainly didn’t expect anyone else to remember, let alone commemorate it in a puzzle. Virgilius name-checked us in a puzzle a year ago (you can see the grid here:

    so many thanks to Math for remembering us again.

    Thanks also to all of the bloggers, commenters and readers for your contributions and continued support.


  2. mhl says:

    How wonderful! Thank-you, Math :)

    Excellent clues, as well – I particularly liked the run of linked down clues (5d, 6d and 8d) and 13 across.

    Also thanks to Neil and everyone else involved in the site for creating such a fun environment for discussing and learning about crosswords – I think it’s been the single most significant factor for me in improving my solving. Many happy returns!

  3. conradcork says:

    What a triumph! And I concur with Mhl in saying happy birthday. (Thanks to Eimi too.)

  4. Richard says:

    What a lovely puzzle! I always enjoy the Indy crossword, and this was a very pleasant surprise Nina.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Eimi and Math, for arranging this – I was not aware of the birthday. Thanks also for the comments above. Curiously, the two clues I found most difficult are not mentioned in the blog FA WN (nw reversed) and TRAPS SPARTA reversed less A.

  6. Barbara says:

    6dn. sincere
    This answer wasn’t mentioned in the blog; it’s the only answer I don’t quite understand. Can someone please explain both the definition and the wordplay?

  7. Colin Blackburn says:

    SINCE + ER reversed. ER = king, since = as.

  8. mhl says:

    Barbara: “king to ascend” is ER reversed, with “as” = SINCE “before”

  9. Colin Blackburn says:

    Sorry, ‘for true’ is the definition.

  10. Geoff Moss says:

    Definition ‘true’, wordplay ER reversed (king to ascend) with SINCE in front of it (as before). ER = Edward Rex and ‘since’ = ‘as’.

  11. Duggie says:

    Can I say that this was was one of best puzzles in a long time, combining some new devices (to me) with the elegance of Dac and Phi. And, though I had no idea it was an anniversary, what a nice neat nina. The added seasoning of a couple of salty pinches topped it off.

  12. Wil Ransome says:

    I agree with everything that has been said. Lovely puzzle. But I have one misgiving: 28ac: ‘Minds 6 moving down south’ (6 is SCARE). Should this not have been a down clue (I know there is a sense of ‘down’ as in ‘pass further down the car’, but it still seems a bit wrong to me).

    This could have been avoided by reflecting everything in the leading diagonal, so that Across clues become Down ones and vice versa. But this would have done uncomfortable things to the nina. So …?

  13. Allan_C says:

    Yes, congratulations on your second anniversary. I wondered why you’d been honoured by the nina. I vaguely remember the puzzle from last year, but that was before I discovered this site. How did I…? I was struggling with a clue and googled what seemed the only possible answer, which wasn’t in the dictionary, and Google’s first hit was… fifteensquared! Always enjoy checking the completed puzzle here afterwards, but don’t often post comments as I don’t tackle the puzzle till late in the day.

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