Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,180/Virgilius

Posted by Ali on October 20th, 2009


As sometimes happens with Virgilius’ themed puzzles, I managed to get through this without fully understanding some of the connected answers. Probably me being a dunce, but I don’t quite get the links at 17A.

As always happens with Virgilius’ puzzles though, I’m in awe of the quality of his clueing.

1 AWRY – R in (WAY)*
3 WHERE IT’S AT – Double def. The answers to the clues at 9, 14 and 29 also refer to their relative locations in the grid
9 SECOND ROW – Cha. of SECOND + ROW – This answer is located in the second row of the grid
11 TOTAL – TOT + A + L
13 BIFF – Hidden in joB IF Fomenting
15 NOUN – Double def.
17 SELF-REFERENCE – The def. here is ‘independent testimonial’, but I’m not sure how this links to the other answers?
19 TAKING A CHANCE – Hidden in upseT A KING, CHANCEllor
23 MINT – Double def.
24 UNDO – Even letters of tUrNeD fOe
25 ALIEN – LIE in AN
27 OMEGA – O + GA/ME with each half swapped
29 BOTTOM LINE – Cha. of BOTTOM (behind) + LINE (policy) – This answer is of course on the bottom line of the grid
30 THIS – Hidden in ancienT HIStory
1 ANSWER – I think this is a double def.
2 RACKETS – This definitely is a double def!
5 RAW – Double def.
6 INTO – Hidden in shINTOism
7 SET DOWN – Double def.
14 FIFTH COLUMN – COLUMN supporting FIFTH (20%) – ALso describes the answer’s location
18 ATOM BOMB – A T + (MOB x 2)*
20 KINDEST – K + N in ID EST
21 EPITAPH – Cryptic def.
22 IN CAPS – I guessed this from the checking letters, but can’t quite work it out
26 FARO – FAR (much) + 0 (love)
28 LIL – 1 in LL

9 Responses to “Independent 7,180/Virgilius”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Thanks Ali.
    I’m not 100% sure of a lot of this myself.
    The def. for 17 is, I think “NOT an independent testimonial.
    The answers referred to are somehow describing themselves: A noun is a noun, Francais is French, this is this, etc.
    I think the “In caps” refers to the fact that everyone (I imagine?) fills in the grid with capital letters, an also contains the definition “covered above” (wearing a cap).

  2. IanN14 says:

    …please forgive spelling and punctuation above…
    Also just wanted to say that, like today’s Guardian, this has a (sort of) double theme too.

  3. Mick H says:

    I thought of IN CAPS but didn’t put it in, as it seemed to me unreasonable to assume everyone uses them (I DO OF COURSE!) I liked the ‘WHERE IT’S AT’ answers a lot – SECOND ROW, BOTTOM LINE and FIFTH COLUMN, but was lass keen on 1d and 22d, which didn’t seem to give you a second route to the clue – knowing it’s self-referential leaves you guessing rather.
    Anyway, I messed up by putting NEEDLING at 10d (is ‘I need’ the same as ‘I earn?’ What was I on?) so didn’t get 12ac.

  4. Ali says:

    Glad to see it wasn’t just me then. I always fill my answers IN CAPS too, though I know people who don’t!

    If it’s any consolation Mick, I’d convinced myelf that 10D was either NEED[L]ING or RANK[L]ING before I got the right answer!

    Also, something I forgot to put in the blog, how do we feel about LL being used for 100? Don’t think I’ve ever seen roman numerals used in this way before.

  5. nmsindy says:

    I missed IN CAPS, but I think it’s justified as that’s how solutions appear in the paper. LL might have been a bit of a stretch but I did have a penny-dropping moment when I saw it. Great puzzle as always from the master.

  6. IanN14 says:

    I quite liked LL.
    I don’t think it would have worked had it been the end of the word (eg. ill), but I thought it was clever.
    Libertarianism, but in a good way…

  7. mhl says:

    Excellent puzzle again. I’m really enjoying the Independent crossword at the moment – much more so than the Guardian…

    There were quite an above average number of hidden answers here (four) so I wondered whether “all the others covered above” might be a reference to that – I didn’t get IN CAPS in the end, but it’s a nice answer.

    I know some people who say they find it much easier to see words from crossing letters if they write them out as “_n _a_s” instead of “_N _A_S” – I don’t find it helps much, personally.

  8. Peter says:

    I agree mhl. I find the Independent to be consistently good – you never know what you’re going to get with the Guardian.

  9. Bill says:

    Hopeless at trying to solve clues referring to other clues.3a and 17a foreign language!

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