Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7781/Phi

Posted by John on September 23rd, 2011


As usual a very nice crossword from Phi. Nothing very controversial I think. With Z, J and V clearly visible I suspected a pangram, but I can’t see a Q or an X.

8 TRA{i}NS PO{i}SE
9 {f}ALTER
11 ENTENTE CORDIALE — (decent relation{s} E)* or equally well (decent relation{s})* E
12 FORUM — (of)rev. rum
13 A V UNC(U)L{advic{e}}AR — avuncular means ‘of or suitable to an uncle’ as well as ‘benign’ or ‘kindly’
16 REVISED — since 18 is ‘diverse’ this is ‘diverse diverse’. This and 18 are arguably a bit unfair because you can’t get one until you’ve got the other, and you can’t get the other until you’ve got the first one. But this sort of thing goes on all the time at The Listener.
18 DIVERSE — ‘revised revised’
20 HARPO ONER — referring to Harpo Marx; a oner has several meanings, one of which is ‘expert’ — the last four words are the definition
22 NAHUM — (an)rev. hum
24 PHOTOJOURNALIST — (authors join plot)*
26 LATER — since 9 is ‘alter’ it’s ‘alter alter’ and the definition is ‘subsequently’. This one and the next seem to me to be a bit fairer than 16 and 18, because they contain a definition of the answer.
27 PATRONESS — ‘transpose transpose’
1 STEERFORTH — (for the rest)* — the character in David Copperfield
3 T(SUN)A MIS{t}
4 ROSE G ARDEN — rose = came up, g = government, Forest of Arden
5 ZERO — (O(RE)z)rev.
6 BAR DIC{ing}
7 T RU{s}E
10 T(RAIL)ER — I wondered why terrace became ter when for example terrapin didn’t, and saw that Ter. is short for Terrace in street names; which makes you think that perhaps Phi should have given terrace a capital T, something he could have done by putting the word at the beginning — the clue could easily have been something like ‘Terrace containing bar in promotional feature’
14 UNDER W RITE — under = subordinate, rite = form
15 RHEUMATISM — (I must hear)* around m{edicine} — excellent clue
19 V IND ALOO{f}
21 ODOURS — (do)rev. ours
23 {c}HE(1 F)ER
24 PELT — 2 defs — seems too good to be true and I suspect this idea has been used before
25 {c}OOPS

4 Responses to “Independent 7781/Phi”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, John, for your early blog.

    I thought this was a bit of fun. Like most folk, I imagine, I had a ‘what the chuff’ moment with 16 and 18, but my way in was to solve ALTER, then PELT, which gave me the L for LATER and revealed what Phi was up to. To be fair to the setter, there were some accessible clues to give you the crossing letters for REVISED and DIVERSE.

    Some good stuff elsewhere too. Like you, I thought RHEUMATISM was a good clue, and also liked ENTENTE CORDIALE.

  2. NealH says:

    Ter is in the dictionary uncapitalised as an abbreviation for terrace, so I don’t think you can criticise 10 down. I thought this was a good quality, enjoyable puzzle. The tricksy clues at 16, 18 etc didn’t cause me too many problems, as I’ve seen the same sort of tactic used before.

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks John. Your remark “I suspect this idea has been used before” about the double meaning of PELT is truer than you know, as it occurs (used in a slightly different way) in today’s Araucaria puzzle in the Guardian.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, John, and Phi – yes, not too difficult, in the Phi style. Favourite clues, ZERO and BARDIC.

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