Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7536 – Phi

Posted by flashling on December 10th, 2010


Friday with Phi and all’s well. Surprisingly few clues in this, grid suggested nina but I can’t see anything or an obvious theme. The usual mix of nice anagrams and wordplay though.

5 Barnacle Goose – BARE around (LOG CANOES)*
8 Obit – O(r)BIT (paper’s latest)
9 Interfaith – (FATHER IN IT)*
10 Charon – CHAR ON
11 Listener – STE (femail saint rather than the usual st) in LINER
12 Buzz Lightyear – BUZZ + LIGHT + YEAR(n)
15 Lingered – LINGERE(e) + (be)D
17 Ealing – Cockney (h)EALING
19 A deux mains – (MAN SEX AID (yo)U)*
20 Bout – BUT around O
21 Reading Groups – READING (university) + G + R + OUP’S

1 Writer – RITE in W R
2/14 National Treasure – (ENTERTAINS LAURA O)*
3 Agoras – AGO + RAS(h)
4 Nota Bene – TAB + E in NONE
5 Bob The Builder – B + (TROUBLE BEHI(n)D)*
6 Little Gidding – LITTLE + GIDD(y)ING
7 Entrepreneurs – PR in ENTREE + SURE*
13 Ziggurat – GIZ(a) rev +  RA in TUG rev
14 see 2
16 Remain – A in REMIN(d)
18 Labour – Double def

18 Responses to “Independent 7536 – Phi”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, flashling.

    I always appreciate Phi on a Friday, and as you say, all’s well with the world. Can we solve it? YES WE CAN! But unusually with Phi, there were four or five clues where I was thinking ‘how does that work?’ so thanks for your explanations. ZIGGURAT I just about get, although I have to say it’s not one of Phi’s most elegant clues ever; but if you or someone else could explain the STE in LISTENER I’d appreciate it.

    The surface of 19ac was funny, and I also liked CHARON. So thank you, Phi, and congratulations on being the first setter in cruciverbal history to feature TS Eliot and Bob the Builder in the same puzzle.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi K’s D
    From Chambers under ‘Ste’ – “Sainte (French), fem of saint”.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid. Never knew that one, and I couldn’t find it in the SOED, although I see on dusting down my dog-eared Collins that it’s in there.

  4. NealH says:

    This was an excellent puzzle that was just the right level for me to be able to fit into my lunch hour. The surface of 13 down is a bit convoluted, but I found it a nice clue to solve. I thought there was going to be a cartoon theme, but it didn’t extend beyond Bob and Buzz. My favourite clue 9 across – I didn’t spot the anagram until I’d got quite a few letters in it. Ste was new to me – given how invaluable st is, I’m surprised it hasn’t come up more often.

  5. nmsindy says:

    The usual, excellent, precisely clued puzzle from Phi. BUZZ LIGHTYEAR was new to me but I was able to work most of it out from the wordplay. Thanks for the blog, Flashling.

  6. Tokyocolin says:

    Buzz Lightyear I knew, but never heard of Bob the Builder, my last in. We each have different blind spots.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    When setters make reference to ‘popular’ culture, it’s helpful to have children. Without mine, I would probably have found Bob the Builder a bit obscure. For those who still do, here’s the song you need to know:

  8. NealH says:

    I don’t have any children, but had still heard of both animated characters. On the other hand, Little Gidding was unknown to me, the Waste Land being the only Eliot poem I could name.

  9. Phi says:

    The thing about ZIGGURAT was that it was (implausibly enough) the second time I’d had to clue it in a month, and the first one was about as gainly a clue as one can have for ZIGGURAT. The second one was always going to be a step down, and I hope never to see the word again in the list to be clued.

    Other than that this was really an attempt to cram lots of long answers in and add a linked pair with NATIONAL TREASURE, which I don’t think has received an entry in a dictionary yet.

  10. flashling says:

    Thank you Phi for the comment, always nice to see the setter comment. I don’t have any children, must be just my inner child that gave me Buzz/Bob. Had to look up Little Gidding, I knew the name from somewhere but not that it was an Eliot poem. To infinity and beyond!

  11. nmsindy says:

    It might have been buried deep in my memory but I did not really know LITTLE GIDDING but I worked out from the wordplay, with the help of some crossing letters, that it was maybe a possibility. Took a look in the ODQ to see if it existed and that confirmed it, which was pleasing, like the puzzle.

  12. pennes says:

    I can’t quite see how ” mere” = ” bare”, and I don’t understand how popoular entertainer is national treasure. Can anybody help?
    I did know Bob the Builder as his slogan is “yes we can”, which was also the slogan for the Obama presidential campaign!

  13. flashling says:

    @ Pennes merely is roughly barely, wasn’t overly happy with it myself. As to the national treasure, well umm as Phi says it’s not dictionary clued, I think Tyrus did the same last week. Just a phrase for well loved performers but a well known phrase here, to me at least.

  14. Peter says:

    National treasure? Gracie Fields, Vera Lynn, Stephen Fry etc

  15. Peter says:

    Sorry Pennes its a British Thing

  16. Phi says:

    I’d just add that I think the ‘national treasure’ concept is actually Japanese, and was originally applied to leading practitioners of such cluable words as gagaku and bunraku. There was a lot about it a decade or so ago when there was a Japanese festival in London, and the consensus was that the nearest British equivalent at the time was Alan Bennett (and he probably still is).

    ‘Mere’ is actually given under ‘bare’ in Chambers.

    OK, will shut up now…

  17. Allan_C says:

    Great puzzle, Phi, and an enjoyable fairly quick solve. But to be pedantic, Reading is one of the largest urban areas in the UK that does NOT have city status, despite having two universities and hosting a major music festival. Maybe they’ll get it for the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012.

  18. flashling says:

    Allan C I was back in Reading last weekend for a funeral and TVU seems to have reverted to just Reading College, is it no longer a university? For such a huge sprawl as Reading is, it has a tiny town centre. For real ale/cider drinkers I recommend the Hobgoblin, which is quite unlike the rest of the chain, bit dear though. Hope to see you all in Derby.

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