Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7421 by Phi

Posted by nmsindy on July 29th, 2010


I found this a quite easy puzzle from Phi, solving time 16 mins, with 4 answers in the NW corner taking the final 6 mins after I managed the rest in a very quick time indeed for me, 10 mins.

There’s a theme which I did not see until tackling those missing 4 answers, tho it did not help with those as I already had all the thematic answers.    Enjoyed the Phi puzzle as always.

Six colours are located in symmetrical positions in across answers in each row apart from the top and bottom rows with the colours in the central pair of rows being part of a longer answer

*  = anagram

1 LITERACY   My favourite clue today with a great surface reading and definition   T (time) in LIE (story)  RACY (with spirit)

5 STUCCO    STUC(k)  (not quite fixed)  CO(n) (study cut)

9 DUBLINER     Just beaten by 1A as my favourite.   DUB   LINER   referring to tradition of breaking a champagne bottle over a ship at its launch ie naming (dubbing) it

10 ORANGE    First of the colours.   OR (men)  ANGE(r)  endless passion

11 BROWN   Double definition   grilling = cooking

12 IN CAHOOTS    HO (Home Office) in (ACTIONS)*


17 RUB OF THE GREEN    External effects ie getting lucky   green = novice    polish = rub

20 CAFETERIA     ETE  (summer in French – forgive absence of accents) in (AFRICA)*

21 BLACK    L (line) in BACK (defender – from sport)      Definition:  hopeless

22 YELLOW    YELL   OW      Definition:    showing cowardice (adj)

23 STRIKE UP     Definition:  start     S  (sale’s first item ) TRIKE (cycle)  UP (more expensive)

24 RESIST    S (small)  I (island)  in REST (others)     Definition:  be little affected by

25 ADHERENT    HER (girl’s) in A DENT (depression)


1 LADYBIRD      This refers to the wife of Lyndon Johnson, US President in the 1960s.   LAD (son) Y (unknown) BIRD (woman)

2 TABLOID     TAB (indent text)  LOID   (first letters of ‘line of important data’)

3 REIGN   G (Government) in REIN (control)   &lit

4 CHEMIN DE FER     A game like baccarat – also means ‘railway’ in French,    C (college)   HEM IN (crowd)  DEFER (postpone)

6 TORCH SONG   Lugubrious song, fashionable esp in the 1930s    TOR (high point)  CH (church)  SON (boy)  G (disappearinG finally – last letter)

7 CONCORD    CON (study)   COD (fish)  around R (river)

8 ODENSE     Port in Denmark    O (middle letter of fOg)  DENSE (thick)


15 ALBATROSS    ROS(e) (almost all of pink) in (BASALT)*

16 SNAKE-PIT    (TWIN PEAKS)* less W = women      Definition:  state of emotional turmoil

17 RAFFLES     Double definition referring to character Raffles in books by EW Hornung including “The Amateur Cracksman” and the Raffles hotel in Singapore named after Singapore’s founder Sir Stamford Raffles.    Excellent surface reading.

18 ETAGERE     A  piece of furniture with open shelves – hidden in ‘PlantagenET AGE REasonable’

19 SCRYER     A crystal-gazer, new word to me, but easily gettable from the wordpay     CRY (exclamation) in SER  (almost half-serious ie 3 of the 7 letters)

21 BRINE    Refers to King  Cnut (Canute) showing he’d no control over the tide     B (British) R (king = rex) IN  E (earliest of eras- first letter)  &lit

11 Responses to “Independent 7421 by Phi”

  1. Myrvin says:

    Thanks for the blog nmsindy.
    Had Odessa for 8d for a bit, but it couldn’t be.
    I wondered where DUB came from.
    I’ve not seen SNAKE-PIT like this before. Chambers has “circumstances, characterized by disordered emotions and relationships.”
    Only got 18a because it was hidden.
    SCRYER was OK for me. I’ve heard of ‘the briny’ for the sea, but not BRINE.
    Nothing too arduous.

  2. Stella Heath says:

    17a was new to me, but not the verb ‘scry’ (as used in ‘The Charmed Ones’ :), though the definition wouldn’t be quite the same).

    Another two new ones were the card game and the sad song, but they were gettable, and I didn’t know ‘Raffles’ was the name of a hotel – though I do know of a flower named after him: apparently it stinks! :lol:

  3. Scarpia says:

    Thanks nms.
    Another good puzzle from Phi – always a pleasure to solve.
    Didn’t spot the theme.but I rarely do spot these things
    I knew of CHEMIN DE FER,the card game but had never thought of the actual meaning of the words(way of iron),apparently depicting the movement of the shoe as a train moving around the table.
    Strange how ETE has turned up in two or three puzzles recently.Must be the time of year.
    Top clues for me 6 down and the excellent 9 across.

  4. Scarpia says:

    One other thought,if Phi has been moved from his normal Friday slot,are we in for something special tomorrow?

  5. Paul B says:

    Well, Buffalo Bob Smith (b. 1917), American television host (Howdy Doody), died on this day in 1998, so I expect it’ll be something to do with that.

  6. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Or, maybe, there’s a divorce tomorrow …..

    [ :), and please nót :( (because it’s only a joke – which is “sometimes not funny anymore” according to Morrissey (and/or The Smiths), I know)

  7. flashling says:

    Very fast solve except NE bit until I remembered ladybird which I immediately thought I know what that is and I can’t remember the name. Thought the dub/liner clue was a good one spent a while searching for pat in memory banks.

  8. Wil Ransome says:

    President Johnson’s wife was called Lady Bird, so 1dn should have (4,4) rather than (8).

  9. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I think, you’re quite right, Wil.
    There are a lot of ladybirds in the world, but this one’s definitely Lady Bird!

  10. Barbara says:

    This brings to mind one of my favorite limericks:
    Fair Helen of Troy was insane.
    Concussion had addled her brain
    From bashing her skull
    Against a ship’s hull.
    Why waste any decent champagne?

  11. Merlyn says:

    As one who grew up a nautical mile or two from Bosham, where Cnut attempted to show his fawning counsellors that he could NOT hold back the tide, I was somewhat confused by 21D (although I know everyone thinks he succeded, he didn’t).

    I got a few of these, but not enough to get the clour theme.

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