Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6923 by Virgilius

Posted by nmsindy on December 23rd, 2008


A most unusual and innovative crossword, that I found quite hard before finally getting there in 49 mins. The idea was that in line with 15 across A COMEDY OF ERRORS, there were mistakes in the puzzle in those clues marked with a *. A few where I don’t quite see what is going on, so any help would be appreciated.

< = reversed. To avoid confusion, the normal * = anagram will not be used in this blog.


9 ERATO One of the Muses – hidden

10 EU PHONI UM “You phony”

11 LITIGATOR (I got trial) (anagram)

12 B E (I) RA

13* MARIE CEL(EST)E clue suggests ‘set’ in an anagram of (eerie calm) but this is not right as the ‘set’ has also to be rearranged. Nice &lit touch to the clue.

14 ESOTERICA (I create so) (anagram)

15* A COMEDY OF ERRORS The theme

19* TOLERABLE (alter robe) (anagram) – the error here is an extra r and a l missing in the anagram fodder.

22 CO (D) ED

24* It says ‘See 13 down’, but it should be 13 across

25* There is no clue so I guessed UNCLUED which turns out to be right

27* RULER Double definition – very good – the error here is that this clue and the following one (28) are switched

28* EUCL I DEAN (clue)*


1* WELL The error here is that this speech is often misquoted to include ‘well’ which is not in the text of the play. Definition = source

2* F ACTOR The error here, I think, is that ‘criteria’ (plural) should be ‘criterion’ (singular)

3 CON G REVE ever<

4 LEATHERY kid leather and rest is a definition, I think, shading towards the direct rather than the cryptic, if I’ve read this right.

5 O PORT O Bordeaux is a port city

6 DOUBLE “Requirement for starting to score in board game” I guessed this right (see 23 down also), I think it might refer to scoring in darts but not at all sure about that.

7 FILIP IN O fillip less one l

8* E M (BAR) ASSED The mistake here is that ‘embarrassed’ is misspelt – it should have 2 Rs.


16* OIL S LICK The error is the enumeration – (4,4) instead of (3,5)

18 RACE CARD Politicians playing the ‘race card’ is the reference here, I think


21 BREWER Double definition dividing at local/reference – Brewer’s Dictionary often drawn on for themed crosswords. Well worth browsing.

23* DOUBLE Double definition and the error, I think, is that is appears twice in the puzzle (also at 6 down)

26 DORY Double definition

10 Responses to “Independent 6923 by Virgilius”

  1. Richard Heald says:

    Excellent fun, with each of the errors being the kind of thing that might easily be missed by the unwary (indeed, it took me a while to spot the faulty anagram at 19 Ac). I think 15 Ac is itself also an error, the title of the play in question being ‘The (rather than A) Comedy Of Errors’.

  2. Duggie says:

    And even the byline is misspelt – that was a clue in itself.

  3. Mick Hodgkin says:

    I spotted a few of the errors (including “Vigilus”) before tumbling the theme, and thought the round of pre-Christmas boozing was taking its toll on our esteemed editor, but all is explained – brilliant!
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there another error at 7 down, in that Filipino is not a language? Perhaps the omission of the asterisk was another deliberate error. My brain hurts.

  4. Fletch says:

    I thought the error in 13/24 was that Marie Celeste is a common misconception, the vessel was the Mary Celeste.

  5. Wil Ransome says:

    I think Fletch is right, if he’s right about Mary not Marie, which I didn’t know. The error wasn’t clear to me. ‘set’ is made into an anagram by ‘abandoned’.

  6. Brendan says:

    Nobody seems to have noticed that Virgilius (my favourite setter) also made the grid asymmetrical (not exactly an error, but certainly a breach of convention).

  7. Matthew Livermore says:

    Very nicely done Virgilius (or Brendan!). An original idea that was carried out well.

  8. conradcork says:

    Virgilius and Eimi must trust their readers a lot. Heaven knows what a beginner, plucking up their courage to tackle a broadsheet cryptic for the first time would have made of it! Enough to put ‘em off for life I reckon.

  9. R Leaner says:

    This puzzle appears in the daily paper in Adelaide, South Australia today (14 January – we are a bit behind here). Unfortunately, it was printed without the asterisks. Was completely stumped until I consulted the discussion here – thanks.

  10. D Fricker says:

    I am also an Adelaide Advertiser subscriber. Our version is always more cryptic it seems, as we don’t get the by-line nor other clues such as asterisks, bold type and the original day of week the crossword was issued. The latter can be quite important in some crosswords. All the more challenging!

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