Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8194 / Phi

Posted by duncanshiell on January 18th, 2013


This was an entertaining puzzle from Phi  including some of his regular geographic allusions.




Phi is a compiler based in Wellington, New Zealand and often includes flora and fauna native to Australasia or the Southern Hemisphere in his puzzles.  Today we had TUI (24 across) and LORIKEET (25 across).

The favourite engineer of the crossword world appeared at 4 across, but it was a bit of a novelty to have to enter his Christian name.

I ought to know by now that ‘bank’ in the clue at 17 across is likely to mean RELY, but it took me longer than it should to realise this today.

There were one or two words that may not be in everyone’s vocabulary today (apart from the antipodean birds).  I have come across SPELUNKER on a few occasions before but DRECK I normally see only in barred crosswords.

I enjoyed solving this and Phi has brought commuters’ week to a pleasant end.


No. Clue Wordplay Entry



Sense one’s daughter’s been snatched by female without one (6)


(I’S [one’s)] + D [daughter]) contained in (been snatched by) WOMAN (female) excluding (without) AN  (one)


WISDOM ([common] sense)




Engineer’s name, one almost identical to poet (8)


I + SAME (identical to) excluding the final letter (almost) E + BARD (poet)


ISAMBARD (reference ISAMBARD Kingdom Brunel [1806 – 1859], English mechanical and civil engineer)




Foremost of puzzles here (Independent) from …?


PHI (first letters of each of [foremost] PUZZLES HERE INDEPENDENT)


PHI (a bit of lighthearted self promotion by todays compiler – PHI)  The question mark implies that PHI recognises there might be other contenders for the title!




Line with crudity translated in disbelief (11)


Anagram of (translated) LINE and CRUDITY


INCREDULITY (disbelief)




Annoying limits to kindness in one European city (7)


KS (First and last letters of [limits to] KINDNESS) contained in (I [one] + ROME [European city])


IRKSOME (annoying)




Badly hurt ear or other part of the body (7)


Anagram of (badly) HURT EAR


URETHRA (the canal by which the urine is discharged from the bladder; [another] part of the body)




Striker to leave prison after intervention of good religious figure (4-5)


(GO [leave] + NICK [prison]) containing (intervention of) (G [good] + ST [Saint; religious figure])


GONG-STICK (striker used for sounding a GONG)




Back section of The Sun is taken? (2,3)


IN USE (reversed [back] hidden word in [section of] THE SUN IS)


IN USE (taken)




Penny deposited in bank gets acknowledgement (5)


P (penny) contained in (deposited in) RELY (bank)


REPLY (acknowledgement)




Very active sun? So true, very active (9)


Anagram of (very active) SUN SO TRUE


STRENUOUS ([very] active)




Guys taken aback about container outrage (7)


LADS (guys) reversed (taken aback) containing (about) CAN (container)


SCANDAL (outrage)




Entrance elsewhere gives admission to front of Russian church (7)


AWAY (elsewhere) containing (gives admission to) (R [first letter of {front of} RUSSIAN + CH [church])


ARCHWAY (vaulted passage or entrance)




Overweight woman’s reaching top of hill with new detective (6,5)


FAT (overweight) + HER (woman’s) + BROW (top of hill) + N (new)


FATHER BROWN (detective priest, hero of the novels by G K Chesteron, a new adaptation of which has just started on British daytime television this week)




Bird heads for the upper island (3)

TUI (first letters of [heads for] THE UPPER and ISLAND)


TUI (New Zealand honey guide, Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae, with glossy blue-black plumage with tufts of white at the neck, the parson-bird)




US President enthralled by my alien bird (8)


IKE (nickname of  Dwight D Eisenhower, President of the United States 1953 – 1961) contained in (enthralled by) (LOR‘ [Lord!, gosh!, my!] + ET (extraterrestrial; alien])


LORIKEET (any small parrot of a family with brushlike tongues, natives of New Guinea, Australia, etc; in South Africa, a touraco; bird)




Lessons in religion hosted by cult avoiding exposure (6)


RE (Religious Education) contained in (hosted by) SECT (cult)


SECRET (avoiding exposure)





London area apparently blocking addiiton to building? (7)


APP (apparently) contained in (blocking) WING (addition to building)


WAPPING (area of London)




Gearstick splint cobbled together as treatment for injury (8,7)


Anagram of (cobbled together) GEARSTICK SPLINT


STICKING PLASTER (treatment to fix injury)




Only sumo wrestling absorbs one, producing apprehension (9)


Anagram of (wrestling) ONLY SUMO containing (absorbs) I (one)


OMINOUSLY (inducing apprehension)




Second look pins down bonehead caver (9)


(S [second] + PEER [look]) containing (pins down) LUNK (bonehead)


SPELUNKER (a person who explores caves as a hobby; caver)




Quiet person finding nothing in artistic inspiration (5)


MUSE (artistic inspiration) containing (finding … in) O (nothing)


MOUSE (quiet person)




Tope without drink?  It’s anomalous (1,4,3,2,5)


A FISH (one of the less common definitions of TOPE is ‘a shark'; a fish) + OUT OF WATER (without drink)


A FISH OUT OF WATER (a person in an unaccustomed or unsuitable situation which makes him or her ill at ease) It would be unusual (anomalous) to find a TOPE [in its more common sesne of a drinker] without a drink.




