Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7565/Phi

Posted by John on January 14th, 2011


As always, a well-constructed and satisfactory crossword from Phi. The only clue that defeats me, at any rate from the parsing point of view, is 1ac. Probably utterly straightforward. Can’t see a Nina, but that means little.

1 BUSYBODY — not quite sure here: I suppose a busy body implies no end of lust, but it looks as if there’s some wordplay, usyb in body, but I can’t see how ‘usyb’ gives ‘no end of lust'; and ‘us’ isn’t ‘no end of lust’, because it would be ‘no ends of lust’
5 STYMIE — (I’m)rev. in stye
9 OCCULTLY — (cult L)in (coy)* — some people don’t like L for student (= learner driver) — seems fine to me
10 W{icked} IC({wee}K)ED
15 BRIE F{ad}
18 OLIGARCHY — (go cry hail)*
19 L(APE)L
20 DON(PA’S QUAL{m})E  — this opera
24 pirouETTED Often — hidden reversed — Odette appears in, amongst other ballets, Swan Lake
25 PIRANESI — (in Pisa re)* — this man
26 HETERO — (tree)* in ho{me}
1 BLOW-BY-BLOW — I’m never quite sure about how to describe this kind of clue, where the answer is interpreted literally as well as the way it is intended: hardly 2 defs, but that’s what I often say
2 SUCH AS IT IS — (thi{s} Cassius)*
3 B(F)LAT — blat is the newspaper (didn’t know the word); at first I thought it was F flat [(f la) in FT], but that doesn’t allow for a definition
7/22/8/23 MAKE BOTH ENDS MEET — which is not really the defining feature of a Möbius strip, but good enough for the clue (another like 1dn) perhaps
11 AERODYNAMICS — (secondary aim)*
13 STE{w} {a}PPARENT
21 QUAKE{r} — the Quakers are also known as the Society of Friends

17 Responses to “Independent 7565/Phi”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi John
    For 1ac try BUS[t]Y BODY ie remove the end of ‘lust’ from ‘curvaceous figure’.

  2. sidey says:

    Curse your quick reactions Gaufrid!

  3. Mark B says:

    7dn (etc.) – if you were to literally make a Mobius strip from today’s crossword, joining the bottom edge to the top with a twist, then 22dn would connect with 8dn. So you would have made BOTH & ENDS meet.

    Phi continues to amaze!

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Super crossword as always from Phi. I needed your explanations for a few, John, but as always that’s me not seeing the setter’s always precise clueing. HETERO really made me smile, and I always like science-based clues, so DELIQUESCENT got a tick as well. Bit of maths thrown in as well with the Mobius strip: for me, this works well, because to create one you have to cut a long strip of paper, give it a half-twist and then stick the two ends together. The party trick then is to cut it in half along its length; instead of producing two separate rings … well, try it and see.

    The only slight issue I had with the clue is that I would always say MAKE ENDS MEET for budgeting. MAKE BOTH ENDS MEET seems a bit odd to me.

    It was walruss yesterday who commented on the quality of the puzzles in the Indy this week so far. This one kept up the good work, certainly.

  5. scchua says:

    Thanks John for the blog, and as usual, Phi for a really enjoyable puzzle.

    Favourites were 1A BUSYBODY, 20A DON PASQUALE, and 16 FRAUDSTER, all with amusing or neat wordplays.

    I think you’ve got a typo – missing I in 6D TRIENNIAL.

  6. sidey says:

    Mark B, you are a devious person, dashed well spotted.

  7. walruss says:

    Such a good device. Well done, Phi!

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Mark B. I see that the expression ‘make both ends meet’ does exist, and given your insight, this makes it an even better puzzle. That is seriously clever.

  9. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was excellent as always, thanks, Phi, for the puzzle and John for the blog. My favourite clue was BLOW-BY-BLOW.

  10. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks John and Phi. I think you’ll find the anagram fodder for 18 has ‘hail’, not ‘hair’ :)

    I didn’t come to the four-answer clue till I was almost finishing, so it was fairly clear by then, although the second word took a little more thought.

    Thanks for explaining 1ac, Gaufrid

  11. John says:

    Thanks scchua@5 and Stella @10, corrected now, also Gaufrid for explaining 1ac. As I thought, pretty obvious.

    What amazing cleverness with Möbius.

  12. Robi says:

    Thanks Phi, John and Gaufrid. 1 made me laugh when I saw Gaufrid @1.

  13. pennes says:

    Great crossword and even more so since fully understanding mobius strip. I liked 24ac Odettewhich was nicely hidden and I only got it with crossing answers

    This link shows what can be done with a mobius strip. Amazing. You would need a superbly spatial brain to work it out. I can’t

  14. Scarpia says:

    Thanks John.
    The usual excellent stuff from Phi,which for some reason I found easier than some of his puzzles.Saying which,I failed to parse 1 across(thanks Gaufrid).Also had to look up BLAT.
    A wide range of subjects covered here – Opera,ballet,physics,architecture but nothing too obscure.
    I’m not a scientific person but I have known of the Mobius strip for a long time and have used it,along with card tricks,to amuse/amaze various nephews and nieces.

  15. flashling says:

    Thanks Phi / John and all. Did this on the train and found it usual Phi standard, pleasant that didn’t need outside help. RE the mobius strip thing, surely the half twist required would mean crossword joined to back page so the both/meet bit doesn’t work alas. (Without some incredibly lucky editing by the sports staff!)

  16. Testy says:

    Why did the chicken cross the Mobius strip?

    To get to the same side!

  17. Phi says:

    I think I’d better come clean on this, folks. I sat down to do the puzzle having selected one of the standard Independent grids (I do still use them from time to time) and pondered about the four letter lights in the NE and SW corners. They always feel a bit semi-detached so I looked for a useful (4,4,4,4) phrase, found MAKE BOTH ENDS MEET, and thought it would be interesting to alternate the words, and that, yes, it would sort of join up opposite corners in a semi-thematic way, yada-yada-yada.

    And that’s about as far as it went. MOBIUS STRIP just happened to fit as I filled the rest of the grid, and there aren’t enough science references in crosswords so it was preferred over other options.

    Incidentally, K’s D, I say ‘make both ends meet’ but ‘making ends meet’, but not vice versa – must be something to do with the number of syllables.

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>

2 + six =