Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7685/Phi

Posted by John on June 3rd, 2011


The usual very nice crossword from Phi. Not all the clues were easy, yet they can all be easily explained. I think.

When I saw the six unches at the top and similar at the bottom, I thought that there would be a nice simple Nina. But unless you can make sense of IAAMSA ESSELE I think the Nina lies elsewhere. Somewhere.

7 CABINET MINISTER — (Best incriminate)*
9 paiN AS ALways
10 E{xpenses} LICIT IN G
11 CHIAROSCHURO — c{hurch} (as our choir)*
13 ON E — one as in ‘have one on me’ and on as in ‘have one on me’
14 EXPECTS — c{are} in ex-pets — I’m not quite comfortable here: of course ‘abandoned animals’ are ‘ex-pets’ in this clue, but they’re not necessarily so: they might be abandoned sheep, and are sheep pets? I should have thought a question mark was necessary.
16 DREIDEL — D (lieder)* — D is as in Schubert’s works, D646 etc, — the Deutsch catalogue — and a dreidel is “in Jewish culture, a small spinning top used in games” (Chambers)
17 T{re}AT
18 NECK AND CROP — neck (= impertinence) and c(r)op
21 OPERA-GOER — (agree poor)*
22 SEPIA — 1 in (apes)rev. — the out-of-date I think refers to the fact that something which is old often acquires a sepia tone
24 SECURITY BLANKET — (unstable rickety)*
1 1 BI{rd}S
2 ANTLER — ant l (RE)rev.
3 A(THE 1 ST)S — not so sure that atheists would be outraged by this — seems harmless enough to me
4 M(1 LIE)U
5 SILICONE — (lies)* around icon
6 ATTIC ORDER — (Doric)* in {n}atter — the Attic order and the Doric order are two orders in architecture
7 CONS(C 1)ENT IOUS — promises to pay are always ious
8 ROGUE ELEPHANT — a rogue elephant is a dangerous thing, and if you treat ‘rogue’ as an anagram indicator of the word that follows it, you get ‘the panel’
12 IMPATIENCE — I’m pence around (a (it)rev.)
15 CENTAURS — (Etruscan)*
16 DI(A TRIB{e})E — a bit unsatisfactory perhaps, the e of tribe being removed and then an e reappearing
19 C{ircumspection} LOUTS
23 {s}PIKE{s}

7 Responses to “Independent 7685/Phi”

  1. caretman says:

    Thanks, John, for the blog and explaining ATTIC ORDER to me. NECK AND CROP was unfamiliar to me (as was ‘neck’ for ‘impertinence’) so I needed to do some googling to finish this. I agree with you about being somewhat dissatisfied with 16d, dropping the ‘e’ in the wordplay only to have it still be there in the answer. Having seen CHIAROSCURO as an answer just a few days ago made that clue easier than it might have been otherwise. But there was good stuff here as well; I liked 8d and 5d, and 13a when I finally got it (my last one in). A very nice puzzle from Phi.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Many thanks, John.

    Congratulations on parsing ONE – although I saw the definition as ‘drink’ I would never have got that in a month of Sundays. I thought IBIS was particularly clever and was pleased to arrive at ATTIC ORDER from the wordplay without having a clue what it meant.

    Another fine Friday puzzle from Phi.

  3. ele says:

    Thanks John for explaining IBIS – got it from crossing letters but couldn’t see the wordplay. Agree about diatribe, although I’ve seen the trick of taking out and putting in the same letter played elsewhere.

    Liked 8d particularly.

    K’sDad – I’ve seen ONE a number of times now as definition of a drink in Crosswordland (and still often miss it). ONE is often also used for joke or joker, – as in that’s a good one, he’s a one – worth remembering.

    Last in was 2d, as always forget ants can be soldiers. A very enjoyable puzzle.

  4. Mustyx says:

    Nice puzzle as always from Phi. I had no problem with 16dn. The wordplay is confusing, but that’s surely the point of cryptic crosswords, no? Neck and crop was new to me, and I never get Jewish words, so Dreidel was last in, worked out from the wordplay alone.

  5. Mustyx says:

    Also no problem with Ex Pets. While all animals are not pets, all pets are definitely animals. (although I remember a fad in the 80s where people collected Pet Rocks. It didn’t last!

  6. superkiwigirl says:

    Thanks John for the (much appreciated!) explanations and Phi for another enjoyable puzzle.

    I was going along reasonably well until I tried to finish off the N/mid E sections – my last ones in were 13 and 16a, and 6 and 16d. I could never have parsed DIATRIBE without this blog (even when I saw it explained it still took a while for the penny to drop that long = die!) whilst ATTIC ORDER and DREIDEL are terms that I’ve not encountered previously.

    Favourites were 18a and 8d, and I think that 7 and 24a are both very clever anagrams.

  7. caretman says:

    I should add that I agree with Mustyx @5 about EX PETS. I wouldn’t have a problem with ‘princess’ in a clue indicating DI (other than that that has been overused) even though not all princesses are Di, so I also don’t have a problem with a ‘abandoned animals’ in a clue indicating EX PETS even though not all abandoned animals are ex-pets.

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