Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7829/Phi

Posted by John on November 18th, 2011


One of those crosswords that repeatedly refers to a single clue, so one’s rate of progress depends on how quickly this clue is solved. 8 is quite easy, so the only difficulty was in thinking of all those 8s. I managed to complete it without recourse to a list (although I have never in my life been to the 8), but no doubt it would have been easy enough with a copy of Bradford’s or the Chambers Crossword Dictionary to refer to; perhaps 10ac is rather obscure.

Eimi has by including this crossword kept a nice (some would say necessary) balance between all the possible interests of the Indy readers.

8 BALLET — (Tell AB)rev. — so all the 8s are going to be ballets — Tell as in William Tell, an opera by Rossini with 8 music in it
9 COPPÉLIA — cop PE (ail)rev. — Coppélia by Delibes
10 LA BAYADÈRE — (ere day)rev. after lab A — lab A is a rather fanciful way of describing ‘first experimental facility’ — La Bayadère by Minkus
11 TUT U — a tutu is a short dress worn by ballet dancers, hence an 8 term
13 SCHOO{l} N ER
14 THE RITE OF SPRING — (fighters protein)*
18 F(AL{l} CON)RY
23 PLIÉ — plie{d} — a plié is a movement in 8
24 CINDERELLA — (recalled in)* — Cinderella by Prokofiev
26 S(W A N L)AKE — Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky, of which absolutely nobody can claim ignorance
27 ON DINE — Ondine — by Henze
2 PL(1)ANT
4 AC(H)E — the second time we have had ‘ace’, clued as ‘very good’ and now as ‘crack’
5 SPEECH — (Heep’s)rev. around C{opperfield} — it didn’t have to be a Dickensian hypocrite and I was looking for a five-letter word for hypocrite, but Phi double-bluffs us here — Uriah Heep was very ‘umble in David Copperfield
6 PEAT MOOR — (meat)* in poor
13 ST(OR)Y
16 SKELETON — (note leks)rev. — no I didn’t know that a lek was a gathering of game birds
17 NECKLINE — another that I found hard: to neck is to be amorous with, but Perry suggests to me Fred Perry; I believe there is someone called Katy Perry — yes, that’s who it is — this model/singer flaunts her neckline; and Brand suggests Jo to me, but a brand is simply a line (of merchandise)
19 {g}ALLOWS
20 NEC{k} TAR
22 FLEA D{ublin} H{otel} — the wordplay suggested that it was going to be one of those Irish words like ceilidh that ends in dh — I think ceilidh is the only one I know — but a fleadh is, believe it or not, an Irish festival
25 oNE EDitor

7 Responses to “Independent 7829/Phi”

  1. UncleAda says:

    17 dn – Russell Brand is Katy Perry’s husband…

  2. crypticsue says:

    I took ages to get going on this one, I couldn’t for the life of me see what the 8 was until I got 26a and the penny dropped. Thanks to Phi and John

  3. Allan_C says:

    Having got 8a as first in the other “8” references were mostly straightforward with the notable exception of 10a, of which I doubt few have heard, or even heard of the composer, Minkus.

    14a, THE RITE OF SPRING, is the ballet by Stravinsky which reputedly caused a riot at its first performance in 1913 – see

    FLEADH was new to me; I had to get it by trial and error then confirmed it by googling which led me to

    All in all a nicely themed offering from Phi, but needing a little more effort than some.

  4. Allan_C says:

    Should be a comma to make my first line read: Having got 8a as first in, the other “8” references….

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, John.

    This one got the better of me today – not helped by having to have two goes at it. If I don’t finish a puzzle over morning coffee then my crossword brain (such as it is) seems to switch off in the afternoons and evenings. The theme was one I know little about, but as you say, a good range of specialities in the Indy usually.

  6. flashling says:

    Thanks john this just beat me not being a ballet man I missed 10ac. Still as has been said before the indy does try to cater for all. At least you had no cocked up clues to deal with today. :-) Eimi I didn’t mean it you normally do a fantastic job, we all have off days.

  7. ele says:

    Ballet aside, I found this more difficult than usual for Phi, but satisfying once I’d done it. Although I’m no ballet fan either, the ballet names were reasonably familiar (from the music mainly) and they did help me start filling up the grid once the penny dropped. Just put the last clue in now – 3d (I haven’t been staring at it for the whole evening BTW). Thanks to John for the blog.

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