Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6891/Virgilius (Prize puzzle 15-11-08)

Posted by neildubya on November 21st, 2008


A rare treat: Virgilius on a Saturday. About the same level of difficulty as we’ve come to expect from Virgilius and a theme of course: this time, it’s centred around two well-known phrases at 3/28 and 1/7.

1 L(IE)N
3/28 LEFT,RIGHT AND CENTRE – the answers referenced in the clue are all synonyms for LEFT, RIGHT and CENTRE.
10 (BEING)* – BINGE. Not really an &lit as “It’s being drunk” doesn’t really mean BINGE, which can only be a noun (meaning a period of excessive indulgence) or a verb.
11 S(OLD)UP – a reminder that SUP doesn’t always mean “drink”. It’s outdated now but it used to mean “to eat supper”.
12 (CLUE)* in SUN< – NUCLEUS
14 (I CITED TO BAR)* – OBITER DICTA. A remark made by a judge on a point of law which has no binding legal authority.
16 BOA – double definition.
18 hidden in “liKE Guiness”
21 RESERVE – double definition.
24 CI(MEN)
26 STERN – which can mean both “hard” and “back”.
27 ON ONE’S EAR – at first I thought this was a cryptic def, albeit not a very good one, but I’ve just spotted that it’s a double definition: you can have your ears boxed and be thrown out ON ONE’S EAR.
29 CUR,L
1/7 LOCK,STOCK AND BARREL – like 3/28, the answers referenced are all synonyms for LOCK, STOCK and BARREL.
3 ET AL (going up)
5 REBECCA – one of the last couple of answers to go in for me, despite having all the checking letters in place.
7 [-s]TRESS
8 U in (PETER)* – REPUTE.
13 odd letters from “OdDnEsS”
15 CAPE – similar clue to 26
16 B(ORDER)EAU – new word to me but fairly easy to guess from the wordplay.
20 EX[-c]ITED
21 A TSAR (going up)
22 SPEED – “on which some can get high” is a reference to the drug.
23 (TO BE A)* – E-BOAT. A fast torpedo boat used by the German Navy.
25 C,OR,E

3 Responses to “Independent 6891/Virgilius (Prize puzzle 15-11-08)”

  1. kevin says:

    This is the first Virgilius xwd I’ve completed and I enjoyed its straightforward cluing and surfaces, rather like an Everyman or a Rufus. One highlight: 20 ‘Went hot, not cold.’

    I particularly appreciated the thematic clues: look forward to more.

  2. Wil Ransome says:


    I’m not absolutely sure about this – it’s either brilliant or unsound and since it’s Virgilius it’s probably the former. But OK it isn’t an &lit because ‘It’s being drunk’ doesn’t really mean binge, but would it be an &lit if it were simply ‘Being drunk’? Presumably yes, but still ‘Being drunk’ doesn’t mean binge. In that case what is added by the addition of ‘It’s’?

  3. nmsindy says:

    The usual excellent themed puzzle from Virgilius showing again that they don’t necessarily have to be hard to be good.

    Must say I’ve no problems with BINGE = it’s being drunk – I think that’s quite OK as a definition (period of excessive drinking, say).

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