Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8039 / Phi

Posted by Bertandjoyce on July 20th, 2012


We always look forward to our blog on a Friday. Phi never seems to disappoint and even when we have finished the puzzle we start looking for hidden themes or ninas. We’ve missed a few in the past but it didn’t take too long to spot this one although we didn’t start looking until we started the blog.

It was Joyce’s turn this week and she noticed the word across row 10 first of all. Her first thought was that it could it be just a coincidence but we don’t expect that with Phi! It didn’t take long to find the other words, all at relevant places within the grid. We found 7 in total but we would urge others to check and see if there are others! Hopefully the word LICE in row 11 is NOT part of the theme despite being strategically placed!

Help with 28a would be much appreciated as well.

1   Collection of rubbish filled with 500 mostly genuine cans
HEADPHONES HEAP (collection of rubbish) around or ‘filled with’ D (Roman numeral for 500) + HONES(t) (genuine with last letter removed or ‘mostly’) = cans
6   Run into damp weather, producing throat problem
FROG R (run) inside or ‘into’ FOG (damp weather) = throat problem as in the American phrase  “a frog in your throat” when you have phlegm in the back of your throat
10   Shots accounting for nearly half of stimulating stuff
SALVO Nearly half of SAL VO(latile) (stimulating stuff, or smelling salts) = shots. Apparently policemen in Victorian Britain carried smelling salts to revive fainting women. It makes us wonder what it was that caused all these ladies to have so many problems!
11   Some in Spain regretted backing new approach
DEPARTURE PART (some) in E (Spain) + RUED (regretted) reversed or ‘backing’ = new approach
12   Workman dismissed, getting dole?
HANDOUT HAND (workman) + OUT (dismissed) = dole
14   Retentive power, first to last, with experienced performer
OLD HAND HOLD (retentive power) with first letter moved to the end + AND (with) = experienced performer
15   Second food supplier interrupted by tense broadcaster
SCATTERER S (second) + CATERER (food supplier) around or ‘interrupted’ by T (tense) = broadcaster
16   Instrument taking up bass activity, primarily
TUBA Initial letters of T(aking) U(p) B(ass) A(ctivity) or ‘primarily’ = instrument
18   One refusal to accept introduction of Fox News
INFO I (one) + NO (refusal) around or ‘accepting’ F (initial letter of Fox) = news
20   One’s aboard scariest turbulent flight
STAIRCASE A (one) inside or ‘aboard’ an anagram of SCARIEST (anagrind is ‘turbulent’) = flight
23   Churchman overlooking article about English innocent
ANGELIC ANGLIC(an) (churchman) without or ‘overlooking’ ‘an’ (article) about E (English) = innocent
24   Exalt English names with honour (including introduction to Lords)
ENNOBLE E (English) + NN(names)  + OBE (honour) around or ‘including’ L (introduction to Lords) = exalt
25   Suppressing silence, keeps on working organ controls
KNEE-STOPS Anagram of KEEPS ON (anagrind is ‘working’) around or ‘suppressing’ ST (silence) = organ controls. We were really hooked on trying to include SH for silence with the anagram so this was our last one in – but ST can stand for silence – a new one on us! The knee-stop or knee-swell is worked by the organist’s knee and is used for regulating the wind supply. You learn something everyday doing crosswords don’t you?!
27   Food that’s brought in cold – ridiculous situation
FARCE C inside or ‘brought into’ FARE (food) = ridiculous situation
28   Reality shows no opening for talented girl
RUTH (t)RUTH (reality) with no initial letter or ‘opening’ = talented girl. Yes, but which one? We thought it may be Ruth in the Bible with ‘talents’ being money but cannot find anything. Ruth means friend, so it’s not that either.     with no T (the initial or ‘opening’ letter of talented) = girl. Thanks Querulous – it’s obvious now that we look at it again!! 
29   Offer to pay for newcomer
TENDERFOOT TENDER (offer) + FOOT (to pay as in ‘foot the bill’) = newcomer
1   American comes in hard, hard, repeatedly on the quiet
HUSH-HUSH US (American) ‘comes in’ or inside H H (hard, hard) twice or ‘repeatedly’ = on the quiet
2   Legendary fast runner dropping one of four articles in Olympic venue
ATLANTA AT(a)LANTA (this fast runner) without one of the four articles (a) = Olympic venue in Summer 1996. We weren’t familiar with the Arcadian princess (sometimes referred to as a goddess). We needed all the checking letters before we hazarded a guess.
3   Prospers with no toil? That’s badly arranged, badly arranged
PROPORTIONLESS Anagram of PROSPERS NO TOIL (anagrind is ‘badly arranged’ = badly arranged. This took us a while – mainly because one of us had written down the anagram with TOLL instead of TOIL. It wasn’t until we were almost at the end that we guessed the answer and realised our mistake!
4   Good days severely trimmed – like half the numbers?
ODD Hidden within or ‘severely trimming’ (go)OD D(ays) = our number system is made up of equal parts of odd and even numbers …….. if you don’t count zero. So…what about zero then? For those of you who have not been put off maths or are interested have a look at this wiki page! But, if you consider numbers to be infinite then what are we worried about? Just too philosophical for our brains today!
5   Dispossess making a proper exit, possibly
EXPROPRIATE Anagram of A PROPER EXIT (anagrind is ‘possibly’ or ‘making’ or both!) = dispossess
7   Difficulty lifting support around end of match, making contribution to murmuring
RHUBARB RUB (difficulty) + BRA (support) reversed or ‘lifting’ around H (end, or last letter of match) = mutterings in the theatre is called rhubarbing as actors murmur the word ‘rhubarb’ or something similar
8   Keen horse bagging first places in Epsom Derby
GREEDY GREY (horse) around or ‘bagging’ initial letters or ‘first places’ in E(psom) D(erby) = keen
9   Possibly recent draft is completion of your bank transaction
CREDIT TRANSFER Use of ‘possibly’ again here to indicate an anagram. This time it’s RECENT DRAFT IS = completion of bank transaction
13   Little hesitation in the corps, I fancy, to identify me
TERPSICHORE Anagram of IN THE CORPS I around ER (little hesitation) -anagrind is ‘fancy’ = The muse of choral dance and song. A play on the use of corps as in ‘corps de ballet’ rather than the military sense, which is what we both thought for quite some while.
17   Choose again reels etc when dancing
RESELECT Anagram of REELS ETC (anagrind is ‘dancing’) = choose again
19   Failure to observe new cream sees hint of germs creeping in
NEGLECT N (new) + ELECT (cream) around G (initial letter or ‘hint’ of germs) or ‘creeping in’ = failure to observe
21   Vestment thus seen in Italian hotel
ALBERGO ALB (vestment) + ERGO (thus) = Italian hotel
22   Good salesman heading off transfixed onlooker
GAWKER G (good) + (h)AWKER (salesman, with the initial letter or ‘heading’ off) = transfixed onlooker
26   Blue grains without number
SAD SA(n)D (grains) without N (number) = blue


