Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,778/Crosophile

Posted by Ali on September 20th, 2011


I think this is the first Crosophile puzzle I’ve blogged, and very enjoyable it was too.

There’s a mini theme which I’m guessing coincides with yesterday being the 100 year anniversary of the birth of 1A. There are at least 2 novels as clues answers (26A, 28A) and references to others in clues (15A). No doubt there may be some others too that I’ve missed.

Just one query at 20A, but everything esle here was very elegantly clued.

10 SUSHI – SUS + H(awai)I
11 FORESEE – RESE[-rve] in FOE
12 EVENING – Double def.
13 SEEN – “Seen”
15 BEELZEBUB – L[-a]ZE + U(niversity) B(ook) in BEEB
19 POTASSIUM – TASS for D(emocrat) in PODIUM
20 DEAL – ‘it’s not hard to cut’ is the def. here, but not sure how ‘Instance of traffic in town’ gets us there
22 BIOMASS – Initial letters of Orgnic Matter in (BASIS)* – &lit.
24 SAHARAN – H(ot) A(rea) + RA in SAN[-d]
26 SPIRE – P (small change) in SIRE (father)
28 RITES OF PASSAGE – “writes” OF (about) PASSAGE (text)
2 INCUR – IN (on good terms) with CUR (dog)
3 LOCUS – LOCU[-t(ime)]
4 AWARENESS – A WARE (pottery) NESS (head)
5 GORSE – S[-pine] in GORE
7 INSTITUTE – IT(alian) UTE (truck) following IN ST(reet)
8 GRINGO – GO around RING
9 DEFUSE – DEF (brilliant) USE (exercise)
17 MANATEES – “Man at ease”
21 ABUSER – BUS in A[-c(aught)]ER
23 SNIFF – FINS rev. + F(ine)
25 HEIRS – [-t]HEIRS
26 RUING – RU[-(left)ING

16 Responses to “Independent 7,778/Crosophile”

  1. NealH says:

    I took 20 as 3 defs referring to a transaction, the town of Deal and the deal wood.

  2. sidey says:

    Deal is a town in Kent and a deal is an ‘Instance of traffic’ in illegal drug use so it’s sort of a triple definition or possibly quadruple if the wood is also easy to cut.

  3. spb says:

    I think 20a is a triple definition: a deal being an instance of e.g. drug traffiking as well as an English (?) town.

  4. Conrad Cork says:

    Other Golding references are Frre Fall (18 down) and The Inheritors (25 down).

  5. NealH says:

    In 13 ac, the homophone should obviously be “scene”.

    I quite enjoyed this one – the only one I struggled with was 23 ac with the rather strange fins for hands. I kept thinking the answer was stiff.

  6. Lenny says:

    Thanks Ali. This was enjoyable but a bit harder than previous Crosophiles that I have tried. I resisted entering Sniff for a long time before I decided that it could not be anything else. A post-solve check with Chambers confirms that fin is a slang expression for a hand. Some tricky answers, such as Beelzebub and Italicise had unhelpful crossing letters. My last in Manatees had unhelpful checkers and an unhelpful definition. It’s the sort of answer that you can get in a flash or stare at all day.

  7. malc95 says:

    Thanks Ali.

    Another reference is in the clues to 12 & 13a – “Darkness Visible”.
    It’s a pity Crosophile couldn’t squeeze “The Pyramid” into 24a somehow – or even the “Egyptian Journal”.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Ali. Enjoyed this one and its mini-theme, although several of the references escaped me. I wasn’t keen on the definition of MANATEES either, but a small quibble in a pleasing puzzle.

  9. Bamberger says:

    Way beyond my ability level -only got half a dozen out but only real gripe is 1a where I don’t think that a winner would really boast “I am gold” -I’ve won gold , I’m the best but I am gold? I don’t think so.

  10. Mike says:

    Spire is also a reference

  11. Crosophile says:

    Thanks for the blog, Ali and for spotting the Centenary occasion. Glad you enjoyed the puzzle. And thanks for all the comments. I think ‘Spire’ was the last remaining thematic reference to find.

  12. flashling says:

    Had a bit of a head cold today and so struggled with this and didn’t finish despite spotting the theme early on, but as I’m ridiculouly I’ll read missed several thematic entries. Hope brain fog is gone by Thursday. Cheers Ali and ChrisP

  13. Wil Ransome says:

    Largely enjoyed, but I took ages over DEAL and even having put it in I wasn’t sure about it. Surely deal is a hard wood so it will be hard to cut, and to say ‘it’s not hard to cut it’ seems odd. And I was surprised by the statement in 19ac that potassium is a reactive element: surely all elements are reactive, in that they react with something. Perhaps I’m missing some special quality of potassium.

  14. Crosophile says:

    Wil, glad it was mostly enjoyed. I rarely remember my own clues (giving me a very authentic solving experience for my own puzzles!) and I admit DEAL was the last I got, too. (Triple definition, as others have correctly noted.) Nonetheless Chambers specifically and correctly defines it as ‘soft wood’, and incidentally it is also softwood, though not as soft as balsa say which, unlike deal, is hardwood. Hope that clarifies things! :-)
    Re Potassium, most elements don’t create a flame on contact with water for instance. Potassium is more reactive than any other element except for Rubidium, Caesium or Francium so I think it’s fair to describe it as reactive. (Incidentally some elements, the noble gases such as helium) don’t react at all.)

  15. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I was going to say that I liked POTASSIUM in particular, and the definition is entirely fair: put a small piece of potassium into water and you’ll get a display that flashling would be proud of.

  16. Auntiquarian says:

    I thought the Golding theme was elegantly introduced, particularly the arrangement of 1A and 29A. I struggled (i.e. failed) to get BIOMASS: ‘bits’ is a bit of a stretch as a synonym for ‘initial letters’ and the clue as a whole as a literal definition is somewhat cloudy. But these are just attempted excuses for my inadequacy.

    ‘Instance of traffic’ might refer to any deal, not necessarily one involving drugs.

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