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Independent 7,000 by Virgilius

Posted by Simon Harris on March 24th, 2009

Simon Harris.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

I had noticed that number 7,000 was on its way, and wondered what to expect. What we got was a typically strong Virgilius puzzle, with some great clueing.

There is at least one Nina as far as I can see (noted below the answers). I can see other bits and bobs of words in there, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s something else that I’m missing.

I’ve stumbled on the wordplay in 2.

Across
1 MIXED DOUBLES – dd.
9 ADJUST – AD + JUST.
10 SIGNINGS – SING* + SING*. Very good.
11 RAPPAREE – RAP + hom. of “Paris” as pronounced by the French.
12 RADIOS – R[-ise] + ADIOS.
13 PASS – dd.
15 INTESTINES – IN + TESTINES[-s].
17 ARRAIGNING – A + hom. of “reiging”.
20 TACK – dd, cf. “hard tack” and “soft tack”.
22 HICCUP – dd. It’s said that if you give someone a fright, it might cure their hiccups. Your mileage may vary.
24 TEAMMATE – EMMA* “into” TATE.
26 REAPPEAR – RAPPAREE* (see 11).
27 MEAGRE – [-so]ME AGRE[-ement].
28 SIEGE ENGINES – (IN EG GENESIS + E[-xodus])*.
Down
2 INDIANA – “On radio, I must cover a new state”.
3 EQUIP – E + QUIP.
4 DETERRING – (T “inside” DEER) + RING.
5 UNSWEPT – (NEWS PUT)*.
6 LAGER – L + AGE + R, and plausibly &lit since lager is indeed left to mature. In fact, the name “lager” comes form the German “lagern” – to store.
7 SPINDRIFT – SPIN + DRIFT.
8 IGNORE – [-s]IGNORE. Great surface.
14 SEASCAPES – lovely clue: “Paintings Landseer’s not in a position to do?”.
16 SIGNALMAN – (MAIN SNAG)* “about” L.
18 DENIER – REINED<.
19 INTERNE – INTERNE[-t].
21 COTERIE – COT + ERIE.
23 PIECE – dd. “Sovereign” being a coin, and “such as king or queen” being chess pieces. Really nice clue.
25 MIAMI – MIMI[-c] “about” A.

The Nina is the word “NINA” itself in the unchecked squares to the right of the grid. I assume the juxtaposition of CUP and TEA to be a coincidence, but I’d like to be wrong about that!

9 Responses to “Independent 7,000 by Virgilius”

  1. Eileen says:

    Hi Simon

    2dn: INDIA [Nato phonetic alphabet I] round A + N

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    The longer across answers (>8) are all MIXED DOUBLES, ie they contain the same set of letters twice.

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    I mean >=8.

    It looks like an attempt at a pangrammatic grid too, with J, Q, X and K in there. There is, though, no V or Z.

    From the central unchecked line across you could say it was a FINE RETURN for Virgilius.

    These second two may well be just coincidences.

  4. Fletch says:

    Ooh he’s clever isn’t he, I hadn’t spotted the doubling up of letters. Loved 8d.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Re 2, Colin, well-spotted – I looked at the completed grid for quite a while, but did not notice that theme at all. Great puzzle and clues as always from V.

  6. Colin Blackburn says:

    For a change I spotted the theme early, as soon as I had 1ac and 10ac. I felt that 10ac was almost clued as a hint to the theme.

  7. Quixote says:

    I did this very quickly — about a 5-minute job. Virgilius is an excellent clue-writer and with the extra help of the theme everything slides in beautifully. It’s the light refreshment I seek in the middle of a busy morning writing loads of clues!

  8. Ali says:

    Despite clocking the theme about halfway through, I found this quite tough, and am in awe of Don for polishing this off in about the same time it took me to find the pen in my bag! Some great clues as ever from Virgilius. Loved 14D.

  9. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    Started while cooking the supper, so no time to compare with Don’s, but a typical Virgilius puzzle. In their own way, fresh-seeming clues to words like INDIANA and LAGER are a bigger feather for his cap than the theme. With INDIANA he also manages to fool you by making the indication for INDIA (On the radio, I) MORE helpful than usual.

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