Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8236/Phi

Posted by John on March 8th, 2013


The usual good crossword from Phi that I found a bit harder than usual. I’m still quite lost on 25ac and would be grateful for some help here: it will surely be forthcoming and then I’ll realise how feeble I’ve been.

For once I have some clue about the theme — the books of Salman Rushdie. Midnight’s Children, The Satanic Verses and Shame are all referred to, but no doubt there is more.

1 ABIDES — bid in (sea)rev.
9 M(I(D)N)IGHT — 12 midnight, nothing to do with the answer to 12
12 LET IT ALL HANG OUT — 2 defs overlapping I think, ‘Be relaxed’, and a whimsical one ‘Be relaxed about bunting?’
16 CRAS{he}S
18 OBLIGING — 2 defs
20 ELECTROMAGNETIC — (in comet get clear)*
23 {f}ORI(E)NT
24 CHILDREN — (ld (ER)rev.) in chin
25 TRENCH — sorry, lost here: it seems to be r [= end of river] in tench, but tench is not church; somehow the church might be the last two letters, but how does ten ch equal church?
26 A({o}RGY)LL
1 AUDITORIA — Audi (a riot)* — I really should know that a vehicle manufacturer is always Audi; atria was misleading me
2 I D(1)OT 1 C
3 ETHYL ALCOHOL — (health coolly)* — ethyl alcohol is ordinary alcohol
6 GUST O — o = over, as in cricket
7 RO(SE{t})TTE{n}
8 EMIL — (lime)rev. — is this particularly a German name?
11 W(HIT EL)EATHER — I couldn’t understand this at first, but it’s simply that white leather is a type of leather or skin, and the Valencian, who had been a mystery to me, was simply ‘the’ in Valencian [ie Spanish]
15 AU NATUREL — (a rule)* in (tuna)*
16 C(HER)OOT — I had always thought that a coot was simply a fool rather than an old fool: is it that a coot is an old word for fool?
17 prisonerS AT A NICk — a clever hidden that was not immediately apparent
19 GUNPLAY — (plan)* in Guy — not a word I was very familiar with, but it refers to dexterity rather than transport
21 {t}EX{t}ILE
22 CANE — (enac{t})rev.

7 Responses to “Independent 8236/Phi”

  1. flashling says:

    John I think 25 TREN(t)CH with CH covering the last (end of) TRENT

  2. allan_c says:

    Another good one from Phi, and another theme that passed me by.

    I agree with flashling about 25ac.

    Re 8dn, the only Emil I ever met was German; and of course there’s the famous ‘Emil and the Detectives’ by Erich Kästner.

    11dn took me some time to figure out, too. The use of ‘Valencian’ was quite clever; the language of Valencia is Catalan rather than (Castilian) Spanish. However, ‘the’ is ‘el’ in both languages.

    Thanks, John, for the blog.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Good stuff as always from Phi, although the theme of course passed me by as usual. I parsed TRENCH the same way as flashling (living close to the River Trent is always a help when it comes up in puzzles) and I thought DANGER was particularly well clued.

    Thanks to John for blogging.

  4. sidey says:

    Phi’s an odd one, I often send copies to my sister who’s not an expert solver but usually enjoys them as much as I do. But then he slips one like this in which I managed a total of three answers before giving up. Nothing wrong with it at all, just on a different planet today.

  5. allan_c says:

    How did that get in here?

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Hi allan_c @5
    It was spam which somehow evaded the Akismet spam filter. Since its inception, the site has received over two million spam comments (the current rate is between 60,000 and 70,00 a month) and it is a credit to Akismet that so few get through to appear in posts. I am usualy able to delete those that do fairly quickly so most of the time very few people see them.

  7. NealH says:

    I found this quite hard work, the usual fault of getting some fixed ideas stuck in my head being the problem. I failed to parse 11 because I was convinced the Valencia bit was at the end of the answer and didn’t think about it following strike. 21 also stumped me for a long time because I became convinced that the clue was omitting 1 T for the word for material and adding another T at the end rather than removing both Ts, so I thought it must be something like evict. I also failed to parse trench – now that I see it, I think it’s quite an interesting clue variation.

    Didn’t spot the theme, but then again I haven’t read a single book by Rushdie, so not very likely that I would.

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