Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8063 / Phi

Posted by Bertandjoyce on August 17th, 2012


It’s the end of another week – and what a week of crosswords in the Indy! We really like the range of puzzles that the paper has to offer – from the easy solve which means we can sleep easy or the fiendishly difficult that keep the grey matter working over-time and sometimes are only completed over breakfast the next day. However, it’s always a pleasure to finish the week with a Phi-day!

Lots of checking letters in this grid which will no doubt please a number of solvers. We’ve missed Phi themes before but this one opened up fairly quickly although we did think about looking for Gilbert and Sullivan related answers when we solved 24d early on. Shortly afterwards we solved 18d so didn’t feel the need to check 27ac and a couple of the songs were easily found. The other two needed a google search. We may have missed others!

Can anyone help us with 17ac? We feel that there may be more to this clue than meets the eye.

8   Sick of quartet imprisoning officer
OFF-COLOUR OF FOUR (quartet) around COL (colonel, or ‘officer’) = sick
10   Pressure to ignore special tutor
TRAIN (s)TRAIN (pressure) ignoring S (special) = tutor
11   Meeting test, getting only second half of it
TRYST TRY (test) + ST (second half of teST) = meeting
12   Fresh cycle race in sports pages and much else
NEWSPRINT NEW (fresh) + SPRINT (cycle race – if you are still suffering Olympic withdrawal symptoms watch this) = sports pages and much else, although some people complained that there wasn’t much else in the newspapers during the Olympics!
13   Squabbling partners claim a line’s out of place
MISALLIANCE Anagram of CLAIM A LINES (anagrind is out of place) = squabbling partners. A song by Flanders and Swann that we found when we were checking the web for any related theme songs that we may have missed.
16   Weapon, mostly twisted does for animal
GNU Anagram of GUN (weapon) anagrind is ‘slightly twisted’ = animal. The animal featured in this related theme song
17   Emsworth, say, I note engaged in pig keeping
HOLDING LD (short for Lord, as in Lord Emsworth) + I + N (note) inside or ‘engaged in’ HOG (pig) = keeping. We feel there may be a reason why Phi chose Emsworth as an example of a Lord but cannot find any link to the theme. Any suggestions?
18   Salesman in Florida going full tilt?
FLAT OUT FLA (Florida) + TOUT (salesman)  = going full tilt
19   Wet earth in odd parts of mound
MUD Odd parts of MoUnD = wet earth. One of the themed clues relating to this song
20   I give marker to graduate back filling unsettled class’s study periods
SABBATICALS I + TAB (marker) + BA (graduate) reversed or ‘back’ inside or ‘filling’ an anagram of CLASS (anagrind is ‘unsettled’) = study periods
23   Unpleasant resistance about new park feature
BANDSTAND BAD (unpleasant) + STAND (resistance) about N (new) = park feature
25   Scientist ignites laboratory packages
TESLA Hidden or ‘packaged’ within the clue igni(TES LA)boratory = this scientist
27   Proust hero, pale, seated between bridge players
SWANN WAN (pale) inside or between S and N (bridge players) = Proust hero in this book, but also half of the duo who provide the theme to this puzzle.
28   Playing our tune on board ship with difficulty
STRENUOUS Anagram of OUR TUNE (anagrind is ‘playing’) inside or ‘on board’ SS (ship) = with difficulty
1   Weaver a couple of times involved in success
BOTTOM TT (a couple of times) inside or ‘involved in’ BOOM (success) = the weaver in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
2   Dodgy judge dismissed in instant
IFFY (j)IFFY (instant) with J (judge) dismissed = dodgy
3   Large group excursion initially stays around right inns
HOSTELRIES HOST (large group) + E (initial letter of excursion) + LIES (stays) around R (right) = inns
4   Sonorous 24? Almost seduced internally
SOUNDING SONG (24d) with UNDI(d) (seduced – almost!) inside or ‘internal’ = sonorous
5   End is sinking, rising
STOP POTS (is sinking, as in snooker when you pot or sink the ball) reversed or ‘rising’ = end
6   Supporting no carbon – thus father does for bicarbonate
BAKING SODA BA(c)KING (supporting with no C or carbon) + SO (thus) + DA (father) = bicarbonate
7   Tell institute to retain most of dealings
INSTRUCT INST (institute) around or ‘retaining’ TRUC(k) (most of dealings) = tell
9   Man, note, behind front of stalls?
ROWAN N (note) behind ROW A (the front row of the stalls perhaps?) = man
14   Linda feels conflicted, exhibiting this?
SELF-DENIAL Anagram of LINDA FEELS (anagrind is ‘conflicted’) = If you are suffering a conflict you may be suffering from this
15   Wasting US spies, infiltrating English with breeding
EMACIATING CIA (US spies) inside or ‘infiltrating’ E (English) + MATING (breeding) = wasting
17   End of run in Swiss city avoiding Lake
HOME BASE HOME (in) + BAS(l)E  (Swiss city) without or ‘avoiding’ L (lake) = end of run (in baseball)
18   France’s aircraft descending in part of Europe
FLANDERS F (France) + LANDERS (aircraft descending) = part of Europe and one half of the duo who provide the theme to the puzzle
21   Ready impudence
BRASS Double definition – BRASS (‘ready’ as in cash) or BRASS (impudence)
22   Scanty spring growth I ignored
SPARSE SPA (spring) + R(i)SE (growth with ‘i’ ignored) = scanty
24   Number in G and S that’s picked up?
SONG NO (number) in G and S reversed or ‘picked up’ = there were plenty of these heard or ‘picked up’ within Gilbert and Sullivan productions and also a few belonging to F and S to be found in this puzzle!
26   Sun near sunset is not bright
SLOW At sunset the S (sun) would be LOW = not bright. If you join this answer with 10a you get another song related to the theme


28 Responses to “Independent 8063 / Phi”

  1. Al Dente says:

    The only link I can think of to 17ac is THE WARTHOG SONG.As you already know Lord Emsworth’s favourite pastimes were his pig and his garden. Hope this helps.

