Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7613/Phi

Posted by John on March 11th, 2011


As usual a nice tidy crossword from Phi. So good in fact that there is really very little to say, a sign of quality. Now that I’ve said that there is no doubt plenty to say because I expect it has some Nina of which I’m quite oblivious — they have been becoming so subtle recently that they tend to be beyond me.

Phi’s musical interests are apparent.

1 DETAIL — devil with the v replaced by TA
4 SURF ACE — a little joke which I feel I’ve seen before: if someone is a surf ace then they are an ace at surfing, ie expert on board
10 CUPCAKE — (pack)* in cue
11 I.R. ON — the taxmen are the Inland Revenue
12 ALGEBRAIST — (rigs a table)*
14 HO({winte}R)SES HOE
17 S(P{etroleum})EED
19 I(ON)I A({ca{N}oe)S EA — I suppose II is the Roman 2, although this is usually signposted I thought
21 1 N(VERSION)S — the bridge team is North-South
22 B AL{l} I
24 SIR 0(CC)0
25 M(A)UD LIN{e}
26 MEN Z{an}IES — not sure whether this refers to the first name or the fairly common second one; doesn’t matter really
27 MATTER — master with t replacing s
2 TAN DOOR — if you are tanned then you show evidence of sun and therefore heating
3 I A1 N
4 SOCIÉTÉ ANONYME — this gave me some trouble even though the anagram is fairly obvious: a société anonyme is, according to Chambers, “literally, anonymous society; a joint-stock company”, so it’s certainly a French company. Wikipedia says something about it.
6 ARABIAN — (RA)rev. a b(1)an
8 HEALTH VISITORS — (lavish others)* around it
13 PENDERECKI — (Peer nicked)* — this composer (OK, I’d never heard of Elbow the other day)
16 STATIONER — station (re)rev.
18 E{very} N{ew} V{illa} IRON
21 IN SUM — n in (musi{c})rev.
23 CUB A

8 Responses to “Independent 7613/Phi”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks for the blog, John, and Phi for another enjoyable straight forward puzzle.

    Can’t find any (unsubtle) Ninas. Favourites were 4A SURFACE, 2D TANDOORI and 5D RUPERT BEAR. PENDERECKI had to be confirmed from references (as obscure to me as Elbow). 17A SPEED has a nicely unusual and misleading definition. 19A IONIAN SEA, I guess “two holding” could be interpreted as “one and one holding…”. I can’t find a reference where IRON could be properly used as an adjective like “indomitable”?

  2. scchua says:

    PS. Apologies, I did find a reference for IRON as an adjective; please ignore my comment.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, John.

    Another quality Friday puzzle from Phi; it’s been another good week in the Indy. Once I’d got the S from SURFACE, SOCIÉTÉ ANONYME went straight in, but I speak French. As your link shows, it’s roughly equivalent to our plc and is abbreviated to SA. We do seem to have had a lot of French clues here and in the Grauniad in the last few weeks.

    I liked HORSESHOES and IONIAN SEA in particular. Unless Elbow’s support band is called GENUINE CUPCAKE, I think we have a nina-free puzzle today.

  4. eimi says:

    I’m sure I wouldn’t have spotted it without inside information, but there is a ghost theme here for Nina-hunters to spot.

  5. Scarpia says:

    Try Iain Banks.

  6. beermagnet says:

    I can spot this Nina as Iain (M) Banks is one of my Favourite authors!
    I’d say more but I’m a bit busy ATM so here’s a link:
    Banks Bibliography

  7. Thomas99 says:

    So we have an answer for John about 26a – not the first name or the last one, but exactly as he said in the blog, the second name – it’s the M in “Iain M. Banks”.

  8. flashling says:

    Third attempt at a reply… last two disappeared into a site maintenance message. Found bottom half tricky and the theme went over my head, not being a Banks fan. Had to use the internet to finish this for the composer, which I consider a personal failure.

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