Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7844/Radian

Posted by John on December 6th, 2011


Rather difficult today, I thought. It took me a while to get under way, but everything made sense eventually and there are some good clues here.

The theme escaped me for a while. I was fairly sure the first word of 6dn/25dn was ‘double’, and I had _D_M for 18ac, so my mind went to cheeses (of which one was Edam) and Double Gloucester, a false trail.

Sorry all this is so late. I couldn’t post the blog. Kept on being told that oops, we couldn’t connect to So I left it and came back to it later and all was well, and Gaufrid didn’t have to cope with a panic email.

1 DUPLICATING — c in (tail)rev., all in duping — an example of 7dn — not everyone is happy with tailback for tail reversed (and this sort of thing appears again below once or twice), but it seems to be accepted here and so long as we know it’s accepted I can’t see the problem — a possibly more serious complaint is that ‘double’ and ‘duplicating’ don’t (to me at any rate) seem to be quite the same: of course they are related, but is there a sentence where one word can be replaced by the other? I’m sure someone will produce one.
7 DIP — I pinched by d (old penny) and p (new penny), and a dip is a pickpocket so a dip pinched various types of coin — nice &lit.
9 U-BOAT — (about)* — a very obvious anagram that I was slow to see, thinking that it was just a rather feeble CD
10 RE(PRO)DUCE — def. ‘make a child’
11 LOOKALIKE — def. ‘double’ — le (article in L’Équipe, a French magazine so in French) around O(OK Ali)K — for a long time I thought this started and ended with le (or la or les), being a double French article
12 CAL VE{t} — to calve is to give birth to a calf, or bear a calf, presumably on a farm or ranch
15 SPIT — (tips)rev.
18 I(D{u}E)’M — never heard the word in the sense of ‘lookalike’, but it’s Latin for ‘same’ and no doubt some dictionary gives it
20 BEGONIA — (a big one)*
23 HELIX — “he licks”
24 NOSEPIECE — “knows peace”
26 ME(ZZ)AN 1 NE{w}
27 maIN DIEtary
28 verY ODd
29 DOUBLES PEAK — doubles as in tennis, i.e. court battles
1 DOUBLE UP — 2 defs and no apparent link to 6dn
2 PHOTOFIT — profit with ‘r’ replaced by ‘hot’
3 INTRA — in (art)rev. — I think that ‘lit’ is as in ‘the fire is lit/the fire is in’
4 AIRLINE — Virgin Airlines, Ir in A-line, the collection by Dior
5 I’M PRESS — which is what a hack might say
6 GROUCHING — Groucho with ‘in g’ for o
7 DOUBLE ENTENDRE — &lit, (redden note blue)*
8 PEE-PEE — this is a word for urinate, but I can’t see what this has to do with ‘double up’ or with families — please help
14 INDEX CARD — (dr a(c)xed NI)rev.
17 T(APED)ECK — ‘aped’ = ‘did idem’, and she had been Princess Mary of Teck
19 MON DIEU — on in (I’m due)*
20 BOSWELL — (elbows)* about l, with ‘bent’ the anagram idicator
22 G{u}L{p} AZED — ref Azed in The Observer
25 PAIRS — (Paris)*

16 Responses to “Independent 7844/Radian”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, John, and many thanks to Radian for a highly entertaining puzzle.

    I was just about to say that I couldn’t help with 8dn but I’ve just seen it: I think it’s DOUBLE [u]P [double P minus U [film classification – ‘for the family’]

    There’s probably even more than this going on but DIP, BEGONIA, HELIX, WHAMMY, GLAZING and PAIRS can all be preceded by ‘double’.

  2. Wanderer says:

    Thanks John.

    8d refers to 1d, which is double up. Get rid of the U (fit for families, film classification) and you’ve got DOUBLE P (or PEE PEE). Clever clue.

    Also enjoyed the many other doubles — DOUBLE WHAMMY, DOUBLE GLAZED, DOUBLE HELIX, DOUBLE DIP etc.

    Top puzzle.

