Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7777 by Math

Posted by NealH on September 19th, 2011


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

A strange grid without any longer answers. This was to accommodate the puzzle theme, which is the number 7 in celebration of having reached puzzle number 7777. The 7-related answers I could see are:

Rugby Sevens
Seventh Seal (film)
lucky sevens
seven days
Pleiades = Seven Sisters
Seven dwarves
Shed Seven (pop group)
Seventh Army (US Army division)
Seventh heaven
Seven seas
Seven-Eleven (Convenience store)
Seven Nations (a rock band and historical grouping of Canadian or Celtic tribes)
Secret Seven (Enid Blyton child detectives)

I’m sure there are others that I’ve missed. There may be a 7 reference in the Prisoner, although the character there was Number 6.


8 Javanese: Ja + (seven a)*.
9 Nation: (Not in a)*.
10 Sins: Hidden in Women‘s institute.
11 Vista: Vi + st + a. Vista was the predecessor to the Windows 7 operating system.
12 Army: A + r(epublican) + my!
13 Prisoner: &lit. I’s inside proner.
16 Invert: Invert(ebrate).
18 Shed: DD.
20 Lucky: L + (Kent)ucky.
21 Days: DD – reference to Robin Day and Doris Day.
22 Dwarfs: War between D(Germany) and F(France) + s(ucceeded).
23 Pleiades: (I’d please)*
26 Seal: S + ea + l.
28 Rugby: Ruby around g.
30 Seen: Se[v]en.
31 Secret: Sect around RE.
32 Isolated: I + so (= dead in the sense of dead tired) + late (=dead) + d(ead).
1 Rapier: Pi[gs] in rear*.
2 Oaks: Initial letters of “Stuart king avoided Oliver”, reversed.
3 Heaven: CD.
4 Seas: Hom of seize.
5 Insanity: (Say innit)*.
6 Etna: Up the ante i.e. ante reversed.
7 Formerly: Form + E + rly.
14 Sudor: Sud (French for South) + OR.
15 Recap: (Pace + R)<.
17 Vodka: V(ery) o(ld) + d[run]k + a.
19 Hawk eyed: Hawk + hom of I’d.
20 Lustrate: (Sea turtl[e])*.
24 Etymon: (My note)*.
25 Eleven: El + [s]even.
27 Lard: La[i]rd.
29 Gain: [A]gain.
30 Siam: S[weden] + I + A(ngstrom) + m(atch). Siam is the former name for Thailand, hence the reference to clue 7.

18 Responses to “Independent 7777 by Math”

  1. Conrad Cork says:

    The setter would seem to be Math not Morph.

  2. NealH says:

    Thanks. I’m so used to doing Morph puzzles on a Monday I must have typed it in automatically.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Neal.

    I really enjoyed this one – even for theme-blind people like me, it was pretty obvious that ‘seven’ was going to feature, and I liked the way it was woven into the puzzle.

    Didn’t spot all the references, though, so thanks for that. I thought ISOLATED was a brilliant clue as well as FORMERLY for its clever surface.

    Now we know why Quixote was bumped back into last Monday’s puzzle!

  4. IanN14 says:

    I can only see one you’ve missed, Neal: Secret Seven.
    I was wandering if Nation and Army were intended to reference the White Stripes song (familiar to most, particularly European, football fans).
    Anyone else, on getting 10ac. and then 20d. set off looking for more hidden sins?

  5. NealH says:

    I did belatedly add Secret Seven. Initially, I thought it would be Seven Secrets, of which you get plenty of hits on the internet, but nothing really famous enough to qualify. Eventually, Secret Seven occurred to me and I added it to the blog.

  6. Thomas99 says:

    Isn’t the Seven Nations something to do with Rugby (28a)?

  7. NealH says:

    The only one I know is the Six Nations (which used to be Five Nations, so maybe it will get there eventually).

  8. Thomas99 says:

    Ah – sorry, not a sports expert, but it did give me some misguided satisfaction at the time!

  9. crypticsue says:

    Very enjoyable. It was fun spotting all the 7s.

  10. Paul A says:

    Well I managed to finish the dead tree version, lots of 7’s I thought. Didn’t even notice the puzzle number until I came here… Lightbulb moment

  11. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, NealH and Math. While I spotted the theme all right, I did not appreciate its full depth till coming here. Thanks too for explaining LUCKY and INVERT where I did not understand the wordplay nor did I think of the computers aspect of VISTA. Favourite clue NATION.

  12. Cumbrian says:

    I struggled in places, but good fun. If there’s a 7 reference to The Prisoner, then the car he drove was a Lotus 7 reg KAR 120C. The Lotus 7 was later to become the Caterham 7, and in 1991 (I think) they produced a special edition Prisoner Seven. I know, I know – I’m deeply sad…….

  13. Cumbrian says:

    ps The letter S appears seven times in the perimeter…….

  14. flashling says:

    Well that must have taken a while to blog (and set!) with so many lights. Before I started, seeing the number and perimeter shape theme/nina was shouting at me. Great fun, don’t think I’ve seen anymore theme answers but with so many it’s hard to tell. Surprised the the film se7en didn’t appear but I guess the online version wouldn’t like it.

  15. scchua says:

    Thanks NealH and Math.

    Fun puzzle getting the 7s. COD was 11A VISTA. Though SINS has been mentioned, I’m not sure if anyone has said the Seven Deadly SINS (an indirect reference, perhaps too, to the film Se7en).

  16. sidey says:

    What fun.

    Raoul Wallenberg was Prisoner Number 7, apparently.

  17. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks to an answer in University Challenge this evening there appears to be another possible thematic entry. Seven 9ac 12ac was a hit single in 2003 for the American group The White Stripes.

  18. Mark B says:

    I solved 14D from the cryptic definition, but did not know the word itself. But my wife recognised ‘sudor’ as being cognate with the Italian ‘sudar’. In Italy, if you have worked very hard to achieve something you can claim to have ‘sudar sette camicie’ – to have sweat seven shirts!

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

3 − one =