Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7359 by Virgilius

Posted by nmsindy on May 18th, 2010


Another excellent puzzle from the master, as usual with a theme underlying it, I refer to this following the clue explanations.     Solving time, 28 mins, of which the last 8 were trying to work out the interlinked answers 4A, 5D, 7D

* = anagram


1 SWEET    WEE in ST (11 is SAINT)

4 GENTLEMAN    GET (win) around N (new) LEMAN (lover)

9 FOB    Initial letters of Festival of Britain

10 ODOUR       DO (function) in OUR (Monarch’s possessive ie from ‘the Royal we’ so ‘my’ becomes ‘our’)

11 SAINT    Sin (first letter) AIN’T = isn’t

12 GEORGE    Double definition,  one of the characters in Jerome K Jerome’s book ‘Three Men in a Boat’ and the automatic pilot in an aircraft.

13 MORALITY    O (nothing) in (MY TRIAL)*

15 ALLOTROPE      ALLOT    ROPE     From chemistry, some elements can exist in more than one form, came out of distant memory when tackling the puzzle.

16 ANGEL   Double definition, financial backer (eg theatre), and a coin of the past

18 DEVIL    LIVED = experienced (reversed)


24 FELONIES     (One’s life)*

25 DRAGON      DRAG   ON

27 KNAVE      knave = jack is an honour card in bridge

28 PAVES    AVE (Hail) – from Latin in first letters of Perfect Storm

29 ENA     9 is FOB    The letters of ENA are one before each of FOB’s letters in the alphabet.

30 SCOUNDREL    (DON CLUES R)*   Surface referring jokingly to two setters, I think, Don Manley and Rufus (of the Guardian)

31 NASTY    8 = NATTY so change central letter,  1 across = SWEET



2 EMBROIL    BRO (little brother) in EMIL.     Not quite sure what Emil = German refers to, maybe a typical German name or perhaps refers to a (German) book from the 1920s, Emil and the Detectives.

3 THOUGHT    THOUGH (however) T (little time)     Definition:   did judge     Excellent surface, my favourite clue today.

4 GOOD    DO (going up) after GO (Japanese board game)

5 NARCOLEPSY      My last answer.   COPS are divided CO and PS in (NEARLY)*.     A medical condition.

6 LA SCALA     (Callas)*   A       Famous opera house in Milan and Maria Callas, famous opera singer

7 MAIMING    M (male) AIMING (training in the sense of ‘taking aim’)     Nicely misleading.

8 NATTY    N (new)  ATTY (abbrev for Attorney)


17 LEGENDARY     Double definition

19 VOLCANO   V  AN in (COOL)*     One to cheer up those tackling the puzzle to pass the time waiting in an airport…

20 LANTERN    LAN(d) = light (vb)  TERN

22 TURNS IN    Double definition

23 INGRESS    (Singer’s)*

24 FAKES    Alternate letters of FrAnKnEsS      Definition:  isn’t genuine

26 EVIL    LIVE (upwards) ref  electricity

Theme:    Throughout the grid words with opposite thematic meanings appear in symmetrical positions eg SWEET, NASTY,  GENTLEMAN, SCOUNDREL, GOOD, EVIL etc etc

19 Responses to “Independent 7359 by Virgilius”

  1. pat says:

    9a ENA from FOB. Never would have occurred to me in a million years. Was thinking of what comes before 9 – which is 8, which sounds like ATE. Reverse ATE and you get ETA, which I’m sure must be a female name somewhere in the world…. Why is it I always have one wrong or unsolved?

  2. IanN14 says:

    Do you think that all the “good” words are above, and “bad” ones below, the central nina “rope” deliberately?

  3. Derrick Knight says:

    An excellent themed grid-fill with beautiful clueing ENA particularly inventive.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, nms, for the blog. Did get there in the end, apart from ENA, where I entered EVA because I couldn’t think of anything else. There are clearly some opposite meanings in the grid, but I don’t understand it all.

    Just to point out to lurkers that DEVIL in 18ac is from DEVIL’S ADVOCATE. I think.

    And 28ac gave me a flashback to Ave Maria, gratia plena, dominus tecum in my (non-abusive, since you ask) Catholic secondary school.