  2. Thomas99 says:

    Surely the pig connection in 17a is ample? It would be a bit much for Phi to have to connect it to Flanders and Swann too! I completely missed the theme, by the way.

    Thanks for the very full blog, and to Phi for another satisfying solve, even if I missed half the point of it.

  3. Bertandjoyce says:

    Actually we didn’t know that Lord Emsworth’s pastimes were his pig and his garden! That does explain things. Thanks Al Dente and Thomas99!

  4. Richard3435 says:

    26dn, 10 ac gives another thematic song; I may have missed more

  5. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Richard, we found that one as well and provided a link to it at 26d. Bert recognised it when we found a hyperlink for it – It goes back to the era of the Beeching cuts as well as the advent of motorways. Keep looking though as there may be others we missed.

  6. Phi says:

    I had a French horn and I wanted to play it…

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    That’s a bit of a teaser Phi! We can see ‘off-colour’ which may link to the first word but cannot find a link for the second! Can anyone else out there help us please?! Or…….. maybe we are off on completely the wrong track……..

  8. Al Dente says:

    Brass possibly?

  9. Al Dente says:

    Meant to say SOUNDING BRASS as another F and S link. Sorry!

  10. Thomas99 says:

    I’m not even entertaining the possibility of “off-colour bottom” as a synonym…

  11. Al Dente says:

    Apologies Thomas99 my response @8/9 was to Phi’s @6. Apologies also to Bertandjoyce as you have already included “Sounding Brass” in your blog. Alzheimers kicking in i’m afraid!

  12. rowland says:

    Clever stuff. Good clue-writing here as well I think, very fair and square without being dull. Thanks Phi and B&J.


  13. Bertandjoyce says:

    Definitely Alzheimers Al Dente@11, we hadn’t included Sounding Brass in our blog. We missed that one totally!


  14. Al Dente says:

    Thanks Bertandjoyce. Slightly off the main theme you mentioned Gilbert and Sullivan at 24d which brought to mind The D’Oyly Carte. Flanders and Swann did a parody on this called “In the D’Oyly Cart”,(the “e” missing)
    I’m also a mine of useless information by the way! Almost forgetting my manners thanks for the blog and to Phi also for the puzzle.

  15. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I enjoyed this one a lot, but the theme passed me by. Which is usually the sign of a good puzzle, if there are no great obscurities to solve so that theme clues can be included. No particular favourites; it was all good today.

    I shall check back in later to uncover the mystery of the French horn.

    Thanks to Phi and B&J.

  16. allan_c says:

    Lord Emsworth and his prize pig, Empress of Blandings, are the creation of P G Wodehouse. See

  17. Al Dente says:

    Thanks allan_c, you’re a star!

  18. Paul B says:

    I don’t think there’s anything to worry about just yet, Alice old luv.

  19. Al Dente says:

    Cheers PB.

  20. flashling says:

    Ta BJ/Phi theme went whoosh over the head but easily completed despite that (not to say it was necessarily easy). As for Phi@6 well that’s also got me as I’ve heard of Flanders and Swann but know nowt of their works, philistine that I am.

  21. Dormouse says:

    I don’t believe it! I’m a Gnu was one of my favourite songs when I was a kid, I liked Mud, I knew Misalliance, the Slow Train is a lovely song, Flanders and Swann appear in the grid, and I totally missed the theme!

    But I solved it all without any aid, not even the dictionary, I think. I’m also a baseball fan and got 17dn without seeing how it worked. But, quite fun.

  22. allan_c says:

    The French Horn (“or German Horn, as the French call it, not to be confused with the Cor Anglais”) features in the F&S song “Ill Wind”, from “At the Drop of Another Hat”. The song “Sounding Brass” (from the same show) is all about one-upmanship. “Slow Train” is also from AtDoAH. “Misalliance” and “The Gnu” were in the original “At the Drop of a Hat”. “Mud” (aka “The Hippopotamus”) featured in both shows.

  23. allan_c says:

    Sorry, Dormouse. You posted while I was still typing.

  24. Thomas99 says:

    Ill Wind, the French Horn song is familiar enough, but where are people finding it in this crossword? allan_c – you gave the longest account. Which clue were you thinking of?

  25. Bertandjoyce says:

    We were looking for cryptic references as we couldn’t find Ill Wind anywhere in the grid. Came up with Off-colour for ‘ill’ but we couldn’t find a reference for wind. That’s where the ‘bottom’ reference came from!!

    We are still no further on and hoping that someone can help or Phi drops by again!

  26. allan_c says:

    Thomas99 @24, and all. Apologies for not making myself clear. As you say, “Ill Wind” doesn’t feature in this crossword and I was trying to make the point that I think some people may have confused it, title-wise, with “Sounding Brass”. I added the info about the other songs for completeness.

  27. Phi says:

    Ah, that appears to be my fault – for some reason I thought the ‘French Horn’ song was ‘Sounding Brass’ – but you’re quite right it’s ‘Ill Wind’, so I gave the wrong hint…

    ‘Slow Train’ is one of my favourite F&S songs, though I have been on trains that stopped at at least two of the closed stations enumerated therein. I did want to get ARMADILLO in – a less well known song, but one where an initial comic impulse turns suddenly poignant. Still, plenty of material for another try at the theme in due course.

  28. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Phi – no apology required as we have had a great deal of amusement along the way! However, thanks for the explanation, we have missed some of your themes when blogging (and solving!) in the past but don’t like to miss your puzzles.

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