Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7287 by Virgilius

Posted by nmsindy on February 23rd, 2010


You could not ask for much more from a puzzle than is in this one.

I found it quite difficult, solving time, 48 mins.

7/1 is POETS’ CORNER and the name of several poets appear in that corner of the grid.    5/13A is ARTIST QUARTER and several artists’ names appear in that quarter of the grid.  19/27 is WRITER’S BLOCK and the bottom half of the grid contains several names of writers.

* = anagram   < = reversed


7/1   POETS’ CORNER   (So precentor)*    An obvious anagram that, when I saw the answer, made me wonder why I had not seen it sooner.    Where poets (and other writers) are buried in Westminster Abbey

9 Eugene  DELACROIX    French painter “Of the cross” in French = de la croix.     Marked this as one of my favourite clues in the puzzle.

10 END O GAMY     Marrying within the tribe or group.     Wordplay/definition splits at disreputable/practice    disreputable = gamy (US usage originally I think)

11 THIRST    S (son) moves in T-SHIRT

12 Matthew ARNOLD    English poet.     It was obvious from the start that 9 and 12 were both poets and anagrams of each other.    But with the words intersecting, I found it extremely difficult and then thought of ARNOLD and anagrams of it.

14 (Thomas) GRAY   English poet, best known for ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’.    I think what Virgilius may have in mind here is that Thomas Hood is also a poet.

16 Charles READ E   English novelist      I found this quite tricky before seeing ‘enjoyed books’ = ‘read’

18  C.P. SNOW     English novelist.     Three  parts to this – spots on TV, the novelist, and N in SOW (broadcast).    Wrote ‘Corridors of Power’ which is as close as Virgilius comes to politics in this puzzle…

19 WRITER’S BLOCK    (bowler’s trick)*    Marked this down as another super clue with great misleading context of cricket and punning on ‘play’.

22 B R ONTE    (tone)*     One of the easier ones,  Anne, Charlotte and Emily, C19 greats.

24 Robert GRAVES    English writer.     Cryptic definition.

25 Richard  Brinsley SHERIDAN     Irish writer     Toyed with Rattigan here for ages.    Think the general may be from the US Civil War.

26 Ernest HEMINGWAY    US writer and Nobel Prize winner  (Why enigma)*


2 ETHOLOGY     Theology with the E moved so v similar to 11 across in structure.

3 Sir Peter L ELY    British painter.      This was my first answer after failing with all the acrosses on first run through.

4 MAN TRA    art<

5 ARTIST  (I start)*   QUARTER   (25-cent piece in US)

6 Camille PISSARRO    French impressionist artist   r in (Paris so)*

9 Walter LANDOR     Guessed this as a possibility after finding ARNOLD, and confirmed he’s an English poet, who I must admit I’d not heard of.

13 QUADS    Double definition, quadruplets and quadrangles

15 REWORDED    (Order we’d)*

17 EMBLEM      Hidden  (heraldic device)


20 IN VA(1)N     Another clue I marked as excellent     where leaders are = in van

21 E N  (final letters)  SIGN


25 George Bernand S  HAW

19 Responses to “Independent 7287 by Virgilius”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Absolutely right nms.
    Just excellent.
    I especially liked the clues where the artist/writer was not alluded to (eg.24ac. and 25d.) but maybe that’s just me.
    I was also toying with the idea that Man Ray and Tracey Emin were also in the artist quarter (they weren’t quite) but (Damien) Hirst certainly was…

  2. Peter says:

    Brilliant Virgilius (as ever)

  3. jetdoc says:

    Lovely puzzle, as a;ways from Virgilius. I got stuck on ARNOLD/LANDOR, as I thought 12a was going to be BROOKE and couldn’t get it out of my mind. I had heard of Walter Savage Landor, but he wasn’t listed among the poets in Chambers Crossword Dictionary.

  4. jetdoc says:

    I meant ‘always’, of course.

  5. Ian says:

    Classic Virgilius. An absolute stunner.

  6. jp says:

    Excellent puzzle. In 14ac, if not Hood, then presumably not also Stearns Eliot

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, nms. A great puzzle; didn’t get the theme (although I was looking for one this time) till quite late on, but this is so cleverly constructed. ARNOLD and LANDOR just about the last ones to go in, but that’s the way it was meant to be, I guess.

    Took me a lot longer than 48 minutes, though all of them enjoyable ones.

  8. Richard says:

    Excellent puzzle, as ever, from Virgilius, but I don’t think we’ve got to the bottom of things yet as far as 14 across is concerned. Given that the “r” and “y” in “Gray” are checked there doesn’t appear to be any need to mention “Hood” in the clue if the point is simply to say “it’s not Thomas Hood”. As Brian Greer is such a consummate setter I suspect he may have had something else in mind, and, if so, I’d like to know what it was.

  9. Quixote says:

    A classical Virgilius thematic from my old friend (without the politics mercifully). I tend to whizz through these once I’ve spotted the theme(s), so I’m slightly surprised by NMH’s relatively slow time (his puzzle yesterday was a bit slower for me, and by the way I’m not keen on ‘take’ as a container indicator, Niall!). However, I was nicely held up by ENDOGAMY and I still don’t understand GRAY

  10. Mick H says:

    And there was me thinking 18ac was a reference to our Jon (a name in broadcasting)!
    Great stuff, and I don’t think I would have got the northwest corner without the theme.

  11. Derrick Knight says:

    Lovely puzzle. Congratulations on getting all the themed entries in. Richard is surely right about GRAY

  12. Derrick Knight says:

    I pressed submit too soon. It is because Virgilius is such a consummate setter that he made it clear.

  13. Uncle Yap says:

    Bravo! Virgilius. Bravo!

    Fantastic theme and so cultured (better than eating yoghurt :-)

    24A “no lack of body” for graves really got me rolling on the floor

  14. Colin Blackburn says:

    Great puzzle but I felt it was let down by the ARNOLD/LANDOR clues. Had they not been intersecting I might have felt differently but as I failed to guess either I missed both.

  15. Moose says:

    Way out of my league! Another setter to avoid!

  16. Moose says:

    More like a quiz which I sadly don’t have the answers to!

  17. Moose says:

    P.P.S Delighted to have finished both prize crosswords over weekend! All is not lost!

  18. Daffie says:

    Nobody answered the Gray question! I’m sure somebody can explain the clue…

  19. Teresa says:

    Can anyone explain, please, the function of the words “raised together” in the clue for 13d?

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