Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7060/Virgilius

Posted by John on June 2nd, 2009


Initially I thought that Virgilius had referred so frequently to Roman numerals that this was in some way the theme, but perhaps it’s just that in the Across clues he’s fitted many numbers in and they are nearly all clued by reference to Roman numerals. Either way, no doubt as usual there’s something more than this which, although glaringly obvious, has escaped my notice.

1 FIFTY-FIRST — 17 is ‘fiftieth’, and ‘list’ can be seen as ‘LIst’ (my first thought was that it referred to the 51 US States)
6 SLAM — 2 defs
10 THREE — regularly seen in 22, which is ‘Rimini’, is ‘i’, or III, the Roman numeral for three; two’s company, …
11 HUMANISTS — hum (saints)*
12 STANDARDISE — (and its as red)*
13/14/16 TWO THOUSAND AND ONE — in 5, which is ‘summit’, are the letters MMI
18 ELEVEN — making comeback in ‘sixties’ is XI
20 NINETEEN — I strongly suspected a misprint here, since I’d never heard of ‘maxixe’, but it’s a Brazilian dance containing XIX and it must be just about the only word that contains these letters
23 TEN — def ‘Base most often used'; the middle of ‘Texas’ is X
24 THISTLEDOWN — (lots the wind)*
27 BEATS TIME — 2 defs
28 FIVES — V comes twice in 21
29 EASY — easy as pie…
30 SIX HUNDRED — a CD referring to The Charge of the Light Brigade — pity 600 rode into the valley of Death — if it had been 400 (CD) that would have fitted the theme nicely
1 FATES — I can’t see this: The Fates are the divine trio, but the rest of it is lost on me — something about the letters of ‘feast’ perhaps
3 YIELD — 2 defs
4 INHERING — “in hearing”
7 struggLE SO THOughtfully
8 MISGOVERN — (m sovereign)* — e
9 {w}INT(ERNE)E{r} — Virgilius takes advantage of the slightly more liberal regime at the Indy: when he was with The Times midwinter = inte would not I imagine have been allowed. One old Times habit has died hard, though — only having one hidden clue.
17 FIFTIETH — a fiftieth is 2%, and I think this refers to a golden wedding, which could be argued to be gold
19 {m}EN {o}NE {h}AD {a}S
25 ELFIN — f in (Nile)rev.
26 NO(SE)D — to nod is to make a sign of agreement

8 Responses to “Independent 7060/Virgilius”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Thanks, John,

    1d. Homophone of “Fete” (verb) = to entertain at a feast.

    I can’t see you’ve missed anything else in this one (but I could be wrong…)
    Perhaps we’ve been spoilt by yesterday’s genius topical Morph one, but I expected a bit more from Virgilius, normally my favourite…

  2. Testy says:

    I thought 30 did fit the theme, 600 being DC hidden in “doomeD Charge”?

  3. IanN14 says:

    Well spotted, Testy

  4. nmsindy says:

    Another wonderful themed puzzle from Virgilius – I think he’s set some involving numbers before. Thanks for explaining gold in 17.

  5. IanN14 says:

    Actually, looking at this one again, it IS very clever…
    Sorry Virgilius.

  6. Mike Laws says:

    Ninamania strikes again. A superbly gridded and clued crossword, with a nina involving over a dozen grid entries, and it’s still not enough! It’s not child’s play to do that once or twice, let alone week in week out.

    IanN14 – If that means you live in Southgate, my local is a couple of minutes’ walk from Bounds Green tube, if you ever fancy a beer and a crossword natter.

  7. golgonooza says:

    How often does Virgilius give us interesting themes? I am quite in awe of his prolific output myself, and thought this was another classic crossword – a great idea – I didn’t even realise that the numbers could be found in all those words (although I spotted some). He has to be my favourite setter for pure ingenuity – and I can usually do his puzzles!

  8. nmsindy says:

    Absolutely, golgonooza, and puzzles don’t have to be super-hard to be good, as Virgilius has so often shown.

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