Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent Saturday Prize Puzzle 7501 by Phi – Saturday 30 October 2010

Posted by duncanshiell on November 6th, 2010


Phi was hard at work in the Independent last Saturday.  He compiled the Inquisitor as well as the Saturday Prize Puzzle.

I found this a slightly easier puzzle than many of Phi’s previous offerings.  There was a strong food and drink theme throughout the clues, with references to meat-free produce, party food, kitchen item, fruit, corporation, drinks venue, restaurants , drinks supplier and pub,  Inevitably, a number of the entries were also food and drink related – VEGEBURGERS, AVOCADO, TEA KETTLE, MANGO, TUM, COCKTAIL BAR, TEA HOUSES, VINTNER and GAUDEAMUS IGITUR – but I can’t see any pattern to their arrangement in the grid.

GAUDEAMUS IGITUR is a student drinking song, featured most famously (in my experience) in The Student Prince and sung by Mario Lanza.  That shows my age, I guess.  I remember a Listener puzzle of a couple of years ago, based on rearranging the grid to form GAUDEAMUS IGITUR, that attracted a sack load of criticism on the grounds that no-one could be expected to know of the phrase.  Literature and classical music are not my strengths, but GAUDEAMUS IGITUR is one title that has always stuck in my mind.

The only clue that took me a long time to parse was the clue to BARGAIN-BASEMENT.  I think I have got it right below.  I noted as I wrote the blog that there were a surprisingly high proportion of clues, 9 out of 28, where a letter or letters had to be excldued from a component of the wordplay.  

As usual from Phi, there were some excellent surfaces and misdirection.  I liked OIL PLATFORM particularly where ‘rig’ was the definition rather than the anagram indicator that it was crying out to be.  Other clues that took my fancy were the ones to INSTRUMENT PANEL, VINTNER and NEURAL NET.

Wordplay Entry
1 COAT (fur) excluding (less) O (nothing) CAT (animal)
2 VEERS (changing course) containing (accepting) (GRUB [food] + EG [for example; say]) reversed  (backed) VEGEBURGERS (meat free produce)
9 CHAPLIN (reference Charlie Chaplin, silent movie star) excluding (having no) PL (place) CHAIN (series)
10 U (university) + (SPRIGHTLY [active] excluding [dismissing] S [first letter of { leader} STUDENTS]) UPRIGHTLY (honourably)
11 Anagram of (manouevres) COUNTER TROUNCE (defeat)
12 A + (VOCATION [call] excluding the second four letters [not half] TION ) + DO (party) AVOCADO (food item)
14 Anagram of (cracking) S (final letter of [last] LIGHTS) and UNLIT and PERMANENT INSTRUMENT PANEL (dashboard)
16 BUSINESS (affairs) + anagram of (tangling) (A LASS + [U {Unionist} + U {Unionist} – a couple of Unionists]) BUSINESS AS USUAL (normal behaviour)
19 TRUSTING (easily misled) excluding (missing) first letter (onset) T RUSTING (decay)
21 EN (printers’ space) + (RAN [raced] contained in [in] TT ([reference Isle of Man Tourist Trophy motor cycle races]) ENTRANT (competitior)
22 TEAK (wooden) + (SETTLE [bench] excluding [not] the first letter [initially] S) TEA KETTLE (kitchen item)
23 MAN (fellow) + GO (energy) MANGO (fruit)
24 PER (for each) + PET (animal) + RATED (assessed) PERPETRATED (did)
25 TM (Trade Mark) containing (used around) U (united) TUM (corporation; belly; stomach)


