Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,129 by Phi

Posted by Simon Harris on August 21st, 2009

Simon Harris.

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

Top quality as always from Phi. There’s something of a cricket theme going on, for obvious reasons, and “RE” comes up a lot – I’m not sure if I’m missing something thematic there.

Across
8 SOVIET – SO + (VET “holding” 1).
9 RE-EDIT – REED + IT.
10 RECENTRE – RECENT + RE.
11 ERENOW – WERE< “holding” ON<.
12 STAGNANT – (STAG + ANT) “holding” [gu]N.
14 RE-EMPLOY – (POLYMER + E)*.
15 THE SKY’S THE LIMIT – (THEME SKITTISHLY)*.
18 SARTRE – R in SAT[i]RE.
20 EKISTICS – (CITIES [a]SK)*.
22 LUSTREST in LURE.
23 EAST CAPE – (A in ESCAPE) “holding” T.
25 HEDONIST – (ON THE SID[e])*.
26 REEFER – dd.
Down
1 FOREST – ES “occupying” FORT.
2 PINE – [s]PINE.
3 STATUARY – (A [d]USTY ART)*.
4 ARMED TO THE TEETH – (THEME TREATED HOT)*.
5 METEOR – METER “captures” 0.
6 EPHEMERIST – (TIMES HERE + P[arty])*.
7 MONOKINI – 0 in (MONK IN 1).
13 GAS STATION – GAS + STATION.
16 HIATUSES – (HAT + USES) “to entrap” 1.
17 EMISSARY – MISS in EAR[l]Y.
19 EYELID – E + YIELD*.
21 COPSES – COPS + [se]ES.
24 CHEW – C + HEW.

17 Responses to “Independent 7,129 by Phi”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Tougher than usual from Phi esp SOVIET and PINE crossing. All across rows, apart from centre, have REE. Not sure if that is a Nina or if there is more, or less, to it. The word theme appears in clues for both 15-letter entries. Enjoyed it.

  2. Simon Harris says:

    Now that you mention it, they all seem to have TREE…so there must be something going on.

  3. John H says:

    You can’t see the wood(s) for the trees!

  4. IanN14 says:

    I’m not sure EXACTLY what’s going on.
    But 1d. 2d. & 21d. have to have something to do with it?
    I just can’t see the wood for the trees….

  5. IanN14 says:

    Sorry John,
    Great minds…
    I liked the misleading use of “theme” in the clues.

  6. mhl says:

    Thanks for the explanations, and to those who pointed out all the hidden TREEs :) I really look forward to Phi’s Friday (Phiday?) puzzles, and this was excellent as usual.

    SOVIET and ERENOW were the most difficult, I thought.

  7. anax says:

    This was really good fun. SOVIET came quickly as the wordplay was sort of pointing towards it – just took an extra minute of digging to make it all fit. Same with RE-EMPLOY (“again…” and the “2-” enumeration giving me a good start and the anagram fodder falling in soon after).

    At this point I didn’t suspect a theme, although the quick reappearance of “again” at 10A made me wonder. ERENOW was tougher to crack but I concentrated on it rather than move to the next clue. For whatever reason I then spotted the TREE splits and wondered if they would continue in the lower half, so I didn’t really look at the Down answers before trying to crack these.

    I then had the oddest thought: as a setter, would I be able to include cross-checking 15-letter answers which were part of a theme accounting for nearly all Acrosses? Yes, but only if I was a miracle worker – so perhaps Phi’s “theme” wordings were a deception. Working on that basis helped me towards a reasonably quick solution despite not knowing EKISTICS and struggling with the (brilliantly clued) MONOKINI – is that the thing so hilariously worn by Sasha Baran Cohen in Borat mode?

    Enjoyed this hugely – thank you Phi.

  8. IanN14 says:

    anax,
    No, I believe that’s called a “mankini” (I don’t have one myself).
    A “monokini” is apparently a womans’ bikini without the top half (!).
    (I have something similar. They’re called pants).
    Cleverly made up word, though, using the first two letters of the island…

  9. anax says:

    Ian

    Oops. I’m going to have to take it back then – I’ve bought the wrong thing. Unless anyone wants to do a swap?

  10. nmsindy says:

    Seeing the REEs, but not the TREEs, Do’h! No wonder I found PINE difficult. A tree-loving community at the Indy? Think Virgilius, T(r)ees, have also had puzzles on this theme fairly recently.

  11. NealH says:

    I was close to giving up on eyelid, pine and Soviet, but forced myself to keep trying and got there in the end. Eyelid really threw me – I’d never seen runs used as an anagram indicator and thought it was just going to be an R somewhere in the word with probably an “in” for “batted” at the end.

  12. anax says:

    Simon
    I just noticed a minor typo in the blog – 18A should be SARTRE.
    Best wishes
    Anxa

  13. Simon Harris says:

    So it should, well spotted. That’s fixed now.

  14. Ali says:

    I did wonder if there might be a theme somewhere in here. Thanks to all for explaining it.

    Loved the EYELID clue, very neat and clever.

  15. Allan_C says:

    Not so easy as some by Phi. NW corner defeated me – never thought of SOVIET. I was trying to make someting of O[l]D and ANT with an A or an I inserted somewhere. And it didn’t help that “French are” had me thinking of “sommes”, “etes” and “ont” but not “es”.

  16. GWEP says:

    In the blog, the answers to 9A and 14A are transposed.

    Re 1D, can anyone provide an example of “es” being French for “are”??? There is no such word.

  17. Simon Harris says:

    Scratching my head to remember the clue, but I’d imagine it would be referring to “tu es”, second-person singular of être, and so translatable as “you are”.

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