Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7607 / Phi

Posted by Gaufrid on March 4th, 2011


 It’s Friday so it must be a Phi day and, unless things have changed, a Phi in the ‘i’ day as well.

After the recent tribute to 15² by Anax (#7588, 10th Feb.) it’s now Phi’s turn. If 13dn is added to 7dn you get two hundred and twenty five which is fifteen squared. Four current and two former bloggers (Rightback, Ali, Manehi, Handel, mhl & NMS) are hidden in the grid.

I found this puzzle tricky in places, possibly due to not having solved a Phi for several months (I have been trying to cut down from my five a day) and so not being on his wavelength. Alternatively, it may have been due to the fact that I was not familiar with the persons referenced in 20ac, 3dn and 23dn. However, I got there in the end as the clues were flawless (so there’s not a lot for me to comment on).

8 BRIGHT B (book) RIGHT (just)
9 BACK DOWN d&cd – a reference to the feathers on the back, as opposed to the front, of a robin.
11 IBSEN BSE (cattle disease) in IN (fashionable) – Henrik Ibsen.
12 STRIDENT RIDE (journey) replaces I in STINT (period at work)
14 ANNOYS YON (that) reversed in ANS (answer)
15 MODESTY MO (a second) DEST[in]Y (role in life that’s hidden in)
17 GENERIC GENE RIC[h] (mostly good for heredity analysis)
20 HUMANE A N (new) in HUME (old philosopher) – David Hume.
22 HIJACKER I (one) J (judge) in HACKER (computer rebel)
24 DROOP D (daughter) POOR (in need) reversed
25 RING MAIN RING (call) I (one) in MAN (worker)
27 LEFT-HAND *(THE F[airies]) in LAND (terrain)
28 ELUDED [d]ELUDED (on the wrong track, heading off)
1 BRER BR[i]ER (one released from patch of thorns) – a reference to Brer Rabbit.
3 STEELE homophone of ‘steal’ (essay plagiarism) – Sir Richard Steele.
4 ABILITY I LIT (landed) in *(BAY)
5 ACTIVATE CT (court) IV (4) in A (one) ATE (worried)
6 ODDS-ON ODD SON (offspring not normal)
7 TWENTY-FIVE 52 (cards in pack) reversed gives 25 which is a square (of 5)
13 TWO HUNDRED UND (German and) in *(THE WORD)
16 THESPIAN THE (article) SPAIN with the AI reversed (European country requiring slight change)
18 ENCOMIUM *(INCOME) UM (little hesitation)
19 CHARADE CH (church) [p]ARADE (display having no little power)
21 AGOUTI OUT (escaped) in A GI (a soldier)
23 JENSEN J[ust] *(SEEN) N (number) – David “Kid” Jensen.
26 IVES VIES (competes) with I moved to the front – Charles Ives, Grayston Ives or even Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives who recorded a few of his own compositions (well at least one that I have been able to confirm in the time available).

13 Responses to “Independent 7607 / Phi”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks for the blog, Gaufrid, and Phi for a perhaps (for me) easier than usual puzzle, but impeccable nonetheless.

    Looking for Ninas, I spotted only NMS, but didn’t think of searching the non-unches. My usual non-success rate with Ninsa. Favourites were 15A MODESTY, 17A GENERIC, and 7D TWENTY FIVE.

    This week, starting Sunday, has been a good week for Indy solvers; awaiting tomorrow’s finale.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    Well, isn’t 225 just becoming the go-to tribute site for setters? And quite right too.

    I would never in a squillion years have seen the theme, although I did solve TWO HUNDRED and think it was a bit of an odd clue. But even though it’s a lovely gesture to the 15sq bloggers and regulars, it wouldn’t prove a barrier to anyone solving the puzzle.

    I didn’t find it too tough this week, although the DJ at 23dn took all the crossing letters to get. My favourites today were THESPIAN, AGOUTI and DROOP.

    Fine puzzle and a nice thank you to the bloggers who unravel the crosswords for us every day.

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid – and well-spotted on the theme! Like K’s D, I’d never have seen that. Nice that they’re not all Indy bloggers, too.

    Re 1dn: I always slightly balk at that spelling of what I would write as ‘briar’ [but I see that Chambers gives ‘brier’ as the first spelling] but I really liked the clue, with its reference to this story:

  4. mhl says:

    Thank you, Phi! I suspect that this is the first and last time I will ever be mentioned in a broadsheet crossword, so what a wonderful surprise! For that to appear in a crossword from one of my favourite setters is the icing on the cake :)

    I’ve put up a copy of the solution, highlighting the bloggers’ names here:

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Concerning briars and briers, the haunting folk song featured in the film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd would have the spelling briars:

    Through bushes and through briars
    I lately made my way
    All for to hear the small birds sing
    And the lambs to skip and play

    For those old enough to remember, Julie Christie sang it here:

    Music aficionados like Phi will know that the song was rediscovered and popularised by Vaughan-Williams (allegedly; you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the Internet …)

  6. nmsindy says:

    Many thanks for the puzzle, Phi, which I found was not too difficult. My favourites were LEFT-HAND and TWO HUNDRED. Thanks, Gaufrid, for the blog and for spotting the theme which I certainly didn’t tho looking for a while as I generally do esp with Phi. And, thanks, Phi, for mentioning us.

  7. flashling says:

    Can’t find me but anax did so no complaints, still no mention of Gaufrid though who deserves most of the credit. Riku is swedish for Richard so maybe he’s hidden in 17/20 could be just serendipity. thanks Phi for the puzzle and G fot the blog, I missed the 15 sq link unlike the Anax one.

  8. walruss says:

    It’s nice to see a theme you don’t need to crack to solve the puzzle, and quite right too as it’s so esoteric!

  9. Jan says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid and Phi.

    This is only my third Indy puzzle and very enjoyable it was, too. I didn’t even register the significance of the 200 and 25 solutions let alone the bloggers! And after the comment @7, I’ve just spent several minutes trying to find flashling. :)

    I must look at Anax #7588 – thanks again, Gaufrid.

  10. Phi says:

    I think this sprang from noting 200 and 25 were the same length literally. Once I put a few blog identities into the grid the owners started standing down, and new ones came along. Hmph! OBERAMMERGAU/FRIDAY was too wide for the grid, of course. Incidentally a colleague here in NZ has the forename BRYRE (which, as it happens, combines intriguingly with his surname, but not something to go into detail about on a blog, I feel).

    Ghost themes like this are a nice thing to try – a bonus if you spot them, and entirely irrelevant if you don’t. There will be more…

  11. Handel says:

    Many thanks for this Phi, which would have been a great pleasure even without the nod to bloggers and former bloggers! Look forward to more ‘ghost themes’, although not sure how many we’ll spot…

  12. BertandJoyce says:

    Thanks Gaufrid for highlighting the theme. We only logged on to check our understanding of 9A. We now realise why some of the answers were slightly more convoluted!!

    Thanks to Phi for his tribute to 225!!

  13. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Gaufrid.
    I find this quite straightforward but enjoyable as Phi’s puzzles always are.
    Proud to say that I actually spotted the theme/Ninas,but only because Phi mentioned an upcoming Fifteen Squared theme here a week or two ago.
    I remember Kid Jensen from Radio Luxembourg,which,I see from your link,would have been about 40 years ago!
    Thought 7 down was an excellent clue,also liked the cryptic definition at 9 across.

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