Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7204/Virgilius

Posted by John on November 17th, 2009


U.K. Prime Ministers: I think there are ten of them (Major, Eden, Canning, Aberdeen, Wilson, Derby, Melbourne, Brown, Heath, Grey), which explains 17dn. We’ve become used to Virgilius cleverly fitting them in and avoiding strange words, although I’d never heard of 20ac and only got it from the anagram.

1 A TRIA{l}
4 DEMERARA — (made rare)*
9 TRI(HE’D)AL — three-faced
10 MAJOR — 2 defs
16 EDEN — CD referring to the Garden of Eden
19 N OR M — the two central characters of the alphabet are M and N
20 EUGENE ARAM — (agree a menu)* — well there you are
23 BO(L)SH I.E.
25 BRASS — 2 defs
26 LOOK SMART — again 2 defs
27 LEANED ON — yet again 2 defs
28 ETHAN — I think it’s {m}ethan{e}, but ‘named’ seems a bit odd — perhaps it’s just to make the surface a bit better
1 AFTERNOON — (a front one)* — nice misdirection with PM, when the puzzle is about PMs
2 RUIN {ma}G
3 ABERDEEN — (bare)* (need)rev.
4 DERBY — 2 defs
5 MELBOURNE — (one rumble)*
6 RUMMER — 2 defs
7 RE JOIN(D{oorway})ER
8 GREY — “Gray”
15 SQUIGGLED — (g (leg)*) in squid
17 NUMBER TEN — refers to the fact that there are ten inhabitants of Number Ten in the puzzle
18 DEC(LASS)E{mber}
21 WILSON — (slow in)*
22 CUB A — a cub is a baby bear, so Ursa Minor
23 BROWN — 2 defs, I think one of them referring to Peter Brown

7 Responses to “Independent 7204/Virgilius”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Thanks John.
    This one seems to be a companion piece to his (Brendan’s) recent American presidents one in the Guardian.
    Just one thing…
    I think the Rugby hero is more likely to be this Brown.

  2. IanN14 says:

    Sorry, that didn’t seem to work.
    I meant this one…

  3. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, John. Great stuff yet again from Virgilus. Is there a published collection of Virgilus/Brendan’s crosswords?

    I also had to guess EUGENE ARAM from the crossing letters and fodder. I think I’d only previously heard of Bulwer-Lytton in the context of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. (The “lyttony” of winners has some wonderful examples….)

  4. nmsindy says:

    Yes, another great themed one from Virgilius. Counting the PMs and finding I still had two to go helped me with the tricky SE corner. Re query in 3 above, I do not think there is such a collection. Re the pseudonyms quoted, I think copyright to those puzzles would be held by two different newspapers.

  5. NealH says:

    26 across did for me here. I put “look sharp”, which seems (and still seems) a perfectly reasonable answer. It’s actually more familiar to me than “look smart”. Thereafter, I had no chance of getting 17 down, although I should have spotted the PM theme from Major and the rest.

  6. Mike Laws says:

    I confidently put “look sharp” in, but since N_M_E_ couldn’t realistically be anything other than NUMBER, and nothing P_N made sense, the P had to be wrong. It was my fault as a solver, not Virgilius’s.

  7. ColinS says:

    Re 23D, I think it refers to Tom Brown’s Schooldays, set at Rugby School, hence the capital R.

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