Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8105 / Phi

Posted by John on October 5th, 2012


A typical gentle (to use a word The Times uses for some of its Sudokus) sound crossword from Phi today. Nothing very controversial I think, and the usual musical references.

Surprise surprise, I can’t see a Nina. Perhaps Phi is being kind to us today, but I bet there’s something there after all. After tidying up the blog I suspect something to do with piano-playing (STRIDE, ART TATUM, TICKLE) but I don’t think that’s quite it.

10 RUN ON — RU [Rugby Union] non [French for no]
11 COAGULATE — (catalogue)*
12 GA(M)P
13 GETHSEMANE — get (He means)* — referring to the Garden of Gethsemane
15 DALMATIA — (aim lad)rev. around (a t)
16 M(OR)T AL{l} — the only problem here was that I couldn’t remember whether Montana was Mt, Mo, Ma or something else
19 S(TR{y})IDE — stride piano
20 MO(ON BEA)M — I suppose the word Mom is no longer regarded as American
23 JACK — 2 defs
25 THEM (1 K) ADO
26 EWELL — e-well
27 MASTERSTROKE — (Market stores)*
2 PU(N)T
3 ALCHEMIC — c in (Michael) — not a familiar word but obvious enough in view of alchemy etc
5 H(OUSE B{ank})OUND
6 A DAY AT THE RACES — a Marx brothers vehicle about horse-racing, like 9dn — ‘of course’ is a little joke about a racecourse
7 SU{it}ED E{ase}
8 BRIGADES — brig (sea)rev around d
9 ANIMAL CRACKERS — the Marx brothers film referred to in 6dn — animal crackers, or an anagram of animal, is manila — this sort of thing seems perfectly OK to me and it is in my opinion a good clue, but setters often in these cases feel (unnecessarily to my mind) that they need to use a question mark or phrases like ‘cryptically indicated’
14 BA(U)D E L(AIR)E — the fact that Baudelaire was a French poet is irrelevant — the definition is ‘poet’
17 LIMEKILN — (like)rev. in limn — presumably ‘like’ is a noun here and is an identical object as in ‘comparing like with like’
18 D(OWN P)OUR — pee is just the letter p here
21 SP EARS — referring to Britney Spears
22 TA TUM — referring to Art Tatum
24 B{ygon}E C{ree}K

10 Responses to “Independent 8105 / Phi”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Phi, and John – excellent puzzle and blog and, I agree, a Phi puzzle v much on the gentle side.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Phi for an excellent crossword and John for the blog.

    9dn: A good example of this type of clue, which can be great fun if used sparingly. Before reading the blog I had already decided to say that I would like to see a question mark used. I would take the one from 10ac, which did not seem to serve any purpose.

  3. NealH says:

    I’ve never seen any Marx Brothers films all the way through, so needed a few crossing letters to get the film titles. Not knowing the plots of either, I’m not sure to what extent they’re linked, other than both being Marx Brothers films.

  4. flashling says:

    Thanks John and Phi, now back to finding out how the hell a employment check can’t find me as ever having lived where I do despite paying council tax and voting for 7 years…

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks John.

    A good example of how an accessible crossword can still be an enjoyable one. I thought GETHSEMANE had a touch of the &lit about it – good clue.

    Good weekend to all.

  6. allan_c says:

    Found an indy on a train today so did the dead tree version for a change with no access to reference material. But 13ac defeated me; I initially saw ‘He’ (with capital H) in the religious sense – although many modern Bible translations and hymnbooks don’t use that convention – but didn’t make the &lit-ish connection. So I became convinced that the ‘He’ must be the chemical symbol for helium and was trying to think of a word meaning somewhere where said gas is found or used.
    And it was ages before the penny dropped for 6dn.
    Not all the musical references have to do with piano playing- there’s Ms Spears (I suppose) and The Mikado.
    Thanks, Phi and John.

  7. Dormouse says:

    I had a very late night at the opera (to refer to another Marx brothers film) last night, so I was rather sleepy today. So thanks for a crossword which seems to fit with my mental capacity today. That said, having got 6dn, I just couldn’t remember the name of the Marx brothers film that started “Animal” even though I’ve seen all of their films, most of them many times, and I had to look it up. And thanks for the explanations for 1ac and 7dn, which had eluded me.

  8. Bertandjoyce says:

    We decided to have an earlier start this evening but finished the puzzle fairly quickly. All good stuff though – certainly nothing to query or complain about! Spent some time looking and searching for a nina/theme but we couldn’t see one but we have missed some of them in the past ……. But Phi is very good at hiding them!

    Thanks Phi and John

  9. Phi says:

    This is just an ordinary puzzle – though I was intrigued to note how one could edge a particularly-themed clue towards ‘& lit-ness’ simply by capitalising an H.

    Actually, I’m commenting mainly to see what happens when you fill in the little box above that says ‘Website’. As you may have seen on another forum, I’ve set up a website-cum-blog with the initial aim of circulating more widely the Christmas series I inherited from Eric Chalkley (Apex) – he acronymised himself to call it A Puzzle Every Xmas, while the ones I set come out as A Phi Every Xmas. It seemed a pity not to share them more widely once the Christmas competition was over. They’re pitched – insofar as I can assess where I’ve pitched any puzzle – between IQ and Listener level.

    In case writing something in the ‘Website’ box does nothing (and Preview suggests it doesn’t), I’ll append some html as well.


  10. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Phi! The link works and we look forward to some more crossword solving.

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