Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7108/Virgilius

Posted by John on July 28th, 2009


Although it is always a delight to blog a Virgilius crossword, my heart is for ever in my mouth because of the Nina: what a fool I’ll look when I don’t see it. And that’s happened here. Lots of As, Bs and Cs and evidently this has something to do with it, but I can see no more.

5 BACUP — up on (cab)rev.
9 B ALMS — there are meanings of ‘balm’ that would be allowed on Countdown: they’re not all mass nouns
10 NICARAGUA — (Guiana)* outside (CA r)
11 CABBALA — I think this is just L in an assortment of As, Bs and Cs, but may be wrong
12 BOARD UP — (B road)* up
13 ABC — Australian Broadcasting Corporation
17 BASEBALL BAT — I think this is BA BA BA with se ll (the parts of sell) in the gaps, followed by t, but while I can see that ‘small-time’ gives t I can’t see how ‘in’ can be seen as ‘followed by’. OK in Latin (in urbem rather than in urbe), but in English?
20 CAB — its parts can be read as “see a bee”
22 LABCOAT — abc in (a lot)*
25 S (ACK) BUT — the old name for A refers to ‘ack emma’ and things like that
26 RU(RITA)N 1 A
27 AC TON — Lord Acton
28 CA(R)BS — ‘some wines’ gives cabernets I think, although the abbreviation doesn’t seem to be in any of the dictionaries
29 HERALDIC — (earl hid)* c
1 REBECCA — (a beer)* outside cc
15 EMBASSAGE — BA in message with its first two letters swapped — a word I didn’t know, but gettable from the wordplay and it’s in at least two of the dictionaries
16 IN CU(BA)TE D — Buenos Aires
17 BALDRIC — (laird)* in BC — although a perfectly good clue as it stands, almost a very nice &lit., but Blackadder’s servant was Baldrick and in any case Blackadder probably wasn’t a laird
18 BRONTES — b (tenors)*
19 TO (CC) A T A
21 BOTANIC — either (into ABC)* or (into CAB)*
23 BA R{esources} E{xploring} R{idge} — barium and the definition is ‘Uncovered more’
24 TUNA — (a nut)rev.

9 Responses to “Independent 7108/Virgilius”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Thanks John,
    I think you’ve got everything covered here.
    I don’t think there’s a nina beyond the copious use of ABC…(but I could be wrong; there was a fairly recent Radian where all but one of the answers contained DNA).
    Another nice one from Virgilius.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Great blog, John – as many A,B,Cs as possible were fitted in with every answer containing at least one and most of them more.

  3. Paul B says:

    The, um Rusty Badge of Office makes an appearance in the unches, but that would shurely never be revealed intentionally in public, except under the most particular conditions. And would only be noticed otherwise by a very sick person indeed.

    Apart from that, I’m with John and Ian: only answer pairings 26 & 27ac (no C) and 4 & 24dn (no B) contrive not to feature all three letters. Brilliant puzzle – as ever.

  4. Colin Blackburn says:

    Ignoring the badge of office, I did check the symmetrical unches for a synonym—no luck, there is KLMN across the central row of unches.

  5. IanN14 says:

    …which I suppose, Colin, could refer to 14ac.?

    (Unlike Paul’s, um, starfish).

  6. Michael says:

    17 ac is nothing to do with Blackadder, it is indeed a sword bearer – worn over the shoulder.

  7. Brendan says:

    I suspect that in 17A Virgilius had in mind “sell” = “deal in”

  8. IanN14 says:

    And I suspect that Brendan more than “suspects” what Virgilius had in mind…

  9. John says:

    Thanks, Brendan (now where did I see that name?). Should have seen that it was ‘deal in’ = ‘sell’ in 17ac. Michael I wasn’t saying that 17dn was connected with Blackadder; what I was trying to say, but doing so less than clearly, was that one might be tempted to think that this clue was an &lit., but it isn’t for the reason (two reasons possibly) that I gave.

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