Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8147 / Phi

Posted by duncanshiell on November 23rd, 2012


This was another enjoyable puzzle from Phi.  There was nothing too difficult or obscure in terms of entries or knowledge required to solve the clues.




I downloaded this puzzle a few days ago, but have been in the hills north of Turin for the past week and did not have internet access again until late last night.  On my downloaded version of the puzzle, the clue for 3 down – NUMEROUS doesn’t seem to work properly as it appeared to me that the U was clued by the word ‘love’ which generally leads to the letter O.  I am still in transit today (Dover to the Scottish Borders), and haven’t had chance to get hold of a newspaper to see if the clue has been amended.  It could well be the case though that I have completely misinterpreted the clue.

I got my foothold in this puzzle with NOTARY, CORNUCOPIA and PERISHABLE.  In the downs, ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR fell quickly followed by ARSON, EXODUS, TUT-TUT, CROW and EULER.  With these letters, the skeleton pattern of ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER became apparent.  The last ones in were CREMONA and TIMOTHY

Good to see a mathematician (Leonhard EULER) making it into a clue.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry



Holiday produces cardiac swelling for end that’s gruesome?  I’ll think of you more when you’re gone (7,5,3,5,4,6)


ABSENCE (holiday) + MAKES THE HEART GROW (produces cardiac swelling) + an anagram of (that’s gruesome) FOR END


ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER (I’ll think of you more when you’re gone)




Bath’s beginning to make sudden movement (5)


SPAS (baths) + M (first letter of [beginning to] MAKE)


SPASM (sudden movement)




Man concealing prison record leads to daughter being in bad shape (9)


(MALE [man] containing (concealing) FORM [prison record]) + D (first letter of [leads to] DAUGHTER)


MALFORMED (in bad shape)




Legal official’s denial of train system? (6)


NOT A (denial of) + RY (railway; train system) NOTARY (legal official)



American gamble gets you agitated (8)


A (American) + FLUTTER (gamble)


AFLUTTER (agitated)




Pour endless cocaine freely? There’s plenty here! (10)


Anagram of (freely) POUR and COCAINE excluding the final letter (endless) E


CORNUCOPIA (horn of plenty)




Song in my heart only partially recalled (4)

HYMN (hidden word in [only partially] IN MY HEART)  reversed (recalled)

HYMN (song)




Fine song involves leader of choir (4)


LAY (song) containing (involves) C (first letter of [leader of] CHOIR)

LA (C) Y

LACY (decorated with lace; fine)




A rebel ship at sea is likely to go off (10)


Anagram of (at sea) A REBEL SHIP


PERISHABLE (is likely to go off)




Worry about monarch losing heart with extreme regularity (8)

FRET (worry) containing (about) (QUEEN [monarch] excluding the central lettter [losing heart] E)


FREQUENT (with extreme regularity)



Sailor leading rest in (6)


AB (able seaman; sailor) + LAZE (rest)


ABLAZE (in – reference ‘the fire’s in'; ‘the fire’s ablaze’)




Oarsman about to do wrong in part of church (4-5)


ROWER (oarsman) containing (about) an anagram of (wrong) TO DO


ROOD-TOWER (the tower over the crossing in a church)



Cancel description of eclipse after half of star vanishes (5)

ANNULAR (reference ANNULAR eclipse) excluding (after … vanishes) AR (half of [the four letters of] STAR)


ANNUL (cancel)


No. Clue Wordplay Entry



A motive to hide each crime (5)


A + REASON (motive) excluding (to hide) EA (each)


ARSON (the crime of maliciously and feloniously setting fire to property)




Transcribe date in error, being easily distracted (14)


Anagram of (in error) TRANSCRIBE DATE


SCATTERBRAINED (incapable of sustained attention or thought; easily distracted)




Plentiful love suppressed by mostly unfeeling love-god (8)


U (love??) contained in (suppressed by)  (NUMB [unfeeling] excluding the final letter [mostly] B +  EROS [Greek love-god])


NUMEROUS (plentiful)




Evidence of pleasure I ignored pulling up trees (4)

(SMILE [evidence of pleasure] excluding [ignored] I) reversed (pulling up – down clue)


ELMS (trees)




Fall in now – adversarial struggles – any tactic permitted (4,4,2,4,3,3)


Anagram of (struggles) FALL IN NOW ADVERSARIAL


ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR (any tactic permitted)




Outgoing former partner lifted party in front of us (6)


EX (former partner) + (DO [party] reversed [lifted; down clue]) + US


EXODUS (a going out; outgoing)




Letter recipient finding it turning up somewhat tattered? (7)


IT reversed (turning up; down clue) + MOTHY (moth-eaten; somewhat tattered)


TIMOTHY (reference 1st and 2nd Epistles (letters) to TIMOTHY [from Paul]  in the New Testament; letter recipient)




Polar ship to stop a new cold entering river (9)


END (stop) + (A + N [new] + C [cold]) contained in (entering) URE [reference River URE])


ENDURANCE (The ship used by Sir Ernest Shackleton in his Antarctic Expedition of 1914. The ship was crushed by ice and sank in the Weddell Sea in 1915; Polar ship)




