Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7847 by Phi

Posted by flashling on December 9th, 2011


Well after yesterday’s mauling by Nestor I was quite relieved to see a Phi in normal Friday Indy mode and give me back some belief that I can do cryptic crosswords.

This seems to be a normal crossword with no Ninas or theme or pangram – there probably is and someone will speak up I’m sure.


7 Main 1 in MAN
8 On all fours SON* around ALL FOUR
10 Myriad No AN in DAIRYM(an) reversed
11 Thousand THOU + SAND
12 Coliseum COL + IS + E(xcellent) U(sed) M(ostly)
13 Column (p)LUM in CON [Edit – minor typo fixed]
15 Firefly FIRE (sack) + FLY (race)
16 Overuse (l)OVER + (r)USE
19 Warsaw WAS RAW reversed
21 Fanfares FARE in FANS
22 Ethiopia THE* + I (current) + OPIA(te)
25 Nesbit B1 in NEST
26 Antifreeze FREE Z(one) in AN TIE
27 Rout R + OUT
1 Lady Godiva Cryptic Def
2 Infinite 1N + IT in FINE
3 Goodfellow GO + FELL in WOOD*
4 Elmo In modEL MOdel.
5 Tonsil NoSh in TOIL and semi &lit/cd
6 Iron R in 1 + ON
9 Autumn TUM in Au + N
13 Covenanted COVEN + (r)ANTED
14 Mysterious MY (phi’s) + T(his) in SERIOUS
17 Reassure [USERS ARE]*
18 Efface F(ood) in E CAFÉ reversed
20 Spirit RIPS rev + IT
23 Tune Double def.
24 Peru PERU(sing)


11 Responses to “Independent 7847 by Phi”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Phi for an enjoyable crossword and flashling for the blog.

    The top and bottom lines spell LIGETI ETUDES, a reference to the Hungarian composer Gyorgi Ligeti. From his Wikipedia entry

    the following titles seem to have been used
    no.4 Fanfares (21ac)
    no.6 Autumn in Warsaw (9d, 19ac)
    ?no.8 Metal (6dn is IRON)
    no.14 Infinite Column (2dn, 13ac)

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Is there anyone else out there, or have flashing and I covered the answers and theme so fully that there is nothing else to say?

    When solving the puzzle, I did not get the wordplay for 16ac or 27ac, so thanks flashing for those. On reflection, I think 16ac can be taken more simply as (l)OVE RUSE.

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Sorry flashling of course.

  4. NealH says:

    I didn’t follow 27 either – was convinced it was a K or R being removed from some word for position. 13 across is slightly incorrect in the blog, being [p]lum in con.

  5. flashling says:

    Thanks for spotting the Nina & theme Pelham, Ligeti isn’t a name I knew and just looked like a random string and I think you’re right about 16a – I wasn’t totally happy with my version.

  6. Lenny says:

    Thanks Flashling and Phi for another interesting, musical puzzle. Unusually, I spotted the words Ligeti Etudes and was able to use them to get a couple of answers on the top and bottom row. I suppose the Nina does justify the use of this solver-unfriendly, portcullis grid.

    Thanks Pelham for pointing out the etude names. I think I heard Joanna Macgregor play, probably, Autumn in Warsaw at the Guiting Festival, obviously the name did not stick. We should be thankful that Phi did not clue some of the other etudes such as Galamb Borong.

  7. Pelham Barton says:

    flashling @5: I saw ETUDES before I had finished the puzzle so it seemed likely that LIGETI was a composer – I had not heard of him either, and looked him up after reading your blog. For weekday newspaper crosswords I generally regard it as a good thing if the theme does not get in the way of solving the puzzle.

    16ac: When solving, I tried (and failed) to do something with (l)OVER + USE. Your reading certainly helped me to spot the more satisfying version.

  8. Allan_C says:

    Spotted the nina for once, and thought there might be more to it, and so it proved when I googled Ligeti Etudes.

    For anyone not into children’s TV shows, ELMO (4d) is a muppet character – see

    And for those who need to brush up their Shakespeare, Robin GOODFELLOW (3d) is an alias of Puck (in A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

    Favourite? It has to be LADY GODIVA – a cracker of a clue!

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Didn’t spot the Nina, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the puzzle. Since the ETUDES are all words in common circulation, this strikes me as a good choice of theme. I too liked LADY GODIVA.

    Thanks for blogging, flashling.

  10. Thomas99 says:

    Intriguing Nina – well spotted PB and AC. I completely missed it. If you’ve seen Kubrick’s 2001 you’ll know at least one Ligeti piece pretty well. When they reopened the Festival Hall a few years ago they had the remarkable idea of playing that Ligeti piece (Atmospheres, I think it’s called in English) followed without any break at all by the last movement of Beethoven’s Ninth. I heard it on the radio and thought it sounded great.

  11. Phi says:

    For many, the Ligeti Etudes are the greatest piano pieces of recent years (and for those nervous about modern music, they’re also remarkably approachable). I happened to be listening to them and noted the (6,6) possibility and then worked a few of the more ordinary names into the grid.

    The meaningless title ‘Galamb borong’ would have been nice to include (perhaps down the sides?) – Ligeti (who was Hungarian, more specifically Transylvanian) notes that you shouldn’t interpret it as fake Hungarian – it’s actually fake Balinese (that etude is gamelan inspired).

    That’s two musical ghost themes in a row – something different coming up…

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