Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7887/Crosophile

Posted by John on January 25th, 2012


A nice crossword from Crosophile today. He is doing a good job of filling the gap left by Dac on the last Wednesday of every month.

1 GIANTSCAUSEWAY — (casting)* au se{a}way — where does the single word come from? My Pears Cyclopaedia calls it ‘Giant’s Causeway’ and that’s certainly what I’d expected
10 LATE R — not sure about this: is ‘later’ an abbreviation of ‘see you later’, a sort of ‘good-bye’? Yes, according to Chambers, chiefly US. I’d never heard of this.
11 AUTONOMIC — ({s}umo action)*
12 WARFARE — (raw)rev. far (= remote place) E (= earth) — but (although it seems quite OK to me) I’d always thought that in an across clue the Indy didn’t allow AB = A on B
13 EFFENDI — (Find fee)*
14 RE(OR)D {ag}AIN
19 FASTED — if you tuck e (= energy) in you get ‘feasted’ — I this time is Crosophile
20 CUL-DE-SAC — (clued as c)*
23 RECEIVE — ({s}ervice{m}e{n})*
25 COLLIER — r = take, and ‘r collie’ the other way round is ‘collie r’
28 MELON — this took me a long time to see and I was all prepared to ask here for help, but it’s rather clever: ‘melon’ with ‘collier’ (which is 25) sounds like ‘melancholia'; but ‘melancholia’ means ‘sadness’ not ‘sadder’, so I’m still asking for some help, though not as much as originally
29 MIS(UNDER STAND)S — ‘under’ = ‘low’ I think and ‘stand’ = ‘resistance’, although I find it hard to think of two sentences where ‘stand’ (rather than ‘a stand’) and ‘resistance’ are interchangeable
2 INTERCOMS — (crime’s not)*
3 N OR M A — (although it could perfectly well be Morna, which is also a girl’s name according to the list of names that Chambers has sadly discontinued) — some people say that this doesn’t matter and that you just have to wait for the checkers before finding out which is correct; others (and I’m one of them) say that a clue’s answer should be evident from the clue itself
6 SANG-FROID — (find gas or)*
7 WO(MA)N — Ma is an example of a woman
8 YUCKIER — (Crikey u)*
9 F LOWER — ‘lower’ = ‘cut’ as in ‘lower/cut the trees’
15 DIETICIAN — (I dine I cat)* — initially the surface seemed a bit feeble, but ‘cat’ = ‘vomit’, so it’s rather good
18 LURCHERS — (curl)* hers, def ’24 greyhounds’ i.e. ‘cross greyhounds’
19 FIREARM — ‘film’ with ‘rear’ for ‘l’, which is the 5th letter of ‘April’ — I took a long time to work this out, thinking that the film was ‘If’ but then failing to see what was happening
21 COR! ON A
22 REVI(S{helf})E — ref Don Revie — in the Indy first names always seem to refer to footballers or pop singers
24 CROSS — 2 defs
26 LAMIA — (a{n}imal)rev. — didn’t know the word, but in Roman and Greek mythology a lamia is a blood-sucking serpent-witch

10 Responses to “Independent 7887/Crosophile”

  1. Querulous says:

    Thanks for the blog. Re 28a, I think it’s supposed to sound like “melancholier”, i.e. more melancholy.

  2. Thomas99 says:

    Thanks for the blog. I found this hard, not helped by putting in “micronets” for “intercoms” at 2d. Don’t know if they exist but it took me a while to untangle that. Also surprised by the one-word Giantscauseway but have a feeling I’ve seen it before.

    Re 29a – Custer’s last stand, surely?
    I agree with Querulous. In fact, I think the pronunciation is different – melancholia with a dipthong (as in “hole”), melancholi-er (presumably) without, as in “collier”).

    Any thoughts/inside knowledge on the Nina (MILLIE, across the middle)?

  3. Crosophile says:

    Thanks for the blog, John.

    Well spotted, Thomas99. Millie is our new collie pup. 9,16,18,24,25 and 28 have more or less tenuous ‘collie’ links. [And I liked ‘micronets’. With the rise of nanotechnology I’m sure they WILL exist if they don’t already.]
    Re 28, yes I had melancholier [!?] in mind.
    Re 3, sorry, I hadn’t considered the possibility of MORNA.
    Re 1, sorry again. It should of course have been (6,8)

  4. Paul A says:

    1a was (6,8) in dead tree version

  5. Cumbrian says:

    I liked this a lot, so many thanks for the puzzle and the blog. I was deterred from entering GAINTSCAUSEWAY at 1a as I was convinced it should be two words, so it was actually my last one in when I decided it had been incorrectly marked as 14 rather than 6,8. Favourite was 28 which produced a groan, my normal measure of a likeable clue (and it was very clever).

    Can I ask for some numpty help with something? The explanation for 25a has r = take, which I don’t follow. If this is a standard device (r short for remove?) it’s one I’ve never recognised before, which is where these blogs add to my armoury.

  6. Quixote says:

    Just the sort of puzzle one wants while having a pint and a sandwich after a 5-mile walk, Thanks colleague!

  7. Miche says:

    Thanks, John.

    Cumbrian @5: r is an abbreviation for recipe, Latin for take. My feeling is that it turns up in crosswords less often than it used to.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Yes, a fine puzzle. I too had GIANT’S CAUSEWAY as my last in after convincing myself that the enumeration was wrong. Plenty of good clues in this one: I liked FIREARM and ANTHEM (which we’ve had somewhere else this week already, I’m sure).

    I got LATER, but I’ve heard it more often among young people in this country as the plural: ‘Laters!’

    Cumbrian, r is an abbreviation for ‘recipe’, the Latin imperative (I think, Eileen’s your woman to ask) for ‘take’. It used to appear on prescriptions for how many doses of medicine to take each day. It’s one to file away – it comes up quite often.

    Thanks to John for the blog.

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Sorry, Miche, we crossed. The same question was asked in Another Place today as well!

  10. MeicG says:

    In the paper 1ac is shown (6,8) not as one word

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