Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7805/Phi

Posted by John on October 21st, 2011


Phi has as usual produced a very pleasing crossword, perhaps on the easier side — at any rate I found it to be so, although whether or not a crossword is easy seems to be something that varies for different people at different times.  Which is not to say that the Goodliffes and Biddlecombes of this world don’t whizz through, simply that it tends to be difficult to predict their precise time.  As Carol Vorderman used to say of the numbers game on Countdown with four from the top, it depends which way you go.

It seems that many of the recent grids in the Indy have had unchecked letters at the top and the bottom, and this usually indicates some message to be found there. But I can’t see anything.

7 VEAL — E in (lav)rev. — the second time recently that I’ve seen my rather unfortunate name used in this sense
8 DE BEAUVOIR — (oeuvre bad I)*
10 CIVET CAT — c I’ve (tact)rev. — not a term that was familiar, but the wordplay made it fairly likely
11 CAN K{ill} E{very} R{ose}
12 ADVENT — (Da)rev. vent
13 LEONARDO — Leo (ran)rev. do
15 AFTER A FASHION — 2 defs
18 ADVOCAAT — voca{l} in (data)*
24 GRE{{intestin}e}N ACHE — a Grenache, of which I was only vaguely aware, is a Spanish grape
25 TELENOVELA — el in (vet alone)* — a telenovela is what you’d think it was, but is Spanish or Portuguese or Latin American
26 W(O)AD
4 GAUCH{E} 0
5 SVENGALI — s (leaving)*
6 A{s}IDE
9 BATTLE FATIGUE — (beat fate guilt)*
16 T(WO(FAC{t})E)D — it took me some while to work out what was going on, not being aware that an Irish MP was a TD: fact is the information, woe is sadness
17 SPACE-BAR — spa (caber)*
19 {f}ACTION
21 MIAOWS — (aim)rev. o{n} w{inning} s{ide}
23 {w}AVER

13 Responses to “Independent 7805/Phi”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, John, for the prompt blog – always appreciated by early birds like me.

    A straightforward, pleasing puzzle from Phi today. TELENOVELA was the only unusual word, but it was clearly flagged up. I liked CIVET CAT and SAVANT today. I took 23dn to be [H]AVER, which I think is closer to ‘doubt’.

    I thought the outer letters might all be three-letter abbreviations, but I can’t make them all work.

  2. Phi says:

    There is something for you to find…

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Phi for a pleasant crossword and John for the blog.

    K’s Dad @1: I took 23dn as [w]AVER, but [h]AVER works just as well.

    Generally nice cluing, with just one grumble:

    24ac: I cannot and never will accept “no end of intestine” as a correct instruction to remove one of two Es from a word.

  4. Pelham Barton says:

    Phi @2: A in every answer?

  5. nmsindy says:

    That looks like it, Pelham @4, tho I’ll have to admit that I did not spot it. Good puzzle, thanks, Phi and John. My favourites were ALLEGE and SVENGALI.

  6. eimi says:

    I suspect that Phi is probably in bed by now (or out clubbing), but I can confirm that Pelham is correct @4. Not out clubbing tonight, but I’m planning to meet Nimrod for an informal pre-Times Crossword Championship drink and chewing of the cruciverbal fat at the Doric Arch in Euston tonight at about 7.30 to 8 and all setters, bloggers, commenters and lurkers are welcome to join us.

  7. Wanderer says:

    Thank you Phi and John.

    I failed to notice the A in every word, but was struck by the frequency with which V occurred. VEAL/BEAUVOIR/CIVET/ADVENT/ADVOCAAT/SAVANT/TELENOVELA/AVER/SVENGALI. I wondered if this was significant or just a coincidence? 9xV=45 and I wondered if this was a reference to a birthday or some such? At any event I enjoyed the puzzle.

  8. Bamberger says:

    I got about half out but I owuld never have got 24 & 25 out.
    I thought that 24a would be something like gastroentritis.
    I can’t say I like the idea of having foreign authors (8a)-I knew I looking for an anagram but absent any crossing letters, I thought it must be Ed somebody. Never heard of de beauvoir and while I could google him, I can’t imagine he ranks as famous.
    I thought 18a was hard having to spot largely opinionated =vocal.
    10a also an unknown
    Thanks for the clear blog

  9. eimi says:

    I don’t think Simone de Beauvoir would be happy to be called a him – in fact, it’s probably the sort of assumption that would rile her fans as, to quote from Wikipedia, she’s famous “for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women’s oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism”.

  10. Phi says:

    At the same time SdB would be happy to be an ‘author’ not an ‘authoress’…and she did acquire a measure of fame for being Mrs Sartre (not that she would have wanted that as a reason for fame, but I do wonder whether she’d be as prominent otherwise).

    The As came about late on in the process – I was looking at clueing AFTER A FASHION and noted how many As it had, and glanced around the rest of the grid whereupon I found only three words without an A, all of which could be brought into line easily. A sort of anti-pangram. I doubt it’ll happen accidentally that way with Q. Or even V.

  11. stumped says:

    Great Fun, Thanks Phi and John for concise explanations.

    25a stumped me, even though I had the anagram and we do have Latin American channels on our local (New England) cable TV.

    2a took a while to sink in, despite being a cricket and CAMRA fan. Weird.

    Further to above, 8a was first in!

    Does anyone know how to retrieve Indy’s archived puzzles? I’d like to tackle Thursday’s Anarche.

  12. stumped says:

    Kathryn’s Dad @1 Re: unchecked perimeter letters.

    From NW corner
    Clockwise: BA (British Airways), EG, SA (South Africa), RR, OS, ED (Editor)
    Anti-Clockwise: VC, AA, ST (Street), RD (Road), NR(Near), SD (San Diego)

    Just kidding…

  13. flashling says:

    @stumped #11 Make a comment on my yesterday’s blog and I’ll help on that.

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