Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8135 /Phi

Posted by Bertandjoyce on November 9th, 2012


Another enjoyable puzzle from Phi to end the week.

We always like the smooth reading in Phi’s clues and 2d was an absolute delight! We’ve searched for a theme or nina but haven’t found one. After last week’s devilish hidden nina that was not in the perimeter, we even looked more closely than before! But we’ve probably missed something!

Thanks Phi!

1   Lover almost exhausted by you, ultimately
BEAU (BEA)t (exhausted with last letter missing or ‘almost’) + (yo)U (last letter or ‘ultimately’) = lover
4   Crashed rig in US state is a headache
MIGRAINE Anagram of RIG (anagrind is ‘crashed’) in MAINE (US state) = headache
10   Private eye’s over interrupting Debussy piece – being this?
LATECOMER TEC (private eye) + O (over) inside or ‘interrupting’ LA MER (Debussy piece) = if you were a latecomer you would interrupt the concert!
11   Reason one has regret about Government
ARGUE A (one) with RUE (regret) about G (government) = reason
12   Hearing problem is rule, deteriorating with age
GLUE EAR Anagram of RULE and AGE (anagrind is ‘deteriorating’) = hearing problem
13   Message sender’s cute expression cut short
TWEETER TWEE (cute) + (TER)m (expression with last letter removed or ‘cut short’) = message sender. We are not sure whether we would describe ‘tweets’ as messages! Bert’s comment was that they were more like the ‘messages’ left by our feathered friends!
14   Soldiers taking in currently-playing musical
OLIVER OR (soldiers) around or ‘taking in’ LIVE (currently playing) = musical
16   Sporadic in accepting sport as profitable
FRUITFUL FITFUL (sporadic) around or ‘accepting’ RU (sport as in Rugby Union) = profitable. The ‘in’ seems a bit superfluous.
19   Fanatic backed good gun metal
TUNGSTEN NUT (fanatic, reversed) + G (good) + STEN (gun) = metal
20   Fail to observe one name steeped in blood
IGNORE I (one) + N (name) inside or ‘steeped in’ GORE (blood) = fail to observe
22/8   Be unable to make case, key members being absent?
NOT HAVE A LEG TO STAND ON If you have no LEGS (‘key’ members) present then you would have nothing to stand on = be unable to make case. We’re not totally sure about the need for ‘key’ here, although legs are pretty important!
24   Account backed by principality backing precedent
CASE LAW AC (account, backed) + WALES (principality – backed) = precedent
26   Apparently I may stand behind acceptable animal
OKAPI AP (apparently) + I behind OK (acceptable) = animal
27   Opening of Haydn’s Creation shaking part of church
ANTECHOIR Anagram of H (opening of Haydn) + CREATION (anagrind is ‘shaking’) = part of church
28   Single person’s points interrupted rest unfortunately
SPINSTER PINS (points) inside or ‘interrupting’  an anagram of REST (anagrind is ‘unfortunately’) = single person
29   Sources recalled losing 50? Quite a number
SLEW Reversal of WEL(l)S (sources with L (50) removed) = quite a number (North American informal)
2   Endless routine sex possibly produces emission
EXTRUSION Anagram of ROUTIN(e) (with the last letter removed, or ‘endless’) + SEX (anagrind is ‘possibly’) = emission
3   Article dropped by lewd relative
UNCLE UNCLE(an) (‘lewd’) with article (an) removed or ‘dropped’ = relative
4   Reminiscence picked up from holiday – Rome maybe
MEMORY Hidden and reversed or ‘picked up’ in ‘(holida)Y ROME M(aybe)’ = reminiscence
5   Unknown scoundrel brought in bloody traffic system
GYRATORY Y (unknown) + RAT (scoundrel) inside or ‘brought in’ GORY (bloody) = traffic system
6   A joker collaring guy in state of arousal?
AWAKENING A WAG (a joker) around or ‘collaring’ KEN (guy) + IN = state of arousal
7   Most of the drink knocked over in the dark
NIGHT Most of TH(e)  + GIN (drink) reversed or ‘knocked over’ = the dark
8   See 22ac
9   Learning system? Know learner out to forget nothing when functioning
NEURAL NETWORK Anagram of KNOW LEARNER (o)UT without or ‘forgetting’ O (anagrind is ‘functioning’) = learning system. A neural network is a computer system modelled on the human brain, which ‘learns’ by trial and error rather than being programmed.
15   Continental grouping misread a risk over one from European region
EUSKARIAN EU (continental grouping) + anagram of A RISK (anagrind is ‘misread’) on top of or ‘over’ AN (one) = from a European region (the Basque area). A new one for us and our last one in. It was obviously an anagram but we needed all the crossing letters before we could check it in the dictionary!
17   Pay for toilets on end of promenade to be free
FOOTLOOSE FOOT (pay for) + LOOS (toilets) + E (last letter or ‘end of’ promenade) = free
18   Appropriate European money offered in payment
RELEVANT LEVA (European money – from Bulgaria) inside or ‘offered in’ RENT (payment) = appropriate
21   Duck, and one who records it, taking time to overwrite run
SCOTER SCO(r)ER (someone who records) with R (run) being replaced by T (time) = duck
23   Derelict carriage with male aboard
TRAMP TRAP (carriage) with M (male) inside or ‘aboard’ = derelict
25   Gets rid of a lot, wasting little time
SACKS S(t)ACKS (a lot) without or ‘wasting’ T (time) = gets rid of


10 Responses to “Independent 8135 /Phi”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Phi for a very enjoyable crossword and B&J for the blog. Starting at the top, I thought we were straying into Cyclops territory at times – nothing wrong with that, of course.