    Pat @ no 1: I share the same feeling a lot of the time when I can’t get one or two, but then think that tomorrow’s another day. (For which there’s probably a Latin expression with which someone more eruditer than what I am will supply us.)

  5. flashling says:

    I did also notice saint george and dragon in there. I doubt that’s just a coincidence.

  6. walruss says:

    Easy but good. They say that is the hallmark of a good compiler!

  7. nmsindy says:

    The GEORGE and DRAGON I’d put down as among the possible symmetrical opposites without being 100% sure of it.

  8. Paul A says:

    Yes, I liked ENA. Got 16ac the wrong way, “AN” for A, + “GEL” as ‘bit of old money’ GEL(d), as in Danegeld. Didn’t know about the coin. The paper version not foldable again though.

  9. NealH says:

    K’s D,

    I’m not sure if Devil does come from Devil’s Advocate. To make legal assistant into Devil’s Advocate and thence somehow into Devil doesn’t work for me. I think it just refers to a menial in an office job – it’s most commonly Printer’s Devil, but can also be used for someone doing a menial job in, say, a solicitor’s office.

    I didn’t really spot the theme. Like flashling, I thought it was something to do with Saint George and the Dragon. I was also a bit stumped by Ena.

  10. Mick Hodgkin says:

    I certainly saw it as ‘good’ in the top half and ‘evil’ in the bottom, in symmetrical pairs. I worked that out when stuck with one clue to go. Three Men in a Boat and the pilot had me stumped, but when I realised it had to be a counterpart to dragon, that did the trick.
    I saw ROPE in the middle, Ian, but why would that divide good and evil?

  11. Wil Ransome says:

    I never saw why allotrope and resitting are opposites of one another. Still don’t

  12. nmsindy says:

    I think it’s only some of the entries, Wil.

  13. IanN14 says:

    Mick @10

    Have you never heard the saying “No’but them as bad uns’ll be found under’t’rope”?*
    We use it in our house all the time, especially when we’re trying to frighten our son.

    *OK, I made that up. Sorry.

    I don’t know why. I just it thought there may be a reason.
    A well-known saying I’ve never heard of? A reference to Leopold & Leow? Gallows?…

  14. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Neal @ no 9: you’re no doubt right, I was just thinking along the lines of advocate being a legal person/lawyer. My brain was a bit frazzled by the time I’d finished. Are we all agreed that it was an incomplete theme from Virgilius that only covered some of the answers, or have we missed something? Not to take away anything from the crossword if it was just a partial theme; it was the usual entertaining stuff.

    Ian, you need to rein in your imagination. Tha’s frightenin’ me, lad, never mind t’young’uns, happen …

  15. BertandJoyce says:

    We agree it’s an incomplete theme but a good, enjoyable puzzle.

    Good succeeding over evil? We think the ‘rope’ is a coincidence but we wouldn’t like to put our necks in it!!

  16. scarpia says:

    Did this on the website in the early hours,29 across being last to go in.Put in Eva, but as the congrats message didn’t appear I knew I was wrong.Tried Ena as it was the only other gir’s name I could think of.Didn’t understand it but thought ‘evanine’ might have been a word.
    It was only this morning whilst preparing chilli for tonight’s meal and listening to LVB(who says men can’t multitask) that the penny dropped.Very clever clue!
    I wonder if the theme is something to do withthe film ‘The Good,The Bad and The Ugly’?
    I seem to remember plenty of hangings in it.

  17. flashling says:

    Being a bit of a computer person I was aware of HAL (2001 a space…) <= IBM in a similar away and got ETA quickly but unless there's something else really clever couldn't see the antonym. Estimated time of arrival / FOB watch tenuous at best. Something is still nagging in my mind about rope and angels from a book I've read though.

  18. Allan_C says:

    I thought this was remarkably easy for a Virgilius. Took a while for the penny to drop on a few clues (e.g. ENA) but I completed the puzzle before I noticed the symmetrical opposites. Regarding 18a, Chambers gives one meaning as “a drudge (esp legal – hence the advocate connotation – or literary)” and also has it as a verb meaning “to perform another person’s drudgery”.

    Paul A: I’m with you about the dead tree version not being foldable. Have you complained to the Indy? I suggest all users of the paper version do so.

  19. Quixote says:

    Enjoyed the joke at my expense ( and indeed the puzzle as a whole)!

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