Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,129 / Phi

Posted by RatkojaRiku on November 2nd, 2012


Owing to a change in the scheduling a few weeks back, it had not fallen to me to blog a Phi puzzle for quite some time, although it was on the cards for today’s Friday slot.

For me, this was a fairly typical experience of solving a Phi puzzle, with a decent proportion of the solutions falling into place rather quickly, but with an equally decent proportion holding out on me at the end, this time in the NE quadrant. The intersecting entries at 6 and 9 proved particularly tricky, and both were new words on me. I may not have correctly parsed the end of 25, so any input would be much appreciated.

My clue of the day has to be 13 for its whimsical definition. I haven’t spotted a theme today, but then I rarely do in Phi’s puzzles. Please enlighten me if I have missed something that was blindingly obvious to solvers better than myself ;)

*(…) indicates an anagram

8   CHAR CHAR<m> (=attraction; “male   (=m) lacking” means letter “m” is dropped)
9   ADAMANTINE [A + N (=new)] in *(ANIMATED); “unusually” is anagram indicator; adamantine means unbreakable, impregnable, hence “firm”
10   MORALIST *(LIARS) in MOT (=witty comment, i.e. from French); “dreadful” is anagram indicator
11   DOCTOR ROT (=ruin) + COD (=fish); “in setback” means all is reversed; the definition is (to) “doctor”, e.g. accounts,
12   THEBAN HEB (=Hebrew) in TAN (=function, i.e. tangent, from trigonometry)
14   RED SHIFT RED (=left-winger) + [H (=hard) in SIFT (=riddle, i.e. sieve); red shift is a shift of lines in the spectrum towards red, considered to occur because the source of light is receding, hence “evidence of recession”
15   HOTEL CALIFORNIA R (=right) in *(A FICTIONAL HOLE); “perverted” is anagram indicator; the reference is to the 1977 Eagles’ single from the album of the same name
18   FREEHOLD *(HERE) in FOLD (=congregation, as in to return to the fold); “reinterpreted” is anagram indicator
21   YVETTE Y (=yard) + VETTE<d> (=checked; “incompletely” means last letter is dropped)
22   RAMP UP RAM (=sheep) + PUP (=dog)
23   ROADSHOW A in [RODS (=sticks) + HOW (=method)]
25   COUNTERSUE COUNTER (=bar, e.g. in pub) + SUE (=maid, i.e. female forename)
26   CHIP C (=caught, i.e. on cricket scorecard) + HIP (=with it, i.e. trendy)
1   CHOO-CHOO HOOCH (=quantity of booze) in COO (=surprised expression)
2   ARIA A + RIA (AIR=bearing, i.e. look; “up” indicates vertical reversal)
3   CATIONIC CAT (=guy, i.e. chap) + I (=one) + ON IC<e> (=postponed; “mostly” means last letter is dropped); a cation is a positively charged ion
4   PASTORAL ADDRESS PAST (=completed) + ORAL (=in speech) + AD (=notice) + DRESS (=vestments)
5   CANDID “C and ID” spells out CID (=police detective branch)
6   STOCKHORSE R (=runs, i.e. on cricket scorecard) in [STOCK (=standard, as in stock answer) + HOSE (=footwear)]; a stockhorse is a horse trained to work with sheep and cattle, especially in Australia
7   ONE-OFF E (=energy) in ON-OFF (=like many switches)
13   BEEKEEPING EEK (=expression of fear, especially in comics) in BEEPING (=sounding alarm); the cryptic definition is “worker management”, where workers are male   bees, drones
16   FLYPAPER FLY (=cunning) + PAPER (=tabloid)
17   INTROMIT [N (=name) in IT] + ROM (=computer memory) + IT
19   REASON A in [RES (SER=series; “elevated” indicates vertical reversal) + ON (=televised, as in The programme will   be on next week)]
20   OSPREY O (=duck, i.e. in cricket) + [<lak>E (“rear of” means last letter only) in SPRY (=lively)]
24   SECT SEC<re>T (=arcane; “about (=re) to leave” means the letters “re” are dropped)

16 Responses to “Independent 8,129 / Phi”

  1. MaleficOpus says:

    Thanks RatkojaRiku and Phi.

