Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8117/Phi

Posted by John on October 19th, 2012


As always a nice crossword from Phi. The system of having a number of clues (the answers to which are in bold) that rely on some already-solved clues is not my favourite, but in this case the gateway clues were easy enough to solve, and anyway there were only six of them. Phi has produced a crossword based on one of his interests.

Apologies for the lateness of this blog — mild but delaying computer problems. I’m afraid I didn’t check all the references to 25 28, but Phi has surely got them right.

1 PHOENIX — (hope)* nix
5 RUB RIC{h}
9 EXACT — (axe)rev. ct
12 SPIRIT — (1 r{ock}) in (tips)rev.
13 INNUENDO — inn (nude)* o
17 UNI{ted} — def ‘Number of colleges’
18 LAP — (pal)rev.
21 GARDENER — R in (grenade)*
22 V 1 KING — ‘v’ is videlicet and ‘equipped with’ is merely a juxtaposition indicator
26 CAS{t}S AND RA — ‘credited’ in the sense ‘listened to’
27 {s}ADDLE
28 {is}LANDER — lander is given in Chambers as heavy blow, informally — I made heavy weather of parsing this because I thought it was something about ‘slander’ and couldn’t see how the Manxman, who tends to be an indication that the tail is missing, came in
1 PRES{age}S
2 OK AP{e} 1
4 XOSA — x = times, x (os) a — probably more commonly Xhosa, but given as an alternative in Chambers
6 UNUSUAL — u (sun)rev. [rising] (lau{d})rev. [picked up] — some might carp slightly about the fact that ‘united’ appears both here and in 17ac, but that is minor and perhaps doesn’t matter at all
7 RANUNCULI — u in (nuclear – e)*
8 CURIOSITY — Rio [American city, which it is, being a South American city] in c(US)ity
11 JUN C(T{hunder})URE
15 ILL O’ G(1 C)AL
16 CAPARISON — C{arnoustie} “a par is on” — this is a caparison
19 OVERAGE — (eg(a rev)o)rev.
20 UNITARY — def ‘Single’ — unwary with the ‘w’ replaced by ‘it’  
23 INDIA — 1 n (aid)rev.
24 G(R)EEK
25 MARS — mares with {on}e removed

6 Responses to “Independent 8117/Phi”

  1. allan_c says:

    All fairly straightforward, although I too struggled with the parsing of LANDER.

    SOJOURNER was actually a robotic rover landed as part of the bigger Pathfinder spacecraft.

    Thanks, Phi and John.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, John, and Phi. Though I solved both MARS and LANDER straightway, it was not until I’d the puzzle almost finished that I made the connection – amazingly. Excellent as always – my favourite clues were CASSANDRA and GREEK. Not sure, John, if Manxmen would lose tails, tho the cats are another matter.

  3. NealH says:

    A nice example of how to include a theme without creating a puzzle that’s irritating and difficult to solve. I got mars as my first clue but it took a lot longer to get lander – kept thinking of all sorts of alternatives like “Mars probe” or “Mars rocket”. Ranunculi was a bit of a struggle if you hadn’t heard of it, since the anagram could be arranged in lots of different ways.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks John. I agree with Neal: a good example of a themed puzzle that’s solvable without resort to lots of online stuff. Also one where a little bit of knowledge is a helpful thing: knowing Phi’s interest in the stuff above our heads meant that once I’d got MARS I could have a stab at LANDER; and then the gateway clues told you to be looking for the names of the various craft. Luckily these were not too obscure, being for the most part everyday words.

    Fine puzzle, thank you to Phi for this one.

  5. flashling says:

    beaten by a plant just ny luck, as Neal said, I didnt know it and couldnt correctly guess it on t’train. Nice little theme Phi was half expecting to see some spectacular failures in there ut I guess they’d be lesss landers as crashers.

    Ta John for yet another strangely quiet blog.

  6. Bertandjoyce says:

    We were busy yesterday and late home so only got around to solving this before breakfast.

    Joyce had head of ranunculus as the buttercup but it wasn’t until a few checking letters were in that the plural came to mind!

    We weren’t familiar with the various themed clues but we could almost guess what some of them would be!

    Thanks Phi and John – sorry to see so few comments on the blog again.

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