Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,338 by Phi

Posted by Simon Harris on April 23rd, 2010

Simon Harris.

I’ll freely admit to finding this a bit of a challenge, and suspect I won’t be the only one. There were a good handful of unfamiliar terms and some quite complex wordplay in places, along with an impressive number of entries of eleven or more letters. There’s no obvious St. George theme that I can see, but if memory serves, I blogged last year’s and missed it completely.

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

Across
1 MOTHBALLING – MOTH + hom. of “bawling”.
7 GAP – [arrangin]G A P[ub].
9 DALLIANCED + ALLIANCE.
10 OTAGO – TAG in OO.
11 QUIET AS THE GRAVE – (E in (QUIT + HASTE*)) + GRAVE.
12 APPLEBY – APPLE + BY.
14 WEARILY – [hous]E in WARILY.
15 RAUCOUS – A in (RU + CO + US).
17 MONOSKI – KIMONOS*. But see NMS’s comment below.
18 PTOLEMAIC SYSTEM – (SPACE-TIME MOSTLY)*. Blimey. This may be &lit, but my cosmology isn’t quite strong enough to work it out for sure!
20 ORIBI – (I + BIRO)<.
21 ITEMISING – (MET< in II) + SING. "The Met" is the familiar name of New York's Metropolitan Opera, who live in this rather splendid building.
23 YUM – Y + UM.
24 ECHINODERMS – (CENSORED HIM)*.
Down
1 MAD – MA[i]D.
2 TULSI – T[that's] U[sed] L[ike] S[esami] I[ndian].
3 BRISTLECONE PINE – BRISTLE + (ONE PIN in CE).
4 LINDSAY – [b]LIND + SAY. A fairly common man’s name North of the border.
5 ICE SHOWCE in IS HOW.
6 GEORGIA ON MY MIND – (GOADING MY E MINOR)*. Here’s a nice old bit of footage of Ray Charles and Willie Nelson performing the song.
7 GRANARIES – GRAN + ARIES.
8 PROSELYTISM – (SPIRE MOSTLY)*.
11 QUADROPHONY – [s]QUAD + R + O’ PHONY.
13 PLUTONIUM – (LUTON in UP<) + I + M[ove].
16 SLAVISHS + LAVISH.
17 MACLEAN – MA + CLEAN. Donald Maclean was one of the Cambridge group. I seem to remember a quite brilliant Inquisitor themed around those chaps, which may well have been one of Phi’s in fact.
19 TRIERR in TIER.
20 GAS – GAS[h].

12 Responses to “Independent 7,338 by Phi”

  1. nmsindy says:

    I too found this v tough. I think in MONOSKI, the recycling means the letters of KIMONOS being moved thro the spaces rather than an anagram (which would be indirect).

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Simon, thanks for the helpful and full blog. Small point – I think ‘I’ needs to be included in the solution to 13dn to give us PLUTONIUM.

    Pleased to finish this one after a number of tough Indy puzzles this week (although for me this certainly wasn’t a gimme). I spotted PTOLEMAIC in 18ac quite early, but then I whinged about some literary clue earlier in the week, so I see where you’re coming from. Dalliance for trifling? Maybe I’m missing something.

    As usual from Phi, an enjoyable solve with pretty much everything clearly clued. Liked 7dn particularly and it was a nice change to see another antelope than the eland making an appearance at 20ac.

  3. Simon Harris says:

    Thanks, gents. It did seem surprising to find an indirect anagram from Phi but I didn’t dig deeper than that.

    I’ve also amended 13dn with your correction, thanks KD. I have to admit I nearly wrote in ELAND for 20ac without reading the rest of the clue!

  4. beermagnet says:

    Know your 5-letter antelopes:
    eland nyala oribi bongo addax saiga sasin goral bubal serow tetel yakin takin konze

    Any more?

  5. Martin H says:

    I’m not familiar with Phi, or indeed with the Independent’s setters generally, but coming across for the second time this week after quick solves in the Guardian, I must look out for him again. I see he’s marked ‘easy’ in this blog’s ratings! This was certainly not that, but very enjoyably challenging, with nothing obscure or unfair. I too wondered about the recycled kimonos; thanks nms for pointing out its mechanics: a technique I haven’t seen before, but I don’t suppose there are many words you could do it with.

  6. walruss says:

    The setters often use the term ‘when cycling’, or something similar, for this manoeuvre.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Beermagnet at no 4. The answer to your question is: no. But thank you for the antelope update; it’s sure to come in handy sometime in the future, although possibly in CrypticLand rather than in the real world. Whether I remember any of your four-legged friends when the time comes is another matter.

    I read MONOSKI as an anagram, but the cycling/recycling suggestions seem more plausible. With a good number of crossing letters, there weren’t many options, so I’ve no complaints about the clue. But it was my last to go in.

  8. Richard Palmer says:

    Enjoyable puzzle as always from Phi.
    Regarding the query about 18 ac, it is certainly not an ad lit as the Ptolemaic system was developed in ancient Egypt and warped spacetime is a twentieth century concept, but it is a lovely anagram. Of course Phi is a professional astronomer so it is right up his street.

  9. nmsindy says:

    Re Martin H’s comment at #5, I think this puzzle is quite a bit harder than Phi usually is – Phi is an Indy regular with a weekly slot.

  10. flashling says:

    Must admit I saw Phi and thought at least I’ll get an easy start with one or two tricky ones. Wrong. hardest from phi in the normal cryptic I think I’ve seen. Just me but gowns->kimonos->monoski (which is not exactly everyday)seems is a bit harsh, again I might mutter how are you supposed to do echinoderms and the tree and proselytism right without access to references. A challenge is one thing bah /rant OK I got all but the tree in the end but still. Was this a deliberately tricky week Eimi?

  11. eimi says:

    Hi flashling

    No, it wasn’t intended to be a particularly tricky week, although Dac moving to Tuesday probably skewed the difficulty a little towards the end and I think Phi has become quite tricky, certainly in terms of vocab, of late. I think next week’s puzzles will be easier, with an easier-than-usual Thursday puzzle, I believe, but it’s hard to judge these things precisely. One man’s meat is another’s Petersham.

  12. flashling says:

    Thanks Eimi, difficult is why I do the Indy but answers so bloody obscure you need to internet access to check is another. So you set Thursday’s then :-) But I’ll agree it’s only hard if you can’t get it.

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