# Fifteensquared

## Independent 8111 / Phi

Posted by Bertandjoyce on October 12th, 2012

We’re always pleased to solve a Phi-day puzzle at the end of the week.

We started off thinking that this was a fairly easy puzzle until we ground to a halt about two-thirds of the way through! Thankfully, the nina in the top and bottom row helped us to see the error of our ways with 17ac and solve 6d.

Thanks Phi – another good puzzle to end the week!

### 14 Responses to “Independent 8111 / Phi”

Nina, what nina?

It was a good Friday puzzle, though. As you say, plenty of ways into it, but the last few took a bit of sorting out. I saw TBILISI, but had to check how it was spelled, but DERIVATIVE was one I got early doors. APIARIST is a clever definition, and RICHTER is more familiar to me as the man who developed the way to measure the magnitude of earthquakes.

Nice end to the week; thanks to setter and bloggers.

[This thread is becoming a bit of a confessional this week: yesterday I admit to S&M tendencies, and now Joyce reveals that she's a closet cross-dresser ... what next?]

2. Bertandjoyce says:

K’s D – the devil is in the detail – look at our preamble again and all will be revealed and we don’t mean the cross – dressing!

3. nmsindy says:

Thanks, Phi, and B&J. I found this on the easy side and did not spot the Nina until I was finished. All good – favourite clue BLANK.

4. Pelham Barton says:

Thanks Phi for an excellent puzzle and B&J for the blog. I spotted the “bottom” half of the Nina from solutions entered and a likely way of making six letters on the top row helped me with 1/2/5/6dn. My favourite clue was 4dn, and I cannot resist mentioning the remark which I think came from Sellar and Yeatman (authors of 1066 and All That) that a keeper of bees is called an apiarist, but a keeper of apes is not called a beepiarist.

22dn: I took this as MO for “month” and “on” as meaning “added”, but M for “month” and O for “on” are both in Chambers 2008.

5. Pelham Barton says:

Correction to 4: I meant 20dn, not 22dn.

6. NealH says:

I was a bit puzzled by 10 across and refused to believe it was the right answer for a long time. I can see that a tennis player might be described as having a good “net game”, meaning they are good at volleying close to the net, but it hardly seems like common usage and I don’t think you would use it to describe a player’s overall performance. Other than that, this was an enjoyable and well-constructed puzzle. Spotting the NINA would have helped me with the couple I was struggling with (derivative and taut), but I didn’t notice it. The definition in 4 down was excellent.

7. Thomas99 says:

10a seems uncontroversial to me. NealH is right that “net game” wouldn’t be used to describe a player’s overall performance, but there is nothing in the clue to suggest that it would. My understanding is that it means how a player (or seed) plays (or performs) close to the net – which fits Phi’s clue very well. I think it is a common expression. (I don’t know much about tennis but I certainly knew it.)

8. Bertandjoyce says:

Pelham Barton @5 – We thought the same thing about 20d. It wasn’t until we came to write up the blog that we realised we couldn’t find MO as an abbreviation for month in any of the dictionaries!

9. allan_c says:

Bah! Missed the nina, otherwise I might have got TAUT a lot sooner than I did. And I too had to check the meaning of ‘gore’; I always wondered why Kensington Gore was so called.

Thanks, Phi and B&J.

10. Pelham Barton says:

Further to 4/5 and 8: Chambers 2008 and 2011 (but not 1998) have mo. for “month” in a separate entry some way down from MO, which has various expansions.

11. Bertandjoyce says:

Well spotted – we missed that entirely. Perhaps Phi will drop by and indicate which one he intended.

12. Phi says:

My notes (from when I typed up the puzzle to submit it) say ‘mo’.

The bee -> apiarist & ape -> beepiarist is rather neat. I don’t recognise it, but I must admit I tired of S&Y after ‘And Now All This’. There was one called ‘Garden Rubbish’, I think, and it may come from that.

13. Dormouse says:

Well, I thought I’d done this, but I now see I got 23ac wrong. I was thinking along the lines that as a pianist gives a recital, they could be a “reciter”, but of course the correct noun would be “recitalist”. OK, I couldn’t see how it worked but I couldn’t see 24ac either. (I see Richter kept playing into the nineties, but I don’t recall ever seeing him play.)

Thanks, and thanks for being not the only one having “Tripoli” for 17ac. Came back to the puzzle after several hours and suddenly saw 6dn, which told me I was wrong. I’d been previously telling myself there could be no word starting tb-.

No, I didn’t spot the nina.

14. Pelham Barton says:

Thanks Phi for dropping in. The “beepiarist” is indeed from Garden Rubbish: one of the few gems in a book which I found rather tedious overall.

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