Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7440 by Phi

Posted by flashling on August 20th, 2010


Finally got the chance to have a lunch break to do the blog, relatively straightforward I thought.

1 Sepulchre – (Cheers up, L)*
6 Rehab – Bar around he reversed
9 Tweet –  Twee plus T(aste), never been on Twitter but a tweet is a comment there.
10 Dwindling – Win in DD  and L in G(ov)
11 Poisoned Chalice – (cocaine polished)*
13 Luton Hoo –
Once a Grand house near Luton but now a hotel. (Lout)* +  N + Hoo(ligan)
14 Skiing – Sing around K(ing) and I
16 Zurich – Z(one) + Rich around U
18 Sunbathe – (But Ashen)*
21 Second in Command – Deputy and O being the second letter of Command. Not overly keen on this type of clue.
23 Scatlatti – Scar + L(ine) + (atit)*
25 Aware –  1/3 of all = A + W + are
26 Nabob –  N/A  + Bob for float. Dives apparently is a synonym for Wealth as indeed Nabob is a rich man.
27 Shirt-Stud – (This rust(e)d)* anagram without final e of moisture


1 Set-up – Tes(t) reversed, so UP
2 Prehistoric – (Priest, choir)*
3 Let Down – Poor service (let) + Put on (don) around W
4 Hedgehog –  H(ard) + Edge + H(ard) + Go reversed.
5 Evince – Eve around In and C(outure)
6 Redback – DER reversed, a dangerous spider
7 Hoi – H(ot) + oi(l)
8 Big League – (Bilge)* + ague
12 Idiot Savant – (Avoids taint)* as in Rain Man
13 Lazy Susan – Z and y in Las + US + an
15 Zucchini – Or courgette as we Brits know it. Last Character Z + UC (university college) + Ch(urch) + in +I(taly)
17 Conflab – Against Flab, a chat
19 Bombast – Fail (Bomb) + in role (as) + T(eam)
20 Hiatus –  Hit us around A (one)
22 Dread – Fourth Grade (D) + Read for book
24 Alb – Hidden in Pap(AL B)lessing, a loose sleeved clerical garment.

14 Responses to “Independent 7440 by Phi”

  1. Handel says:

    Thanks for the blog. Found this mostly easy going, although 6ac and 13dn didn’t go in for a while which slowed things down a bit. Pretty straightforward constructions in retrospect, just couldn’t find the words after a morning of drudgery! Nabob was pretty clear from the SI, but the definition seems a bit obscure to me. A decent puzzle with nothing wrong with it, but this didn’t quite sparkle for me as Phi’s often do.

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    I found most of this puzzle typically Phi: good clues, obligatory composer, not too hard but challenging here and there. The anagram at 11 was particularly good. I got 13ac very quickly because I used to live in Luton and even worked as a doorman at Luton Hoo for a ball. A great place to have such an event. I can see the definition at 14 but as a cross-country skier I much less time going downhill than I do trudging up or staying on the level.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, flashling. One of Phi’s easier puzzles, I thought, but nonetheless the usual sound and varied clueing. Unlike you, I appreciated SECOND IN COMMAND: although it took about 50 milliseconds to solve it, the smile was on my face for a good deal longer than that. It’d be boring if we all liked the same clues though, wouldn’t it?

    In 12dn, the more usual term these days is Savant Syndrome (not a criticism of the clue, btw) and it’s a fascinating but poorly understood condition giving a tantalising insight into how our brains work – for language, art, music and maths in particular.

    Good weekend to everyone.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Usual excellent puzzle from Phi at the easier end of the Indy spectrum. Favourites SEPULCHRE, REHAB, HIATUS. Thought “D-read” was nice too.

  5. scchua says:

    Thanks Flashling.
    Quite a straightforward one to end the week. (I get the crossword only online, and more often than not, there is a glitch which causes the Saturday prize, not even the previous week’s puzzle, not to be posted, even though I’ve pointed it out to the editor. So it is the end of the week for me.)

    “Nabob” was made famous by the then VP of the USA, Spiro Agnew in a phrase of remarkable alliteration: “…nattering nabobs of negativism…”, not to mention others of his viz. “pusillanimous pussyfooters” and “vicars of vacillation” and “the hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.”

    Happy solving to all!

  6. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, flashling. This was a typically excellent Phi puzzle, I thought, and good to remind myself that I still can solve some crosswords after doing very badly at the Pasquale puzzle today :) CONFLAB confuses me – I always thought the word was CONFAB, and that seems to be the only one that Chambers has…

  7. flashling says:

    Thanks all @mhl I always thought it was confab rather than flab @kd well I smiled too when I got it, but I doubt I’d have got it as a stand alone clue. @Colin I expect Phi was quite pleased with that poisoned chalice anagram, never been skiing but I see your point! Not many comments but I expect it’s partly down to everyone complaining about the Grauniad…

  8. nmsindy says:

    The wordplay led v clearly (and amusingly) to CONFLAB so I was confident enough, tho the word was not familiar to me at all. I banished the heretical thought that Phi and/or the editor could have put a non-existent word into the puzzle. It’s in the Oxford Dictionary of English with an indication that it is a 19th century invention. Thanks for the blog, flashling.

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    flashling, don’t take a small number of comments as an indication of the quality of the puzzle or of your blog. Because imho the Indy crosswords are much more consistent than those in Another Place, then once half a dozen people have said how well constructed it was and what their favourite clues were, then ’nuff said and we all go off to do something else, leaving those that want some anonymous help to visit the blog.

    But talking of Another Place today … Chuffing Nora, as they say round here.

  10. Scarpia says:

    Thanks flashling.
    Usual high standard puzzle from Phi.Nice variety of clue types and a few smiles.Like Kathryn’s Dad @3,although easy to solve 21 across made me smile.
    I’m surprised to learn that CONFLAB is not in Chambers,being the form I’m familiar with.
    26 down I got from remembering the Bible story
    and also from Vaughan Williams beautiful “Five Variants on Dives and Lazarus” based on an old folk tune.
    11 across is a brilliant anagram,also liked 6 across and 6 down.

  11. flashling says:

    Well I’ve done two of these now, constructive criticism would be appreciated to help improve the service. Be gentle but all advice welcome.

  12. Alan says:

    Many thanks for the blog. Just one question still bothering me, although as no-one has mentioned it, there must be something really obvious I’m missing! In the clue for 6d (Indication of the German spider?), which part of the clue tells me that “der” should be reversed?

    Thanks again

  13. Allan_C says:

    Alan@12 ‘Back’ is the reversal indicator. Actually this clue had me stumped for quite a while trying to be too clever as I was trying to fit in ‘des’ (German for ‘of the’) rather than ‘der’. btw Redback is in Chambers under ‘red’.

    ‘Clutha’ last week, ‘Redback’ this week. Always look out for the antipodean with Phi!

  14. Alan says:


    Thanks. For some reasson I had decided that indication was “mark” – especially with the crossing a and k. In my haste, I didn’t even notice in the answer that the second part was back. Which makes me realise now that it wasn’t a very clever question! Thanks!

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>

nine − 7 =