Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8206 / Phi

Posted by Bertandjoyce on February 1st, 2013


We always look forward to our blog on a Friday. Phi’s puzzles are always a delight to solve with their smooth surface reading and then often something to search for, even when the grid is complete.

Today was no exception. The grid made us look for a nina as we completed the puzzle and when it was obvious there wasn’t one we looked for links between the clues. All to no avail. However, when the penny suddenly dropped our admiration for Phi’s skill in the construction of the puzzle increased ten-fold!

If there are comments or corrections we may not be in a position to correct or answer as our son is getting married in Sheffield tomorrow and we will be away from the computer for a while.

7ac brought smiles to Bert’s face as his Mum used it for cake decorations, especially for the roman numerals and the hands on his birthday cakes.

Thanks Phi for making our day!

7   Churchman mostly consuming core of sweet decoration Thanks Neil W. We’re still here at the moment so thanks for the early comment!
ANGELICA ANGLICAn (churchman) with last letter removed or ‘mostly’ around E (centre or ‘core’ of swEet)
9   Horse, creature with siblings in rear group in Aintree
EQUINE QUIN (creature with siblings) in EE (rear group of AintrEE)
10   US State Department’s closing message
TEXT TEX (US State) + T (last letter or ‘closing’ of DepartmenT)
11   Tell no-one castle and boat will carry computer stuff” – Duke
KEEP IT DARK KEEP (castle) + ARK (boat) around or ‘carrying’ IT (computer stuff) + D (Duke)
12   Host initially appeared in embrace of child and animal
TOMCAT MC (host) + A (initial letter of Appeared) inside or ‘embraced by’ TOT (child)
14   Detective was wrong, becoming discouraged
DETERRED DET (Detective) + ERRED (was wrong)
15   Full one tucking into 6? Not wholly
ENTIRE I inside or ‘tucking into’ ENTREe (6d with last letter missing or ‘not wholly’)
17   Most reliable placing confidence in English? On the contrary
TRUEST Instead of TRUST (confidence) inside E you do the opposite or ‘on the contrary’
20   Loose playing I encountered in second Italian tune
O SOLE MIO Anagram of LOOSE (anagrind is ‘playing’) + I inside MO (second). This Italian tune! We actually prefer this one though!
22   Silent about editor, one in TV, say
MEDIUM MUM (silent) about ED (editor) + I (one)
23   Reports air polluted? This may be needed
RESPIRATOR Anagram of REPORTS AIR (anagrind is ‘polluted’)
24   One good between rugby posts, having senior ranking?
HIGH I (one) + G (good) inside or ‘between’ HH (rugby posts)
25   Queen leads me carrying fashionable garb for nobility
ERMINE ER (Queen) first or ‘leading’ + ME around or ‘carrying’ IN (fashionable)
26   Chap’s trickery’s revolutionary, keeping number put out
TRANSMIT TIM’S (chap’s) + ART (trickery) reversed or ‘revolutionary’ around or keeping’ N (number)
1   Item of mail getting new staff very upset in middle of week
ENVELOPE N (new) + POLE (staff) V (very)  reversed or ‘upset’  inside EE (middle of wEEk)
2   Shelter? You’ll find in this some purpose
TENT If you have inTENT you will have some purpose
3   Permit to travel hard to extract from plane group
TICKET ThICKET (group of trees which could be planes) with H (hard) removed or ‘extracted’
4   Record King’s time in power getting cut short
REGISTER REGIS (King) + T (time) + ERg (power) with last letter removed or ‘cut short’. ‘In’ doesn’t seem to be contributing apart from helping the smooth reading of the clue. We may be missing something here though as Phi doesn’t often include ‘spare’ words!  TERm (time in power) with last letter removed or cut short. Thanks Raich for putting us straight – we thought we must be missing something!
5   Short of hope initially when cornered by dull fool
DUNDERHEAD UNDER (short of) + H (initial letter of Hope) inside or ‘cornered’ by DEAD (dull)
6   English racecourse displacing first-rate course
ENTREE E (English) + aiNTREE (racecourse) with AI (first-rate) removed or ‘displaced’
8   Information in computer language – here’s list of items
AGENDA GEN (information) inside ADA (computer language)
13   Story fed to officer in charge that’s not readily moved
CATALEPTIC TALE inside or ‘fed to’ CAPT(officer) + IC (in charge)
16   One noticing daughter’s abandoned coloured pen
REMARKER REd MARKER (coloured pen) removing or ‘abandoning’  D (daughter)
18   Regret and mastery mostly displayed in dry Western
TRUE GRIT RUE (regret) + GRIp (mastery) with final letter missing or ‘mostly’ inside TT (dry)
19   Time to forget about tail of extinct bird
TOMTIT T + OMIT (forget) about T (last letter or ‘tail’ of extincT)
21   Head of school exhibits pledges
SWEARS S (head of School) + WEARS (exhibits)
22   Grass also observable in mirror?
MARRAM A palindrome, not to be confused with BOLTON, which is not a palindrome. If you want to be reminded of the relevant Monty Python sketch click here!
24   Error in number provided by American
HASH The ‘hash’ key is used to denote a number in America


11 Responses to “Independent 8206 / Phi”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Bertandjoyce. Your mention of the “special aomething” made me look again… Wow, very clever!

    As and when you get back, you omitted the definition “decoration” from your copying of the clue for 7ac.

  2. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Neil W – corrections now made!

  3. Raich says:

    I think TERM = ‘time in power’ in 4D.

  4. Bertandjoyce says:

    Many thanks Raich! We were just about to leave but had time to alter the blog.

  5. allan_c says:

    The online version has the message “I’ve started, so I’ll finish” on completing the puzzle; this had me looking for a nina related to “Mastermind” till the penny dropped. Congratulations to phi on such an ingenious puzzle. Only one minor quibble; I thought the clue to 16d was a bit forced.

    Thanks, B&J, for the blog. Hope your day goes/went well.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Well, as usual I enjoyed the puzzle, but I am failing to see what’s going on, if someone doesn’t mind pointing out what it is.

  7. flashling says:

    Hi K’sD, look at the start and end of the answers…

  8. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Phi for an enjoyable crossword and B&J for the blog. As is so often the case, I failed to spot the theme while solving, but reading the early part of the blog made me look harder.

    4dn: I think you need “King’s” as the indicator for REGIS (genitive) – in fact I took this answer on trust so thanks to earlier commenters for the parsing.

    22dn: Of course, a palindromic answer fits with the theme. When the only wordplay is the fact that the answer is a palindrome is possibly too much help for answers of even length (given the checked letters) but may not be enough for answers of odd length.

  9. Pelham Barton says:

    Correction to 8: Apologies for the poor grammar in my comment on 22dn, but I hope the sense is clear.

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Wow, that is clever. Thank you flashling – but how could you solve an entire crossword without seeing that?

  11. paul8hours says:

    Very easily !
    18D is my COD.
    Thank you Phi and B&J.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

nine − 1 =