Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7921 by Phi

Posted by NealH on March 5th, 2012


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

Phi has been quite busy in the Indy recently, setting Friday’s and Monday’s puzzles as well as a few recent prize puzzles. I found this a bit tougher than some offerings – the wordplay was easy enough when you saw the answer, but the unusualness of words like 1 down held me back.

9 Eucalypti: EU + typical*. Slight sense of deja vu as this one came up in one of last week’s puzzles.
10 Idiot: Quite nice &lit. I + [hea]d + o in it.
11 Ireland: I rend around LA.
12 Gainsay: Gains + a[udibl]y. Quite nice bit of misdirection with the audibly seeming to imply a homophone.
13 Laugh: La + ugh. This was one which held me up as I was utterly convinced the answer had to be lough, since lo was the only word for see I’d come across. However, it seems that la can be an alternate spelling.
14 Spider Web: (Drips + w[ater] + bee)*.
16 The Cats’ Whiskers: DD/CD. A cat’s whisker is a type of wire used in early radio equipment. Not knowing the term, I did think for a while the answer might be a similarly enumerated expression involving dogs and a dangling part of their anatomy.
19 Nightwear: ([Sleepin]g in the raw)*, with slipping as an anagram indicator.
21 Exile: XI + l in [Gr]ee[ce].
22 Tosspot: Tos[h] + spot.
23 Psychic: P[o]sy + chic.
24 Crisp: I think this is just a DD of “fresh, cold” (crisp is generally used as a description of the weather on cold days) + fried food.
25 Neutrinos: Routine* in NS.
1 Feuilleton: U life* + let on. Feuilleton is in that category of words I’d heard of but have no idea what they mean. Apparently it’s a section of a European newspaper devoted to literature and literary criticism.
2 Schedule: Sch + edu (some websites have .edu as a suffix) + le.
3 Bleach: Beach around l.
4 Ipod: Initials of “is powering other devices”.
5 Kingfisher: Components of Fisher King switched round.
6 Pitiless: Piss around tile. Seeing this one did make my thoughts on 16 seem more plausible.
7 Jigsaw: Jig + saw.
8 Stay: Sta[rr]y.
14 Suspecting: [Pro]specting around US.
15 Basket Case: Base around sketc[h].
17 Antipope: A nope around tip. With all the recent publicity, it was hard not to think the answer wasn’t going to be something like Abu Qatada.
18 Epiphany: “Revelation? Its events occur in Matthew.” Not being religious, this one escapes me. I know epiphany can be used to mean revelation, but don’t know what it’s got to do with Matthew and can’t see any obvious wordplay.
20 Gossip: Pig around s + so, all reversed.
21 Eeyore: E(arly) E(nglish) + yore.
22 Taco: Ta + co.
23 Plug: Gulp<.

11 Responses to “Independent 7921 by Phi”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Neal. Indeed, is Phi doing piece work at the minute?

    Good puzzle, though like you I found it trickier than Phi’s usual Friday offerings. Thought that might be because of a nina, but can’t see anything. I couldn’t parse LAUGH or GAINSAY, so thanks for those.

    The EPIPHANY reference is, I think, to the fact that of the synoptic gospels, it’s Matthew who has the most detailed account of the Journey of the Magi, bringing gifts and arriving on what is now celebrated on January 6th, the Epiphany. Life of Brian has an alternative version (‘There is an animal called a balm, or did I dream it?’)

    And I’m not sure what you mean about 16ac, since THE MUTT’S NUTS doesn’t fit with the enumeration …

    Thanks to Phi as always.

  2. Paul B says:

    Is anyone else having trouble opening the Indy crossword online? IE keeps crashing it, or vice-versa.

  3. NealH says:

    Just tried it through Firefox and IE and I don’t get any problems.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    It’s working fine for me as well, Paul.

  5. Paul B says:

    Works now. Some IE update problem I’ll wager, involving Java.

    Nice puzzle from Phi, who is, as you say, getting in a good run of appearances, with a couple of clues (16 & 18) that slowed me down due to a requirement for specific knowledge (in particular about radio transmitters and The Bible). They were both dd clues, so certainly I had half a chance, and each was gettable from the crossing pattern in any case. Plus, of course, now I know! Couldn’t see any shenanigans.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Phi, and NealH. Yes, I too found it a bit harder than usual for Phi – esp SW quadrant. I think in 16 A the ‘most impressive’ refers to another meaning of the THE CAT’S WHISKERS ie something very good. CRISP took me ages to get – not 100% sure but thought it might split at “Fresh/cold, fried food” as the double definition.

  7. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Phi for a pleasant crossword and NealH for the blog.

    8dn: I am not sure about this one. Chambers 2008 gives “starry adj abounding or adorned with stars; consisting of, or proceeding from, the stars; like, or shining like, the stars”. Collins 2000 gives us “1 filled, covered with, or illuminated by stars. 2 of, like, or relating to a star or stars”. I am not sure that any of those quite justifies “with famous actors” instead of “like famous actors”, but am very ready to be persuaded that “with” works.

    24ac: When solving, I took this as three meanings, but both dictionaries quoted above support the view given by Neal and nms@6 that “Fresh, cold” is really just one meaning.

  8. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks NealH for the blog. We completed it but couldn’t parse 22 and 24a so thanks for filling in the gaps.
    Some good puzzles from Phi recently but this was trickier in our opinion. After having missed themes recently we kept wondering whether we had missed another with the inclusion of some unusual words but can’t see anything.

    Thanks Phi for the entertainment!

  9. Dormouse says:

    16a was the first answer I got as I remember reading books about how to make a cat’s whisker radio reciever when very young, except I kept thinking it should be something like The Cat’s Pyjamas meaning most impressive.

    I’d taken 24a as a triple definition but I agree about the Chambers definition.

  10. pennes says:

    Definitely harder , and it seemd to me a bit less inventive than Phi’s usual.
    Could someone explain why in 8 dn that “rr” is represented by Bishop?

  11. Dormouse says:

    Chambers gives RR as an abbreviation for Right Reverend, which I guess is the correct title for a bishop.

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