Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7538 by Eimi

Posted by NealH on December 13th, 2010


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

A fairly gentle Monday morning offering from the crossword editor with some excellent anagrams. 7 caused me problems, mainly because I’d never heard of the second meaning and thought the answer must be chill[i]. I couldn’t see any obvious theme or NINA.

1 Taxi: Tax + i.
6 Icon: I + con(servative).
11 Confidence Trick: (Kind of eccentric)*.
12 Impel: MP in Lei<. Lei is the plural of leu, the Romanian currency.
13 Via Media: I am ed in via.
15 Ground Rules: (Rounds luger)*.
17/3 Pro forma: Prof or ma.
18 Fee: [Cabl]e in FE.
19 Rah Rah skirt: Two rahs + skit around r.
20 Go to seed: Go to see + D.
22 Heave: Hidden in the Avengers.
24 Morning Sickness: (Congress in Minsk)*.
25 Gasp: S[uit] in GAP.
26 Stays: DD.
27 Dray: Yard<.
1 Ticking off: Ticking + off. Ticking was new to me but is a type of cloth used in pillow cases.
2 Xenophobe: (E phone box)*.
4 One over the eight: CD (rowing eights).
5 Michaelmas daisy: (Medics in Himalayas)*.
7 Chili: DD. The second meaning is a North African wind.
8 Nike: Hidden, rev in the Kinks. Victoria was the Roman counterpart of the Greek Goddess, Nike.
9 Rial: Lair<.
10 Atheists: At heists.
14 Dostoevsky: (Voted so)* + Sky.
16 Narcotic: O in N Arctic. I assume O must be an abbrev of only, but I can’t see it in any dictionaries I’ve consulted.
17 Privateer: Prate around IV + ER.
21 Ogres: Hidden in progress.
22 Haka: H[ostilities] + AKA.
23 Smug: Gums<.

16 Responses to “Independent 7538 by Eimi”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Neal.

    Haven’t seen eimi for a bit (must have been staying put under the duvet after the big five-oh) but this was a welcome return to the setter’s chair. A good puzzle, fairly gentle start to the week on the whole, although I struggled with the last three or four, in particular the two Latin terms. Some very clever anagrams, especially CONFIDENCE TRICK; I also liked SMUG and the dig at the Lib Dems in 18ac.

    I agree with you about O for only, but it was never going to stop you getting the solution. Thanks for parsing PRIVATEER, btw – I would never have seen it. I think you need ER on the end though, not just R.

  2. NealH says:

    Good point, I thought we already had an E from prate, but was forgetting that privateer needs two Es.

  3. walruss says:

    Good puzzle for me. ‘Congress in Minsk’ seemed a nice onr to me!

  4. flashling says:

    I wondered about O for only, unusual certainly and didn’t know the Chili wind. Definitely one of Eimi’s easier crosswords, not that it’s a bad thing on a monday morning.

  5. sidey says:

    The revamped [and utterly fab] OED site has the tla OAO which apparently means ‘one and only’.

    A very nice puzzle.

  6. DavidA says:

    There are also the standard abbreviations in timetables MO, FO etc meaning Mondays Only, Fridays Only.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Good spot, sidey, but on that basis would the fla LMAO allow one to clue ‘arse’ as A? I think we should be told.

  8. Stella says:

    From your comments, I guess fla means texting shorthand, in which case I’m totally with K’D@7. David’s explanation @6 seems more acceptable.

    Thanjs for parsing 17d., Neal, I was looking for something to do with ‘patter’ or ‘prattle’.

    for 4d., I had ‘one over the score’, but couldn’t see where the rowing coah fitted in, so changed to the correct answer, which I dont believe I’ve heard – what does it refer to?

  9. NealH says:

    It is a euphemism for having drunk too much.

  10. sidey says:

    One over the eight refers to the entirely reasonable belief that eight pints of beer was normal. The band The Temperance Seven were quite possibly so called because there were nine members.

    And tla is three-letter-acronym, fla doesn’t quite work ;)

  11. eimi says:

    Thanks to Neal for the blog and all for their comments.

    O for only is in Collins, probably in the sense mentioned by DavidA.

    It seems that my Nina has gone unnoticed, and LMAO was my response when, at the Spurs v Inter Champions League game, the Spurs fans began singing the top row of this puzzle.

  12. flashling says:

    @sidey #10 fla will be four letter acronym, I’m more used to etla – extended three letter acronym and even eetla – well you can guess. Eimi, that’s terrible! Taxi For Maicon indeed, well played Sir (Eimi that is!)

  13. dram says:

    Many thanks Neal and Eimi. Much enjoyed, did most of it during my weekly commute (but I must confess this does involve a long flight)

    IV=drip. D’oh! I had even typed a request for an explanation before suddenly it dawned on me.

    Loved the Nina.

  14. Wil Ransome says:

    Nice crossword, and although most of it was easy I had to go to the aids for chili.

    One or two slight criticisms though: the checking at 3ac and 26ac is bad (although the 3ac one gets away with it because it is combined with 17ac); the fact that Gap is all over the place in the UK makes ‘US clothing store’ a bit misleading, although perhaps it’s strictly true; IV for drip seems a bit odd (although perhaps I should look it up) — IV stands for intravenous I thought and so is an adjective and not the same thing as the noun ‘drip’. I was going to grumble about o for only, but if it’s in Collins then OK.

  15. Allan_C says:

    Nice gentle start to the week. What horrors (cruciverbal, not meteorological) are in store for us later?

  16. eimi says:

    To answer Wil’s slight criticisms:

    One he answers himself: of the two underchecked solutions, one is effectively half-checked and the other has only two possible solutions, ethyl and stays, so I don’t think it would have held people up as much as ?a?e?, for example.

    Gap is a US clothing store that has become a multinational – the fact that there’s an M&S in Paris doesn’t stop it being English – and it linked in with pant suit, which is what we would call a trouser suit.

    Chambers gives IV as an abbreviation for ‘intravenous drip’ and anyone who’s watched American medical dramas will have heard the phrase “Hook up an IV”.

    I must admit I didn’t know about the Chili wind, but, once found, it was irresistible.

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