Wordplay Entry
1 COCK (man) + TAIL (dog; follow) + BAR (exclusion) COCKTAIL BAR (drinks venue)
2 Anagram of (rebuilt) SOUTHSEA and E (last letter of [finally] PROMENADE) TEA HOUSES (restaurants)
3 V (very) + IN (fashionable) + RENT (regular payment) reversed (kept up) VINTNER (drink supplier)
4 Anagram of (possibly) ADIEU GRIM AUGUST GAUDEAMUS IGITUR (let us therefore rejoice – tradiitonal university students’ song)
5 BAR (pub)  + GIN (liquor) + ABASEMENT (demeaning activity) where (BAR + GIN contains [enshrining] the first letter (start of) ABASEMENT BARGAIN-BASEMENT (things go for very little here)
6 Anagram of (debauched) ROGER + UP REGROUP (reform)
7 TEXT (writing) excluding (dismissing) the first letter (foremost) T + RA (artist) EXTRA (additional)
8 SHADY (disreputable) excluding (hiding) AD (poster) SHY (avoiding the limelight)
13 Anagram of (alternative output) FORMAL PILOT OIL PLATFORM (rig)
15 NEU (sounds like [we hear] NEW [not tried before]) + anagram of (inexpertly) LEARNT NEURAL NET (-a computer system modelled on the human brain which learns by trial and error rather than being programmed; artifical intelligence [AI] approach)
17 NAE (no in Scots) containing (accepting) (I [one] + VET [old soldier]) NAIVETE (innocence)
18 JUNTA (leadership group) excluding J (justice) + DEM (Democrat) reversed (turns) UNTAMED (wild)
20 STIR (activity) including (involving) A STAIR (reference a ‘flight’ of stairs)
22 First letters of (heads) of THE OVAL POSSIBLY TOP (spinner)

7 Responses to “Independent Saturday Prize Puzzle 7501 by Phi – Saturday 30 October 2010”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks Duncan for the blog, and Phi for an enjoyable puzzle.

    Guess I’m getting used to Phi’s style that this didn’t seem so difficult as the usual prize puzzle, but this by no means takes credit away from Phi for a neatly constructed puzzle.

    Favourites were 1D COCKTAIL BAR with its surface reading evoking a “no pets allowed” drinking place, 4A GAUDEAMUS IGITUR, familiar to me from “The Student Prince” and Mario Lanza, but never paid attention to the spelling, which had to be teased out from the anagram fodder, and 18D UNTAMED, again another excellent surface reading – of the US President and human rights issues.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Nice puzzle, not too difficult, thanks, Phi, and thanks for the blog, Duncan. I agree with you about BARGAIN BASEMENT.

  3. beermagnet says:

    I know nothing about Mario Lanza, but GAUDEAMUS IGITUR was accessible to me from the Tom Lehrer song – Bright College Days, which also refers to Gin & It (6 parts gin to 1 part Vermouth) so I wonder if Phi had that in mind across the grid. In a similar manner to Duncan this probably shows my age.

  4. Richard says:

    Gaudeamus igitur is familiar to me as one of the German university drinking songs which features in Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture. It sometimes crops up these days in degree day ceremonies.

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Duncan, for the very comprehensive blog. I don’t always get the Indy on Saturday, but picked it up last week and was pleased to find an offering from Phi after he was put on the bench while Anax’s apples took over the Friday 7,500 slot.

    Lovely puzzle; not too hard for a prize, with my favourite clues VEGEBURGERS and COCKTAIL BAR. GAUDEAMUS IGITUR was my last in. I twigged it must be Latin and just remembered it from somewhere when I had all the crossing letters, vaguely also recalling the Xmas carol Gaudete, Gaudete.

    Thanks to Phi.

  6. Lenny says:

    Very easy for me with Gaudeamus Igitur being first in thanks to the Brahms association noted by Richard. Many answers went in on definition without worrying about the wordplay. Hardest was Vegeburger because I did not know how to spell it. I would have gone for veggieburger which I note is the second choice in Chambers. Thanks to Duncan for explaining Bargain-basement.

  7. Allan_C says:

    As for Richard and Lenny, I got Gaudeamus Igitur from the Brahms association. I remember it well as the overture was one of the set works when I did O-Level music (that shows my age!) The complete song with English translation can be found at

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>

two × 7 =