    22ac/8dn: To me, it is always undesirable if an answer crosses itself, although this may be forced on the setter by the requirements of grid construction. For this answer, we have to fill in 19 squares of the grid of which only 8 are checked by other answers, so on a strict interpretation we have 8/19 cross-checking – not as low as 2/5 but slightly lower than 3/7. Of course, the fact that a specific letter is repeated is some compensation, and in this case the enumeration is more than adequate extra help. I would be a lot less happy with an answer enumerated as (7, 13) in the same space. The clue itself is one of my favourite types, with idiomatic and literal meanings of the phrase, so overall the large positives of this clue hugely outweigh the tiny negative, and it is my favourite clue in the puzzle.

    27ac: I read this as H = “Opening of Haydn’s” (analogous to “friend of Dorothy’s”).

    15dn: It took me a long time to get the EU for “Continental grouping”. There is no good reason for this. Using the checked letters and the non-anagram parts leaves EUS-A-IAN. The K and the R then only go in one way, so I am completely happy with this way of cluing an obscure word. As I said in another place earlier this week, I think it is a positive here that the checking letters all come from straightforward clues.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Clarification of 1 re 15dn: I meant that there is no good reason that it took me a long time, not that there is no good reason for “Continental grouping” to represent EU.

  3. flashling says:

    15d was filled in as a (luckily correct) guess and slew took a break and return to spot it, but otherwise fine friday fare from Phi.

    Thanks B&J and Phi.

  4. MaleficOpus says:

    Thanks Phi and Bertandjoyce.

    As usual from, a great crossword.

    At first I thought there was a film theme (Footloose, Awakenings), but it seems to be an Oliver Sacks theme – Migraine, Awakening(s), A Leg To Stand On, Uncle Tungsten (thanks to Wikipedia).

    On the theme of Wikipedia, the list of languages available on the left meant that Euskara as Basque was familiar to me.

  5. Ron247 says:

    Just want to say thanks for this great blog. I’ve always been terrible at cryptic crosswords, usually only getting a handful (if that!) before giving up. I’ve been using fifteensquared for the last couple of weeks to help me along, and although I’m still a long way off completing a crossword on my own I’m finding that I’m getting more clues correct without help, and understanding the clues more even if I can’t come up with the answer.

    Keep it up guys!

  6. Bertandjoyce says:

    Welcome to fifteensquared Ron and thanks for the comments.

    When we started blogging we decided on a style which we hoped would suit an aspiring crossword solver. We feel that the only way to learn is through doing and we were so pleased to find this site some years ago to help us with those devious clues which we solved without really understanding why!

    We constantly spread the word amongst friends who say that they would like to know how to solve cryptics but don’t know where to start.

    Hope to see more of your comments! If there are other lurkers out there please feel free to join in! We were lurkers for a long time before we took the plunge!

  7. bertandjoyce says:

    Well spotted MaleficOpus!

    We have now had time to look at Wikipedia. The name didn’t ring a bell at first but then we realised we’d seen the film based on his book – Awakenings and unsuccessfully tried to read “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat’. There may be a further reference to him at 9d.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks B&J, and Phi for the puzzle. The theme passed me by and doesn’t mean a right lot to me now, but it’s an added bonus for nina spotters, I suppose. Fine all round puzzle with plenty of entertaining surfaces and clueing.

    I’m sure it’s implicit in your explanation of SCOTER, but of course it’s referring to cricket, where the SCORER would indeed record a ‘duck’ when a batsman is out for nought. ‘Didn’t trouble the scorers’ is cricket-speak for getting a duck, as I know from personal experience throughout my long and not very distinguished career.

    And a welcome from me too to Ron.

  9. Phi says:

    Eventually aimed this one for the week of publication of Sacks’ new book on Hallucinations (which then seemed to sneak out early – certainly it was lurking on my e-reader a week ago; as always, it’s very good). He does have a reasonable selection of more-or-less common phrases in his titles.

    As it happened, I’d decided to use him as a theme and gridded the puzzle, only to hear about the release of the new book on a date a couple of weeks or so in advance of my original plan. So a bit of hasty promotion in the lists was called for.

  10. allan_c says:

    The theme passed me by but, hey, what does it matter? This was one of those crosswords which can be solved and enjoyed without any knowledge of a theme.

    My only (very minor) quibble would be the use of basically the same word – ‘gore/gory – in the wordplay of two clues (20ac and 5dn).

    Thanks, Phi and B&J.

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