Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,248 / Phi

Posted by RatkojaRiku on March 22nd, 2013


It is Friday today, so we have Phi’s latest puzzle to contend with.

This puzzle has something of a musical theme to it and was trickier in terms of its vocabulary for me than it probably was for more musically inclined solvers. The references at 1A, 2 and 20 were thus unfamiliar to me. Tight cluing, however, enabled me to arrive at the right answers each time, which I then confirmed on Google.

I’d be interested to read other solvers’ views on “recalled” in 10 and my parsing of what was my favourite clue for its surface. I also appreciated the surface at 17.

*(…) indicates an anagram

1   EXIT MUSIC EXI<s>T (=live; “not using second (=S)” means letter “s” is dropped) + [US in MIC (=microphone)]; Exit Music (For a Film) is a song written by English rock band Radiohead for closing credits of the 1996 film Romeo and Juliet
6   BLOOD [L (=litre) + O’ (=of)] in BOD (=guy)
9   SEDAN D (=daughter) in [SEA (=blue) + N (=note)]
10   BALALAIKA ALAL (LA-LA=simple singing; “recalled” indicates reversal) in BAIKA<l> (=Russian lake; “mostly” means last letter dropped); partial & lit.; the construction doesn’t required a reversal, but “recalled” makes for a smoother surface.
11   HANGING   GARDENS HANG IN (=don’t leave) + [N (=Norway) in *(DAGGERS)]; “flying” is anagram indicator; the reference is to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven “Wonders” of the Ancient World
12   MORTAL MOR<e> (=extra) + TAL<e> (=fiction); “tails off” means last letter dropped from each; the definition is “man’s”
13   BLESS YOU B<enediction> + *(SOUL YES); “possibly” is anagram indicator; & lit.
16   RADISHES RA<w> (=uncooked; “mostly” means last letter dropped) + DISHES (=ruins, as a verb)
18   CAUSES U (=university) in CASES (=lawsuits)
21   STRIP JACK   NAKED Cryptic definition: strip is a type of “poker” and Jack is a sailor, hence “naval”; strip-Jack-naked is a card game similar to beggar-my-neighbour
24   EMBROIDER [I (=one) in ROD (=pole)] in EMBER (=remnant of fire); the definition is “elaborate (on)”, as a verb
25   END UP <s>END UP (=parody, as a verb); “after leader’s deposed” means first letter is dropped
26   TASTE S (=second) in TATE (=gallery benefactor, i.e. the sugar magnate Henry Tate)
27   DESTROYER *(STORY) in DEER (=animal); “nasty” is anagram indicator
1   EAST S (=spades) in EAT (=worry)
2   INDIAN RED IN (=popular) + *(AND DIRE); “in other arrangements” is anagram indicator; Indian Red is a traditional chant sung by Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans
3   MANAGUA MAN (=fellow) + A + GUA (AUG=month; “up” indicates vertical reversal); Managua is the capital of Nicaragua
4   SABINE [B (=bishop) + I] in SANE (=reasoning, as an adjective); the Sabini were an ancient tribe of central Italy, adjective: Sabine
5   CALIGULA [I (=one) + G (=good) + U<mbria> (“opening in” means first letter only] in [CALL (=summon) + A (=one)]
6   BELARUS LA (=the French, i.e. the French word for the) in B ERUS [B (=book) + SURE (=certain); “picked up” indicates vertical reversal]
7   OLIVE O (=round) + LIVE (=as it happens)
8   DEAD SOULS *(LOADS USED); “in translation” indicates an anagram; “Dead Souls” is a 1842 novel by Russian writer Nikolai Gogol
12   MARE’S-NEST ESNES (SENSE=feeling; “upset” indicates vertical reversal) in MART (=market)
14   YESTERDAY YES (=certainly) + T (=time) + *(READY); “for release” is anagram indicator; Yesterday is a 1965 Beatles song from the album Help!
15   REGARDED REG-R A-DED (=having new assessment); “having change of heart” means middle letters are switched round
17   SUPPOSE SUP (=drink) + POSE (=attitude)
19   AMATEUR MATE (=friend) + AUR<a> (=character; “mostly” means last letter dropped)
20   SKIRLS SKI (=runner) + RLS (=Scottish author, i.e. Robert Louis Stevenson)
22   REBUS REBU<t>S (=provides arguments against); “timeless” means letter “t” (=time) is dropped
23   SPAR SPAR<e> (=free); “last to be knocked out” means last letter dropped

