Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,673 / Phi

Posted by RatkojaRiku on May 20th, 2011


I enjoyed solving and blogging this one, which used a grid that I hadn’t come across before. Furthermore, it was definitely the first time that I had come across the entry at 3 (my favourite clue!) and 6 in a crossword (although I would have expected the word to be marked colloquial somehow). This was the kind of puzzle where I found the solutions fairly quickly but then struggled to understand all the wordplay, not least at 1, where the penny finally dropped after lots of head-scratching.

I’ve noticed recently that the wordplay that I find hardest to crack these days is where you have individual letters being struck out of one or more of the components in a container-and-contents clue, e.g. I laboured long and hard on 8 before realising what exactly had to be removed from the contents part of the solution; similarly, I struggled to see exactly what word(s) I needed to delete letters from at 4.

Incidentally, if I have incorrectly parsed 9 and 10, please let me know!

*(…) indicates an anagram

1 BACKWATER Definition: “remote location”; whimsical definition: “not a problem for ducks”, as in the expression “it’s like water off a duck’s back”.
6 RASP RAS<h> (=spots; “mostly” means last letter dropped) + P (=soft, i.e. piano in musical notation); rasp is an informal abbreviation of raspberry, cf. strawbs.
10 NATIONAL SERVICE Definition: “military presence”; whimsical definition: “royal wedding, say”, in that the whole country followed the wedding service of e.g. William and Kate.
11 SLIPPY S (=son) + LIPPY (=somewhat rude, as in cheeky)
12 SOUVENIR I (=one) in *(NERVOUS); “unusually” is anagram indicator
14 ATHLETICS ATHL<on>E (=Irish town, on the River Shannon in central Ireland; “leaving on” means “on” is dropped) + TICS (=nervous motions)
15 INDIA INDI<an>A (=US state; “article (=an) exported” means “an” is dropped.
16 HAIKU [A1 (=excellent) in HK (=Hong Kong)] + U (=University)
18 LIVE IN SIN LIVE (EVIL=nasty; “turning” indicates a reversal) + [SI (=is; “back” indicates a reversal) in INN (=pub)]
20 LEATHERY L (=left) + [H (=Henry) in EATERY (=cafe)]
21 AGEIST A + GEIST (=spirit); the definition is “of discrimination”, hence an adjective.
24 TEAR ONE’S HAIR OUT Definition: “become exasperated”; whimsical definition “(become) dis-tressed”; i.e. lose one’s tresses, hair.
25 NEED … caN makE onE depresseD …; “ultimately” means last letters only used.
26 DEHYDRATE *(HEATED DRY); “possibly” is anagram indicator; & lit.
1 BONUS B (=book) + ON US (=on us, as in “the meal’s on us/our treat)
2 CATFISH *(FIT) in CASH (=ready, as in ready money); “active” is anagram indicator.
3 WHOOPEE CUSHION Whimsical definition: “sound” should be read as “noise” and “not-with-standing” split into its component part to show the humour is generated when the person sits down instead of standing!!
4 TOAD TO<o b>AD; “nothing (=O) black (=B) omitted” means that “o” and “b” are deleted.
5 RESPONSIVE RE (=regarding) + SP (=odds, i.e. starting price in betting) + ON + S<hot> (“initially” means first letter only) + I’VE (=I have)
7 ALIGNED G<erma>N (“heartless” means all but first and last letters are dropped) in [A + LIED (=German song)]
8 PREORDAIN RE<c>ORD (=fastest run; “about (=c, i.e. circa) abandoning” means “c” is dropped) in PAIN (=agony)
9 PREVAILING WIND PREVAILING (=controlling game) + WIN (=victory) + ‘D (=had, i.e. abbreviation, as in she’d arrived); the whimsical definition is “it’s a regular blast”.
13 GIRLFRIEND [GIR + L: L (=left) + RIG (=equipment); “upside-down” indicates reversal)] + [<ange>R (“last of” means last letter only) in FIEND (=enthusiast)]
14 ATHELSTAN A + THE (=articles, i.e. from grammar) + L (=left) + STA<i>N (=blemish; “I erased” means “i” is dropped); the reference is to Athelstan the Glorious, King of England from 924 (or 925)-939.
17 IMAMATE I’M A MATE (=declaration of friendship)
19 SPINOZA OZ (=Australia) in [SPIN (=journey, as in “to have a spin in the car”) + A (=one)]; the reference is to the Dutch Jewish philosopher Benedict de Spinoza, 1632-77.
22 TITLE T (=tense, i.e. from grammar) in TILE (=feature of Scrabble)
23 SHAH  H (=Hungary) in HAS (=holds); “up” indicates a reversal.

5 Responses to “Independent 7,673 / Phi”

  1. NealH says:

    A pleasant, not too difficult puzzle. I finished it well inside my lunch hour, which probably indicates it was on the easy side.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Good puzzle, I thought the surface of LIVE IN SIN was excellent. Thanks, Phi and RatkojaRiku.

  3. Mustyx says:

    Great puzzle from my favourite indy compiler. Thanks Phi.

  4. ele says:

    1ac BACKWATER was my favourite – made me smile when the light went on. Thank you Phi for the puzzle (but not for last week’s Inquisitor, which is v. hard!), and thanks to RatkojaRiku for the explanations.

  5. flashling says:

    Sorry to be late on parade, but was a late posting. great stuff from phi I doubt the whoopie cushion – prevailing wind was accidental and bonus/title? Can’t see a link here hope phi might elucidate.

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three + = 9