Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7637 / Phi

Posted by Gaufrid on April 8th, 2011


There are times when I find it difficult to find something to write about in a preamble and this is one of them.

No theme or Nina to comment on (or at least none that I can see). No errors or significant quibbles (though the second half of the charade in 5dn might cause a niggle or two). Just Phi’s usual accurate cluing which for me led to steady progress and a satisfactory conclusion.

Edit: I completely missed the Nina and associated theme which is detailed in comment #3. Sorry Phi :(

7 TURPIN P (power) in TURIN (Italian city) – Dick Turpin
8 SET FORTH SET (group) FOR (supporting) TH[e] (most of article)
10 LACTIC homophone of ‘lack tick’ (be free of parasite)
11 ISLE [a]ISLE (passage overlooking a)
14 APATHY PAT (affectionate touch) in AH (sigh of contentment) Y (unknown)
16 PSYCHO PS (additional item) [agon]Y CHO[p] (endless assault with axe)
19 RESPONDENT R (runs) [d]ESPONDENT (down? Not initially)
22 MENU MEN (blokes) U (university)
23 HORNBY B (book) in HORNY (turned on) – Nick Hornby
24 LANGUISH LAN (computer system {Local Area Network}) I in GUSH (sudden enthusiasm)
26 CELIBACY cryptic def. – ‘it’ being sex
27 ITALIC IT (the very thing) ALIC[e] (girl’s failing to finish)
1 JURY [in]JURY (damage taking out fashionable)
2 EPHEMERA HE (male) M (married) in EP (record) ERA (time)
3 ANYHOW AN (article) O (love) in WHY (question) reversed
4 ST ALBANS STAL[l] (most of market position) BANS (prohibits)
5 GOTCHA [in]GOT (in abandoning bit of bullion) CHA[r] (mate? Not quite) – ‘char’ is slang for tea and ‘mate’, or ‘maté’, is Paraguay tea, an infusion of the leaves and green shoots from a South American holly tree. I originally thought it might be CHA[p] but then couldn’t justify mate=chap.
6 STRIKE DOWN STRIKE (industrial action) DOWN (unhappy)
8 SUMMIT MM (money repeatedly) in SUIT (businessman)
15 HANDYMAN N (number) in HAD (cheated) *(MANY)
17 COMMUNAL MM (Frenchmen) UN (article in Paris) in COAL (fuel)
18 BEXLEY BE (live) X (by) LEY (mystic line)
20 PENCIL PENC[e] (a lot of change) I (one) L (Liberal)
21 TENNIS SIN (wrong) NET (item for it) reversed – by an extraordinary coincidence 21dn in today’s FT has the same answer!
25 SHIV SHIV[er] (expression of fear with no little hesitation)

9 Responses to “Independent 7637 / Phi”

  1. spb says:

    The edges spell “Christ church” reading upwards. No idea why. Good end to another good week.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi spb
    Thanks, I hadn’t seen that despite spending some time trying to find a Nina (note to self, must remember to read backwards as well as forwards). Phi lives in New Zealand and there was a recent disaster in Christchurch so possibly this is the reason for its inclusion. The upside-down appearance could be a reflection that, for us in the northern hemisphere, Christchurch is antipodean.

  3. Phi says:

    I was more thinking of building Christchurch up from the ground, which is where we’re at just now (latest news was that a date has been set for the re-opening of the big shopping mall wrecked in the quake, and even that is October).

    And, as I’m sure you’re aware, Sydenham, Hornby, St Albans and Bexley are all suburbs of Christchurch (Bexley in particular was badly hit, mostly by liquefaction of the ground, which has me looking nervously at the stream in our garden).

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Phi
    Thanks for dropping in to explain the theme. I was not aware of those suburbs and so failed to make the connection. Perhaps if I’d seen Christchurch and then googled or visited Wikipedia …..

  5. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Phi, and Gaufrid. Usual good puzzle. Fairly late on I saw that CHURCH might be rising on the RHS, funnily enough this was after I thought the inclusion of V in the bottom row might signal a theme. Then saw CHRIST as a possibility on the other side, and knowing Phi’s NZ connection and the collection he organised (from a distance) at the recent Listener do, all became clear. Thought upside down might just signal the turbulence of the earthquake. Did not think of the connection of the suburbs and wondered if there was some subsidiary theme on London suburbs perhaps connected with Nick Hornby who, I think, is, or maybe was, closely associated with a N London club that I better not refer to too much here out of respect for the editor at a difficult time…

    Favourite clue PSYCHO but it was all good.

  6. scchua says:

    Thanks Gaufrid for the blog and Phi for another enjoyable puzzle, struggled (unusual for a Phi) just a little bit with the bottom half.

    Missed the Nina/theme as usual, but that didn’t spoil the enjoyment. Favourites were 19A RESPONDENT, good misdirection with “runs down”, 26A CELIBACY, appreciated it after I got it (I mean the answer :) ), and 15D HANDYMAN.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    This one had me beaten, I’m sorry to say. Couldn’t get the SW corner out at all, but looking at it now there’s nothing outrageous in there. The theme is a timely reminder – so much has gone on in the world since the catastrophe in NZ that it’s seldom featured in the media any more, but of course for the local people there’s still such a lot to be done.

    I’m sure it’s in your nature to always be respectful to the editor, nms. And anyway, it’s not over till the fat lady sings (but I think she might be belting out a few of Phi’s favourite arias come 1000 on Wednesday night …)

    Thank you for blogging, Gaufrid.

  8. ele says:

    Enjoyed the puzzle and, as always, failed to spot the Nina. Some of the wordplay defeated me, so many thanks to Gaufrid for the explanations, altho’ got most of the answers in. Shiv was a new word to me and I also failed on Hornby I’m afraid, even though we have family living just outside Christchurch. It has been a dreadful year down under.

  9. flashling says:

    Thanks G/Phi, Nina / theme passed me by too, the london areas I saw but no more. Flashling

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