Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7383 by Virgilius

Posted by nmsindy on June 15th, 2010


Superb themed fun puzzle from Virgilius with some really clever clues.   All the acrosses are pairs in one form or another.     Solving time, 20 mins.

* = anagram

1 BOO-BOO      Boo twice

4 CORN WALL  Corn has ears and “walls have ears”!

9 DESERT RAT   British WWII soldier in North Africa

11 Alfred NOYES   NO YES

12 MERCHANTABLE    Merchant Seaman and Able Seaman!    Marketable ie selling like hot cakes

16 EPACTS   EP (Epistles) ACTS (Book of Acts), both from New Testament (NT)


19 SET POINT     Definition refers to tennis, a point which if won by the player leading will win the set.

20 PICNIC   pic rhymes with nic     child’s play = easy, like a picnic

22 HARRISON FORD     Two names of former Presidents of the US – there were two named Harrison.     The actor Harrison Ford.   nmsindy is v weak on films so looked at the Internet Movie Data Base, this suggests that the reference may be to HF playing a President James Marshall in a film called “Air Force One” but v happy to be advised otherwise.

26 CONDO    CON DO    US term, short for CONDOMINIUM, an apartment owned by the occupier, I think.

27 NURSELING     NURSE LING (two names of fish)   A little one = nurseling (child)

28 RINGSIDE    RING SIDE    (Two groups pursuing goals together!)   Really good, this

30 JOB LOT      Both are Old Testament characters.    Definition of a miscellaneous collection of items sold together.


1 BED (plot) I’M          Definition:  to increase gloom

2 OBSERVANTS    O (old) and B (bishops) in SERVANTS (retainers).     A Franciscan friar of stricter rule, unusual word, but quite easy to work out from the wordplay.

3 OAR    A (area) in OR (soldiers – other ranks)   oar = row (vb)

5 OUTLAWRY     (LOUT)*   AWRY (crooked)

6 NON-ELECTION    (Client no-one)*    Glad we were given a fairly obvious anagram for this.   I think what is in mind is where an election takes place but is not regarded as fair or is otherwise flawed it might be dubbed a ‘non-election’ ie a political failure.

7 ARYL    Radical from chemistry – hidden in ‘revolutionARY Life’

8 LAST    Great double definition and surface

10 RANK    Double definition, the second by example, ‘general’ is a (military) rank

13 HOT POTATOES   (TO TO TO SHAPE)*   Another v clever one

14 SPONSORIAL    (prison als0)*

15 OTIC     Relating to the ear (organ).    Alternate (even) letters of lOsT pIeCe

16 EASY    Easy as pie, or like a piece of cake

18 UNIRONED     Seamless join at ‘press/association’, another very good clue   R (right) in UNION (association)  ED (editor)    Definition, needing press

21 TSAR     ST (raised)  ie reversed referring to St Peter (example of a saint)  A  R (monarch = king)

The whole clue defines TSAR in a &lit way, referring to Peter the Great of Russia

23 DIG (appreciate) IT

24 SCAR     Oscar award (from films) less head (first letter)

25 ANON       Similar structure   CANON (rule) less C

26 EGO     Excellent    Middle letter of FrEud work (GO) & lit

10 Responses to “Independent 7383 by Virgilius”

  1. Derrick Knight says:

    Agree, nmsindy. And you are right about Harrison Ford.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, nms – most enjoyable and entertaining crossword from Virgilius today, with a neat theme and some very clever clueing.

  3. NealH says:

    I found this somewhat hard going and struggled to get into the across clues. I found things like 28 and 19 a bit strange. I’m still not quite sure why a ring would be pursuing a goal, although I can see that a side would be if it meant a football side. I probably over-complicated some of the clues – for example, I was convinced that 9 must be something to do with army ants. I hadn’t heard of an epact and don’t know much about the bible, so 16 was a bit of a struggle.

  4. JP says:

    Some very clever stuff but in 2 down doesn’t the wording produce ‘bimed’? ‘I am’ in ‘bed’? Or is there a crossword meaning of ‘in’ that is after, behind or under?

  5. flashling says:

    A ring of conspiritors pursue a goal, struggled most with the short clues today. Guessed epacts but it’s not a word in my regular vocabulary.

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Hi JP
    In 2dn, ‘in’ is simply a link word, a device regularly used in puzzles. The clue needs to be read as BED I’M [can be seen] in BEDIM.

  7. Wil Ransome says:

    Hi, nms. My reading of NON-ELECTION was simply that if someone stands for election and fails then it’s (in a sense) a non-election.

  8. Mick H says:

    A fantastically inventive puzzle. My favourite of the acrosses was Cornwall. Also love the +lit clue for EGO.

  9. flashling says:

    Re 4ac there’s a place in Kent called Headcorn, although the Celtic connection wouldn’t obviously work. Did slow me down in the crossword as the train was going there…

  10. Allan_C says:

    Enjoyable but not quite a 20a for me, mainly because all I could think of for 15d was ‘stop’ (as in organ) although it didn’t quite fit the wordplay. So then I was trying to find _i_n_p for a children’s game or something. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all.

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