Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,653/Crosophile

Posted by Ali on April 27th, 2011


My first time blogging a Crosophile puzzle, and a very nice one it was too.

There was nothing too tricky here, but plenty of excellent cryptic defs and elegant surfaces. I particularly liked 1D and 22D.

1 PACIFIC – Cryptic/double def.
5/9/4/17 JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH – Cryptic def.
10 NAVIGATOR – VAN rev. + -[all]IGATOR
11 INDUSTRIAL – INDUS (river) + TRIAL (test)
12 SOFA – SO FA[-r]
14 GALILEO – LAG rev. + I + LEO (pope)
18 OSPREY – OS (very large) + PREY (quarry)
20 HARD ROE – Initial letters of Heavens Above + (ORDER)*
24 FOLD – Double def.
25 UNDERSCORE – Cryptic def. – 19 is below 20 (a score)
28 EXCHEQUER – EX (without) + CHEQUE + R[-emain]
29 OUTRE – Hidden in withOUT REason
30 KESTREL – [-hwa]K + (TREES)* + L(ake)
31 HOTSPOT – S (pole) in HOT POT (dish)
1 PUTTING – PUT (place) + T(ee) + IN + G(olf)
3 FRETS – Double def.
5 JOVIAL – JO + VIA + L[-ove]
6 URGE – [-s]URGE
8 YARDARM – TRAY rev. with T(ime) for D + A R(oyal) M(arine)
13 HEIR – HE + I(nland) R(evenue)
15 LEEK – “Leak”
18 OFF-PEAK – OFF (not home) on PEAK (the range)
21 ROOFTOP – OFT in POOR rev.
22 ELEMENT – ME in E[-tude’s] + LENT (fast period)
23 ANNUAL – ANN (girl) + U(nited) + AL (boy)
26 STOUT – S[-parrow] + TOUT (sell)
27 BEER – BEE (worker) + R(ight)

13 Responses to “Independent 7,653/Crosophile”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Ali.

    Agree with you, a fine puzzle. I usually start and the top and work my way down, and the top half was falling steadily into place with me thinking ‘this is solid rather than spectacular'; but the bottom half produced some really clever clues which I much enjoyed. UNDERSCORE, KESTREL, ROOFTOP all top notch work; GALILEO too (a semi&lit?); and finally ELEMENT with its cleverly misleading use of ‘lead’.

    I could handle some more of this setter.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Ali for the blog, and Crosophile for a relaxing solve.

    Started with 1A and worked by way to the opposite corner. Favourites were 11A INDUSTRIAL, a clue without any waste of words; 25A UNDERSCORE, just as concise; and 8D YARDARM, a semi-&lit I think.

  3. caretman says:

    Thanks to Ali for writing up the solutions. It was a smooth puzzle from Crosophile so much thanks.

    Tete-a-tete (I’ll leave off the circumflexes and accent grave) as a definition for sofa was new to me but I knew the answer when I saw it. My last two in were 18dn and 24ac since I persisted for a long time to try to make the first word in the answer to 18dn be ‘OUT’. I particularly liked 24ac for its simplicity once I figured it out. I did have a quibble about 18dn; a range seems to me that it would be a group of mountains and so would require a plural answer. Perhaps ‘range’ needs to be read as a verb, where I might be able to convince myself it could be a synonym for peak as a verb.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    You are probably right, caretman, about RANGE and PEAK, unless someone else can justify it. I think in such a good puzzle it can be forgiven, and living myself on the edge of the beautiful Peak District in Derbyshire I didn’t even give it a second thought.

    I have just posted a comment on yesterday’s Anax blog about a spooky co-incidence.

  5. scchua says:

    Hi caretman@3 and K’sD@4. I think 18D’s reading is okay. A “peak” is a subset of “range”, so “home on a/the peak” may still be construed as “home on the range”, if you see what I mean.

  6. lenny says:

    This was a pleasant and largely straightforward solve, with just a few seconds needed at the end to work out that a tete-a-tete must be a sofa. I particularly liked the clues to Hotspot and Underscore. Naturally, I wasted time trying to link the latter to 19D.
    I was not very happy with the overlapping definitions and wordplay for Yardarm and Kestrel, what some commenter’s have rather charitably referred to as semi-&lits. I thought there was more overlapping in Navigator until I saw Ali’s parsing since I parsed it as Nav I Gator. I’m also not too keen on “capital to remain” to clue the letter R.

    I agree with caretman’s point about a peak not being a range. I did consider the explanation given by scchua that Peak is clued by on the range but it doesn’t work for me.

    Pedants’ corner: I think IR is usually clued these days as something like “former taxman” since the Inland Revenue no longer exists.

  7. bamberger says:

    Close but no cigar. Solved all bar 12a . Listed every possibility I could think of for ?o?a but best I could come up with was iota on the fairly weak grounds and if you are tete a tete you are an iota apart. A welcome relief after the two previous days.

  8. caretman says:

    Hi scchua @5. That’s a good point. I guess one could read the whole expression, “Not Home on the Range” as equivalent to “Off peak”, rather than splitting it into not home = off and the range = peak. That seems legitimate to me, so I withdraw my objection.

  9. flashling says:

    Twas nice to get an easy one for this week, fell a bit foul on 18d going for OUT-?E?K for a few seconds but well under ten mins to solve including reading the footie reports. Odd I know the setter has done the sat mag crosswords but this seemed easy. Thanks Crosophile and Ali. Wot no DAC has the earth shifted on its axis? :-)

  10. Allan_C says:

    I had the same thought as flashling about a Wednesday without Dac. Phi may sometimes get bumped from Friday but Dac from Wednesday? Or has Dac got a topical one for Friday maybe?

    But to the crossword….

    As with bamberger I had to cheat for 12a and then realised I had come across that usage before.

    Not too happy with 24a, FOLD. One certainly hears a church congregation referred to as a flock, but a fold? Mind you, there is a biblical reference (John 10:16, AV) to ‘other sheep … not of this fold’, so I suppose it’s OK.

    Some great cluing throughout, though. Difficult to pick favourites, but NAVIGATOR, JETSAM, UNDERSCORE and NOTIONS appealed to me.

  11. eimi says:

    I’m afraid that Dac has asked for a bit of time off for good behaviour – he wishes to reduce his crossword commitments just a little, but he’ll still be here three weeks out of four and I think it’s rather serendipitous that Crosophile should have joined the team recently as he makes an excellent substitute for Mr Wednesday.

  12. Crosophile says:

    My (belated) thanks to Ali for the blog and for all the other generous comments.
    And, yes, Galileo and yardarm were intended as semi-&lits and caretman@8 has got the intended parsing of off-peak exactly.

  13. Wil Ransome says:

    Nobody I think has mentioned ANNUAL (23dn) whose definition seems to be ‘for a year’, or possibly ‘a year’. I thought ‘annual’ meant ‘every year’.

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