Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,012 by Virgilius

Posted by Simon Harris on April 7th, 2009

Simon Harris.

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

Interesting puzzle. The across clues present us with various ways of stating the obvious, whilst the many, very short, down clues seem to just fill the gaps. Virgilius appears to have an apostrophe fetish today.

6/30 A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE – AROSE “about” IS, “repeatedly”.
10 STEIN – ISN’T* “about” E.
11 THAT’S THAT – [-se]T + ((HAT + HAT) “around” ST).
12/14/16/23/24 EAST IS EAST AND WEST IS WEST – ref Kipling, Columbus.
18 MAN’S MAN – Douglas being the capital of the Isle of Man.
20 KIPLING – (I + P + L) “taken by” KING .
22 ASAA‘S A. Strange one.
27 FAIR’S FAIR – dd, I guess.
1 TRUE – T[-o]R[-t]U[-r]E[-d].
2 DITTO – (I + TT) “within” DO.
3 BALALAIKA – (A LAB)< + hom. of “Leica”. One for the photography geeks. Great clue.
4 MOSS – A rolling stone gathers no moss.
5 MESHM + HE’S*.
7 SINAI – [-window]S IN AI[-rcraft].
8 SITEDpresumably (SET + IE)*. I’m not sure what I was thinking there, it’s (ID EST)*, as NMS correctly points out.
9 ESTEEM – (MEETS + E)<.
15 TIP – dd, cf. “gratuity”.
16 ALIVE – (EVIL + A)<. “A” for “blood type” is…interesting.
17 ANASTASIA – (AN + A + A) “about” STASI.
19 MEW – dd.
21 GUTTER – G[-ossip] + UTTER. Certainly not a reference to the Independent.
22 ALFIE – [-gravitation]AL FIE[-ld].
25 SHAKO – SHO[-t]? “protecting” A K.
26 BRIEF – BRIE + F.
28 IDOL – I + OLD*.
29 SIGN – dd.
31 ORGY – ORG (as in .org) + Y.

7 Responses to “Independent 7,012 by Virgilius”

  1. Paul B says:

    An evil grid for sure. Good job those long clues give us a toehold in such a precarious environment, but you’d expect that from someone with Virgilius’ experience.

    ASA is A(nswer)’S A(nswer) in case you were wondering, and the saying that’s ‘just’ is FAIR (blonde)’S FAIR (beautiful). Your 25 looks right.

    Congrats on a thoroughly good (and incredibly early) blog.

  2. Mick Hodgkin says:

    Thanks for explaining what’s what.

  3. nmsindy says:

    I think SITED is (id est)* i.e. in full. Another classic themed puzzle from the master – how did he fit so much in?

  4. Al Streatfield says:

    Nice puzzle, but didn’t like SHAKO. Never heard of the word- the wordplay was difficult with SHO(t) round A K(ing). This could easily have been SHO round A R(ex) for all I knew. If the word had been in a barred puzzle you would normally have had four checked letters and recourse to a dictionary to resolve the obscurity.

  5. Colin Blackburn says:

    I agree with Al on SHAKO. The K being unchecked made it impossible to guess. A more definite bit of wordplay would have helped here. Otherwise very enjoyable although the acrosses went in fairly easily.

  6. Allan_C says:

    Well, I thought it was quite an easy one, especially for Virgilius. Seeing 6/30 and 12 etc set me looking for 10 and 20 to get started and then I was well on the way. Got ‘shako’ straight away, having come across the term in historical novels set in Napoleonic times.

  7. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    I thought this was a little gem – and enjoyed the appropriate placing of ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Shako: the ‘AskOxford’ site confirms that it’s in the Compact Oxford, which must count as a couple of size notches down from Chambers.

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