14 Responses to “Independent 8039 / Phi”

  1. Querulous says:

    Thanks Phi and Bertandjoyce.

    Re 28, I think “no opening for talented” is indicating the removal of the initial t, rather than just “no opening”.

  2. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Querulous – we have now changed the blog. We can’t believe that we didn’t realise it beforehand.

  3. allan_c says:

    “Apparently policemen in Victorian Britain carried smelling salts to revive fainting women. It makes us wonder what it was that caused all these ladies to have so many problems!”

    Maybe it was finding ninas like today’s in crosswords!

    A nice one from Phi, providing some food for thought. Thanks, B&J, for the blog, in particular the parsing of OLD HAND. I was trying to work it out from HANDHOLD with the two parts reversed but couldn’t explain the loss of an H.

  4. sidey says:

    It makes us wonder what it was that caused all these ladies to have so many problems!


    I must be in fogey mode as I can’t spot a single ‘row 10′, but I did spot SALINE in column 9.

  5. Bertandjoyce says:

    Forgot about corsets!! Thanks Sidey.

    Row 10 starts with the G in 22d and contains all the unchecked letters across the grid. Hope that helps. We found SALINE in column 10 though.

  6. sidey says:

    Sorry, I should have said I can’t spot a single example of row 10.

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    Think of different body parts!

  8. Wanderer says:

    Thanks for the nudge at 7, B&J. I had spotted the nina at row 10 but had not made the connection to other body parts.

    Are you including 19, NEGLECT, and 21, ALBERGO? I want to, because both contain leg — anagrammed in nEGLect and ‘every-othered’ in aLbErGo. If this is allowed, their symmetrical position gives us a left and right LEG to go with the left and right HAND at 12 and 14. Also nice touch to put HEAD at the top and FOOT at the bottom. Lovely stuff as always from Phi.

  9. Bertandjoyce says:

    No we weren’t including legs as we hadn’t spotted them! Mind you, as there is only one ‘foot’ perhaps we only need one.

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, both.

    Enjoyed this one, as is usual with Phi, although I was a bit rushed this morning and couldn’t really step back to appreciate it until now. I was vaguely aware of the body parts scattered around the grid, but GENITALS passed me by (story of my life). HEADPHONES was good (although I was trying for ages to work out how PHONY would fit) and I also thought STAIRCASE was nicely misleading.

    Thanks to Phi as always.

  11. Dormouse says:

    After two days of complete failure, I did manage to complete this, and without electronic help, although my copy of Chambers was useful.

    I had great trouble with this at lunchtime but when I went back to it just now (after seeing the Olympic torch go past my house), clues that I just couldn’t see suddenly became obvious. Makes me wonder how much other factors affect my solving other than just the difficulty of the crossword.

    “Knee stops” was the last one in for me – I was think SH as well. I’d not come across ST either.

    Did I spot the nina and theme? Of course not!

  12. Phi says:

    You found SEVEN body parts in addition to row 10? I only put five in…

  13. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks for dropping by Phi.

    We found head, hand, hand, hip, genitals, knee and foot. So, 7 in total including row 10 but we counted each hand!

    A really enjoyable solve!

  14. Phi says:

    Well, I never saw HIP. GENITALS being pure chance as well, of course, leaving my claim of five to stand…

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