Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,595/Phi

Posted by Ali on February 18th, 2011

Ali.

Great stuff as ever from Phi. Solid clueing with elegant surfaces and some lovely anagrams.

My only doubt was the adjectival use of the answer at 23A, which doesn’t appear in Chambers (but I’m sure does elsewhere). Special mention for 18D too, which is a cracker.

Across
1 DIVAGATION – DIVA + (IN A TOGA)*
8 EASY RIDER – (DIRE YEARS)*
9 OUCH – [-t]OUCH
10 AFFRAY – AFF[-a1]R + AY certainly)
11 FIREDAMP – FIRED AMP
13 AILING – A + I (current) + LING
14 NO WONDER – NOW ON + DER
17 POPINJAY – POP IN (visit) JAY
19 STOLEN – STOLE + N(ew)
21 LOCALITY – LO + ALIT in CITY
23 WEASEL – W(ith) + EASEL
25 FIAT – I think this is A (key) in FIT (access)
26 THEME SONG – MESON in THE G[-ravity]
27 BIRNAM WOOD – (WOMAN) * in BIRO (pen) + D(ied)
Down
1 DARTAGNAN – DART + N(ew) in A G(ood) AN(one)
2 VEDA – Hidden in haVE DAted
3 GARRISON – NO SIR + RAG rev.
4 TROPE – [r]EPORT rev.
5 ORCHARD – OR CHARD
6 METACARPAL – TA CARP in MEAL
7 USEFUL – HOUSEFUL less HO[me]
12 PHRENOLOGY – (POLYGON HER[-e])*
15 ON THE MEND – THEM in ON END
16 FACTOTUM – TOT in CU, all in FAM(ily)
18 PUCCINI – IN C-CUP rev.
20 LISSOM – M(ale) + [-f]OSSIL rev.
22 LATIN – LATE IN without E(nergy)
24 NEMO – MEN rev. + 0

16 Responses to “Independent 7,595/Phi”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks Ali for the blog and Phi for another enjoyable puzzle.

    21A LOCALITY I think is LO (“see”) + LIT (“illuminated”) in CAY (“island”). Defn is place.

    Favourites were 27A BIRNAM WOOD, 3D GARRISON, liked NO SIR = “definitely not”, 18D PUCCINI, an amusing wordplay,

  2. Wanderer says:

    Thanks Ali and Phi, great blog, great crossword. Divagation is a new one for me. I read LOCALITY as LO + LIT in CAY. Good fun.

  3. Wanderer says:

    Sorry scchua, we crossed…

  4. scchua says:

    PS Hi Ali, also think there’s a typo, missing I in 18D PUCCINI.

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Ali and Phi for the puzzle.

    Re 23ac: Collins doesn’t give ‘weasel’ as an adjective, either, but does have ‘weasel words’ [as does Chambers], which, I think, is the only instance of this usage I’ve seen.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Great puzzle from Phi today.

    If PUCCINI has been clued this way before, I haven’t seen it, so I really smiled at this one this morning. METACARPAL I also liked, and (without sounding too much like a teacher) I’m going to give a tick to the use of MESON in 26ac.

    I thought WEASEL was okay as an adjective, although you probably only hear it in the phrase ‘weasel words’.

    And as for 3dn: “I don’t feel like dancin’ NO SIR, no dancin’ today.” Great band, dodgy name, and possibly not one that’s on Phi’s classical music shelf.

    Thanks for blogging, Ali.

  7. rodders says:

    Thanks all but still don’t understand affray in 10a ( although I got it right ). Please explain in more detail – thanks !

  8. nmsindy says:

    Yes, another excellent puzzle for Phi, thanks for the blog, Ali. Not sure if I’d have known Birnam Wood if Macbeth had not been the Shakespeare play I just happen to be most familiar with. I too thought of the WEASEL words and never had any doubt really. Favourite clue, LISSOM. Thanks, Phi, for the puzzle.

  9. Lenny says:

    This was a bit harder than usual from Phi. I kept on looking for the nina to help me but without any luck. Oh, well, I did have one bit of luck. As I was struggling with 16, Largo al Factotum came on the radio. I had trouble with the symmetrical crossings Affray/Useful and Weasel/Lissom but I enjoyed them when I got them. Last in was Fiat and, like Ali, I have doubts about Access=Fit.

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    rodders at no 7, I think this is AFFAIR, as in a minor battle/skirmish, less A1, excellent (clued as AI, with the I=1 equivalence) plus AY, which as Ali says is roughly equivalent to ‘certainly’, as in ‘Ay, marra, Sunderland are classier than the Mags’.

    Someone may have a better explanation (about the clue, rather than Sunderland’s superiority over their neighbours).

  11. walruss says:

    Good to see THEM in ON END and MESON in THE G. A nicely-worked end to a dazzling week in the Indy, not to mention that sparkler in thE Guadrian by Johns. Have a nice week-end, eberyone.

  12. rodders says:

    Got you KD and thanks !
    Like others I have doubts about Access = Fit but there you go !

  13. Ali says:

    Thanks all for the corrections, pointers and comments.

    I should have done this before I blogged, but just checked in Chambers and access can be defined as “a fit (of illness or passion)”, so we’re all good!

  14. Lenny says:

    Thanks for clearing that up Ali. Definitely Phi in barred crossword mode.

  15. flashling says:

    Late comment from me, still a fun solve, found it hard to get going, but once it broke it wasn’t too bad. Solve about 30 minutes. Can’t see any theme perhaps Phi will elucidate. Didn’t really understand fiat so thanks folks.

  16. PeeDee says:

    I put in METATARSAL by mistake , then after that the whole SW corner went wrong…

    Thanks Ali for the blog and explanation.

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