Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,057 / Phi

Posted by RatkojaRiku on August 10th, 2012


It is Friday today, so it is a pretty safe bet that a puzzle by Phi will await solvers.

I found this one quite a challenge to solve, and the elaborate wordplay required meticulous parsing, but I think I got there in the end.

I had not solved the gateway clue until I puzzled out the anagram at 15, whereupon 1/28 became obvious. I was expecting not to know many of the epic poems alluded to in the grid, but in the end only 18 was unfamiliar to me; despite the fair wordplay for the latter, I was unable to solve the clue without resorting to reference works.

My favourite clues today are 7, for the incorporation of not one, but two German components, and 16, for its & lit. element.

*(…) indicates an anagram

1/28   EPIC POEM [PO (OP=work; “recalled” indicates reversal) in *(PIECE)] + M (=millions); “revised” is anagram indicator
4   GILGAMESH GAMES (=matches) in *(LIGH<t>); “a lot of” means last letter is dropped; “flickering” is anagram indicator; the Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem (entry at 1/28) from Mesopotamia, one of the oldest surviving works of literature
9   ANGORA A + [GO (=success, as in to make a go of it) in NRA (=gun group, i.e. the US pro-gun National Rifle Association)]
10   GREENFLY GREEN (=inexperienced) + FLY (=artful)
11   UNGENEROUS *(GEE OUR NUNS); “are perverse” is anagram indicator
12/21   HUON PINE *(NOUN PHI) + E (=English); “translated” is anagram indicator; the Huon pine is a Tasmanian conifer tree
13   BUDDHA BUD (=source of growth) + *(HAD); “excited” is anagram indicator
15   KALEVALA *(LAVA LAKE); “boiling” is anagram indicator; the Kalevala is an epic poem (entry at 1/28), compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Finnish and Karelian folklore
18   RAMAYANA [A + MAYAN (=Central American)] in RA (=African god, i.e. Egyptian sun god); the Ramayana is an epic poem (entry at 1/28) in Sanskrit, one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata
20   FANDOM O (=love) in F AND M (=both sexes, i.e. female and male)
23   FREIGHT-CAR [R (=right) + EIGHT (=crew, i.e. in rowing) + C (=caught)] in FAR (=distant)
25   RIDICULE IDICUL (LUCID (=clear) + I (=one); “taken aback”  indicates reversal) in RE (=soldiers, i.e. Royal Engineers)
26   AENEID E (=tab, i.e. drug in tablet form) in [A + ENID (=girl)]; the Aeneid is Virgil’s epic poem (entry at 1/28) in Latin about   Aeneas, ancestor of the Romans
27   DIGITISED [IT (=computer matters) + IS] in [DIG (=understand) + ED (=edition)]
2   PENINSULA PEN (=writer) + IN + SU (US=America; “picked up” indicates vertical reversal) + LA (=American city)
3   CLONE L (=line) in CONE (=3D figure)
4   GUATEMALA A in [A + LAME (=poor) + TUG (=Yank)]; “turned up” indicates vertical reversal
5   LEGWORK LEG (GEL=set; “up” indicates vertical reversal) + WOR (ROW=argument; “over” indicates vertical reversal)] + <boo>K (“latest” means last letter only)
6   AREAS A (=article) + REAS<on> (=justification; “not on” means the letters “on” are dropped)
7   EINDHOVEN EIN (=one, in German) + D.H. (=that is, in German, i.e. das heist) + OVEN (=a hot spot)
8   HELLO HELL (=underworld) + O<perator> (“opening” means first letter only)
14   DEAFENING [*(FINE) in DEAN (=minister, i.e. religious)] + G (=government); “manoeuvring” is anagram indicator
16   LIFEGUARD R (=right) in *(E.G. AIDFUL); “when swimming” is anagram indicator; & lit.
17   LOOKALIKE KALI (=Hindu goddess) in [LOO (=john) + K<arachi> (“heading for” means first letter only)] + E (=energy)
19   AGELESS GELE (ELEG<y>=sad song; “cut” means last letter dropped; “up” indicates vertical reversal) in ASS (=fool)
22   ILIAD I (=independent) + LIAD (DÁIL=parliament, in Ireland; “upheld” indicates vertical reversal); the Iliad is Homer’s epic poem (entry at 1/28) in Ancient Greek about the Trojan War
23   FAUST U (=university) in FAST (=rapidly); Goethe’s Faust is an epic poem (entry at 1/28) based on a German legend
24   TON-UP “not” is the word “ton” (written) up, i.e. vertically reversed, thus the solution describes part of the clue

