Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7341/Virgilius

Posted by John on April 27th, 2010


Virgilius amuses us with variations on the colours pink and blue, as always quite delightfully.

1/3 PINK ELEPHANTS — (the pine planks)* — when one is loaded (i.e. drunk) one sees pink elephants
9 ENTICER — 1 in (centre)* — refers to the sirens of Greek mythology
11 C ORAL — coral pink
12 HEARTSICK — (thick ears)*
14 BERGMAN — Berg “Mann” — referring to Alban Berg and Thomas Mann
17 LASSOER — ass in (role)*
19 OXFORD BLUE — a shade heavier is I suppose a darker shade. At least I think that’s it.
22 CARNATION — it’s a flower, a shade I suppose, and there’s carnation pink — so it’s three definitions. Again I think.
25 AZURE — “as you’re”
26 ROEBUCK — “row” buck
28/29 CAMBRIDGE BLUE — a Cambridge Blue is someone who has a “Blue” at Cambridge, and Cambridge blue is a light shade of blue
1 PIERCE — (recipe)* — I think it’s that if you pierce something slightly you pink it, as in pinking shears — Chambers has eight different entries for pink, and one of them gives pierce
2 NOT(O RIO)US — not us is them — I found this very difficult and have to admit that, doing it online, I gave up (it was the last one) and clicked Reveal
3 EARTHSTAR — (that’s rare)*
4 AmERICAn — (As nmsindy points out, I should have said AmERICan A)
5 HOLST ER — to holster is a verb
6 NIMBI — (IBM in)rev. — I wasn’t happy with this, reckoning that a nimbus was a cloud, but I looked it up and see that it can also be a halo
7 SHOCKING — as in shocking pink
8 SCYLLA — S c (ally)rev. — this sea goddess
14 BROWN RICE — ref Gordon Brown and Tim Rice — this type of clue always seems to me to be a bit weak, as there are so many Gordons and Tims out there, but is it a nod to Gordon Ramsay and some other TV chef?
16 ELECTRIC — as in electric blue
18 OP A QUER{y}
20 FoRmAl ClAsS
21 LEFT I.E.
23 R(HE)UM
24 IR(K)E D

18 Responses to “Independent 7341/Virgilius”

  1. Conrad Cork says:

    14 down. Brown rice is by no means exclusively, or even mainly, Asian food. A minor one, but a quibble all the same.

    Nice to see the dead tree version back where it belongs. Power to the people – and Eimi, natch.

  2. Mick Hodgkin says:

    Nice puzzle – loved the definitions at 1ac and 1dn.
    Re Conrad’s second comment, the trail on p3 says “Due to popular demand Cryptic crossword now on -age 67″, so well done indeed to all who expressed their views on this.

  3. eimi says:

    In my experience newspapers have absolutely no idea how important their crosswords are to many of their readers, so can I add my thanks to those who made their feelings known.

  4. Ian says:

    A fine Virgilius as you say John.

    Cleverly done with the two colours in opposite corners. As Conrad mentions, 1a and 1d both excellent.


  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Cleverly constructed puzzle as always from Virgilius, and a comprehensive blog, thank you John. Got everything except IMAGIST. I’ve chuntered on in the past about gateway clues that are too tricky, leaving you high and dry for much of the rest of the puzzle; but the BLUE and PINK clues fell early on (helped a bit in my case, John, by your reference to them in the rubric showing on the home page …)

    Lots of good clues, but especially liked COBALT and OPAQUER. Struggling to see how ‘at work’ is ‘in’ in 6dn, if someone could oblige. Isn’t it more usually clued as ‘at home’?

  6. Mick Hodgkin says:

    Yes, I’ve only just noticed that – I guessed NOMBI, as IBM ON rev. I suppose you can say to a colleague “are you in tomorrow” meaning “at work”, or “which days are you in next week”, but you could equally substitute “on” in either case. So were it not for the small matter or NOMBI not being a word and NIMBI fitting the definition, my answer might have been valid!

  7. eimi says:

    I was surprised by the definition of ‘in’ too, but found it defined in Chambers thus: “at home or at one’s place of business.”

  8. Gaufrid says:

    K’s D
    I read ‘at work’ = IN from it being the opposite of ‘out’ (on strike).

  9. nmsindy says:

    Great themed puzzle as always from Virgilius, not too difficult.

    One v minor point, I saw 4 down as AmERICan (ie centre of that) A (area).

    I had to see if NOMBI existed, and then probed further.

    Great to see the puzzle back where it should be, quite a few must look for it first thing after getting the paper.

  10. Eileen says:

    I found this rather easier than the usual Virgilius / Brendan but by no means less enjoyable for that.

    I was rather disappointed to see the theme revealed in the preamble on the home page when I went to look at the Guardian blog, before attempting this one. As Kathryn’s Dad says, it was pretty straightforward but 1ac was such a good anagram that teasing it out would have prolonged the enjoyment by a minute or two. It’s strange how some anagrams leap out while others don’t. I thought 12ac was also very well hidden – or maybe it just depends on the way your mind works.

    I liked the surface of 8dn and the play on the different senses of ‘light’ in 19 and 28/29.

  11. Martin H says:

    I seem to be coming here in desperation from the Guardian rather often recently, and it was well worth it again today. 1/3, 25, 3d excellent. Not really happy about -ER to form the comparative of ‘opaque’, but a nice clue if you accept the word. Like MH and nms I had NOMBI – but Gaufrid, your reading of ‘in’……hmmmm, I think I’ll go along with eimi.

  12. John says:

    Thanks nmsindy re 4dn. I was a little unhappy with the apparent use of ‘area’ in a hidden indicator, but of course you’re q

  13. John says:

    Something very odd happened there. Suddenly it went blank on me and a half-message was posted.

    As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted:

    Thanks nmsindy re 4dn. I was a little unhappy with the apparent use of ‘area’ in a hidden indicator, but of course you’re quite right. Blog amended.

  14. pennes says:

    Thought I’d finished this one correctly but had nombi without checking; but I did find a Scalpa on the internet so put that in for 8 dn; the link shows an engraving of a lighthouse on a rocky promonotory on the Isle of Scalpa, Harris. It fitted having “pal” anagrammed to “lpa” but there is a missing A. This is a link in case scalpa actually comes up in a crossword in the future!

  15. Merlyn says:

    I enjoyed this one and completed all except nimbi (no n-mbi in my dictionary at all). Liked the different uses of pink and blue (particularly shocking/electric!), but opaquer is a stretch, and poet for imagist?!

    I have not been able to get to the Indy as much as I could have in the last week, and have not liked the position of the Times/Gruaniad which I had been doing (the Indy folds well into a holdable page). Coming back last week and finding it in the middle of the page I was rather peeved, but happy to see it in its convenient location (took me some time to find it today, as I was looking all through the middle of the paper).

  16. Martin H says:

    Merlyn – Imagism was a movement in early 20th century poetry, the most famous Imagist Ezra Pound.

  17. Martin H says:

    In fact, have we something of an early modernist theme here with Imagism, and Picasso’s Blue and Pink periods?

  18. Merlyn says:

    Martin H] Ah, OK.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

one + 9 =