Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,086 by Phi

Posted by Simon Harris on July 2nd, 2009

Simon Harris.

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

A surprise Thursday Phi, not that I’m complaining, and it seems that many happy returns may be in order, given the Nina across the first row of unchecked squares!

Quite a bumper feast of clues today, too. I found this pretty tough going, and it’s too hot to think in this office, so there’s a few down answers that I haven’t managed to explain.

1 UNSCREW – [h]UNS + CREW. But as per Colin’s comment below, this could equally be [g]UNS CREW.
8 LAD – L[e]AD.
9 ENGULFS – FLU< in (ENG + S).
10 OAR – [r]OAR.
13 TASTE – [racis]T A STE[reotyped].
16 THIRSTS – R in (THIS + ST<).
19 ALOOF – ALOO + F[ries].
23 SEE – SEE[ds].
24 LACTEAL – (ACT in LEA) + L[ikely].
26 SUE – SU[it]E.
1 UPDATES – U + (PATES “about” D).
2 SHE – SHE[d].
3 RIGHTISTS – [f]RIGHTS “about” [l]IST.
4 WILDCAT – is this just a cd?
6 A50 – .
7 TORTE – TORT + [di]E[t].
8 LACKADAISICAL – LACK A DAIS I[n] C[ourts] A[nd] L[egislature].
12 LUSTFUL – ST + F in LULU*.
14 SISSIES – (SIS + SIS) “collaring” E.
18 SADNESS – (A + SEND<) in SS, and hence “on board”.
20 OVERRAN – (ERR “cracking” OVA) + N.
22 TREETOP – (TEE in PORT)<.
25 CREDO – C[a]RE + DO?
28 ERE – [w]ERE.
30 NIL – [beerca]N I L[ike], but “final”?.

20 Responses to “Independent 7,086 by Phi”

  1. IanN14 says:

    OMG! as my 14-year old daughter would say.
    This was a strange one.

    It was obvious something was up when I saw the grid; all those black “L”s and the non-180 degree symmetry.
    And the fact it was Phi on a Thursday.

    It soon became apparent the theme was 50, and when I realised what 6d. was all about it all fell into place.
    The L shapes made by 8d. 31ac. and 12d. 24ac. (all of which answers start and finish with L) made it easier, too.

    6d. A50 connects Derby and Leicester. The fact you’re asked to put the zero as a letter, implied that you could use a numeral for the 5. (Was this in the printed version? I don’t expect it made a difference).

    30d. I’m not too sure either, unless it’s referring to the final part of 30 (i.e. zero).

    So, Happy Birthday, Phi!

    (I turned 50 earlier this year; it’s not so bad…).

  2. nmsindy says:

    I think NIL means the can is empty. In A50 L = Roman number for 50.

  3. IanN14 says:

    Sorry Simon,

    Meant to say that Wildcat implies an anagram of “act” (&lit.)

  4. Gaufrid says:

    4d with ‘wild’ as an anagram indicator, ‘wildcat’ gives ‘act’.

    6d I think this clue is faulty in that the A50 goes from Leicester to Burton upon Trent, not Derby. The A6 would be the Derby-Leicester Road. The second part of the clue is A (one) 50 (L, heading for Leicester).

    30d I read this as the final contents of a beercan you like would be nil because you would have drunk it all.

  5. nmsindy says:

    PS WILD CAT = (act)*. And congrats to Phi – I missed the Nina, so thanks for that.

  6. Ali says:

    Well, I singularly failed to spot what was going on here. Although 6D was obviously the number clue, I couldn’t work it out, largely as I couldn’t work out 10A either and also as a quick route search on Google Maps on my phone seemed to suggest that it is indeed the A6 that links Derby and Leicester.

    In fairness, I should have looked out for a Nina. As Ian points out, there was far too much strangeness in the grid for it not to have some theme.

    Oh, and I’ve now got a sinking feeling that this has bumped the Thursday toughie into my blogging spot tomorrow.

    Nevertheless, many happy returns to the man himself. Long may he continue.

  7. nmsindy says:

    Re symmetry, it is symmetrical but in a less common way. I’ve forgotten the terminology but if you move down the diagonal from NE to SW everything’s in a pattern around it.

  8. Eileen says:

    Gaufrid’s quite right. As I live just 100 yards off the A6 [A VI] and know that it goes from here to Derby, I was quite sure that the answer must be VIA [‘the Roman way’] the ‘A’ [one] ‘heading for Leicester’ i.e. South, i.e to the end of the word! [The bracketed instruction naturally made no sense to me.]

    This seriously held up 5ac, which I should have got on the first run through, so I rather gave up – as Simon says, it’s too hot!

  9. The trafites says:

    Is 1ac commented wrongly (typo?), as an S is missing?

  10. Colin Blackburn says:

    Happy birthday Phi.

    I don’t know Derby that well but Warrington-Leicester would have been better if a few characters longer.

    nmsindy: the symmetry is an indirect symmetry, a reflection about NE-SW axis.

  11. Colin Blackburn says:

    1ac should be [g]UNS CREW,

    guns = soldiers.

  12. Simon Harris says:

    Yes, just a typo, The trafites. Now corrected – thanks :)

  13. nmsindy says:

    There’s a surplus D in 25 dn, too, I think – should be C(a)RE DO (party)

  14. Colin Blackburn says:

    I’m not convinced that ‘huns’ works since, for me, the clue is asking for a G to be removed, ie ‘first gang’.

  15. Gaufrid says:

    re comment #14. I thought that at first too, ie [g]UNS but the parsing is [g/h]UNS (soldiers without first) CREW (gang) unless you are saying that ‘gang’ is doing double duty in the wordplay.

  16. Ray Folwell says:

    As someone who used to live in Leicester and now lives in Derby, I was also trying to fit A6 into 6D. The A50 used to run from Stoke-on-Trent to Northampton via Burton and Leicester but now runs from Stoke to the M1 at junction 24.

  17. Colin Blackburn says:

    Gaufrid: You’re absolutely right. Sorry, Simon, I withdraw my lack of conviction! I think I double-read ‘gang’ somehow.

    That said I wonder what makes for a better definition of soldiers: Huns or guns?

  18. eimi says:

    I bow to all your local knowledge. The Wikipedia article seemed to support Phi’s clue, but was perhaps a bit misleading. I don’t know the road and I don’t know whether Phi does, but unless he’s having a very late birthday celebration (as he lives in New Zealand), I doubt if he’s read this yet.

  19. Rick says:

    Oh my golly gosh I’m such a dunce. I got about half of this but had major problems because I read the little note in the paper as ‘1d’ rather than ‘One Down’ which lead to much confusion!

  20. Phi says:

    I was forced to do a bit of Googling for the A50, and took what seemed to be the largest towns mentioned. I’ve only ever been to Leicester and Derby by train.

    (g)uns, by the way.

    Thanks for the best wishes.

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