11 Responses to “Independent 8,057 / Phi”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Many thanks, RR, and Phi. Very enjoyable puzzle from which I learned a thing or two. Did not find it esp hard. Like you, I’d to go to references for the ?A?A?A?A one. On 15A (new to me also) I found I’d guessed the spelling right (from the anagram ‘fodder’). Apart from the theme and its neat incorporation in the puzzle, I esp liked FANDOM and LIFEGUARD.

  2. MikeC says:

    Thanks RR and Phi. My thoughts echo nmsindy’s, except that I did know the RAMAYANA but needed two goes to find the Finnish epic. Impeccable clueing, fun and education – what more could you ask for?

  3. Wanderer says:

    Thanks RR and Phi for a cracking puzzle. Thanks especially for explaining the D.H. in EINDHOVEN — I guessed it must be something like that, but it was only a guess.

    I knew the Kalevala as it inspired a lot of Sibelius’s music. I first discovered Sibelius in the 1970s and spent ages trying to find a copy of the poem, as I enjoyed the music so much. When I eventually tracked it down, it turned out to be unreadable. Ah well.

    In 9a, ANGORA, I read the ‘gun group’ as NRA or National Rifle Association. This accounts for the ‘in’, I think. (‘A success IN gun group, getting rabbit.)

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Wot, no Beowulf? An interesting enough theme, where you certainly learnt some new words. I got the gateway clue as my first solution: it just seemed to wink at me and say ‘put me in’. So I did; but it was only a help with the more well-known ones. I struggled with the longer anagrams. But entertaining – I particularly liked DEAFENING with its misleading ‘Minister’.

    Never heard of Das Heißt, so certainly needed the explanation for EINDHOVEN.

    Thanks for puzzle and blog.

  5. RatkojaRiku says:

    Thanks to Wanderer for clarifying the parsing of 9A: your version makes much more sense and I will amend the blog accordingly. I should have known better than to think that a Phi clue would have been anything other than water-tight. I suppose it would have helped if I had known about the NRA to start off with …..

  6. allan_c says:

    A mixed reacion to this one: I was pleased to know some of the 1,28s (e.g. ILIAD, AENEID) but have to thank Phi for continuing my education with others (e.g. RAMAYANA). HUON PINE was also new to me, though easily worked out from the anagram fodder. And thanks, RatkojaRiku, for the explanation of 7d; having got EINDHOVEN from the crossing letters I didn’t look too closely at the parsing so didn’t spot that there were two German elements.
    My CoD has to be LIFEGUARD for its superb surface.

  7. Dormouse says:

    Solved most of this on a train going to Cambridge this afternoon, but still had 18ac and 25ac on arriving at my destination. Finally decided I needed the internet to solve those two and had to wait until I got the wi-fi sorted out here and then I was busy most of the evening. I’m at a science fiction convention at the moment, so “fandom” seemed most appropriate.

    I’d heard of all the poems except 18ac, and read three of them (but not in their original languages). And I didn’t know “huon pine” but it was easy to guess.

    I’m sure we had “Gilgamesh” in a Phi puzzle only a few weeks ago.

  8. flashling says:

    @7 Dormouse – yes here

    Quite tricky for some of the poems, wordplay fair enough but needed to check after as I didn’t know them and I’d not come across the second German bit in Eindhoven before.

    Cheers RR and Phi

  9. Paul B says:

    You didn’t look those up online then Allan? Good decision.

  10. Tim Phillips says:

    I didn’t check the full parsing of EINDHOVEN but I speak German and have never seen DH as an abbreviation even though I accept that ‘das heist’ translates as ‘that is’ (literally, ‘that calls itself’). Obscure, but fair. Maybe Phi could incorporate z.B. in a future puzzle (zum Beispiel, literally ‘for example’), which is very common in written German.

    Buzz Bomb???

  11. nmsindy says:

    The d.h. abbrev is in Chambers English Dict.

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