Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,890 by Phi (Saturday Prize Puzzle 28/01/12)

Posted by Bertandjoyce on February 4th, 2012


We like Phi so we were really pleased that our first blog was one of his. When we saw the number of themed clues however, we wondered what we were taking on. It didn’t take too long thankfully to unravel the theme.

The theme became apparent as soon as we solved 12a! Luckily we knew him and the clue was straightforward. This led us to solving 2d but this didn’t help as much as we hoped, as we only knew 3 of the other philosophers. …… Unfortunately, the limits of our knowledge come from Monty Python’s famous Song and Sophie’s World. Thank heavens Wikipedia wasn’t blacked out today!

At the end we wondered whether there might be another theme with IRVING BERLIN but couldn’t find anything.

An enjoyable and educational solve!

1 SPINOZA 2’s handling of media with lightweight article
  SPIN (handling of media) + OZ (ounce) + A = Baruch Spinoza , a  17C Dutch Philosopher
5 SCRUTON 2 against retaining routine on Sunday
  CON (against) around RUT (routine) after S (Sunday) = Roger Scruton, an English philosopher born 1944
10 PILGRIMAGE Part of book covering most of harsh, dour journey
  PAGE around IL(L)  (most of harsh) + GRIM (dour)
11 AYER 2 who’d be a detective writer on board
  The detective writer is Dorothy L Sayers. AYER inside SS (on board). A J Ayer, a 20C British philosopher
12 SOCRATES 2’s call for assistance about rickety plane
  CRATE (rickety aeroplane) inside SOS. Socrates himself is particularly missed ………. Finish it yourselves!
13 POPPER 2 making reports
  POPPER (Anything that makes a pop i.e. report in the sense of a sound). In our opinion the weakest clue, unless we are missing something. Karl Popper 20C Austro-British philosopher
15 NOTARIES Only eleven signs to identify legal professionals?
  If you leave out Aries from the signs of the Zodiac you only have eleven left – Not Aries
16 BERLIN 2 ends of rail in existence? Not entirely
  R(AI)L within BEIN(G) Isaiah Berlin, a 20C Russian philosopher
17 THALES 2 almost entirely filling the section
  AL(L) within THE S (section) Thales of Miletus, an ancient Greek who  was regarded as the father of philosophy
19 MARSH TIT Market in which you’ll find this cooked bird
  MART (market) around  an anagram of “THIS” cooked =anagrind
21 IRVING Famous actor, one touring widely, nothing less
  I R(O)VING (one touring without O) We think this is Sir Henry Irving, a Victorian English stage actor unless someone knows otherwise!
23 HABERMAS 2 has amber rocks
  An anagram of  “HAS AMBER” rocks =anagrind. Jürgen Habermas, a 20C German philosopher
24 HUME 2, kind-hearted overlooking article
  HUM(AN)E David Hume could out-consume …..
26 DERMATITIS Skin trouble: admit it’s treated without hesitation
  An anagram of “ADMIT IT’S” around ER (hesitation)  treated = anagrind
27 RUSSELL 2 making little noise audibly
  RUSSELL sounds like rustle (audibly). Bertrand Russell, a British 20C philosopher
28 UNAMUNO 2, university fellow, backing one from Milan
  U (university) + Rev MAN  (fellow) + UNO (Italian for one). Miguel de Unamuno born in Spain 1864, a writer, playwright and philosopher
2 PHILOSOPHER Setter’s exclamation about dashed hopes? It gets one thinking
  PHI (setter) + LOR (exclamation) around an anagram of “HOPES” dashed = anagrind. The theme for the puzzle!
3 NIGERIA Atmosphere, say in rising African country
  AIR (atmosphere) + EG (say) + IN, all reversed
4 ZOIATRICS One Australian upset over ailing cats, bringing in right one for veterinary surgery
  I OZ, reversed + anagram of “CATS” around RI (right one). ailing = anagrind
6 CREEP Member of the Lords about to turn up, the wretch
  PEER + C (about) all reversed
7 UDAIPUR Indian city aid distributed in prominent ancient city
  Anagram of AID within UP (prominent) + UR (ancient city). distributed = anagrind
8 ODE A mysterious text, not the foremost poetry
  (C)ODE mysterious text without the first letter
9 MARSH-SAMPHIRE Bog plant damages his hamper messily
MARS (damages) + an anagram of HIS HAMPER. Messily = anagrind
14 EDIFICATION What 2s seek is little change in religious practice
  DEIFICATION (religious practice) with a little change at the beginning
16 BIRDBRAIN Stupid covering around road, given wet weather
  RD  in BIB (covering) + RAIN
18 LOITERS Fails to move on Liberal and Tories working together
  An anagram of L (Liberal) and TORIES. Working together = anagrind
20 HEROISM Man’s memory including one’s brave action
  HE (man) + ROM (memory) round I
22 GODEL 2 to leave one out of transaction
  GO (leave) +DE(A)L.  Kurt Gödel, an Austrian 20C philosopher
25 ULU Some frightful use for Eskimo knife
  FrightfUL Use. We couldn’t find this in Chambers but it couldn’t be anything else.


11 Responses to “Independent 7,890 by Phi (Saturday Prize Puzzle 28/01/12)”

  1. flashling says:

    Thanks B&J and welcome to 15sq as bloggers. Failed on this as didn’t know all the names and couldn’t get all the names from the wordplay despite singing the song over and over in what I hope was just my head!

  2. Allan_C says:

    Didn’t quite get there – failed on IRVING and GODEL. But a good workout all the same. And welcome to our new bloggers.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Thanks B&J for the excellent blog and Phi for the puzzle. Quite a few of them I’d not heard of but the wordplays were pretty clear. Curiously, tho ULU is not in Chambers or Collins, it’s in the Concise OED. It was a very easy clue anyway, deliberately so, I suspect.

  4. Jan says:

    Well done, both of you, it’s good to see you on the ‘other side’ of the table. ;)

    This one defeated me. I only recognised three of the names although I managed to solve some of the others from the clues – even the melodic sounding, UNAMUNO! There were still a lot of gaps when I gave up.

  5. Jan says:

    A minor point – does 20a need IS (for ‘one’s’)? I only noticed because I thought it was HIS from ‘Man’s’ and M for ‘memory’ and couldn’t see how we got the ERO.

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Jan
    I will answer on B&J’s behalf because I know they are away at the moment. In 20dn it is I’S in HE ROM so I suspect a typo or similar.

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Gaufrid – sorry Jan, we do seem to have had a gremlin creep in to our first blog. May not be the last either! Thankfully no gremlin(s) on board here – saw the northern lights!

  8. flashling says:

    Hmm as any blogger not had gremlins?

  9. flashling says:

    or commenter :-) HAS not AS

  10. redddevil says:

    I’d have thought the philosophers ought to have been better known myself. Most of them, for instance, do not appear in the list of the 50 best known philosophers so how is anyone expected to know them without resorting to looking up every possibility?

  11. Michael Vnuk says:

    Picked up this crossword in an old paper here in Adelaide, Australia. Got a fair amount out, including 2d PHILOSOPHER. The fact that the crossword as published here did not have the setter’s name (Phi) was not helpful. Finding SOCRATES was the key to guessing 2d and then solving others. However, even the list of famous philosophers in Wikipedia didn’t help with all of them. I realise now that I had heard of Isaiah Berlin (philosopher) and Irving Berlin (composer), but I had not separated them in my mind, probably because their first names both start with I! The repetition of MARSH (as in MARSH-SAMPHIRE and MARSH TIT) should have been avoided.

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