Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7081/Phi

Posted by John on June 26th, 2009


Before I solved 11ac it was hard to cope with all those clues that referred to it, but fairly soon that was all right, and there were no terribly obscure 11s. Although most of this nice crossword was easy enough, 1dn seems odd, I had never heard of the answer to 21dn, and 26dn still defeats me (although I’ll have looked it up by the time I’ve written the blog. _A_E is I suspect the skeleton of this type with most possibilities).

1 JENUFA — je (a fun)rev. Jenufa
4 TOP BRASS — (pot)rev. brass
10 RIGOLETTO — (go let) in trio*. Rigoletto
11 {p}OP ERA — a lovely &lit. worthy of this important answer
12 patiO AT Home
13 TANNHAUSER — (has nature N)*. Tannhauser
15 ELEKTRA — (leek)* (art)rev. Elektra
19 C(RUS{h})OE
21 FIDELIO — f 1 (oiled)rev. Fidelio
23 INTERBREED — (reindeer TB)*
25 A{r}ID A
27 FA(U)ST — Faust
28 DON CARLOS — (nod)rev. car los{s} — Don Carlos
29 LA(BO HE)ME — La Boheme
30 XERXES — (sex rex)rev. Xerxes — the best of the lot in my opinion. and a healthy counterbalance to all that new-fangled stuff that increasingly finds its way into the Indy crossword 
1 JAR GONE D{efeat} — a word that I can’t find anywhere
2 NIGHTWEAR — g in (in the raw)*
3 froM LIFe — rev.
5 O(CON)N OR — Google produces Sandra Day O’Connor and Flannery O’Connor, one of whom is no doubt being referred to here
7 A REAS{on}
9 STRATA — (a tart’s)rev.
14 AT A STRETCH — (strata)* etch
20 EARLDOM — (Elm Road)*
21 FRESNO — (on serf)rev. — I suppose I should have heard of it, but I hadn’t
22 FI{s{ome}}TFUL — ref. A Fistful of Dollars
24 tenemenT HUMBled — thumbs down
26 WANE — I wasn’t sure about this when I tentatively put it in and am no clearer now that I’ve seen that it is indeed the answer: it seems to be wane as a verb (= pale as a verb) and some word _ANE that means fresh, with w (= weak) replacing the first letter. But what word? Sane? I can’t find anything in the dictionaries to suggest that this is it.

7 Responses to “Independent 7081/Phi”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Could 26d be ANEW (fresh) with the W (weak) moved up to the front?

  2. John says:

    Yes Gaufrid, that’s obviously it. So easy, really. Thanks.

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    1dn: jargon is in Chambers as a verb so JARGONED is certainly a word, using it as an adjective is probably reasonable.

  4. Colin Blackburn says:

    6dn: the AZA should be AZ A with the A coming from ‘are’. I did wonder if Arizona had a 3 letter abbreviation but it is either AZ or Ariz.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Found the theme straightaway. Though I know very little about opera, said I’d give it a go battling thro trying to make words from the wordplay. This meant the puzzle took quite a while but I was very pleased to have to look up only one opera in the end apart from to verify i.e. 1 across. Thanks for WANE explanation, I don’t think it was “so easy, really”, John. Guess all the thematic material packed in made it hard to avoid something like ?A?E somewhere in the grid. Excellent puzzle.

  6. AMB says:

    Can’t really argue with the substance of the clues, or the clueing for that matter, but Phi’s by no means my favourite Indy compiler. Bit boring, or so it felt.

  7. Cornick says:

    Re 30ac, some of us enjoy the ‘new-fangled’ stuff as well as the classical stuff. Both is good! As for Fresno, it’s a big city (500,000+) in California and definitely fair game, especially in view of the mini-series of the same name!

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