  3. Wanderer says:

    Too late! Apols for crossing, Eileen

  4. hounddog says:

    I don’t have a problem with ‘tailback’ for ‘lait’. My pet hate is introducing the names of other compilers which makes the whole thing a bit too cliquey. If I normally buy newspaper ‘X’ but switch to newspaper ‘Y’ on a particular day is it fair that I should be expected to know the name of the setter who did a puzzle the previous week?

    This one took me a bit of starting, but once I got ‘double entendre’ and ‘double up’ all became (relatively) clear.

    I’m just glad ‘mezzanine’ was my last-but-three-or-four entry so I didn’t waste time looking for a pangram.

  5. Trebor says:

    Great puzzle. This is a classic example of what I consider to be the best variety of theme puzzle for a daily – just enough in the clues / solutions for the theme to be obvious (but not too much depending on the solving of a single linked clue), with the other “double” related words being bonuses for the more interested solvers. I usually only do the Guardian puzzle so I was wondering if anyone on here knows whether “Radian” has a Guardian alter-ego?

  6. Thomas99 says:

    Radian’s Crucible – and a v. valuable member of both stables. This was a corker.

  7. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was a absolute cracker. Many thanks, Radian, John for the blog, and those who pointed out the words that ‘double’ could precede cos I missed that. I found it extremely hard but it was very satisfying to work it all out in the end.

  8. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Radian for an enjoyable puzzle and John for the blog.

    1ac: I think the defintion is “making 7D”.

    10ac: Here I think there are two definitions: “Make a child” at the beginning of the clue and “7D” at the end, with the wordplay in between.

    11ac: Nice idea. We have to take “article in L’Equipe” as referring to a word appearing in the publication. This is because my Larousse tells me that equipe is feminine, so the article in L’Equipe itself is LA not LE. Of course, that is not a problem with the clue, as I realised in the process of typing this. Apologies for my inability to type acute accents.

    8dn: I thought this had to be PEE-PEE but did not see the logic of it, so thank you to Eileen and Wanderer.

  9. Eileen says:

    Hi Pelham Barton

    Re 11ac: as I realised after reading it as you both did, LE is also ‘hidden’ in L’Équipe – but I’m sure Radian intended the more cryptic interpretation!

    i agree with your reading of 1ac and 10ac.

  10. Pelham Barton says:

    A couple more comments from me:

    3dn: “in adv alight” is in Chambers 2008.

    hounddog @4: I take your point about references to other compilers, but Azed is not just a “setter who did a puzzle the previous week”: he has produced the barred crossword in the Observer for 2062 consecutive issues, and Azed is also the name of this series of puzzles.

  11. Pelham Barton says:

    Eileen @9 re 11ac: As I am so often pleased to say to you – good point.

  12. dialrib says:

    1d, 7d/16d and 29a contain DOUBLE;
    1a, 7a, 10a, 11a, 15a, 18a defined as DOUBLE;
    7a, 20a, 23a, 28a(YOD), 21d, 22d, 25d may be prefixed by DOUBLE;
    8d contains a double PEE;
    2d PHOTOFIT is a sort of DOUBLE;
    and 17d(TAPE DECK) and 24a(NOSEPIECE) may be prefixed by DOUBLE?
    Even 13a(UNITIVE) is a converse meaning of DOUBLE and 20d(BOSWELL) was part of a DOUBLE act.

    Impressive stuff.
    Too challenging for me though.

  13. redddevil says:

    Found much of this over-cryptic and never heard of A-Line, yod or idem. Given that I don’t really like clues that reference other clues doing this one straight after Nimrod’s 7836 offering was not that pleasant an experience!

  14. sidey says:

    I wish I had a bit more time to appreciate this excellent puzzle. Thanks both.

    A mezzanine could double your floor area.

    re tailback, I think Eileen calls this device ‘lift and separate’, perhaps it could be renamed ‘Playtex’ in honour of today’s puzzle?

  15. Eileen says:

    Nice one, sidey – but it wasn’t me who coined the phrase! ;-)

  16. flashling says:

    Double double toil and trouble. Great stuff thanks Radian. Must admit some word play passed me, TECK I didn’t know and A-Line I was rather unsure about. Cheers John on clearing them up. Perhaps I need to learn the Israeli alphabet as YOD was a guess but it had to be.

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