Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,260/Phi

Posted by Ali on January 22nd, 2010


It’s been a good week of puzzles in the Indy and a pretty tough one too. I got on fine with this one as Phi rarely puts a foot wrong with his clueing, but there are one or two where my brain can’t quite piece them together. The fairly obscure words at 12A and 10D also got the better of me.

9 MAKE – I think this MARKET with R and T removed, but seems a bit random if so
11 ITTY-BITTY – B in [-d]ITTY x 2
12 AESIR – Had to check this online, but still none the wiser on the wordplay – “Gods turn up, mostly in reverse order”
16 YUMMY – RUMMY with last of currY replacing R(ecipe)
18 IONIC – 1 + ON IC[-e]
19 CHILDLIKE – Not sure on this. There’s C(old) and then D(aughter), but not sure how we get HILLIKE from ‘little boy’
21 TRUER – RUE in TR(ansaction)
24 OVER – [-c]OVER
25 STRADIVARI – (ARTS)* + DIVA + R[-ossin]I
1 AVAILS – Not sure on this – “College avoiding quibbles about article’s benefits”
3 HERB – Hidden in featHER Bed
4 HISTRIONIC – (THIS)* + R + IONIC (i.e. 18A)
5 PLOY – O in PLY
7 BETRAYAL – BET + R + A + LAY rev.
10 CARYATID – C[-ross] + AT in (DIARY)* – A lovely clue, but I’d never seen the word before
14 KISS CURL – IS on S CUR in KL
17 IDIOT BOX – I’D + 1 + (BOTOX)*
20 ECLAIR – LA in RICE rev.
22 BATH – BAT[-c]H
23 EXIT – EX I.T

17 Responses to “Independent 7,260/Phi”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Ali.

    In 12ac AESIR [new to me] is a Norse god [GODS in the clue?] and is [‘mostly’] a reversal of ARISE.

    19ac is CHIL[D]L + IKE

    1dn is cAVILS ‘college-avoiding quibbles’ around A.

    I thought the link betwween 17 and 10 was very clever. I was lucky enough to know CARYATID – a draped female figure used as a colunn, perhaps most notably in the Erechtheum on the Acroplis in Athens, which is built in the Ionic style, so another nice link to 18ac.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Ali
    I didn’t do this one but can help you out.

    12ac ARISE (turn up) with most of the word reversed
    19ac D (daughter) in CHILL (cold) IKE (little boy)
    1dn A (article) in [c]AVILS (college avoiding quibbles)

  3. Gaufrid says:

    According to Chambers, AESIR is the plural of ‘as’, a Norse god, hence the ‘gods’.

  4. Mick H says:

    I think MARKET is fair enough – it might look random, but in fact every third letter is removed.
    6 down is an absolute beauty: not just a great anagram, but encapsulates the contrast of calming balsam with abrasive (loosely) vinegar. Thinking about that, would it have been better as ‘…both calming and abrasive’?

  5. Eileen says:

    Oops, thanks, Gaufrid – I missed the ‘pl’!

    Apologies, too, for typos in ‘between’ and ‘column’.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Very nice puzzle, not too hard, in the Phi style. Favourite clues, HERB, HISTRIONIC and CARYATID. Took me a while too to see the pattern in MARK but I did eventually.

  7. nmsindy says:

    Sorry, in MAKE.

  8. NealH says:

    Excellent puzzle with the exception of aesir, which I thought was a bit too obscure and had rather a strange clue.

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Ali, you’re right, it has been a tough week in the Indy, but some enjoyable challenges, including this one. Strangely, MAKE was my first to go in – I just took the clue at face value. AESIR was a bit obscure, I agree. But I liked ITTY-BITTY, and some very good anagrams too. I got EXIT for 23dn but I’m still not sure of the wordplay for the first two letters – something techie about programming, no doubt.

  10. nmsindy says:


    I think EX = direct from: IT = computer experts. Definition: last instruction of a subroutine. I am probably in a minority on the site familiar with subroutines and indeed EXIT is usually the last command to end it, but Collins gives it as a general ending of a computer program of which a subroutine would be one example.

  11. Mick H says:

    Yes, I admit that one had me completely baffled. I saw the wordplay eventually, and guessed the definition.

  12. Wil Ransome says:

    Much enjoyed. I though AESIR was a bit rare, then when I tried to fit other words in it seemed that Phi’s hands were tied and there was no alternative. However, he could have had Yemen for yummy, sentinel for betrayal and asset for aesir. But perhaps he wanted to stretch us.

    Ex (see 23dn) seems to have a number of meanings, none of them very satisfactory. Is there a sentence where ‘ex’ could be replaced by ‘direct from’ without changing the sense?

  13. sidey says:

    Wil, it’s a bit passé, but phrases like ex warehouse or ex London were common in commerce and travel.

    Darned good puzzle btw.

  14. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, nms and others on EXIT. The answer was pretty obvious from the crossers and it’s a small niggle in a good puzzle. And we’ll all remember AESIR for when it comes up again in five years’ time, won’t we? Or in my case, probably not.

  15. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Yes, good call, sidey – or indeed ex-works, which is still in common use as an indication of a pricing structure.

  16. anax says:


    Re EX – yes, a fairly common variety being “ex stock” meaning “direct from stock”. Not that I’m a great fan of it. I only became aware of it thanks to a company I worked for a couple of years ago who, in their constant battle to stay fully abreast with the most banal of business jargon, used stupid expressions like “ex stock” instead of “in stock”. Lordy, how I loathed that place. Still, going forward…

  17. nmsindy says:

    ex works was what I thought of when looking at this.

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