Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6931/Phi

Posted by John on January 2nd, 2009


A typically nice Phi. I have one or two quibbles with, or at any rate misgivings about, some of the punctuation, but no doubt all will be explained.

I’m off for the weekend in a moment so won’t be able to reply to anyone until late Sunday or possibly even Monday.

5 RHUBARB — (hur{t})* barb
10 NEXT OF KIN — (fox in Kent)*
11 RECOMPENSE — (see men crop)* — I suppose this is much the same as ‘desert’, but the link was not obvious and I only dared put this in when I had all the checking letters
13 E L AL{l}
15 CROP ROTATION — ‘most of porch’ is ‘porc’ and if ‘crop’ is rotated you get this
18 TOWER HAMLETS — t{his} in (Lower Thames)*
21 {j}AUNT
22 REPETITEUR — petit [little for Debussy] (rue)rev. following re
24 GUARNIERI — (I rein)rev. after guar{d}
26 F{ul}L ASK
27 EWE LAMB — (male we)rev. b — why the question mark? The definition is ‘sheep’, an example of which is ‘ewe lamb’, so it isn’t a definition by example, nor is it questionable whether a ewe lamb is a sheep, either of which would have necessitated the question mark. The one after 15ac is justified, since it’s a sort of backwards-wordplay clue, so arguably odd; and the one in 8dn is also perhaps justified, since if you’re bungling you’re only possibly in error. In 2dn and 12dn perhaps the question marks refer back: in 2dn to ‘red’, since this is only a possible explanation of ‘red’, and in 12dn to the fact that it isn’t necessarily he, it could be she. Please can someone explain what the question mark is doing in this clue.
28 GA(U(G)U)IN
2 RED U{nder} C{ritical} E{xamination}
4 DINNER PLATE — (diet planner)* — is the exclam because it’s quite a neat &lit. or because it’s an amusing little joke? And if either of these, is it really appropriate?
5 ratheR EXcitable
6 UFOS — (of)rev. in US
7 ALKALOID — I in (oak dill)*
14 GASTRIC FLU — (guilt scarf)*
16 STRANG({Vauxhal}L}E
19 LE FANU — (fune{r}al)* — had only vaguely heard of him, the only Le Fanu I was sure of being Doctor James
20 KRAKEN — (ark)rev. ken
23 INCA — I n (ac)rev.
25 {w}EBB

2 Responses to “Independent 6931/Phi”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Good puzzle – not sure if whether question or exclamation marks appear is all that significant. In other words, I feel a clue can be equally valid with or without them. It’s just a flourish at the end which might be included depending on the surface reading or other factors.

    Yes, they might give a necessary hint to a cryptic treatment in a straight cryptic definition.

    Did think, when solving, that maybe the ? in EWE LAMB was because a lamb is not exactly a sheep, being a young one.

    Liked DINNER PLATE though I may have seen the anagram before, which is no reason not to see it again.

  2. TwoPies says:

    Liked it too. Apart from 11a which I initially thought was the name of a crop e.g. rice followed by an anagram of see men and being the name of a desert e.g. Sahara.

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