Summon everyone supporting introduction of tithing into church (4,5)


(ALL [everyone] + FOR [supporting] + T [first letter of {introduction of} TITHING]) contained in (into) CH (church)


CALL FORTH (evoke; summon)




Comic study of religion briefly engaging Head (3,5)


THEOLOGY (the study of God, religion and revelation; a system of theological doctrine; a system of principles, esp one rigidly adhered to) excluding the final four letters (briefly) LOGY containing (engaging) BEAN (head)

THE BEANO (weekly comic, first published by D C Thomson of Dundee in 1938)




College article about Rome misrepresented Northern Italian city (7)


(C [college] + A [indefinite article]) containing (about) (an anagram of [misrepresented] ROME + N [northern])


CREMONA (Italian city)



Very short dress, each half extended with time?  Scandalous! (3-3)


TUTU (a ballerina’s short, stiff, spreading skirt; short dress) with each TU (half [of the word] extended by the addition of the letter T (time)


TUT-TUT (an exclamation of rebuke, mild disapprobation, impatience, etc; outrageous)




English monarch decapitated mathematician (5)


E (English) + RULER (monarch) excluding the first letter (decapitated) R


EULER (reference .. Leonhard EULER [1707 – 1783] a pioneering Swiss mathematician and physicist)




Boast about performance at Henley? (4)


C (circa; about) + ROW (reference Henley Regatta where oarsman ROW)


CROW (boast about)


12 Responses to “Independent 8147 / Phi”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Duncan (our most-travelled 225 blogger, I think).

    Excellent Friday stuff from Phi. Once I had a few of the crossing letters for the long clues, I was able to put them in from the enumeration, and then the rest fell out nicely.

    I put in NUMEROUS without really thinking about the parsing in detail, but I can’t see it either. Phi is always very precise with his clueing, so the truth will be out there … somewhere.

  2. MikeC says:

    Thanks Duncan and Phi. Enjoyable, with some neat twists. I’m as puzzled as you (and K’s D) about NUMEROUS. I also wondered about ABLAZE (was the word “flames” missed out in the clue?). “In”, by itself, as a definition of the answer seems a bit vague – not in keeping with Phi’s usual precision.

  3. eimi says:

    Apologies for 3 Down. You’re quite right – I failed to spot the mistake here. Of course, the clue as given produces numeroos.

  4. Thomas99 says:

    Re 23a – Chambers, well into the entry, does have “alight” as a definition of “in”. I recognised it from the (1992) translation of Proust – right at the beginning, p.5: “the fire keeping in all night, I would sleep, as it were, in a great cloak of snug and smoky air”. I should add that the reason I remembered it is that at the time I found it baffling and had never encountered the usage before! (I don’t think I have since either.)

    I totally missed the error at 3d – otherwise this was an enjoyably clear and precise, inventive but not too difficult one from Phi. Thanks for the blog too.

  5. sidey says:

    Keeping a fire in in my youth meant all but smothering it with slack, almost the opposite of ablaze.

  6. rowland says:

    Shame about the whoopsie in a great puzzle. I liked the two long anagrams, which seemed very well thought out.


  7. BertandJoyce says:

    We also happily entered 3d without realising the error. We were solving this on Crossword Solver and wondered whether it was a Phi puzzle as it didn’t quite have his usual flair. Our last one in was ABLAZE and whilst we thought of ‘keeping a fire in’ we weren’t totally happy. As Sidey says, it’s more about damping a fire down to keep it going rather than being ablaze.

    We wondered if it was heading for a pangram but there is no J.

    Anyway, thanks Phi and also thanks to Duncan for the blog. We hope you reached your destination safely!

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    When we have our fire going, I exhort the children to ‘keep the fire in’ if I have to go out. Seldom has the desired result.

  9. allan_c says:

    My experience was much the same as others’ – entered 3dn without thinking about it, and thought the clue to 23ac was missing the word ‘flames’. A very quick solve, though, under 20 mins. Thought 1/28 was a really easy clue – got the answer from the second half of the clue and the enumeration without really looking at the first half.

    B&J @ 7 – I use Crossword Solver and it does give the setter’s name – right at the top of the clues; thus today it has “Phi-8147″

    Anyway, thanks to Phi and Duncan.

  10. Phi says:

    Just woken up – yes, NUMEROUS is as I wrote it so the error starts with me. Even if I try to justify it by saying I misread my handwriting when writing the clue, I then transcribed the note in all its tarnished glory. Very sorry, folks.

    However, my clue to ABLAZE had ‘on’ as the definition (as in ‘Why does that office have all its lights [ABLAZE/ON] at 10 o’clcok at night?’), not ‘in’. I am vaguely aware of the usage K’s D mentions, though I wouldn’t have thought it good for a daily.

  11. Guile Jackson says:

    I really wonder if such puzzles are made from some algorithm since the inverse algorithm is performed by ourselves…

  12. BertandJoyce says:

    Hi Allan_C @9. Our version of Crossword Solver only gives the date at the top. We use an iPad version so perhaps that’s the reason why.

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