Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7168/Virgilius

Posted by John on October 6th, 2009


Virgilius’s theme is tricky alternatives, as we see in the three different expressions in the across clues.  As always I suspect I’m not telling the whole story.

9 A GREE{n}
12 yellowstonE nationaL parK
13 MINOR — not quite sure about how all this hangs together: OK you can have a minor premise, a club is a minor suit, and a youth is a minor, but it seems a bit odd to indicate ‘minor’ by ‘e.g. clubs’. [Like some premises, e.g. clubs, for youth]
14/22 SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS — s(any call)*d chary (bids)* — this myth
16 NAP.
18/10/29 BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE — Kandahar in ((peac{e} now celebrated)* — this expression
20/11/27 THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA — also = and, play is “The Deep Blue Sea” by Terence Rattigan, deuce is the devil
24 INUIT — I (unit)*
26 TUT{u}
30 turkEY IN Greece
3 DEPLORABLY — (bold player)*
4 VA(1)N
5 PORT L {tra}Y
6 SKYE — (Key’s)*
7 INTERACT — (certain)* t
14 S IT
15 LONGITUDES — long (duties)*
17 PSALTERY — t in (players)*
19 ENS — hidden in Sense and also in Sensibility
21 forEST RANGErs
23 DEEJAY — here the record-player is a DJ
27 DO PE
28 BLEW — “blue”

5 Responses to “Independent 7168/Virgilius”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Hello John,
    No. I don’t think you’ve missed anything.
    I just wanted to note the excellent symmetry of the themed answers, with “between” being central to them all.
    And Kandahar; brilliant.
    13ac. I suppose he had to use the e.g. as clubs are not the only minor suit…

  2. nmsindy says:

    Yes, excellent as always, and impressive to fit so much in the grid without obvious strain. As it happened those long phrases came quite easily without the wordplay once I’d a few letters so this turned out to be quite a quick solve,

  3. Richard Heald says:

    Quick solve for me too, but no less enjoyable for that. The Kandahar one was indeed wonderful (and I can’t believe no-one’s written a clue along the lines of “Caught between rock and a hard place in Afghanistan (8)” yet!). In fact, the casual brilliance of all three long clues (and indeed short ones like ELK) was a joy to behold – why can’t all setters be as good as Virgilius?

  4. nmsindy says:

    I think another v distinguished setter used that KANDAHAR idea in the Indy before, a few years back perhaps.

  5. Ali says:

    Looks like it was Nestor a couple of years back:

    It was the first time I’d seen it used though and, like all above, thought it was fantastic.

    This was a fairly quick solve once the longer answers had gone in, but brilliant stuff as ever from Virgilius.

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