Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7302/Phi

Posted by John on March 12th, 2010


An unusually large number of words that I hadn’t really heard of in the usual nice Phi offering. The pairs of four-letter answers at top R and bottom L suggest something, but I can’t see anything.

1 HARPOONS — Harpo (son)*
5 SCOTCH — 2 defs
9 NO {{Chamber}s}TATION
10 BOO KI{t}E — a kite is a fraudulent cheque, although Chambers only seems to give it as an informal verb
12 MUSICAL(SAW)S — had never heard of them, but here we are
17 SUGAR-COAT — (cougar)* in Sat
18 WA(1)S T(L)INE
19 DIVER{t}
20 CHAPEL ROYAL — (all preachy)* about 0
24 TRU{e} ANT
25 THE MAGUS — (he must)* about a g
26 MINUET — minute with the last two letters swapped
27 E THE(L)RE ‘D
1 H AND M ({sal}E) DOWN
2 ROT(1)S SERIE{s}
3 OPTIC — topic with the t moved
4 NEOCLASSICAL — (once Callas is)*
7/8 TAKE HE{w}ED
11 LANGUE DE CHAT — (lunch tea aged)* — had never heard of this biscuit, but here’s how to make them
16 {p}RET(1 C)ENCE
21 bordeR AM I Exasperated — hidden, this less than common plant
22/23 STEM TURN — (tum)* in stern — not being a skier or much interested in it I hadn’t heard of this

12 Responses to “Independent 7302/Phi”

  1. NealH says:

    I found this very difficult, especially the left side. Like you, I know next to nothing about skiing (my one attempt at it was an abysmal failure), so the bottom-left corner proved really tough for me. Getting musical saws was the crucial thing for me – one of those clues which are actually quite easy, but the answer seems so unlikely.

    Having a shop that does specialist musical saws almost seems to defeat the object of using a household object like a saw as a musical instrument.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Yep, a tough puzzle which I had to give up on with about half a dozen left. Didn’t help myself with the skiing term by reading the clue as ‘turn’ and not ‘tum’. Trip to opticians coming soon.

    Thanks for blogging, John.

  3. pat says:

    I’m not happy with the ski manoeuvre. TURN can’t be in both clue and answer like this – it goes against all crossword principles.

  4. Peter says:

    Pat – it’s TUM, not TURN. I misread it first time round too.

  5. NealH says:

    Turn isn’t even in the clue. As John said, it’s tum (which is anagrammed in stern).

  6. Derrick Knight says:

    I specs lots of us had a visual problem with 22/23. Tum tee tum

  7. Matthew says:

    Seven clues involving unfinished/incomplete words? Always nice to be reminded that my week wasn’t as productive as it should have been. (Thanks, John, for explaining “Chambers Station” for an American; one of these days I should just print out a Tube map and tack it to the wall.)

    NealH: Special-made musical saws are, indeed, kind of like $500 cigar-box guitars, but there is a difference: they’re longer (more notes available to play) and thinner (much less tiring keeping the S-curve in the blade). I prefer toying around on the hardware-store model, teeth and all. Any music-making that carries with it the possibility of bloodletting is OK by me.

  8. Ali says:

    I found this the toughest puzzle of the week, eventually admitting defeat after an hour with around 6 unfinished. Did myself no favours thinking that 5a was SQUASH! Nice puzzle though.

  9. aferick says:

    Don’t be ridiculous. 10ac and 7/8d are absurd

  10. Colin Saunders says:

    Far from being absurd, I thought 10A and 7/8D the best in the puzzle.

  11. nmsindy says:

    I found this much harder than Phi usually is, with the double answers in SW and NE corners particularly difficult but very satisfying when solved – I too had tum and turn doubts once or twice so I’d say there’s nothing wrong with anyone’s eyesight – may have been the way it was printed on the day.

    Challenging and enjoyable puzzle.

  12. Moose says:

    Found top right and bottom left difficult.Ski clue beyond me.Had musical bars as never heard of musical saws.Never heard of 11d.Got anagrams.Did a lot of clues without analysis as they fitted! 7/8 would never have got or 10a.Pleased with the rest though

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