Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7580/Eimi

Posted by John on February 1st, 2011


A nice crossword today from Eimi, generally easy enough but with one or two slightly difficult (for me at any rate) words or senses of words.


It seems that there is something going on — there usually is with Eimi — but all I can see is that five of the rows contain phrases when you link the words (Football League, Table Service, Road Movie Star, Chamber Organ, Screen Printing). Perhaps this is all he intended, in which case it’s very pleasant, but if there’s more it has escaped me.

6 WORD ASSOCIATION — OK it’s a psychoanalytical method, but gospel group? — probably some group that I have failed to find on Google
11 TABLE — table = board as in the food on the table, but otherwise I’m not absolutely sure here: is it picture as in diagram?
13 SERVICE — 2 defs, one of them referring to tennis
15 ROAD — “rowed”, and a road is a way
16 MO VIE{w}
18 SeT fAiR
19 CHAMBER — almost a hidden: if you put Beecham and Bernstein together it is — is there some cunning plan here, or is it just a rather long way to indicate that it is a hidden?
22 OR{I}GAN — I didn’t know that origan was marjoram, and wasn’t 100% sure that I was iodine, which made this a bit tricky
23 SCREEN — 2 defs
25 PR IN-T{h}ING
28 PRESS CONFERENCE — (concerns rep’s fee)*
1 BO({Elevatio}N)O — had never heard of Elevation, but I discover that it’s not only Bono’s company but a song of his
2 ADIT — the Morse code contains long and short signs, known as daas and dits, so if it’s a dit it’s very short — “That’s no good, Wilson, you’re daa-ing when you should be ditting”, or words to that effect spoken by Mainwaring to Wilson when they’re marooned on the end of the pier in Dad’s Army
3 SOIL — (Lois)* — I’m not entirely happy with “can be terribly” as an anagram indicator — either “can be” or “terribly” but not both, surely
4 TI(L L)ER — a tiller, as I was only dimly aware, is a sapling or a shoot
5 NON-U — noun with its last two letters reversed
7 SEA TERM — (steamer)* — this struck me as a rather feeble phrase until I looked it up, and there it was, defined in just this way
8 T{andoori} H{ouse} ALI — referring to Muhammad Ali, who often told us that he was the greatest
11 PaTRON Caught
12 BAD — 2 defs, however I can’t find ‘bad’ in Chambers as a form of ‘bid’ — no doubt it’s somewhere
13 SEVER — verse with ver and se interchanged, indicated by the word ‘cycle'(?)
14 bETA INterferon — didn’t know of Etain, but probably should have done
18 SAG — (gas)rev.
20 {H}AVERS — referring to the actor Nigel Havers
21 BEN{ef}ICE
24 CARD — 2 defs — to card is to comb wool
25 PONY — again 2 defs — I didn’t know about the small glass, but it’s there
26 TR(E)Y — the trey is the three in cards
27 NECK — to neck is to drink, as I was reminded only a day or two ago by the crossword in The Times

18 Responses to “Independent 7580/Eimi”

  1. sidey says:

    All the acrosses are 6a, a bit of a tour de force there eimi. Python fan?

  2. Prolixic says:

    A gentle and enjoyable crossword. I think 1a is simply Gospel = Word (as in hear the word of the Lord) and Group = Association.

    The theme is slightly more subtle as each word forms continuing set of phrases


    All very clever and probably accounts for the unusually shaped grid!

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks John, and Eimi for a lovely puzzle.

    I think in 6ac it’s Gospel = Word [of God].

    ‘Bad’ is a form of ‘bade’.

  4. sidey says:

    The Python version (NSFW)

  5. Eileen says:

    Apologies, Prolixic, for the duplication.

    There was a slight blip in access to the site and your comment appeared while I was trying to post mine.

  6. Richard says:

    Lovely puzzle – many thanks Eimi. Are you going to assume the mantle of the much-missed Virgilius on a weekly basis now? I do hope so (if he isn’t coming back, that is).

  7. crypticsue says:

    A nice straightforward solve – I loved all the 6a’s.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Wow. I was thinking ‘that’s clever’ when I finally twigged the theme, but now that Prolixic has explained it, that is seriously clever. Great puzzle – I wouldn’t myself describe it as ‘gentle’ but it was certainly gettable. I think I’ve said before that I like eimi’s puzzles because the solutions cover such a range of subject areas.

    I’d never come across ETAIN or THALI before, but the clueing was clear for both. I especially liked PRINTING, although I couldn’t see it for ages. I thought the clue for CHAMBER was very inventive. Nigel Havers is perhaps not the best known Nigel, but I’m not going to niggle about that in what was a delightful crossword.

    And all the gossip about the Indy crossword editor at the Derby do on Saturday was positive (the bits that I heard, anyway). What more can a man want (apart from three points at Blackburn tomorrow, obviously)?

  9. scchua says:

    Thanks for the blog, John, and Eimi for a comfortably-solved puzzle. Thanks also to Prolixic for pointing out the WORD ASSOCIATIONs, which make this an even more brilliant puzzle.

    As often happens with Eimi, I learnt some new words/new meanings: TRONC, ORIGAN (exact same meaning as oregano?) and picture TABLE – never knew they called them that –
    The latter is an alternative (I think) to 11A TABLE – I have doubts about table = diagram = picture.

    Favourites were the long anagrams 6A WORD ASSOCIATION and 28A PRESS CONFERENCE, and 17D EMOTIVE.

  10. flashling says:

    Rather enjoyed this – suspected a strong football theme early on but it seems to be a mini theme or my imagination. Some tricky words but spotted the word association (football) link early on which led to a rather quick solve in the end. Many thanks to John and of course Eimi.

  11. flashling says:

    Did wonder if Eimi could have made the last line pears or rooms or something.:-)

    Flashling a somewhat relieved bunny as starts new job tomorrow so Friday’s blog may well be somewhat late in posting.

  12. Gnomethang says:

    Excellent puzzle!
    Glad I tackled this but the full extent of the 6a eluded me.
    What I liked was the fact that I had to reach for the dictionary on a number of occasions to confirm words or synonyms that were extremely well clued but previously unknown to me.
    Well done and thanks to EIMI.
    I do like a thali, though!

  13. pennes says:

    Interesting; I never realised marjoram and oregano were so closely linked in classification. Actually after looking at Wikipedia I’m confused, I found this a bit clearer
    All marjorams are oreganos but not all oreganos are marjorams.

  14. eimi says:

    Thanks to all for your kind comments. The grid fill was a bit of slow process, one step forward and two steps back until I could find the associated words to fit and still produce reasonable words in the Downs. I was a bit concerned that a couple of the Down answers were obscure, but I’m very pleased to discover that solvers seem to have considered the end to justify the means. And, yes, the Monty Python sketch was my inspiration.

  15. Paul B says:

    Sorry to be in late – progness made demands – but cracking puzzle from da boss.

  16. Allan_C says:

    The theme passed me by but nevertheless a nice gentle solve with the few obscure words or meanings easily checked in the dictionary.
    Good luck in the new job, flashling.

  17. nmsindy says:

    A bit late posting on this one due to being away from computer, but, despite the inclusion of the needed obscure words, I managed to work it all out from the wordplay.

    I did not see the full richness of the WORD ASSOCIATION (thanks, Prolixic, for that), just what was in the rows. So quite an achievement from the setter. Thanks, Eimi, and John for the blog.

  18. Richard Pennington says:

    The word association theme echoes an old Monty Python sketch on “word association football” which I think was in the mind of the setter, and made me chuckle when I spotted it in the across answers in the top half of the grid.

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