Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,835/Phi

Posted by Ali on November 25th, 2011


For anyone who has navigated here directly and/or solved this online, your attention is drawn to this note on the main page.

I had no idea that this puzzle was used for the research until after I’d finished, but in hindsight it is a puzzle that has everything you would want: the full range of clue types, elegant surfaces, some tricky clues here and there, no quibbles. All of which is what we get every week from Phi!

1 POLICE STATION – E[-vening] in (COPS IN IT A LOT)*
8 TWIG – W(oman) in TIG
9 CINDER PATH – “SIN” + R[-adio] P[-ersonalities] in DEATH
10 AGATHA – GAT in A-HA!
12 INDUSTRY – TRY following IN DUS[-k]
13 LEAPFROG – F(ellow) in A PRO, all in LEG
20 APPETITE – AP(parently) + PETITE
21 SETTLE – L in SETTE[-r]
23 DISINHERIT – D[-ress] + IS + IN + HER + IT
24 ARCH – Double def.
1 PEW – P[-h(ard)]EW
2 LIGHT – [-f(orce]LIGHT
3 SINGING TELEGRAM – Cryptic def.
11 GREASEPAINT – G(ood) + R(un) + EASE + PAIN + [-i]T
14 PEACETIME – ACE in PET + I’M + E[-njoy]
22 TRAMP – MART rev. + P[-rices]
25 CAR – CAR[-e]

17 Responses to “Independent 7,835/Phi”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Phi for the usual elegant puzzle – certainly fit for purpose – and Ali for the blog.

    I do have a slight quibble with 11dn: I am not completely convinced that “its closing” properly indicates the last letter of the word “it”. Perhaps Phi could have replaced “agony” by a word ending in T such as “discomfort” – though I am sure there is a better alternative. If he had done that, “its closing” could have meant the last letter of that word, which would be unchallengeably correct.

    When solving, I wondered about 20ac, but Chambers 1998 gives both ap. and app. as abbreviations for “apparently”, so no problem there.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Further to 1, I meant to say that I thought the long anagrams were excellent, especially 1ac, which was my favourite clue in the crossword.

  3. Paul B says:

    Yay, a really good puzzle, with 1a a stand-out. You’re right though, about 11: and it can’t be taken as nounal (which would lead to S, not T).

  4. MikeC says:

    Thanks Ali and Phi. I agree with others – an excellent puzzle and blog. COD for me was 26: neat, clever, concise – but I was also impressed by the “&lit-ishness” of 1a.

  5. Richard Palmer says:

    Good stuff as always from Phi. The GRIM REAPER clue was brilliant and POLICE STATION was not far behind.

    Like Pelham, I also felt very uncomfortable with “its closing”: without the apostrophe for guidance (as in day’s closing”) it just doesn’t look right.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks Ali. I agree with you – a good all round puzzle with everthing on display. POLICE STATION and THE GRIM REAPER were exceptional. Personally I would spell LEAP-FROG with a hyphen, but I’m sure it’s in dictionaries without. Never heard of SINGING TELEGRAM. I too am struggling to make GREASEPAINT work. Wouldn’t ‘it closing’ be clearer and acceptable?

    Fine crossword; fine week of crosswords in fact.

  7. Pelham Barton says:

    K’s Dad @6:

    Collins 2000 will do as an example of a dictionary which gives leapfrog without a hyphen. (As a general rule, if I go to Collins, it means that I have failed to find what I wanted in the nearest copy of Chambers, by the way.)

    Not sure about “it closing”, but maybe I am biased by the fact that I had already thought of a different way of resolving the problem with 11dn. As usual, if I were sure it was wrong, I would have said so in more direct language.

  8. nmsindy says:

    The survey form asked about clues people did not like. Maybe GREASEPAINT was there for that reason to ensure some respondents at least could fill that part in…

    Never heard of SINGING TELEGRAM, K’s D? I count you as pretty lucky there.

    Slightly easier, I thought, than Phi normally is and excellent as always. POLICE STATION was my favourite too. I also liked NATURE TRAIL a lot.

  9. redddevil says:

    I hesitated briefly over ‘its closing’ but was happy enough to read it as ‘the closing of it’ even without the apostrophe so for me it was (in PB’s own words from Blog 7825 a few days ago) ‘correct enough’.

  10. Pelham Barton says:

    redddevil @9: I wondered how long it would take you to quote that back at me. The problem with that reading is whether you could then extend the idea and accept “his closing” as an indicator for M.

    nmsindy @8: Although I did the survey, I did not feel I disliked the clue for 11dn enough to mention it in that section.

  11. redddevil says:

    Good point PB – I hadn’t considered the extrapolation. I think I could just about stretch to it but I’d certainly consider it a tough clue!

  12. Pelham Barton says:

    redddevil @11: We are in the sort of “grey area” territory which can be fun to discuss in the right spirit of friendship. I hope that always applies on this website. So, having dug you into a hole, maybe I can help you out of it by offering another old comment of mine

    The argument I was making there was that I was happy with abbreviations forming part of the anagram fodder only if the letters required were already in the clue. By analogy, here we could note that “its closing” has the T there in front of you, and “his closing” does not actually show you the M. Maybe that is enough to make a difference. Or maybe not.

    (By the way, I have not been searching through all my old comments. I have a quick route in my mind that got me back to that one.)

  13. nmsindy says:

    Re PB’s comment at #10, my reference at #8 was intended as tongue-in-cheek (I must bone up on those emoticons)

  14. Pelham Barton says:

    nms @13: Apologies for failing to pick that up. I do not do emoticons either(!)

  15. Allan_C says:

    A little more challenging perhaps than some of Phi’s, but a fairly quick solve nevertheless.
    I wasn’t too happy with 10a in that a “gat” (gatling gun) is not exactly what one understands by a revolver. OK, it has a rotating barrel mechanism (see ) but surely the term ‘revolver’ usually means a handgun? Not that I’ve had experience of either.

  16. redddevil says:

    PB @12 didn’t feel in a hole and always enjoy the discussion. At the end of the day words and language is what we’re all interested in here right?
    Allan_C @15 whilst “gat” may have originated from gatling gun it is surely more widely appreciated as a small (hand) gun? I’m sure I first came across it in Bogart/Edward G gangster movies (oops showing my age) and they hardly walked round with gatling guns!

  17. flashling says:

    Thanks ali and Phi, greasepaint I took as reddevil “it’s” being wrong and meaning the last character of it’s (as it were). Anyway one of my fastest solves ever, K’s D we’ll have to book you a singing telegram for tommorow to say thank you. The Grim Reaper and Police Station were fantastic thanks Phi

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