Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,914 by Phi (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 25/02/12)

Posted by Simon Harris on March 3rd, 2012

Simon Harris.

When Phi didn’t appear in the Independent during the week, it seemed likely that we’d be tackling one of his puzzles when Saturday came, and so it was.

One probably couldn’t describe this one as “thematic”, but it did have one of those very long answers that tend to split solvers roughly down the middle: some love them, some hate them. I’m not sure I have a strong opinion on them myself, so I just contented myself with trying to crack it.

I haven’t seen the film or read the book which provides the entry, but for some reason I was familiar with the quote itself. No doubt it’s just one of those famous movie lines that does the rounds without people necessarily knowing where it came from.

Anyway, enough rambling from me. This was a good Saturday puzzle, challenging but not painfully so.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

Across
1 SCROUNGE – from SCROOGE, with 0 (“nothing”) replaced by (“yielding to”) UN (“a Parisian”).
5 ASIMOV – A SIM + OV[er]. “The Sims” is, I am led to believe, a series of computer games in which players build a virtual family over time. Each to their own. The Sci-Fi writer is, of course, Isaac Asimov.
11 MOTEL – MOTE + L.
15 OPUS – O (the most “round” letter) + P[rovide] U[seful] S[ervice].
16 MATTERHORN – MATTER + HORN.
19 EVERYWHERE – EVE + ((W + HER) in RYE).
20 RIMU – [chai]R I’M U[sing]. An unfamiliar term for me, thankfully unambiguously signposted, as one tends to expect from Phi.
26 THIGH – T[hat] + HIGH. “High” for “a bit mouldy” is one of those lovely, old-fashioned and perhaps very English terms. It’s most typically used in the context of game meat.
27 INCENTIVE – from INVENTIVE, with C instead of V (Roman numerals for 100 and 5 respectively).
28 YOGURT – G[oodness] in (YOUR + T).
29/12/10/18/22 MY NAME IS INIGO MONTOYA YOU KILLED MY FATHER PREPARE TO DIE – deep breath. (ELIMINATION OF ENEMY IT APPEARS READY + MURKY METHODOLOGY I)*. If this doesn’t knock my formatting out of whack, nothing will. “Mandy” in this case is Mandy Patinkin, the actor who uttered the words.
Down
1 STYX – hom. of “sticks”.
2 ROUTR + OUT.
3 UNIONSUNI + ONS.
4 GULAG – (U[seful] L[ife]) in GAG.
6 SEMINARY – SEMI + NARY.
7 METROPOLIS – (SILO + PORT + ‘EM)<.
8 VILLAINOUS – 0 in (VILLA IN U.S.).
9 ODOMETER – (0 + MET) in DOER.
13 HOMEOPATHY – (EMPTY HOO HA)* &lit;.
14 QUIETENING – QUI[t]E + TEN[d]ING.
17 ATHLETIC – H[o]LE in ATTIC.
21 VIENNA – VIE + N + N.A..
23 ORCZY – ORC + Z + Y. I assume this is the novelist Emma Orczy, but solved from wordplay, in my case.
24 LIVE – EVIL<.
25 MESS – MESS[age].

3 Responses to “Independent 7,914 by Phi (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 25/02/12)”

  1. Dormouse says:

    Emma Orczy was better know as Baroness Orczy – that was how her name appeared on her books (and still does, according to Amazon). I sauppose people still have heard of the Scarlet Pimpernel without knowing who created him.

    I was pleased Phi used the term “SF writer” in 6ac. The term “sci-fi” is disliked by many SF fans. :-)

  2. Jan says:

    Thanks for the blog, Simon.

    I was not familiar with ‘The Sims’ but it could be no other writer. And I didn’t see that parsing for 8d. I convinced myself that ‘Nasty’ was serving a dual purpose as a noun, villain, as well as the adjectival definition.

  3. Allan_C says:

    Long answers aren’t a particular problem for me but I don’t really like them when they are anagrams as it’s too much like hard work to unscramble them. But usually crossing letters give an idea of at least part of a long answer, as happened here for me. Having got that, googling the phrase gave me the rest of the answer, which was just as well because I didn’t know the quotation, certainly not the name Inigo Montoya.

    btw, according to one reference the name should be Iñigo Montoya – not that that’s of any importance in crosswordland where accents and diacritics are conventionally ignored.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


8 + = fourteen