Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7464 by Phi

Posted by flashling on September 17th, 2010


Friday already so it must be Phi and it is. The usual Phi standard with the one exception that I could never have got.
Yes I know, cue the rumblings about the poor education standards of today. :-) No obvious themes or Ninas to me anyway.

5/6 Lady Hamilton – Nelson’s Mistress, LAD + YHA (Youth hostels) + MILTON
8 Antihero – (I another)*
10 Errand – E(mergency) R(oom) + RAND
11 Adhesive Tape – (I have pasted (packag)E)*
13 Labour – LA + (jo)B + OUR
15 Brunei – BI(sexual) about RUNE
16 Freudian Slip – (Is red painful)
20 Webern – As per usual a composer in a Phi Crossword. WEB +(som)E (furthe)R (elaboratio)N
21 Messmate – Just MESS and MATE I guess.
22/23 Treasury Tags – (USA strategy + R(ussia))*

1 Advice – AD + VICE
2 Salome – Well I suppose she did want John the Baptist’s head. AL in SOME (that’s some artist etc)
3 Cinema Organs – (American song)* Rather more a case of used to rather than may I’d have thought.
4 Sturgeon – SON around T + URGE
5 Lonsdale Belt – (Tells a blonde)*
7/12 Nunc Dimittis – Completely flummoxed by this I’m afraid, had to cheat and quite frankly I don’t see how this can be done without knowing the phrase.
Unfamiliar Latin phrases a real bugbear for me. Apparently from the Song of Simeon.
9 Epicureanism – (A1 Menu prices)*
14 Buffeted – BUFFET + DE rev (French “Of”). Not totally convinced myself on this though.
17 Demure – RUM rev in DEE
18 Sampan – SAN(e) around AMP

23 Responses to “Independent 7464 by Phi”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, flashling, for a helpful blog.

    Tougher than usual for a Phi, I thought, but I really enjoyed it. The surfaces for LONSDALE BELT, ADHESIVE TAPE and ANTIHERO were exceptional; I liked the use of ‘some’ to clue ‘a remarkable’ in 2dn (my last to go in); and LADY HAMILTON was one where you got it, then understood it and smiled later.

    NUNC DIMITTIS I managed (being severely lapsed Catholic helped) but I don’t really understand the cryptic nature of the clue – my dictionary gives it as ‘permission to depart’, but how does that relate to the canticle?

    ‘Proper strange’ is a true nod to common usage – my kids will say ‘she was proper mad’ or ‘he was proper miffed’. ‘Proper little madam’ is the best known phrase, I suppose.

    And TREASURY TAGS was completely new to me. I’ve always called them ‘those coloured stringy things with metal bits on the end that you use to keep sheets of paper together’. Much more concise, imho.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks flashling for the blog.
    Didn’t get 2 and 7,12. 2 turned out to be quite a good clue.
    Like yourself, I have doubts about the “fairness” of a clue like 7,12, a cryptic definition with no other wordplay of a Latin phrase (though I’m sure there are others who are familiar with the phrase). I suspected it was Latin from the checked letters and that it had to do with religious service, but that was as far as I got.
    Your comment on 14D: BUFFETED: Yes, “was striking” looks a bit wrong. Would have thought that “was struck” is the correct case for “buffeted”.
    Having said above, though, it was an enjoyable puzzle, thanks to Phi

  3. PeterO says:

    Thanks for the blog, flashling. 7/12D certainly is odd. The clue reads as a cyrptic definition for ‘Ite missa est’, say. Nunc dimittis sounds kind of similar, but is liturgically misplaced.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, flashling.

    Hi K’s D

    I agree with you about the anagrams [including TREASURY TAGS!], which I thought were stunning – as was the wordplay for 7/12, in fact:

    Simeon was a devout Jew who, according to the book of Luke, had been promised by the Holy Ghost that he would not die until he had seen the Saviour. When Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem for the ceremony of consecration of the firstborn son, Simeon was there, and he took Jesus into his arms and said, ‘Lord, now lettest thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word…’

    The Nunc Dimittis is part of Evensong [which often appears in crosswords!].

    You may remember this version, from the Smiley TV series:

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Salve Eileen. I kind of knew that, but I still don’t see how the clue works.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    D’oh! Okay, I see it now; it’s used in an ‘Evensong’, which is a service with a congregation. If that is how it works, possibly not one of Phi’s finest clues. But still a super puzzle.

  7. Eileen says:

    Phew, I’m glad about that – I was just about to try to compose a reply. [I’m really sorry if my earlier comment sounded patronising. :- )

    I still think it’s a really good pun!