The racy ads will incorporate revolutionary treatment for elderly? (7)

DAYCARE (reversed [revolutionary] hidden word in [will incorporate] THE RACY ADS)


DAYCARE (one form of treatment for the elderly.  The ‘?’ is there because DAYCARE can equally well apply to treatment or monitoring of other groups of people)  Collins gives DAYCARE as one word; Chambers gives it as two.




Top money secured by expert (4)


M (money) contained in (secured by) ACE (expert)

AC (M) E

ACME (top)




Lot of oil filling part of shoe?  That’s not going to be cleared up (9)

LUB (all but the last letter of [lots of] LUBE [short form of LUBRICATE {oil}) contained in (filling) INSOLE (part of a shoe)


INSOLUBLE (not capable of being solved or explained; not going to be cleared up)




Naivety a bar no longer, church admitted (9)


INN (bar) + (ONCE [at a former time but no loner] containing CE [Church {of England}])


INNOCENCE (naivety)




Fluster misrepresented as this? (7)


Anagram of (misrepresented) FLUSTER


RESTFUL (tranquil – an oppositie concept to FLUSTER so FLUSTER is misrepresented as RESTFUL)




Good writer’s pen tip? (7)


STY (pen) + LIST (lean; tip)


STYLIST (good writer)




Ornament about right? A tawdry one, maybe(5)


DECK (ornament) containing (about) R (right)


DRECK (rubbish or trash, could be descriptive of a tawdry ORNAMENT)




Excited success, bagging silver?  On the contrary (4)


AG (chemical symbol for silver) containing (bagging) GO (success) – this wordplay is the opposite (on the contrary) to the clue suggesting GO containing AG.

A (GO) G

AGOG (excited)



9 Responses to “Independent 8194 / Phi”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Duncan. As you say, a fine end to the week. I couldn’t understand A FISH OUT OF WATER, so thanks for the shark reference. And the antipodean references were interesting too. OMINOUSLY for ‘producing apprehension’ is maybe a bit of a stretch, but otherwise a most enjoyable offering from 10ac this morning; thank you to him.

  2. MikeC says:

    Thanks Duncan and Phi. SPELUNKER was new to me but I did remember speleologist, so the word play and crossers made it quite “gettable” (not at all 15d!). I had to work for TUI and LORIKEET as well but they were very precisely clued, so no complaints – in fact, the opposite, a fine puzzle.

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Phi for a pleasant puzzle and Duncan for the blog. I missed out on 25ac and 21dn (which I solved having read the answer to 25ac in the blog). I think it is unfortunate that two (to me) obscure words crossed, but no real cause for complaint as each was fairly clued.

    7dn; I think there is a typo in the blog for the wordplay here. As I am typing this, it has TOPE in the answer instead of FISH.

  4. duncanshiell says:

    Pelham Barton @ 3

    Thanks – I’ve updated the blog

  5. Dormouse says:

    Thanks for 7dn, I’d not heard the shark meaning, either.

    Not too much problem with this. I didn’t find DRECK and SPELUNKER too obscure, but I think they are Americanisms and I read enough American fiction for them to be familiar to me. (I recall a friend telling me about an American crime fiction book that had a scene set in the UK and had an English policeman saying, “I’ll be a horse’s ass, I didn’t realise he was a spelunker.”)

    LORIKEET I dredged up from my memory somewhere. TUI I didn’t know, but it had to be that and I didn’t bother to check it.

  6. Phi says:

    Anyone care to have a closer look? The blog reveals a coincidence I had only the merest inkling about, but which increases the relevance.

  7. Thomas99 says:

    Ah – forensic examination of the blog (and Wikipedia, I’m afraid) reveals the perpetrator to be…Phi! Phi did it! He inserted all the titles of the Father Brown (23a) collections into the crossword – The Innocence (16d) of Father Brown, The Wisdom (1a) of Father Brown, The Incredulity (11a) of FB, the Secret (26a) of FB and The Scandal (20a) of FB – and made off into the night. Very cunning.

  8. Bertandjoyce says:

    Another theme completely passed us by. We thought there may be one when we came across some unusual words such as 21d and 14ac. We knew nothing about 23ac but that didn’t spoil the puzzle.

    Thanks to Duncan and Phi.

  9. allan_c says:

    Oh dear! Got the gateway clue but missed the theme. Actually, thinking of Phi’s geographical allusions I spotted ‘map of a’ in the first row of unches, but there doesn’t seem to be anything else hidden so I guess it’s just co-incidence.

    Btw the new Father Brown series, if you haven’t seen it, is one of those where the plots are “developed” (i.e. in this case unnecessarily embellished) from the originals. Not that “development” is always a bad thing and this series isn’t as bad as some.

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