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Independent 7,243 by Virgilius (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 02/01/10)

Posted by Simon Harris on January 7th, 2010

Simon Harris.

A very enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius. For my own part, found this to be one of the easiest Saturday puzzles I can remember, finishing unaided in roughly 20 minutes – although I don’t time these things, so this may be inaccurate as well as vague! The trickier clues were resolved easily enough thanks to the mini-theme of “halves”, based around 13, 15, and 19.

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

Across
8 SEETH – THESE*.
9 BRITANNIA – (IN BAR AIN’T)*.
10 ENTRANCED – ENTRANCE + D.
11 OPERAP in (O + ERA).
12 BARMAN – BAR + MAN. I found “local service” to be nicely misleading.
13 HALF-BUTT – apparently a longer-than-average snooker or billiard cue. 9 and 23 together form BACKSIDE.
15 SEMI-TRANSPARENT – 8 and 28 together form SEE-THROUGH.
19 DEMIJOHN – 7 and 24dn together form LAVATORY.
21 CATTLE – hom. of “CAT’LL”. I can think of Jersey and Guernsey that are both cows and Channel Islands; readers may know of others.
24 TERMS – dd. “Hilary” is the second term of the academic year at Dublin and Oxford Universities.
25 NOISELESS – LIONESSES*.
27 RUSTICATE – (IT’S A TRUE + C)*.
28 ROUGH – [tho]ROUGH[fare]. “Driver” being a golfer in this case.
Down
1 ISLE – hom. of “ISLE”.
2 BESTIR – BEST + I + R.
3 PHEASANTH in PEASANT.
4 WINDLASS – WIND LASS.
5 SAW OFF – dd.
6 INSECURE – (NICE + SURE)*. A pleasingly serendipitous anagram!
7 LAVA – L[iquid] A[fter] V[olcanic] A[ctivity] &lit. Excellent clue.
9 BACK – dd.
12 BASED – AS in BED. An “as” was a Roman copper coin, originally a staggering 1lb in weight.
14 TITLE – dd.
16 MEMORISE – M[ain] E[xpedition] + MO + RISE.
18 AMATEURS – (RU TEAM AS)* &lit. Perhaps my Clue of the Week.
20 JUSTIN – JUST IN. Not having broached its 1,349 pages myself, I did wonder if this was a reference to the Vikram Seth novel “A Suitable Boy“, but alas, the book does not seem to have a character by this name.
22 TIED UP – dd.
23 SIDE – cd. The clue left me wondering a little, but I think it’s just a cd.
24 TORY – R in TOY? I couldn’t quite nail this, but the answer was clear from LAVA-.
26 SOHO – S[et] O[nes] H[eart] O[n].

One Response to “Independent 7,243 by Virgilius (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 02/01/10)”

  1. nmsindy says:

    I found this much harder that you did and failed with 12, 21 across and 2 down. Liked the theme of the halves and the great Virgilius clues as always. In 24 down, I think TOY comes from ‘very little’

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