    I always look forward to a Phiday. I tried to justify CHIC for 26 before the penny dropped. No theme, but there is a devilishly clever Nina hiding where you wouldn’t expect it.

    Thanks again Phi.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Phi for an enjoyable crossword, RR for the blog, and MaleficOpus@1 for pointing out the Nina. Without giving the game away I can add that the Nina is self-referential.

  3. allan_c says:

    A bit harder than the average Phi, I thought. Some new words to me, too, such as INTROMIT. And CHIP held me up for a while, not being a golf aficionado (I share Mark Twain’s opinion of it). As for the nina, I can see one possibility but it seems extremely unlikely.

    Anyway, thanks, Phi and RR.

  4. NealH says:

    I found it very hard to get going with this, but managed to finish it in about an hour. Chip was the last entry, having also been convinced the answer must be chic. I thought maid for Sue might be a bit of a stretch, even taking its old meaning of “maiden”.

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Nice blog, thank you, RR.

    I too found the last few quite tough to crack, but it was a lovely puzzle as always on a Friday from Phi. I too liked BEEKEEPING, and enjoyed too the misdirection in RED SHIFT. I’m pretty rubbish at spotting ordinary ninas, so I’ve no chance with a devilishly clever one. I shall wait for later in the day for it to be revealed.

  6. flashling says:

    I found this a bit of a struggle, Nina is completely lost on me.

    Thanks RR and Phi.

  7. Pelham Barton says:

    For anyone looking for the Nina, it’s not in the perimeter. I only spotted it after reading the comment from MaleficOpus@1 which told me there was one.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    It will be time for me to faire dodo soon, so can someone put me out of my nina misery?

  9. Pelham Barton says:

    K’s Dad @8: Start at the I in 2dn and work clockwise round a square.

  10. Bertandjoyce says:

    OMG! How did anyone spot this?

    Even with the hint it took some finding. The clues seemed tougher than the average Phi but a good puzzle to end the week and well done Phi for coming up with another devilish offering.

    Thanks RR for the blog.

  11. Phi says:

    Well, I did wonder whether anyone would spot this one. I had prepared a hint – but Pelham B’s first sentence at #7 used exactly my words before I could.

  12. Wil Ransome says:

    Even after being told I took ages to see it. Very clever.

    Very much liked beekeeping. Good crossword as always, but two quibbles: 26ac is chip, and this isn’t a high ball necessarily. If you use a lob wedge or some such like Mickelson the ball may go quite high, but generally speaking the ball stays pretty low. (Just realised that Phi isn’t necessarily talking about golf, so not two quibbles but one.) And tabloid for paper in 16dn seems to me to be a definition by example and I should have thought it should have said something like ‘tabloid, perhaps’.

  13. RatkojaRiku says:

    I didn’t spot the Nina here but I’ll dig the grid out again and take another look. I appear to have missed a treat, albeit it a well-hidden one ;)

  14. Pelham Barton says:

    Hi RR

    I hope there is now enough information to make it completely obvious where to look, but I will happily have another go at explaining if there is not.

  15. Dilatory Roy says:

    Still can’t find that Nina! Feel very foolish since I have completed grid in front of me – but just can’t work out which letters make the Nina. Going clockwise from that ‘I’ just seems to be gobbledegook (after ‘ITS NO’). Am in the last pits of despair – help …!

  16. Pelham Barton says:

    Dilatory Roy@15: I checked back a few times after writing my comment @14, and have been prompted to come back by the subject being raised in the General Discussion page. You have ITS NO on the third row from the top. Going down the third row from the right gives TINTH. Then going left along the third row from the bottom gives EPERI, and finally up the third row from the left gives METER, so that the whole thing spells out IT’S NOT IN THE PERIMETER.

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9 + = fourteen