11 Responses to “Independent 8,248 / Phi”

  1. Wanderer (not the setter) says:

    Thanks RR and Phi. At first I thought this had something of a Russian accent, with BALALAIKA, BELARUS and DEAD SOULS. But eventually I got 22d REBUS, the detective created by Ian Rankin, and saw that it’s all about him. EXIT MUSIC, the HANGING GARDEN, MORTAL CAUSES, STRIP JACK, a question of BLOOD and DEAD SOULS are all Rebus novels, and there may be more that I’ve missed.

    Great fun, many thanks.

  2. Andy B says:

    I agree with RR’s opinion that the reversal of la-la by the use of “recalled” was included in 10a to make the surface smoother.

    I completely missed the Rebus references, which is somewhat embarrassing as I’ve read all the novels.

    Andy B.

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Phi for an enjoyable crossword and RR for the blog. As is so often the case, I missed the theme, but that did not matter.

    10ac: Yes it could have been clued without “recalled” but I prefer Phi’s version.

    Is anyone else having a problem that I have started getting recently? I download from Crossword Solver and print the puzzles out. I am finding that apostrophes and their following letters are being printed out of place, some way to the left of where they should be. Only a minor irritation once I had worked out what was going on.

  4. flashling says:

    @PB #3 don’t know about recently as I’ve been buying the paper for the commute, but about 3 months ago I’d occasionally see this on a new Canon inkjet I had, trying a different print quality fixed it.

    Missed the theme despite watching a Rebus last night and having 5 of the books. Thanks RR, Wanderer and Phi.

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    A delightful puzzle from Phi, where I had to guess STRIP JACK NAKED and EXIT MUSIC; but the rest went in steadily.

    I sometimes wonder if setters get frustrated that their carefully woven themes just pass solvers by. It didn’t make a jot of difference to my enjoyment of the puzzle (as it should be) but nor did it add to it. Is it something that they do just to give themselves an extra challenge during the setting, or perhaps they are motivated by the fact that the theme is of particular interest to them and they want to share it?

    Thanks to Phi and RR from a snowy Derbyshire.

  6. Tom W says:

    I don’t usually get the Indy but Ian Rankin tweeted about this crossword this morning and being a Rebus fan I had to check it out. It still took me a whole to work out what was happening and it was getting HANGING GARDEN that made me realise the novels were appearing. Thanks Phi!

  7. Phi says:

    Ian Rankin came to Wellington last year and when he signed his latest for me (including two rebuses and an anagram) I mentioned that there was enough material in the titles to base a crossword upon. And he said: ‘Do it, and I’ll tweet about it’. He signed another book with his Twitter name, which we auctioned off for charity so, all in all, quite a useful bit of work. Thanks to Eimi for confirming the schedule in good time for us to lay the groundwork.

  8. Phi says:

    PS I hadn’t noted the lack of need to reverse LA-LA in BALALAIKA, but the clue works either way.

    Despite what you may believe from cricket reports we’re actually in drought conditions here in Wellington. The test match got our first rain in seven weeks, and the forecast is for another dry fortnight. We did have snow a couple of years ago, for the first time in three decades…

  9. Gerry Cannon says:

    I’m not a fan of Rankin so didn’t pick up on the theme. Almost didn’t finish by struggle over 12d.

  10. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Phi for another great puzzle. We were busy last night and didn’t start the crossword until late and had to finish it this morning. We did wonder about an Ian Rankin theme when we had Exit Music but failed to look any further as we had loads to do this morning!

    Ian Rankin is a favourite of ours – we’ve heard him speak and have a signed copy of one of his books so pleased to hear that he is interested in crosswords.

    Thanks also to RR for the blog!

  11. RatkojaRiku says:

    Again, RatkojaRiku missed the theme … However, I am delighted to read that such an esteemed novelist is also a cruciverbalist. Great to have someone like him on board! Am glad a charity also benefited from all this.

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