Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7703 / Phi

Posted by Gaufrid on June 24th, 2011


I heard a short while ago that flashling has unexpected work commitments today and will be unable to blog so here is an analysis of the clues. Sorry for the brevity and lack of comments but I wanted to get something posted before having to go out to an appointment.

AORTA appears in the middle column of the completed grid, presumably by design, but I cannot see how/if this links with the rest of the puzzle.

10 ADO AD (promotion) O (nothing)
11 LEAVE GO LEAVE (vacation) GO (energy)
12 TEA LADY A LAD (a boy) in YET (still) reversed
13 REFRACTORY REFRACTOR (telescope) [promontar]Y
15 OCTA O[f] C[loudiness] T[o] A[irmen] &lit
19 CITY C[a lam]ITY (taking a flight from disaster)
20 ON THE LOOSE ON THE LOO (going) SE (South-East)
23 IVORIES OR (gold) in IVIES (quantities of greenery)
25 ABSINTH SIN (wrong) in *(BATH)
27 MOA MO (second) A (one)
1 FOWLER OWL (bird) in FE[a]R (terror one excluded)
2 OFFA OFF (not working) A
3 SHOELACE *(HOLES) ACE (excellent) &lit
4 TRY-OUT Y (wye) in TROUT (fish)
5 VICTORIA VIC[e] (reduction in immorality) TO AIR (attitude) reversed
6 ASIA hidden reversal in ‘thAIS Are’
8 POLYGAMY POLY (college) GAMY (sensational)
14 FUNCTIONAL FUNCTION (party) A L (Liberal)
16 MACHISMO MAC (US guy) HIS MO (way of working {modus operandi})
17 VANISHES VA[r]NISHES (runs from surface appearances)
18 ILLUSION I (one) [a]LLUSION (reference that’s not a)
21 HEARTY HE (man) ARTY (inclined to be creative)
22 EXHUME HUM (stink) in EXE (river)
24 INCH IN CH (China)
26 NAIL A (one) in NIL (love)

10 Responses to “Independent 7703 / Phi”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Gaufrid.

    There were a couple of laugh out loud clues in yesterday’s Anax, and ON THE LOOSE fitted that bill today. Elsewhere I really liked the &lit at SHOELACE. Got held up in the NW corner because I couldn’t see FOWLER for ages. I smiled at REFRACTORY, because it reminded me of Phi’s Ephipany puzzle in January with The Journey of the Magi as the theme:

    ‘And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
    Lying down in the melting snow’

    Good puzzle, thank you.

  2. flashling says:

    thanks G for this.

  3. scchua says:

    Thanks Gaufrid and Phi for an enjoyable puzzle.

    Liked 15A OCTA, the &lit, there really is a unit of measurement for cloudiness!, 20A ON THE LOOSE, took me some time to see the significance of “going”!, and 16A MACHISMO, a lovely charade. Very much a pleasing puzzle, even though it was the quickest to solve among the Big 3 today.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Phi has the crossword in the Indy i today as well. 1dn: ‘American chap, his way of working shows masculine attitude.’ Slightly spooky, as I think AORTA is – I’m guessing it’s just chance rather than any theme or message.

  5. lenny says:

    This was quite difficult. I was looking for a Nina to help me but Fost Vamp across the top was not much assistance. Last in was machismo, which was clever but I felt it lacked something in the definition department. Still, the clue to On the Loose made it all worthwhile. I mean this sincerely since there is no danger of my bumping into Phi tomorrow.

  6. flashling says:

    many thanks to Gaufrid, bah what a day. Hope to neet a few of you tomorrow

  7. Samuel says:

    Really enjoyed this from Phi; surprised that nobody has spotted the theme, which is the wonderful Bryant & May series of books by Christopher FOWLER, the most recent of which are the VICTORIA VANISHES, Bryant & May ON THE LOOSE and Bryant & May OFF THE RAILS.

    The books are wonderful – Bryant & May are two octogenerian detectives who head up the Met’s Peculiar Crime Unit. The PCU is tasked with solving crimes that are too strange for the normal force to tackle. Great stuff by Phi to put these into a puzzle, especially as Bryant & May really have the lateral thinking and arcane knowledge to be successful in the crossword world!

  8. Paul B says:

    And of course, ‘blood within the scrotum may lead to an eccymotic appearance referred to as “the blue scrotum sign of Bryant.” In the appropriate clinical setting, this sign may provide a clue to the diagnosis of a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm as originally described by Dr. John Henry Bryant at the turn of the century.’

    So, Bryant’s discovery ‘May’ lead to a diagnosis of AAA. For me, this is an excellent explanation of the appearance of AORTA in the vertical unches.

  9. Allan_C says:

    The clue and the detective connotations of 20a remind one of the old chestnut, “Detectives investigating the theft of a WC from the police station say they have nothing to go on.” Hmm, next! And in the plumbing department of a large national d-i-y chain I recently saw a package advertised as ‘toilet to go’!

  10. Phi says:

    I did wonder whether ‘going’ would survive the editorial pencil. AORTA down the middle entirely escaped my attention, given that being applied to the incorporation of the ghost theme. The Bryant & May novels also delve deeply into the lore and history of London, to the extent that Fowler should perhaps replace Peter Ackroyd as the go-to expert on that theme.

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