  8. PeterO says:

    If I interpret you correctly, in 7/12D the ‘service personnel’ refer to those who attend or celebrate Evensong (or Compline), and ‘discharge’ refers to them hearing/saying/singing Simeon’s request for dismissal. Possible, I suppose, but it seems quite a stretch to me. Perhaps I am asking for more than the clue can provide.

  9. Eileen says:


    Yes, that’s what I meant. I guess this is one of those Marmite clues. :-)

  10. Derrick Knight says:

    Thanks, Eileeen, for sending me to that beautiful rendition. I, too, am lapsed Catholic, but I am grateful for my Jesuit education for many things, not the least being able to get this one.

  11. jmac says:

    Hi Eileen,

    doesn’t the “service personnel” simply refer to servants ,i.e. those “in service”? This makes the clue a much more straight forward c.d.

  12. walruss says:

    Even with Il Papa visiting, I don’t think there can be any excuse for THAT clue!! All a bit High Church at best, really.

  13. scchua says:

    jmac, I’m with you. As per my@2, it’s “a cryptic definition with no other wordplay”. Pardon me, Eileen, with all due respect, methinks you might be reading more into the clue than intended! (insert smiley face here).

  14. Rishi says:

    When I read a Roald Dahl short story titled ‘Nunc Dimittis’, I came to know what it meant.

  15. Prolixic says:

    As a priest, the Nunc Dimittis held no problems for me. Pastorally, it is sometimes used in the ministry to those who are close to death with obvious resonances. Although not present at the time, a priest who was ministering to a friend close to death recounted that my friend, though almost at the point of death, was mouthing the words of the Nunc Dimittis as it was being said.

  16. Eileen says:

    I may regret this, because I had resolved not to say any more but, after scchua’s comment, I feel I have to. I really don’t think I’m reading more into the clue than is there but jmac’s ‘straightforward’ reading has me totally bewildered.

    As I saw it, the surface reading points to dismissal from the armed services, whereas the cryptic meaning is all about a church service. I’m not a Catholic, lapsed or otherwise, nor a High Churchwoman, walruss, just a middle of the road Anglican who still enjoys Evensong on the rare occasions when we still have it. [And thank you, Prolixic, for your contribution.]

    I’m off out now – to church choir practice. :-)

  17. flashling says:

    Slightly surprised at the reaction to 7dn a clever clue but still impossible to solve IMHO without knowing the answer (or cheating as I had to). As Walruss pointed out we do have the Pope here, perhaps this was just a random lucky hit but I do get suspicious of coincidences here. I learnt something today from this, hope I helped a few other confused souls as well.

  18. flashling says:

    Eileen perhaps you should have blogged this :-)

  19. Eileen says:

    No, I don’t think so! :-)

  20. Phi says:

    I was brought up a Methodist and my immediate association with the phrase NUNC DIMITTIS is Geoffrey Burgon’s music for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (it’s going through my head now simply as a result of typing the Latin). My view on these things is that something which has leapt from one context to another for me has probably done so for others, though it’s impossible, in these days when there is less shared culture than most people think, to be sure.

    It’s an unprepossessing set of letters for anagrams or anything much (albeit quite a good selection of ultimate and penultimate letters for crossing words) and I did therefore drift towards a cryptic definition. The pivot I intended you to see was on (armed/religious) service. Even that comes from the Burgon setting (which is in English, and thus offers words about servants departing).

  21. flashling says:

    Well thanks Phi for that! I was brought up a methodist myself now very lapsed Wasn’t taught Latin at my local comp, I understand the difficulty of setting these things and finding something that fits. As someone who sets quizzes,I’ve learnt that if you have to look it up it’s too hard, no one will get it. (well I do look it up to make sure I’m right much the same as the setters here check Chambers etc)

  22. Eileen says:

    Very many thanks for that, Phi. I’m mightily relieved to find I haven’t actually been flogging a dead horse [re armed / religious service] – even to the extent, at comment 4, of directing readers to the Burgon version, rather than any of the many others.

    [I was actually brought up as a Methodist myself.]

    Anyway – many thanks for the puzzle – I really enjoyed iit !

  23. Stella says:

    I am a Catholic, lapsed only in the sense that I no longer go to Mass here in Spain, but was totally taken in by the armed/church services.

    In my defence, Latin stopped being used in church services when I was about five, with the second Vatican Council, and I had never been to a funeral.

    Even as I was filling it in, I thought it was some armed services’ motto, as it was somehow familiar. I now realise this is from my husband’s megalomania.

    As to what I imagined it might mean, well, I know ‘nunc’ is ‘now’, but…

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>

5 + = fourteen