Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8093/Phi

Posted by John on September 21st, 2012


The usual good crossword from Phi. I am bewildered by 22dn but no doubt it will be explained.

As usual I can’t see any Nina, although my search usually doesn’t go far beyond the unchecked letters in the rows and columns and I can’t see anything there. Do 1ac and 29ac/24dn have something in common? Evidently they met in 1946 and discussed Clarke’s essay ‘The Challenge of the Spaceship’, but perhaps this is a false lead.

1 ARTHUR C CLARKE — Arthur [the mythical king] (crackle)*
10 {f}AIRER
11 PRINCIPAL — p(r)in c (laic)rev. around p — pin = point, def ‘main’
12 C(H{eat})AMBER
13 EVELINA — (I leave)* around n
14 DESICCATED — (decide cast)* — a trap for the unwary speller
16 {p}AGES
21 KETTLEDRUM — {s}ettled in (murk)rev.
27 PANATELLA — (plant a lea{f})*
28 S{uffering} CORE
29/19 GEORGE BERNARD SHAW — (Heard Bragg son were)* — I don’t quite understand the question mark here: either Shaw was a Nobel winner (as he was), in which case it is unnecessary, or he wasn’t, in which case why was there a reference to the Nobel prize? [Nobel winner? Heard Bragg and son were, possibly]
2 REREADS — (are)* in reds
6 ARCH ER — def ‘man with weapon’, so that arch = ‘most important’ not ‘most important man’
7 KIPLING — kipping with the second p replaced by l
8 BAR CODES — cod in bares — def ‘strips on grocery products?’
9 F(LE)A
15 EXTR(1 C)A T {phas}E
22 RANCOUR — ran [did some training] cour, where cour = ‘London area?’ — at least that’s what it seems to be, but I can’t really parse this: what on earth is going on? Is it cour{t}?
23 V {r}ECTOR
24 ROPE — a twist in the first three letters of ‘pore’ I think
25 SOL(V)E — the second letter of 13ac is V — without = outside

14 Responses to “Independent 8093/Phi”

  1. yvains says:

    Thanks, John! I think 22 is RAN COUR[se] – can’t say I’m wild about it. Still can’t make out 24D. I liked 11, once I worked it out.

  2. yvains says:

    On reflection, I can see you’re probably right about 24D. Nuff said.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Usual fine puzzle from Phi, not too hard. I got the answers for RANCOUR and ROPE long before understanding the wordplay, but eventually I did.

    I suspect there may be a theme with all the writers present and the unusual answer EVELINA but I don’t know what it is either. Many thanks for the blog, John, and Phi for the puzzle of course.

  4. allan_c says:

    Thanks, Phi and John, for puzzle and blog. I particularly needed some of the explanations, John, even though I solved the clues. Also to yvains for explaining 22d.

    7d had me puzzled as I read the clue the wrong way round, as it were. I took it to mean that if you replaced the P in Kipling with an L you would get something meaning “in dreams” and (obviously) couldn’t understand how “killing” could mean that.

    As to the question mark in 29/19, I think it’s just to improve the surface reading – but it does also strengthen the misdirection towards Sir W H Bragg and his son W L Bragg, joint winners of the Nobel Prize for physics in 1915.

  5. crypticsue says:

    Very nice thank you Phi and John. My problem is that even with all the anagram letters, I still have trouble spelling 14a.

  6. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Phi for an enjoyable puzzle and John for the blog. Too many good clues to single out a favourite.

    13ac: Slightly awkward to indicate this name with an anagram, but compensated with the extra confirmation given by 25dn – a neat touch and thanks Phi for that in particular.

    14ac: Considerable sympathy with crypticsue @5. I think the problem is the short E in the stressed first syllable followed by a single consonant and then another vowel.

    22dn: I read this the same way as yvains@1 and was completely happy with it. “London area” for SE could refer either to London being in the south east of England or to the postal area within London. I took it as the former, but perhaps Phi will drop in and tell us which one he meant – or indeed if he deliberately gave us both options.

  7. rowland says:

    I’ll go for the latter, SE being a London postal district.

    Fine puzzle, and I appreciated the idea behind making DESICCATED an anagram! Crafty old Phi will have caught some solvers out with that I fear.

    Many thanks

  8. Dormouse says:

    Seem to have had many of the same problems as everyone else with this, with the addition that I just couldn’t see 26ac without a wordsearch. The bottom right corner was what held me up the most.

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, John.

    Usual good Friday stuff from Phi, which I enjoyed, but like others there were a couple I couldn’t parse. Seems like there should be a theme, but I can’t see anything. DESICCATE is a tricky one, but one of the advantages of remembering a bit of Latin from school is that SICCUS is the Latin word for ‘dry’.

    Good weekend to all.

  10. Derek Lazenby says:

    Don’t usually do these, but I had time today. Thanks for the illuminations from all and sundry, but I’m still unsure about 21. Calm = Settle and Calmed = Settled. So where does the D come from? It isn’t in the clue.

  11. nmsindy says:

    re #10, calm = settled (adj) I thought.

  12. Phi says:

    This puzzle was for a book magazine but was never used, so when I unearthed it a while back I decided to let it see the light of day. Can’t remember which of the Burneys wrote EVELINA but hers seemed to be the best V to use when I needed one.

    I always thought SE = London was a bit of a chestnut myself.

    GBS was tricky to clue, as he could be glaringly obvious with those letter lengths. Stumbling on BRAGG and SON lurking in there (still the only father-and-son pair to win, I think) pushed me to the Nobel definition, through recalling GBS to be the only individual winner of both a Nobel and an Oscar. (There is a trophy cupboard in America with both in it, but its owner shared both wins, I believe.)

  13. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Phi – another enjoyable Friday evening solve. Too tired (again!) so finished it this mrning. Very pleased to know that we didn’t miss a nina!

    Some tricky ones to parse but thankfully we were more awake ths morning and able to sort them out.

    Thanks John for the blog.

  14. yvains says:

    For the sake of clarity: My dislike of ‘ran course’ at 22 had nothing to do with ‘se’ (indeed, an old chestnut) but everything to do with my dimwittedness in taking 3 days to realise what sort of course was being run. I apologise, Phi, for doubting you :)

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