Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,482 by Phi

Posted by Simon Harris on October 8th, 2010

Simon Harris.

Another excellent puzzle from Phi. I seemed to get through this fairly swiftly, despite a few unfamiliar terms. One or two in the SW corner held me up a little though.

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

Across
1 SCRIMPING – CRIMP in SING.
6 FICHU – [scar]F I CHU[cked]. New to me, but eminently gettable.
9 APARTMENT – PART MEN in [fl]AT.
10 BLACK – L in BACK.
11 GHOSTWRITTEN – (WORTH TESTING)*.
14 LORDLINESS – LINES in LORDS.
16 GRIN – GRIN[d].
18 ALPS – L in SPA<.
19 INFECTIOUS – (COITUS FINE)*.
21 ANCIEN REGIME – (A CRIME ENGINE)*.
25 CLOUD – C + LOUD.
26 FREESTYLE – STY in REEL in Fe.
27 ATLAS – AT LAS[t].
28 TONBRIDGE – TON + BRIDGE.
Down
1 SWAN – SWA[i]N.
2 ROAM – 0 in RAM.
3 MITCHELL – ITCH in (ME + L + L).
4 IDEAS – I’D + EAS[ily].
5 GO TO WASTE – dd., the former slightly cryptic.
6 FABRIC – FAB + RIC[h].
7 CHATTERBOX – C + HATTER + BOX.
8 UNKINDNESS – SKINNED* in SUN*. Well I never, the collective term for ravens is an “unkindness” thereof.
12 ALLA MARCIA – (CALL MARIA)* + A[pril].
13 PREP SCHOOL – CHOPPERS* + OL[d].
15 NON-PROFIT – PROF in NO NIT.
17 ATOMISER – ([haz]E + OR A MIST)*.
20 GEODES – OD[d] in GEES.
22 GREEN – RE in GEN.
23 BYRD -B[rilliant]Y R[ecorde]D. Very clever clue, I thought.
24 HERE – HER E.

12 Responses to “Independent 7,482 by Phi”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, Simon, and Phi for the puzzle. Good to see the principle of easy wordplay for the unfamiliar word applied, about average difficulty for Phi. Favourite clue, ATOMISER. I see PEACE in there, not sure if that is some theme or just coincidence.

  2. Lenny says:

    For once, I spotted the nina before I finished. The author is David Mitchell and other answers refer to his novels: Ghostwritten, Black Swan Green and Cloud Atlas. I suppose it would have been to much to expect Phi to work “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet” into the grid.

  3. Derrick Knight says:

    Phi is always generous with his anagrams which read beautifully, otherwise I’d never have got 12 down.

  4. scchua says:

    Thanks for the blog, Simon and Phi for another satisphiing (beg your pardon if it’s been used before or – groan – even if it’s not been used before) crossword.

    I thought this was easier than the average Phi.

    My favourites were 8D UNKINDNESS a collective noun that is seldom heard, like a “murder of crows”, which was used in another recent crossword; 19A INFECTIOUS with its astonishing association of 4D; & 25A CLOUD with its elegant and concise clue – a clue doesn’t have to be elaborate to be fine.

    Last to go in was 20D GEODES, for which clue the word “…. peculiar ….” seems superfluous?

  5. Colin Blackburn says:

    In 20d peculiar = ODD.

    I saw CLOUD ATLAS and thought, that’s a coincidence. Once I had MITCHELL I realised it wasn’t. If the grid had been kinder then maybe DREAM could have been at number 9?

    Excellent all round.

  6. scchua says:

    I see. I missed it because I read it as “a lot” = OD or overdose.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Many thanks, Simon.

    First Phi I haven’t managed to finish or nearly finish for a long time. The electricity’s been off in rural Derbyshire for the last eight hours and only just reappeared, but I tried to crack the puzzle online earlier this morning. SW corner did for me: ALLA MARCIA is a perfectly fair anagram, as Derrick says, but unless you know it, then you’ll probably need all the crossing letters, and I couldn’t get enough of them to tease it out.

    I will put my hand up in public and say I’d never heard of the author. I had her down as the one trick pony Margaret Mitchell of Gone with the Wind fame (which, to be fair, is a pretty good trick if you’re only going to do one).

    I did nominate eimi the other week for a MONA (most obscure nina award), but this one is also a contender. To be fair, the theme didn’t get in the way of a good crossword, though, and I’m sure setters like to stretch themselves sometimes with fitting some clues around a theme that interests them.

    A good weekend to all.

  8. Phi says:

    Well, this one was intended to be my prediction for the Booker winner – Mitchell, among current novelists, does strike me as far and away the most imaginative. Even if de Zoet isn’t up there with Cloud Atlas (the most entrancing novel of the last decade, if you ask me), it’s still a vastly entertaining read, and, as one of its themes is translation, there’s a good few linguistic jokes that crossworders should relish.

    Sadly it looks like you’re going to get Peter Carey again, for reasons I cannot see, but at least the jury wasn’t taken in by the baffling praise for Ian McEwan’s truly dreadful ‘Solar’.

  9. Richard says:

    Although the Nina passed me by completely, I found this quite straightforward (and a welcome relief from yesterday) and a lot of fun, and also have some time left over for today’s other puzzles!

  10. flashling says:

    Pleasant gentle run after yesterday (still having nightmares). Didn’t see what user had to do in the last clue and had to guess at alla marcia although crossing letters meant it couldn’t really be anything else. Nina straight over my head even though Phi hinted about it to me after a previous blog. Nina or just theme

  11. Simon Harris says:

    Hi flashling, I was tempted to raise the same question when somebody mentioned Ninas earlier on. Would it actually be the correct term to use here? And while we’re at it, when is a theme a ghost theme?

  12. nmsindy says:

    I’m open to correction on this, Simon, but I think a ghost theme is one that solvers find hard to see.

    I think a Nina is more where there is a hidden message (which is not needed to solve the puzzle). Knowing the theme in this particular puzzle was not necessary either. It was totally unfamiliar to me but that did not hold up solving. When it’s all in clued answers like here I think that’s not quite the same as a Nina so it’s more a theme. But again I’m happy to be corrected if my understanding is wrong.

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=""> <strike> <strong>


eight × 2 =