Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,200 / Phi

Posted by RatkojaRiku on January 25th, 2013


It’s Friday today and Phi is occupying his usual compiling slot.

I found that I made swifter progress through this one than is usual for me with a Phi puzzle. I was, however, stalled at the end by the intersecting 13 and 15, although I finally worked both out, albeit solely from the wordplay in the case of the latter, which was a new word for me. Also new to me was 25, which I initially solved wrongly as “cynosare”, with “care” for “treatment” rather than “cure”; had I not had the blog to write, I might never have realised my mistake. My clue today is the & lit. at 18.

Although I have been known to miss latent themes and Ninas in Phi’s puzzles in the past, I have not spotted anything in this one despite scrutinising the completed grid at length. Please let me know if, yet again, I have failed to see what is staring everyone else in the face!

*(…) indicates an anagram

7   RUTABAGA A (=article) in [RUT (=furrow) + BAG (=to secure) + A]; rutabaga is the North American word for Swede
9   APERCU R<ing> (“leader of” means first letter only) in [APE (=copy) + CU (=copper)]; an aperçu is a glimpse or insight (from French)
10   RIDER R<a>IDER (=attacker); “dispatching a” means letter “a” is dropped
11   DAYDREAM Y (=unknown, from algebra) in [DAD (=father) + REAM (=paper)]
12   PARTIAL ECLIPSE *(I.E. SPACE TRIP – ALL); “excited” is anagram indicator
15   HOAGIE [O (=round, i.e. pictorially) + A + G (=good)] in HIE (=hurry); hoagie is another name for the club sandwich in North America
16   AVALON AL<l> (=entirely; “almost” means last letter dropped) in AVON (=river, i.e. in UK); Avalon is the mythical island in Arthurian legend
18   THIRTY YEARS WAR *(TARRY + THIS WEARY); “sadly” is anagram indicator
20   DINOSAUR [NOS (=numbers) in DIA (AID=support; “backing” indicates reversal)] + UR (=ancient city)
22   HUMUS HUM (=smell) + US (=our group)
24   CHOICE CHO<c>-ICE (=cold dessert); “with centre scooped out” means middle letter is dropped
25   CYNOSURE [Y (=year) + NOS (SON=boy; “recalled” indicates reversal)] in CURE (=treatment); a cynosure is anything that strongly attracts attention or admiration, from the constellation “the dog’s tail”
1   OUTREACH OU (=university, i.e. Open University) + [R (=right) in TEACH (=act as educator)]
2   SAND N (=note) in SAD (=blue, i.e. down, depressed)
3   CANDLE CAN<oo>DLE (=show affection); “with no expression – O – of love – O” means letters “oo” are dropped
4   EASY Hidden (“filling”) in “puzzlE AS Yet”
5   NECROPOLIS SILO (=chamber, i.e. for storage) + [CE (=church) in PORN (=obscene material)]; “turned up” indicates (here full) vertical reversal
6   ICE AGE I (=one) + [<lat>E (“end of” means last letter only) in CAGE (=protection for fruit, i.e. in garden)]
8   AERIALIST ERI A (A + IRE (=passion); “kept up” indicates vertical reversal) in A-LIST (=top-ranking, e.g. of celebrities); aerial skiing is a form of freestyle skiing
13   TRAGICOMIC [RAGIC (CIGAR=smoked; “raised” indicates vertical reversal) in TOM (=chap, i.e. a man’s name)] + I<ncreased> C<oughing> (“openings for” means first letters only)
14   LEVIATHAN I (=one) in *(THE NAVAL); “manoeuvres” is anagram indicator
17   NOAH’S ARK [A (=one) in NOH (=exotic drama, i.e. from Japan)] + SARK (=island, i.e. in the Channel Islands)
18   T’AI CHI [A1 (=excellent) + C<o-ordination> (“introduction to” means first letter only)] in THI<s> (“most of” means last letter dropped); & lit.
19   YORICK [I + C (=caught)] in YORK (=Northern city, i.e. of UK)
21   APEX AP (=apparently) + EX (=no longer); an APEX fare is an Advance Purchase EXcursion   fare
23   MASH <s>MASH (=a big success); “after first showing’s discounted” means first letter is dropped; the reference is to M*A*S*H, the   US TV series running from 1972-83 about army doctors in the Korean War

8 Responses to “Independent 8,200 / Phi”

  1. sidey says:

    Proscenium appears, aptly, as an arch over the top of the grid.

  2. Ian SW3 says:

    Sorry, but a hoagie is nothing like a club sandwich (except that it is also a sandwich). Synonyms might include submarine, sub, grinder, poor boy, etc., (see, all of which are enlongated, but not club sandwich, which is square and double-decked.

    Otherwise, thanks for the excellent blog to an enjoyable puzzle.

  3. Rowland says:

    All very nice — this is how to do it! I liked the throw-away nature of the ‘Nina’ too, no big deal, just a bit of fun.


  4. Dormouse says:

    The sticking point for me was the bottom left corner, specifically 20, 21 and 24, none of them particularly obscure but I just couldn’t see them. Finally did a word search on 20 which gave me the way in. (Kept thinking it ought to be “Minotaur” possibly because I’d just seen an opera with that name.)

  5. pennes says:

    I fairly raced thru most of this but sometimes you get stuck in a thought rut (or furrow!): 24 ac is so obvious but I was stuck thing thinking that it was a C(cold) + a dessert scooped out. And I was likewise stuck thinking that 17 dn was some sort of urn so never saw ark. I hadn’t heard of Hoagie, nor an aerialist as a skier, nor rutabaga
    All gettable though as good cluing as always from Phi

  6. Bertandjoyce says:

    Not sure that we made swift progress through this one! We needed help for 7ac although it has appeared in crosswords before. Held up in SW corner by 20ac but then as always with Phi, we wondered why it took so long.

    Spotted the proscenium early on but we can’t see any related feature.

    Thanks RR for the blog and Phi for another Phine puzzle!

  7. flashling says:

    Missed the over-arching nina but otherwise a fine puzzle, cho(c)ice held me up as per pennes.

    Thanks RR & Phi

  8. allan_c says:

    I was expecting to find a nina relating to the date – “Burns Night” would have fitted a couple of rows of unches, so completely missed the nina that was there. But there was a passing nod, intentional or otherwise, to the date. RUTABAGA is otherwise known as Swede – the ‘neeps’ of ‘tatties and neeps’ served with your haggis and washed down with a glass of malt whisky.

    Thanks, Phi and RR.

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