Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7446/Phi

Posted by John on August 27th, 2010


The usual excellent stuff from Phi. All the clues are neat (those that I can understand, anyway) and the whole thing is very satisfactory.

1 CA BAL{l} — or I suppose c a bal{l} — Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley and Lauderdale, one of the few things I learnt in O level History
4 LIFE CYCLE — (I feel)* around Cy Cl I expect and no doubt that’s the abbreviation in New Zealand, where Phi lives
10 M(1 N)IM{i} — the operatic heroine is Mimi
14 RUM P{arliament} — referring to the Rump Parliament
15 HOUDINI ACT — (H I’D CAUTION)*, not absolutely sure about the anagram indicator here, which seems a bit vague
18 COURAGEOUS — don’t quite get this: it seems that rage is the anger and CS is around the outside and the university repeatedly is the two appearances of U, but where do the Os come from? Surely not ballsy, since that’s the definition. And how does it all hang together?
19 A{t}RIA
21 PADDLE STEAMER — (departed males)*
24 HENNA — hen followed by (a n)rev.
25 CLIPBOARD — 2 defs
1 COCK A TRICE — a fabulous monster, amongst other similar things
2 BAN{{stoc}k}
3 L LO(YD)S{s}
4 LEMON SOLE — (someone’ll)*
5 FED UP — is this 2 defs? One of them the obvious meaning bored=fed up, the other saying that if people are fed up (i.e. given plenty of food) they are excellent? Not sure. If so it seems rather feeble and I suspect I’m missing the obvious. Oh yes, I see from a search through Chambers that it’s (def)rev. and that def is a slang word for excellent, originally in hip-hop culture. Had never heard of it. Phi knows his street language better than I do.
6 CO M POUND — compound interest
7 CANDELABRUM — (and a crumble)* — didn’t really know this word, the more usual candelabra, I see, often being used as a false single. Never knew that. Now I’ll be very pedantic.
8 EMMY — (me)rev. my
12 COME UP PAN CE — hadn’t really thought that to come up was to appear, but it’s given in Chambers
13 STEAM RADIO — (sorta media)* &lit. — an obvious anagram that I still took a while to see
16 D{inner} RUMS TICK
17 LANDMASS — ass after L and M — not sure about the ‘from’ — [def] from [wordplay] is OK but the reverse?
22 LOCKE — “lock”
23 CHUB — “Chubb” — some setters would have had an ellipsis between the two clues 22 and 23, or linked them somehow, but this way is better in my opinion
26 {l}AWN

9 Responses to “Independent 7446/Phi”

  1. anax says:

    Hi John

    4a is a bit tricky to spot but, rather than abbreviations, we have C(anterbur)Y C(ounci)L – i.e. “limits”.
    18a – both universities are OU (Open University).

    This was quite a struggle but a very rewarding one. Highlight for me was the “someone’ll” anagram for 4d, a great discovery by Phi.

  2. anax says:

    Forgot to mention re 17d.

    It offends some; The Times is very strict about “from” – there, you can only get the ANSWER ‘from’ WORDPLAY, and the reason for that is house style consistency. But if you generalise the question and ask if it’s true to say that both ANSWER can come from WORDPLAY and WORDPLAY can be found from ANSWER, then the answer would fundamentally be “Yes”. Granted, if we look hard into semantics and syntax we’ll reach the conclusion that ANSWER from WORDPLAY is the more accurate of the two, but over-emphasising that should be restricted to outside the field of crosswords.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you John. I must have been in Phi’s timezone today, because I got most of this pretty easily then struggled on the last few. Lots of super clues as usual, but I especially liked PADDLE STEAMER.

    I fancy there’s a bit more going on in 28ac, because as well as a charade of DIN and GO, ‘in dog’ when roaming also gives you the same answer, so Phi’s giving us two chances to arrive at the same solution. Or maybe I’ve made that up.

    ‘Def’ for excellent hasn’t reached rural Derbyshire yet, but I’ll keep my ears open.

  4. Colin Blackburn says:

    28ac I don’t think you have K’s D. I saw the anagram first and then the extra wordplay when I was trying to fathom what all those extra words were doing. I don’t have the clue to hand but it almost seemed an &lit with two wordplay sections. I think the entire clue could be read as an extended definition of a DINGO.

    18ac I would also read OU as Open University (I would as I both work for and study with them) but that older place in Oxford also uses the abbreviation OU (I used to work for them but never studied with them).

    I liked CHUB and LOCKE appearing as they did.

  5. flashling says:

    Cheers John, I assumed Oxford university but the point is moot, last in landmass as I kept looking for ?and?aus, still an enjoyable crossword. Re 12d come up does appear/come up quite often… even if I did immediately think about emoc being in there. 15 I saw the anagram indicator to be carried out as in an operation performed on them.

  6. Stella says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for parsing a number of answers I didn’t quite understand. I only came across the Cabal recently, in a crossword dedicated to them, and had completely forgotten about it. Also, 26d had to be ‘awn’, but I couldn’t for the life of me see why – it seems obvious now, d’oh!

    The anagram indicator for 15a is ‘out’ in the phrase ‘carried out with’. Quite a clever clue, once you see it.

    I did, however see the three clues in 28a. and would have pointed them out had K’s D not got there first.

    I haven’t worked for any university, Colin, but have often used OUP’s excellent ELT coursebooks, so for me OU is for Oxford :)

  7. Colin Blackburn says:

    Stella: Chambers gives both esteemed institutions under OU so we are all on safe ground.

  8. Simon Harris says:

    Must admit to having 1 downed this one up. With two checking letters, wrote in REBEL (RE + BEL[t]) for 1ac without reading the clue properly. Never having heard of a COCKATRICE, and “Man” being pretty non-deterministic, I was never going to spot the mistake. LANDMASS just beat me fair and square. Thought DINGO was very clever though.

  9. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, John. I found this a mixture of quite easy clues, and very tricky ones which held me up esp in the SW corner. Favourites DINGO and AWN. Enjoyable puzzle as ever from Phi.

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