Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,224 / Phi

Posted by RatkojaRiku on February 22nd, 2013


It is Friday already – how quickly a week can pass! – and Phi is occupying his familiar slot.

I actually found this one an easier solver than the average Phi, even though the wordplay of one clue continues to elude me: 28. I am assuming that what I need is an 8-letter word for “prison”, half the letters of which would give SING- or –SING, but nothing has come to mind so far. I look forward to being enlightened by colleagues during the course of the day and will update the blog accordingly – done, thank you!

I haven’t spotted any thematic elements or Nina in today’s puzzle, but that doesn’t mean to say that there are none there – see below, still a mystery to me! My favourite clues today are 17, for its brevity and smooth surface, and 21, for combining two references to popular culture.


*(…) indicates an anagram

1   TIRANA IRAN (=country) in TA (=soldiers, i.e. Territorial Army); Phi has made the capital intersect with its country at 4
5   ANZAC DAY [AC (=account) + DA (=father)] in *(ZANY); “wild” is anagram indicator
9   ETCH <k>ETCH (=boat); “lacking prow” means front letter is dropped
10   BODY CAVITY Cryptic definition: read “guts” to mean “viscera” and “vacancy”  to mean “empty space”
11   ORISON O (=nothing) + [R (=rector) + IS + ON (=working)]
12   CLANNISH NNI (INN=pub; “turned over” indicates reversal) in CLASH (=argument)
13   UNHEALTHY *(THE ULNA) + H (=hospital) + <da>Y (“end of” means last letter only); “broken” is anagram indicator
15   IMAX I’M A + X (=token of affection, i.e. representation of kiss on greetings cards, etc); IMAX is a system of widescreen cinema
17   PEAL PEA<r>L (=gem); “not right (=R)” means letter “r” is dropped
18   FROBISHER ROB (=plunder) in FISHER (=trawlerman); the reference is to 16th century English explorer Sir Martin Frobisher
20   ZEALOTRY [A + LOT (=great many)] in ZER – Y (=yen) for O (=love) – (=love)
22   PEDANT DA (AD=advert; “regressive” indicates reversal) in PENT (=constrained, i.e. pent up)
24   SILVERWARE *(RIVALS WERE); “in conflict” is anagram indicator
26   MILL MILL<a is> (=artist); “article (=A) is” spurned means letters “AIS” are dropped; the reference is to 19th century English painter Sir John Everett Millais
27   EGGSHELL E.G. (=say, i.e. for example) + G (=good) + SHE’LL (=woman will); the (cryptic) definition is “a cracker”, i.e. something that cracks
28   SAYING Definition: “saw”, proverb; Wordplay: [A + Y (=yard)] in SING <sing> (=prison, i.e. in NY State); “half of” means only  half of letters are used
2   INTERLUDE D (=duke) in *(TRUE LINE); “restored” is anagram indicator
3   ATHOS H (=height) in A to S (=nineteen letters, i.e. of alphabet)
4   ALBANIA BAN (=prohibition) in ALIA; Phi has made the country intersect with its capital at 1
5   AID <m>AID (=female); “but not male (=M)” means letter “m” is dropped
6   ZACHARY [A + CHAR (=daily)] in Z Y (=unknown values, i.e. in algebra); Zachary is a male forename
7   CAVENDISH CAVE (=warning) + N (=new) + DISH (=type of aerial); the reference is to English scientist Henry Cavendish (1731-1810)
8   ANTIS Hidden (“contribution from”) in “claimANT I Suppose”
12   COTTONY COT (=bed) + TONY (=man, i.e. man’s name)
14   HALF-LIVES *(FALL) in HIVES (=rash, i.e. spots); “uncertain” is anagram indicator
16   ADRENALIN *(AND REAL) + IN (=popular); “dodgy” is anagram indicator
18   FAT-FREE [T<o>F<u> (“odd bits of” means odd letters only) in FARE (=food)] + E<xcellent> (“initially” means first letter only)]
19   IMPRESS I (=one) + <e>MPRESS (=ruler; “with beheading” means first  letter is dropped)
21   EWING E<ast> WING (=clearly not in US political show, i.e. The West Wing); the reference is to the Ewing family (Jock, J R, Bobby etc) in the US soap Dallas
23   DUMMY DUM (MUD=slander, as in mud sticks; “upsetting” indicates vertical reversal) + MY (=for me)
25   AWL Reversed (“just the reverse”) and hidden (“concealed”) in “aLWAys”


10 Responses to “Independent 8,224 / Phi”

  1. sidey says:

    28 Sing-Sing is a fairly famous prison

  2. eimi says:

    Topical Nina-hunters need to start searching for a ghost theme in some of the answers.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks for blogging, RR. Found this one of the more straightforward Phi puzzles, with plenty to enjoy. I thought HALF-LIVES and EGGSHELL were particularly good today.

    It’s pointless me playing Hunt the Nina ‘cos we’ll still be here this time next Friday.

    Thanks to Phi and good weekend to all.

  4. sidey says:

    Playing hunt the nina would involve re-enabling Java [spit] and resolving the puzzle.

    eimi, any chance of asking the powers that be to get rid of the Java based software? It’s a real pain having to enable it for one site.

  5. eimi says:

    The Nina is a ghost theme in some of the solutions, not the grid. I wouldn’t have spotted it if it hadn’t been pointed out, but I haven’t read the book anyway.

  6. Phi says:

    Nor had much chance to see the film in th UK, at least. Though still more chance than we’ve had in NZ – I knew the brothers Warner were dead, but I didn’t realise they still controlled release dates in the new global environment.

    One should recall that, thanks to ectoplasm, ghosts look cloudy.

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    Could it be connected to Cloud Atlas by any chance?

  8. flashling says:

    Must admit theme has gone completely over my head, completed quickly without it anyway, thanks RR and Phi. Hope someone will explain later.

  9. RatkojaRiku says:

    Thanks to sidey for explaining the reference to “prison” in 28 – famous or not, I had certainly never heard of it. Surely Phi could have said US prison, to point us in the right direction??

    And like many of those who have commented above, the Nina is still a complete mystery to me …

  10. Bertandjoyce says:

    Cloud Atlas is a novel by David Mitchell which has just been released as a film starring Tom Hanks. So far we have found – Frobisher, Cavendish, Zachary (although it is Zachry in the novel), Orison, Ewing, Half-lives and there is an Imax version apparently of the film!

    Well done Phi! We all solved the puzzle without needing to know anything about the book or film and then we had another puzzle afterwards!

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