Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,463 by Scorpion

Posted by Simon Harris on September 16th, 2010

Simon Harris.

It’s Thursday, it’s Scorpion and it’s a theme about which I know very little, so this had me very worried for a while. In the end this was a remarkably quick solve, although it never felt overeasy, and the clues were enjoyable and satisfying to work out.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

7 RAVE – [sa]RA[h's] [lo]VE[ly].
9 STRAIT OF MESSINA – (SISTER’S NOT + MAFIA)*. The narrow strip of water between Sicily and Italy.
10 AMICABLE – A[tlantic] + ((C[oncerned] + AB) in MILE).
12 IMPISH – I’M P[ol]ISH.
14 CAPRI – [trav]ELSI[ck]<.
15 NIECE – N[ourish] + (E in ICE).
16 RACYR.A.C. (“car men”) + [gyps]Y.
20 POSEIDON – POSE + [f]I[nals] + DON.
25 MARSA in MR’S.
26 EFFLUENCE – E[ditor] + (FLU in FENCE).
1 THE ARCHERS – (HEAR + CH) in [blis]TERS.
2 HOT TUB – (T + U[nwind]) in BOTH*.
3 RIFF – (F + FIR)<. The "axeman" here being a guitarist rather than a woodcutter.
4 ARES – AR[i]ES. This took me a while to figure out, but of course the author is “I”.
6 ELEGISE – ELE[ven] + GIS + E.
8 VENUS – VENU[e]S. Williams, of course.
11 EYE UP – (YE + [prod]U[cers]) in E.P.
15 NEPTUNE – (E-NUT + PEN)<.
19 DIANA – ([b]AN[d] + AID)<.
21 SINFUL – S[k]INFUL. The Boltzmann constant (k or kB) is the physical constant relating energy at the particle level with temperature observed at the bulk level. It is the gas constant R divided by the Avogadro constant NA. Thanks to Wikipedia for making that clear, then.
23 NOSY – NO + [thi]S + Y.
24 CAFE – (FA in EC)<. The FA Cup, I guess.

13 Responses to “Independent 7,463 by Scorpion”

  1. jmac says:

    Thanks for the blog Simon. NEPTUNE, MARS, and EFFLUENCE were easy enough to fill in, but I couldn’t parse them. Re MARS,I still don’t see how “damages” changes “chap’s” to “Mr’s”, can you help me with this?
    A good puzzle with the theme proving very helpful. Particularly liked IMPISH and RAVE.
    PS. I think you mean “STRAIT” in 9ac.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Simon.
    Thanks Scorpion for a crossword which requires chipping at – at first look, very little to go on, but gets easier little by little as one progresses, especially after the theme became clear.
    jmac, re 25A (Simon allowing): Definition is MARS (=damages), MR’S = chap’s + A(merican) inside.
    Favourite clue was 16A: short, punchy, and a clever crytic description of the RAC.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Many thanks, Simon. Feeling quite pleased with myself this morning for finishing this one. Once the theme became apparent it helped; like you I’m not particularly knowledgeable about it (I bet Eileen’s purring, though), but a quick glance at a couple of reference books helped.

    There were at least half a dozen clues that I got without the slightest understanding of the wordplay, so thanks for the explanations. There was shedloads of stuff to enjoy: RACY, MARS, THE ARCHERS (don’t you just hate Tony? … what a drip). So I’m in better spirits than I normally am after a tussle with the Thursday crossword. Thank you Scorpion.

    [You have a little typo at 16ac, Simon: it's RACY not RAC]

  4. jmac says:

    Thanks Scchua.

  5. Eileen says:

    Hi Kathryn’s Dad

    Having finally got round to this puzzle ['purring' is not what I was doing at 9.13!], I see what you mean [and nice to get The Archers, too!]

    I thought the cluing of the pairs was quite ingenious and made the process of matching them up not quite so automatic as it might have been.

    Some very good clues: I liked IMPISH, RACY, SINFUL [bit of a theme here!] and the neat surface of 6dn, with ‘consider passing’ as the definition of ELEGISE.

    A very enjoyable puzzle – many thanks, Scorpion.

  6. Eileen says:

    And thanks to Simon for the blog, of course.

  7. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, Simon. I enjoyed this too. The usual very elaborate, precise, clueing from Scorpion. The planets and the clearly linked answers made it a little easier than Scorpion sometimes is as others have commented. Favourites EFFLUENCE, IMPISH, CHORTLE, SINFUL and NOSY. Like Eileen, I liked the definition in ELEGISE. I think k is in general use as a constant in maths, not necessarily referring to any particular one.

  8. Simon Harris says:

    My pleasure – and thanks to commenters for pointing out typos, which I believe are now corrected.

  9. walruss says:

    Easy, harder, easy, hard, so far this week in the Independent, but I have enjoyed all of them. Interesting to see that both tha harder ones this week were given a theme to offer some extra help, for those who spot these things!! Looking forward to Phi tomorrow.

  10. flashling says:

    Odd, I found this strangely easy although the justification for ar(i)es eluded me, despite not being classically trained the planet/gods links were obvious to me. Grid screamed nina after seeing the first 4 at the top T H R A could certainly be the start of something but if there is it’s over my head. Carmen again? Although it’s RAC this time, will this become hackneyed? Should be me v Phi tomorrow unless Eimi has another twist coming.

  11. Paul B says:

    Oooh controversial. The Ximeneans will not be pleased.

  12. Allan_C says:

    Nothing really difficult, having twigged the theme straight away, but I struggled with 3d and 6d till i realised I’d stupidly put ‘Straits of Mesina’ for 9a.
    btw, no-one’s stated the theme; if anyone’s still wondering it’s Roman deities and their Greek equivalents or vice-versa.

  13. Colin Blackburn says:

    I enjoyed this one and was surprised that it was comment 12 before the full theme was mentioned. I initially thought it might be a planet theme as I had VENUS and NEPTUNE. I then found MARS and set about checking light lengths for other planet candidates, unsuccessfully it turned out. I thought that was a nice red herring, deliberate or not.

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