Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7254/Phi

Posted by John on January 15th, 2010


The usual nice Phi, not too hard but one or two tricky ones.  I think the little Nina is just that 10ac refers to 11ac and 26ac refers to 25ac.

1 MO(V AB)LES — my last one in, not a word that was very familiar
10 ABOVE THE WEATHER — again not very familar and I suspect I’m missing some of the point here — ‘In the right place’ seems a bit odd — this expression goes with 11ac
13 DI(AM ANT)E — I put this in very tentatively from the definition, then worked it out: ‘am ant’ for ‘live insect’ is clever
15 L EMMA — in maths a lemma is a preliminary little theorem that is necessary to the proof of the larger, main, one
18 RU({hooliga}N)IN
20 PERIGORD — (porridge)*
23 POIS(S)ON — Simeon Denis
25 VOLCANO — vocal no with the l moved forward
26 UNDER THE VOLCANO — I found this difficult because a) I’d never heard of the novel, and b) I didn’t know the expression, which goes with 25ac
28 IDLENESS — (sidelines minus I)*
1 M(1 A)OWS — a nice little joke about pet cats and their miaows being ‘petty’
2 VIOLA T(1)ON{e}
3 BEECH A M{usical} — Sir Thomas
4 E{1}THER
7 REHAB — (ba(he)r)rev. — not sure about the last four words: I suppose the point is that if a man is in a pub he’s reversing all the good things that rehab has done for him
8 HORSEMAN — (same)* in horn
9 S(W{omen} I{n} M{icroscopic})WEAR
14 NE{w} PEN THE
17 P(R OP)OUND — r for take is in my opinion at the very edge of acceptability for a daily cryptic, but I suppose that if enough people start to use it then it will become OK
19 NO(S)T RUM — ‘not rum’ = ‘normal, apparently’
21 GAL 1 LEE
22 JO(YOU)S{s}
24 IN DIE — not referring to The Independent (which anyway is The Indy) but to the music label
25 V {l}IVID

6 Responses to “Independent 7254/Phi”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, John – a late night solve for you!

    I did get there finally, but it was a struggle, particularly with 10ac, which is hardly a common phrase, and 26ac, which is a novel I’ve never heard of. I suppose if I’d got 11ac and 25ac beforehand it would have made a bit more sense.

    Moles for piers and joss for luck are new to me as well, so it’s pretty obvious why I didn’t whizz through this one …

    But 1d, my last to go in, was delightful and funny, so thanks to Phi for that one in particular.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, John. 1d was my favourite, too. Quite a tough puzzle by Phi standards. Was mystified at first by WEATHER appearing twice, then light dawned, and that helped me to finish the puzzle.

  3. NealH says:

    Less of an epic than yesterday’s but still tough in places. I must admit the “petty” joke passed me by entirely – I just interpreted it as petty in the sense of spiteful, which is equally valid since miaow can mean to make a spiteful remark.

    I thought it was quite brave to put volcano and weather in twice. It certainly helped with getting the longer entries, which I would probably otherwise have struggled with. Lemma was my last entry, which I dimly remembered from my days as a maths undergraduate.

  4. Fyveashe says:

    I rate myself as an average solver and much enjoy the guilty pleasure of visiting Fifteensquared for help with the stickier clues and reading the blogs. On seeing the answers the clues usually fall into place and the light bulb flashes on! However, I am completely stumped by the explanation to 24d – why should ‘not major in cast’ refer to a record label, ie Indy (I understand that ‘cast’ = ‘die’ but the rest is a complete blank) and why ‘r’ = ‘take’ in 17d is a mystery!

  5. nmsindy says:

    I think the ‘cast’ = die is part of the wordplay with ‘not major’ the definition ie an Indie label rather than one of the major record companies. r = recipe (take) from Latin is a crossword usage from way back tho seen less perhaps today.

  6. Nick Corney says:

    ‘Above the weather’ is why observatories are so often put high up mountains. Phi is an astronomer, of course!

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